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Basketball Program Success

Mar 06

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Beacon News

College’s Agave Plant Blooming

April 5, 2024

Behind the college’s Anthrozoology building stands a large agave plant that has entered its “death bloom” stage.

Alumni News

Alum Looney Lands Dream Job

April 5, 2024

Beacon alum Ryan Looney lands a dream job writing about entertainment for Collider.


Basketball Program Success

March 6, 2024

Beacon Blazers Basketball builds on a foundation of success and looks forward to growth in the USCAA.


New VPAA Reilly

March 6, 2024

Incoming Beacon College vice president for academic affairs Dr. Kevin Reilly understands that to avoid disrupting a good thing, it’s going to take a lot of input from the people who are already on the ground.

Student News

Clubs Inoculate Students Against Disconnection

March 5, 2024

Even with student clubs shrinking at universities throughout the country, Beacon student clubs thrive and offer students a chance to build community through the various student-led clubs and organizations.


Strozzo Photoshops Learning into Teaching Students on the Other Side of the World

February 6, 2024

During the winter holiday season, Beacon College's Brittany Strozzo served as a teacher for Project Discovery in the United Arab Emirates.

Student News

Dungeons and Dragons Club Explores Renaissance Faire

February 2, 2024

Dungeons and Dragon Club members soaked up the Renaissance Faire gusto as they were captivated by combat and stage shows, sampled faire fare, shopped vendors, and participated in a scavenger hunt.

In The Media

“A World of Difference” Earns Gold in Global Anthem Awards

February 1, 2024

Beacon College’s monthly PBS show “A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity” scored gold (and silver) in the 3rd Annual Anthem Awards.

Beacon News

Service, Passion for Students Highlight O’Toole’s Legacy

February 1, 2024

Marlene O'Toole, an award-winning former Florida lawmaker, education advocate, nonprofit leader, and former IBM manager, passed away.

Beacon News

Sensory Room Latest Supportive Wrinkle Helping Students to Success

February 1, 2024

A new Sensory and Mindfulness Room is set to open this month at Beacon's Counseling and Wellness Center.


Love of Books Unites Beacon Couple in a Chapter of Romance

February 1, 2024

Beacon College has a handful of married couples working on campus, but to celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’re profiling one couple’s extraordinary international tale.

Career Development

Career Center Makes “Big” Investment in Student/Alumni Career Success

February 1, 2024

“Big Interview” is an AI-assisted job interview training tool designed to reduce anxiety and improve outcomes by giving users the opportunity to practice and get immediate feedback.

Circle of Life Starts Countdown for College’s Venerable Agave Plant

By Darryl E. Owens

Author Srikumar Rao once observed that “a plant is the most patient and forgiving teacher.”

That probably goes double for one taking up residence on a college campus. At Beacon, a plant that over the years garnered perhaps a passing glance from students and faculty, now commands center stage as it performs an impressive botanical swan song.

Behind the college’s Anthrozoology building stands a large agave plant that has entered its “death bloom” stage. For a brief time, the plant telescopes straight up an asparagus-looking pole that can top out at 30 feet tall before perishing.

Currently, the Beacon bloomer measures just over 16′ 3″ tall.

Agave americana

Agave americana, or more commonly known as American Aloe, American Century Plant, Century Plant, or Mexican Soap Plant, is a “rosette-forming herbaceous perennial succulent in the Asparagaceae family,” according to the North Carolina State University Extension Service website. “The common name arose because it was once thought it took 100 years for the plant to flower.”

The blooming period is between 10 to 25 years. While blooming, the plant dedicates its energy to sending “up a single flowering stalk from the center of the leaves reaching 15-30′ tall or more,” according to the extension service. Eventually, that stalk sprouts greenish-yellow flowers.

This flowering process also kills the main plant.

On campus, the lesson the plant must teach is simple. The circle of life continues: the mother agave plant “has left a few babies to grow in its place,” said Beacon facilities director David O’Brien.

In the Media

Learning Differently

Featured in Florida Trend Magazine. At Beacon College in Leesburg, students navigate learning differences and disabilities to earn a college degree and prepare for a career.

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How to Navigate College Admissions With a Learning Disability

Featured in U.S. News & World Report. The college admissions process can be overwhelming for any student, but it can be especially challenging for those with learning disabilities.

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College, with Learning Differences

Featured in Campus News. Despite excelling academically in middle and high school, Benjamin Strauss faced challenges due to his learning difference. Yet, his transition to Beacon College, designed for students with learning disabilities, has empowered him to pursue his passion for business management and sports media.

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Best Regional Colleges South Rankings

Featured in U.S. News & World Report. These colleges focus on undergraduate education but grant fewer than half their degrees in liberal arts disciplines. These rankings are split into four regions: North, South, Midwest and West.

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Featured Expert

Dr. A.J. Marsden, Associate Professor of Human Services and Psychology

Dr. A.J. Marsden is a former U.S. Army surgical nurse who now serves as an assistant professor of human services and psychology. She specializes in human development, emotion and attitudes, abnormal psychology, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, human sexuality, and health psychology. She has been quoted by Good Housekeeping, The Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Psychology Today, The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Associated Press, U.S. News & World Report, and more.


Lighting the Path is Beacon College’s digital newsletter that updates the Beacon community and others with interest in the college’s activities about student successes, alumni news, faculty achievements, and stories about Beacon’s growth, new programs, rankings, and more.

Have alumni news to share? Submit your Beacon College alumni updates, weddings, births, career changes, etc. for consideration in the next issue of “Lighting the Path.”

Media Inquiries and Policies

Beacon’s faculty experts, our unique teaching model, and our students often are featured in electronic and print media because of the college’s expertise in learning differences and other disciplines.

Reporters who wish to interview Beacon College experts or pursue stories about the college should contact the Office of College Communications at (352) 638-9789 or email dowens@beaconcollege.edu.

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Meet Our Team

Darryl E. Owens

Associate Vice President of Communication and Engagement


Mary Wymer

Digital Communications Manager