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Rev. Sydney Magill-Lindquist

portrait of Ashley AuBuchon-Arcand

Rev. Sydney Magill-Lindquist

Retired Minister

Music Education with a Major in Cello

Graduated in 1971

Explain your career path

I have been a music teacher, an outside sales rep, a Hypnotherapist, a minister, and after retirement a radio show host. I retired from full time ministry at the end of 2011 as Senior Minister at Unity of Gainesville, Georgia after 20 years in ministry. My husband Scott Lindquist and I had an interfaith radio show on blog talk radio until his death in 2012. In 2013 I had a resurgence of cancer and am now in remission. I am currently working part time as Chaplain and Assistant Minister at One World Spiritual Center in Roswell, Georgia.

What was your major at Southeast and what led you to that?

I was a music major with a major in cello and went on to teach for 5 years after graduation. I went into outside medical sales for 10 years so was traveling and didn't have time for music. I reconnected with music in my mid 30s and played with the Cobb Symphony and HIS Symphony (a Christian music group) here in the Atlanta area. I also taught privately for 5 years. When I went into ministry work I would often play my cello, especially for Christmas and Easter services.

Why did you choose to attend Southeast?

Southeast is my family college. My parents met while attending SEMO and, of course, my Grandfather was Dr. A.C. Magill who was head of the Science Department and who's name is on the Science Building. (I have a picture of the original dedication ceremony if you would ever need it.)

Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?

T. Donelly Thomas was my cello teacher for all 4 years and was a great mentor.

Share your best college memory.

In the spring of 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King was killed. When I was in my history class, taught by Dr. Jenkins, one of the students asked, quite innocently, why there was so much attention being paid to Dr. King. Dr. Jenkins closed his book and for the rest of the class we talked about race relations and why Dr. King was so important to America. It was a very inspiring discussion as I had the chance to look at my own prejudices. One of the first things I did when I moved to Atlanta was to go to the King center. It still inspires me.

What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?

I was on a spiritual search during my college years. I attended different churches and faiths in the area to find what I could connect with and wht felt right for me. Mr. Barber was a teacher I had for a history class that covered the early years of Christianity. Many of the questions I had, he answered as he taught me how to look historically at the Bible and especially the foundation of Christianity. I have used much of what he taught when I went into the seminary where I developed a real love of the Bible. When I was an Associate Minister at a large Unity church here in Atlanta, I was known as the Bible teacher. Thank you Mr. Barber.

Describe Southeast in three words.

Family Friendship Independence

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

In the 70's I was the first woman hired for outside sales in the Lancer Division of Sherwood Medical Industries (a division of Brunswick Corporation). In 1978 I won the top sales person award. The prizes included a cruise on the Love Boat to Mexico, his and hers Hartman luggage and a diamond award ring. What made it even more special is that they didn't have a ring design for women, only men. Many women won the award after me but I have the original designed women's ring, designed especially for me!

How did your education at Southeast prepare you for what you are doing today?

I graduated with both a Bachelor of Music Education with a major in cello and (though not required) I had a minor in history. I have used both in my careers as a music teacher and performer and as a minister. Both major and minor enabled me to financially support myself and to be successful in my various careers.

What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?

Be open. Often the careers we plan for ourselves may look different in reality but realize that nothing is ever wasted. You may be surprised where you wind up in your life. Use every bit of your education and your life experience. You will need it all.

What do you wish you had known before graduating and entering the "real world"?

My parents were both educators and so I was familiar with that world. Moving into the business world I had to deal with prejudice about being a woman. I even led the women in my company in having a sales manager fired for sexually inappropriate behavior. I was not prepared for such behavior but I had to learn to stand my ground and create healthy professional boundaries for myself and supporting the other women in my company. Fortunately even that experience had benefits. My husband, Scott Lindquist, was the author of three books on Date Rape Prevention. We worked with the, then, Senator Joe Biden on the Violence Against Women bill and the Cleary's on the Student Right to Know bill ( requiring the reporting of sexual assault statistics on college campuses). It led to our being invited to the White House to meet with President George Bush and members of the Department of Justice in May of 1990.


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