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Newberry College Hosts 99th Homecoming Celebration

October 25, 2021


NEWBERRY — Newberry College hosted its 99th Homecoming in person last weekend, welcoming back alumni and their families for awards, class reunions and fellowship.


Each year, the Newberry College Alumni Association gives awards to graduates and friends of the institution for their service, success and support. This year, following last year’s virtual Homecoming, awards were presented for 2020 and 2021. The following awards were presented Saturday:

  • The 2020 Alumni Distinguished Service Award: Mary "Cookie" Canty Goings '82, a retired educator who converted her family home into Nana’s Hope House, a nonprofit that benefits homeless Horry County high school students. Goings and her husband, Eric Sr., have two children, Whitney and EJ, and a granddaughter, Cali Marie.
  • The 2020 Noah and Pansy Derrick Outstanding Friend of the College Award: The Rev. Dr. Herman R. Yoos III, bishop emeritus of the South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and former member of the Newberry College Board of Trustees. Yoos and his wife, Cindy, have three children, Drew, Kristi and Elizabeth.
  • The 2020 Philip T. Kelly Jr. Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Albert Elton Garrett III '02, a Laurens District 55 Athletic Hall of Famer and volunteer with the Salvation Army of Augusta and Goodwill Industries of Aiken. Garrett and his wife, Precious (Polite-Caldwell) Garrett '02, have two daughters, Jade and Maya.
  • The 2020 Thomas A. Epting Outstanding Alumni Award: Henry Michael Mack '82, an award-winning science teacher at Clinton High School, mentor for the Science Olympiad team and member of Presbyterian College’s CHAMPS enrichment collaborative.
  • The 2021 Alumni Distinguished Service Award: Bill Hilton Jr. '70, a retired educator, former president of the Alumni Association, founder of the nonprofit Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History, and co-founder of the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics. Hilton and his wife, Susan (Ballard) Hilton '71, have two sons, Billy III and Garry, and two granddaughters, McKinley and Hadley.
  • The 2021 Alumni Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Heyward Brock '63, a retired professor and author who co-founded the University of Delaware’s Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, the Medical Scholars program, and several undergraduate programs. A former president of Lutheran Community Services in Wilmington, Delaware, he co-founded the LCS Walk/Run for Life. Brock and his wife, Patricia (Farmer) Brock '63, also founded the Farmer/Brock Memorial Nursing Scholarship. The couple has three children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
  • The 2021 Philip T. Kelly Jr. Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Elliott Cox '09, the director of marketing for South Carolina Lutheran Retreat Centers’ Coastal Retreat, and volunteer coach at the Isle of Palms Recreation Center. Cox and his wife, Deacon Ashlyn (Suhr) Cox '09, have three children, Carson, Lily and Micah.
  • The 2021 Thomas A. Epting Outstanding Alumni Award: Jim Guard Jr. '70, a member of the Florida Bar and scoutmaster for Boy Scouts of America Troop 760, who has been honored for his pro bono legal services. Guard and his wife, Susan (Oetgen) Guard '71, have five children and three grandchildren.
  • Finally, a new award, the 2021 Newberry College Alumni Award of Valor, was presented to the late Mark G. Liptak '74. The Stamford, Connecticut, native retired in 2008 as a supervisory special agent in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, after 40 years in law enforcement at the local and federal levels. In 1999, he was honored with the Department of the Navy’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award for safely negotiating the end to a hostage situation. Liptak and his wife, Helen “Lindy” (Lee) Liptak '75, had two children and two grandchildren. Mark Liptak passed away Sept. 16 at age 70.


On Saturday, reunion lunches honored the following groups:

  • 50th Reunion (1970 & 1971)
  • 40th Reunion (1980 & 1981)
  • 25th Reunion (1995 & 1996) 
  • African American Alumni Chapter
  • The 1971 football team, which marked 50 years since one of the greatest seasons in school football history
  • The Madrigal Singers, previously known as the Madrigalians, who celebrated 52 years since the group’s founding


Homecoming worship services were led Sunday by the Rev. Kevin Strickland '04, bishop of the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA.


The Alumni Association has announced that next year's centennial Homecoming, "100 Years of Home," is scheduled for Oct. 28-30, 2022.

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