Speers Street Project Receives Major Gift

October 29, 2012

Newberry College received a major gift of $575,000.00 for the Speers Street School project, from the estate of W. Sidney and Prema Gnann.

This gift will “expand the efforts of Newberry College to provide quality educational training to its education majors and provide the ability to reach out to the community,” said Jim Hale, Director of Planned Giving.

The Speers Street School will house the Department of Teacher Education and Sport Professions and will include a new master’s level program where practicing teachers can earn a degree in Teacher Leadership. Over the next few years on the Speers Street property, the Department also intends to establish the Institute for Teacher Leadership.

Throughout their lives, W. Sidney Gnann and his wife Prema were very strong supporters of the college and the community. The Gnanns helped to endow two scholarships and made numerous contributions to both the annual fund drives and the capital improvement efforts of the college, a total of $268,927.00 during their lifetime. Both graduated from Newberry College and were members of the Presidents Club and the Heritage Club, which recognizes donors for their exceptional generosity.

“I was delighted to work with John Wolff, trustee for the Gnann estate and 1967 Newberry College graduate, to determine how best to direct Sydney and Prema's gift to serve the students of Newberry College,” said Barbara Hartley Smith, Newberry College Board of Trustees’ member. “Knowing the Gnanns were dedicated to providing a quality education for as many students as possible, the Speers Street School project is a perfect opportunity to achieve this goal. This project significantly impacts the Newberry College community of today and the future generations of tomorrow.”

For more information about the Speers Street Project and how to donate, contact Scott Joyner at, 803-321-5617 or Cindy Johnson at, 803-321-5206.

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