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Newberry College retires jersey of Todd Frazier ’89

February 26, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College honored basketball great Todd Frazier '89 on Saturday with the retirement of his jersey during the Wolves' home game against Lincoln Memorial University. He is the seventh Newberry men's basketball player to see his number retired, and the first since 1991.


"To me, Todd Frazier was an example of a classic, complete Division II basketball player," said Jack Williams, who coached Newberry's team from 1983-90. "He worked hard every day and represented the Newberry College ideal as a student-athlete. I couldn't be more proud to have coached him!"


Frazier ranks third in career points (1,999), fifth in career rebounds (897), second in free-throws made (472), and third in field goals made (736). Over his Newberry career, he played in 118 games, averaging 16.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, and he shot 51% from the field and 70% from the free-throw line. His honors include NAIA Honorable Mention All-America, NAIA District Six Player of the Year, and Newberry's Most Valuable Player for three consecutive seasons. Frazier was inducted into the Newberry College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.


Newberry College to celebrate 66th Jazz Festival

February 21, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College invites you to enjoy world-class artists and music at its 66th Jazz Festival, to be held March 1-2 on campus. The event will coincide with the South Carolina Band Directors Association’s 26th Jazz Performance Assessment.


The weekend will include clinics and concerts with two all-state jazz ensembles, and performances by a record 76 middle and high school jazz bands from across South Carolina. The big event will be a special concert by the Newberry College Jazz Big Band, featuring guest artist Dr. Kevin Jones, associate professor of jazz trombone at Florida State University.


“We are so excited to host a record number of school bands, and we’re especially excited to welcome Dr. Jones from Florida State,” said Dr. Jerry Gatch, director of bands at Newberry College. “This event is a great opportunity for students from middle school, high school and college to grow as musicians and work with some great jazz educators.”


Jones, the event’s headliner, is an accomplished trombonist, saxophonist and educator who has performed with artists including James Brown, Kenny Loggins, the Temptations, Aretha Franklin and more. His duo album, “Singularity” was released by Centaur Records in 2021. Jones has held teaching posts at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of South Carolina, Lander University and Presbyterian College.


Throughout the weekend, the middle and high school jazz ensembles will each perform three selections for adjudicators and receive a rating. These performances will take place in the Alumni Music Center and Wiles Chapel on Friday afternoon and all-day Saturday. The full schedule can be found on the association's website.


High school students from across South Carolina were selected through competitive auditions to participate in two all-state jazz ensembles. Leading the bands this year are professional musicians and educators Mike Steinel, professor emeritus at the University of North Texas; and Will Campbell, director of jazz studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


The all-state bands and the Newberry College Jazz Big Band will perform back-to-back beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Wiles Chapel. The college band will perform last at 1 p.m. The festival and all concerts are free and open to the public.


The Newberry College Jazz Festival has been one of the longest-running of its kind in the nation, having begun in 1958. The festival has been held in conjunction with the association’s event since 1998.


Photo: Zjane’ Williams ’23 plays trumpet in the Newberry College Jazz Big Band at the 65th Jazz Festival, March 4, 2023.


Newberry to host inaugural human trafficking conference

February 19, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College will host its inaugural Shedding Light on Human Trafficking & Exploitation Conference, set for April 12 at the College’s Center for Teacher Education (pictured), 1121 Speers St. in Newberry.


The conference will feature sessions covering every aspect of human trafficking and providing resources on how to recognize and deal with exploitation in a variety of circumstances, including law, business, social services, nonprofits and more.


“It is notable that today, we have more people enslaved worldwide than ever in our history. Newberry College is committed to educating and equipping our students, community partners, and the public with resources to address the ever-present blight of human trafficking and exploitation,” said Cynthia Haynes Eshleman, associate professor of criminal justice and the event’s organizer. “Even in 2024, human trafficking is alive and well in South Carolina, and it’s incumbent upon all of us to fight it and help survivors wherever possible.”


Presenters will include professionals from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, Richland County Sheriff’s Department, authors and advocates in human trafficking, various nonprofits, and members of the Newberry College faculty. The day’s keynote speaker will be Mandy Bowden of the South Carolina Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force, who will speak to the justice system’s statewide efforts.


The event’s food and beverage partners include Genesis Hub of Newberry, a coffee shop committed to fair trade; and Jasmine Kitchen of Greenville, a social enterprise of Jasmine Road, a nonprofit which helps adult women survivors of human trafficking, prostitution and addiction.


The event is open to the public and geared toward businesses, professionals and community leaders engaged in helping survivors and bringing offenders to justice. The conference is also seeking Continuing Education credits for law enforcement and Continuing Legal Education credits for attendees. Spaces are limited, with a $150 individual registration fee. The registration deadline is April 1.


For more information, a full itinerary, and to register, visit


Last edited Feb. 26: Keynote speaker updated.


Davis, Winder make history as jerseys retired

February 19, 2024


NEWBERRY — Two alumnae, Barbara Langford Davis '79 (right) and Dr. Peggy Barnes Winder '86 (left), have become the first female Newberry College athletes to have their jerseys retired. The pair were honored at halftime of the Feb. 17 women's basketball game against UVA-Wise, and their numbers were proudly installed on the rafters at the north end of Eleazer Arena.


"I cannot think of two individuals who better represent all that is great about Newberry College Athletics as student-athletes, community leaders and successful professionals than Barbara and Peggy," said Sean Johnson, director of athletics. "Barbara was not only a great player, but one of the founders of women's basketball at Newberry College. Peggy was also an outstanding athlete, and has positively impacted so many students at Newberry College as a coach and faculty member. It is an honor to recognize them this weekend."


Davis, a Newberry native, became one of the College's first-ever intercollegiate women's basketball players in 1975. During her time at Newberry, Davis became the first female basketball player to score 1,000 points in her career; scored the most points in a single game, with 43 points on Feb. 11, 1978, a record which still stands; and earned the highest single-game double-double, with 29 points and 24 rebounds. Davis was a three-time team MVP, a SCAIA All-State honoree in 1979, and won the following awards: Jimmy Villeponteaux Sportsmanship Award, the American Legion Award, Student Association Award, Julia B. Wright Scholarship, Senior Class Student Marshal, Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, Bachman Honor Society, and Cardinal Key National Honor Society.


Since graduating from Newberry, Davis has served on the College's Board of Trustees, the Foundation Board, the Athletic Club, Lettermen's Club, and the Alumni Association's Board of Directors. She was inducted into the Newberry College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.


Winder came to Newberry College in 1982. The Lancaster native attended on a dual basketball and volleyball scholarship, and lettered in both sports for four years. While at Newberry, Winder received numerous accolades for her performance on the court and in the classroom. She was most notably honored for her performance in basketball, where she stands in the top five for career rebounds (1,035) and scoring (1,264). During her first year of basketball, she earned the Lady Indian Award, Outstanding Freshman Player, and was the 1983-84 Most Valuable Player. She also participated in the Burger King All-Star game during her sophomore year and in the District VI NAIA All-Star game in her senior year. In volleyball, she received the 1983-84 Most Improved Award and Most Valuable Player in 1984-85. Winder earned academic all-district honors in 1985-86 for both sports, and was selected to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. In 1998, she became the first female inducted to the Athletic Hall of Fame.


Winder has served her alma mater since 1990 as a coach, professor, and leader in diversity education. She is a two-time Student Government Association Professor of the Year (2003, 2012); a 2011 recipient of the Dr. L. Grady Cooper Award for loyalty and devotion to Newberry College; and a 2022 recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Service Award.


Speech & Debate places at Tennessee Valley Invitational

February 19, 2024


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Newberry College Speech & Debate Team placed highly in the sixth annual Tennessee Valley Invitational, held Feb. 8-10 at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville.


The competition included the University of Alabama, University of Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State, Erskine College and 13 other colleges and universities.


Newberry College’s delegation, all first-year students, earned the following placements:

  • Kyndal Cathcart, of Clover, South Carolina, earned third place in communication analysis.

  • Shaina Clark-Gable, of Chapin, South Carolina, earned top novice slap poetry and fourth place in slap poetry.

  • Jada Felder, of Cope, South Carolina, earned fourth place in persuasive speaking.

  • Jenesis Hill, of Snellville, Georgia, earned top novice public narrative, second place in public narrative, and third place in informative speaking.

  • Wilfredo Lopez, of Saluda, South Carolina, earned sixth place in persuasive speaking.


Launched in spring 2023, Newberry College’s Speech & Debate Team allows students to hone their speaking and performing skills and compete against their peers across the country, offering renewable scholarships for participation. Click here to learn more about the program.


Newberry students help community with taxes

February 15, 2024


NEWBERRY — With income tax season underway, members of the community need not fear trying to navigate the process alone or for an exorbitant fee. Newberry College accounting students will put their skills and expertise to work in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, available for qualifying families starting Tuesday, Feb. 20, until Monday, April 15.


The free program is offered to families and individuals with household incomes of less than $64,000, persons with disabilities, and limited-English-speaking taxpayers. Services will be available Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Hal Kohn Memorial Library, 1100 Friend Street. The service will include federal and state income tax returns. Walk-ins are encouraged.


“It's a great opportunity for the students because it's experiential learning, which is the experience of doing, not just reading about it or hearing about it, but it's hands-on,” said Dr. Joe Edenfield, professor of accounting. “It’s gonna be very beneficial for them when they seek opportunities for employment, and we’re going to be able to help people in our community. It’s a win-win.”


Edenfield said the students have completed training with the Internal Revenue Service, and all returns will be approved by him before being filed on behalf of the taxpayer. Filers can expect a turnaround time of approximately one week.


“It's just a really good opportunity to learn about the tax field, as well as get hands-on experience helping out in the community, and it's beneficial to all parties involved,” said Nicolas Colorado, a junior majoring in accounting and business administration.


International students and non-native English speakers may also benefit from the program. “I’m from Spain, so last year when I had to do my taxes, I had no idea how to do them. And there are other people like that. So, helping foreign students and people from the community is a great opportunity,” said Blanca Noriega, a junior majoring in accounting and business administration.


With questions, please reach out to Edenfield at or 803-321-5212.


Wadford to serve as major gifts officer

February 13, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has appointed Mary Kathryne Wadford, of Irmo, to the role of major gifts officer.


She brings over a decade of experience in advancement, most recently as director of philanthropy and engagement and major gifts officer for Columbia College. There, she planned and executed annual fundraising campaigns and major capital projects, and supervised annual giving, alumni relations and advancement services, among other accomplishments.


“We are so excited to welcome Mary Kathryne to the advancement team,” said Bill Nash, chief development officer. “She will be an asset to our College and extended community as she works to ensure our students have the resources they need to succeed boldly.”


She has also served the District Five Foundation, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics Foundation, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.


Wadford holds bachelor's degrees in history, political science, and public affairs from Columbia College.


Newberry master’s degrees among most affordable

February 12, 2024


RENO, Nev. — Newberry College’s master’s programs have been named among the most affordable in the United States, according to rankings released by


Newberry stands at No. 16 out of 50 schools ranked for affordability. Newberry was the only South Carolina school included on the list.


“This ranking recognizes Newberry’s commitment to affordable, accessible, life-changing education,” said Dr. Jacki Wisler, director of education & advising for online & graduate programs. “Our online graduate students acquire sought-after, cutting-edge skills while they work, wherever they are, and the return on their investment begins immediately.”


Offered 100% online, students of Newberry’s graduate programs enjoy tuition rates of $575 per credit hour, no fees, plus the potential for financial aid. With optimized, eight-week intensive courses, each master’s program can be completed in as few as 12 months, while elevating personal and professional outcomes in real time.


The award comes just two months after Newberry launched its third graduate degree, a Master of Arts in criminal justice. It joined the Master of Science in sport management & leadership, and the college’s flagship program, the Master of Science in organizational development & leadership. The college has awarded master’s degrees to eight cohorts spanning numerous industries, age groups, and education and experience levels.


Just nine percent of U.S. colleges and universities have been recognized by in 2024.


“With more students questioning whether a master’s degree is worth the investment, it is important to highlight the schools offering the best value,” said Kyle Darland, co-founder of OMD. “For the OMD rankings, this started with regionally accredited institutions with the lowest net costs. This includes tuition and fees, but also looks at the amount of institutional aid their grad students receive. Overall cost is a major factor in most enrollment decisions.”


The firm analyzed more than 7,700 accredited colleges and universities using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and the institutions themselves. Primary data points include tuition, online graduate enrollment, student-to-faculty ratio, and academic counseling and career placement services.


For the full list of rankings, please visit


Newberry celebrates Black History Month

February 2, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College is hosting or partnering with a series of events this month that celebrate the culture and contributions of African Americans to our community and nation. The events listed are open to the public and free, unless otherwise noted.


Feb. 7, 19 and 22, noon | Lunchtime Table Talks, hosted by the Muller Center.
Location: Kaufmann Dining Hall.


Feb. 8, 6 p.m. | Black History Month Kickoff Worship Service, featuring a message from the Rev. Kevin Sheppard, pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Chapin.
Location: Wiles Chapel.


Feb. 15, 8 p.m. | Step Afrika! performance at the Newberry Opera House, 1201 McKibben St. Student admission with ID: $10. General admission: $25. Click here to purchase tickets.


Feb. 26, 7 p.m. | Muller Center Film Series: “GOSPEL Live! Presented by Henry Louis Gates Jr.” 
Location: Gnann Room at the Center for Teacher Education, 1121 Speers St.


With questions, please contact Carlton Kinard '16, Muller Center program coordinator, at or 803.321.5615.


Benfield appointed director of financial aid

January 30, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has announced the appointment of Karen Benfield as its new director of financial aid.


“Karen brings extensive financial aid experience to our team,” said Jon Kokos, vice president for business & finance and chief financial officer. “Her leadership will greatly benefit our students and families.”


Benfield brings nearly two decades in higher education financial aid and finance, most recently as director of financial aid for Education Compliance Management, a Florida-based financial aid processing firm. She has also served at Columbia College, ECPI University and Coker College.


Benfield and her team prepare aid packages for students, disburse scholarships, grants and other aid, and carry out Newberry College’s commitment to affordability for students and their families.


Benfield holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Columbia College and a bachelor’s in psychology from Coker College.


Fall 2023 Dean’s List Recognizes 552 Students

January 23, 2024


NEWBERRY — Succeeding boldly in the classroom last semester, 552 students made the Dean's List for fall 2023.


The list honors undergraduate students who have achieved semester grade point averages of 3.5 or higher on a four-point scale. The newest list represents 35 U.S. states and 18 foreign countries. Among those named to the list, 207 logged perfect 4.0 GPAs. Freshmen make up the largest class recognized, comprising 35% of the list.


While the list comprises mostly traditional undergraduates, 29 honorees are enrolled in Newberry's five online bachelor's-level programs — business administrationcriminal justicepsychologyRN-to-BSN, and respiratory therapy.


Click here to view the fall 2023 Dean's List.


Macaluso to lead College’s residence life

January 22, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has appointed Rachel Macaluso as director of housing & residence life.


She brings over eight years’ experience in higher education student development, including residence life, conduct, life calling and student activities. She served most recently as assistant director of residence life at Ohio Northern University. Before that, she served in various roles at Indiana Wesleyan University between 2017 and 2022.


"I am thrilled to be taking on this leadership role within Housing & Residence Life,” said Macaluso. “I cannot wait to be a part of the positive growth and development of our program, working to foster community and belonging for students across Newberry's campus."


Macaluso holds a master’s in student development counseling and administration from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a bachelor's in psychology, natural science and nursing from Roberts Wesleyan University.


Newberry launches online professional certifications

January 16, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College is now offering a host of online professional credentialing through a new partnership with MindEdge. The versatile partnership will provide for-credit learning, professional and personal development, continuing education and corporate solutions across virtually all industries. The programs are available to anyone, with enrollments open 24/7.


“This partnership is ensuring that our students and community have access to high-quality education, and that Newberry College can equip them to meet their career goals,” said Casey Cline, director of career & professional development. “The programs are self-paced and versatile, offering everything from materials for faculty and students, to full industry certifications. No matter which path you take, you can really gain an edge in job searches, advancements and more.”


Newberry’s professional certification programs cover a wide selection of subjects, including banking, business analysis, change management, cybersecurity, design, human resources, marketing, project management, web design and more.


The offerings have been described as “a la carte,” with clients able to choose individual courses, learning resources, and certification programs to fit their needs. The courses are designed for adult learners and combine exercises, videos and practical examples in coursework. Users can also access experts in each field who will answer questions within 24 hours.


With each completion comes an official Newberry College certificate that users can add to their resumes, LinkedIn, and elsewhere.


Clients can also earn credits from professional credentialing institutions such as the American Council on Education, the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training, CompTIA, the HR Certification Institute, and more.


This partnership is facilitated by the Office of Career & Professional Development and the Muller Center at Newberry College.


The professional certification programs are Newberry’s newest virtual academic offerings, joining the College's five online undergraduate and three graduate degree programs. Newberry offers online bachelor's degrees in business administration, criminal justice, psychology, RN-to-BSN, and South Carolina’s only undergraduate program in respiratory therapy. Master’s-level programs include criminal justice, organizational development & leadership, and sport management & leadership.


To learn more about Newberry’s professional certification programs, please visit


Morris appointed director of finance

January 4, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has announced the appointment of Margaret “Carrie” Morris '03 as its new director of finance.


“Carrie has an exceptional background in fiscal management and financial reporting,” said Jon Kokos, vice president for business & finance and chief financial officer. “She will be a fantastic asset to our finance office and to the College.”


Morris brings nearly two decades of budget and finance experience in South Carolina state government, most recently as chief financial officer of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind. She earned her Bachelor of Science in accounting, business administration, and economics from Newberry College. She graduated magna cum laude and was inducted into the Bachman Honor Society.


“Newberry College gave me a strong foundation to succeed. I am thrilled to return in this role and help the College further its mission,” said Morris.


A Year in Review: 2023

December 29, 2023


The year 2023 has been extraordinary for the people and campus of Newberry College, with milestones on all fronts. Let's take a look at just some of Wolf Nation's biggest stories from the past year.


A Growing Campus

In August, Newberry surpassed its own enrollment records for the fifth time in the last nine years with an incoming class of 582 students and total enrollment of 1,521. The figure was a 15% increase over fall 2022. One-in-four new students are the first in their families to go to college, and over 40% come from underserved populations. Plus, the graduating class of fall 2023 was the largest in school history, with 91 graduates — 82 bachelor’s- and nine master’s-level. The College has maintained its personal attention and close-knit community, simultaneously pairing its largest-ever enrollment with a student-to-faculty ratio of 13-to-1.


In addition to growing by population, campus itself has seen exponential growth and improvement this year. This fall, the College officially opened the Darby Nursing & Health Science Center (left), along with its adjoining health clinic, the Newberry Medical Center of Newberry College, operated by Newberry County Memorial Hospital and led by nurse practitioner Casey Purcell '14.


In September, the College cut the ribbon on Founders Federal Credit Union Field House, with locker rooms for football, lacrosse and field hockey, coaches’ offices, field-view classrooms and reception areas, along with new east-side stadium seating, revolutionizing the Wolves gameday experience. Also as part of the College's partnership with Founders, the credit union opened its first Newberry branch on campus in Kaufmann Hall.


The College also partnered with Metz Culinary Management transforming campus dining services and bringing two new national brands, Starbucks and Freshens, to Steele Student Center. In another move toward a more student-centered environment, the campus game room was reimagined and reopened in the basement of Wessels Library. The College has also undertaken renovations of historic MacLean Gymnasium, which celebrated its centennial in 2023.


Looking ahead, work has begun on the College's ninth residence hall, Midlands Hall, at the corner of Luther Street and Wolves Way. The 104-bed hall is expected to be ready for occupancy in fall 2024.


Academic Advancements

Two thousand twenty-three has also been a landmark year for academics at Newberry College. Three new undergraduate majors were launched — an online bachelor's in business administration, nutrition, and multi-categorical special education. The College also christened its second and third master's degree programs — an M.S. in sport management & leadership and, just this month, an M.A. in criminal justice. Newberry also launched its prestigious Speech & Debate Team in spring 2023. Shortly thereafter, several members (right) brought home high placements from the South Carolina Speech & Theatre Association’s annual State College Festival Competition (which Newberry College will host in spring 2024).


The College also welcomed three of its five division deans in 2023 — Dr. Jerry Alewine, of Nursing & Health Sciences; Dr. Steven R. McClung, of Business, Communications & Sport; and Dr. Wiebke Strehl, of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. The remaining two — Dr. Bret Clark, of Sciences & Mathematics, and Dr. Susan Fernandez, of Education, were appointed in 2022.


A Newberry College education is designed to help students succeed boldly beyond their college careers, thanks in large part to the high caliber of faculty leading its courses and programs. Numerous members of the faculty have made strides in their respective fields this year, including, but not limited to:

  • Dr. Jodie Peeler, professor of communications, who published the first-ever biography of Dave Garroway, original host of NBC's “Today” from 1952-61

  • Dr. Len Lawson, assistant professor of English, who published a new book of poetry and was honored by his undergraduate alma mater with its Alumni Professional Achievement Award

  • Dr. Philip Jacobs, adjunct instructor of art history, who published a book revisiting the significance of Joseph of Nazareth

  • Dr. Sarah Masterson, associate professor of piano and music theory, who won Third Prize in the 2023 Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music. In January, she is set to record more solo piano music for a second album

  • Dr. Jonathan Hall, assistant professor of music education, who was recognized by the South Carolina Choral Directors Association with the 2023 Leadership and Service to the Profession Award

Excellence in Athletics

This year has been huge for Newberry athletics. For starters, the Wolves baseball team (left) took the South Atlantic Conference's regular season and tournament championships, won its first-ever NCAA tournament game, and set a new program record for most wins in a season with 42.


Field hockey also enjoyed its best season ever this year. The team racked up a program-high 14 wins before entering the South Atlantic Conference tournament with the No. 2 seed, a bye, and a regular season of 11-3. The historic season came to a close in the semifinals with a 1-0 loss to Limestone.


The Wolves' men's lacrosse team was crowned NCAA Statistical Champion for the spring 2023 season, with a .520 percentage when up a man on the offensive end with 39 extra man goals on 75 attempts. The Wolves also finished the season third in the nation with a .370 shot percentage. The Wolves' season ended with an 11-5 record and a SAC semifinal appearance. This was the first statistical championship in program history.


In November, Newberry's women's triathlon team finished eighth in the NCAA National Championship in Tempe, Arizona, marking the first time in program history in which the Wolves competed at nationals as a complete team.


The College has also launched two new sports — women's acrobatics & tumbling and women’s wrestling — which are both set to begin competition in the 2024-25 seasons.


Affordability & Diversity

In 2023, the Newberry Board of Trustees renewed the College's Tuition Promise, which freezes tuition rates for incoming students at the time of enrollment. In addition to traditional undergraduates, the measure has been extended to students in the College's growing online and graduate programs. The Tuition Promise is one reason why Newberry was once again named No. 1 in South Carolina for least student loan debt per borrower, according to LendEDU.


This year, the College opened the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging, and welcomed its inaugural vice president, Dr. Altheia Richardson (right). The College's Board of Trustees also elected its first woman chair, Dr. Lenna Corley Young '77.


Rising as a Regional Leader

In addition to the No. 1 ranking by LendEDU, Newberry has risen in every category in which it is ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Newberry rose to No. 10 among the South's Best Regional Colleges, an all-time high, and rose to No. 3 for Best Value, No. 4 for Social Mobility, and No. 2 among Best Colleges for Veterans.


Newberry launches master’s in criminal justice

December 18, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College is pleased to announce the addition of its third graduate program: a Master of Arts in criminal justice. The announcement comes after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges greenlighted the program with full accreditation.


The versatile, 100% online program can be completed in as few as 12 months. Classes are set to begin Jan. 8, 2024. Classes are asynchronous, meaning coursework can be completed anytime, anywhere.


“The trend we are seeing across agencies and in the courts is that, to receive promotions, individuals need to further their education. Agencies in various parts of the country are looking for graduate degrees,” said Cynthia L.  Haynes Eshleman, associate professor of criminal justice and the program’s coordinator.


“We developed this program with an amazing team of criminal justice professionals from South Carolina and around the country, with backgrounds in the military, law, mental health, policing, probation and parole, corrections, and juvenile justice,” she said. “This program provides leadership and criminal justice courses that equip today’s professionals with the necessary skills to meet the demands of today and the future.”


Criminal justice is a vast field, including policing, corrections, security, judicial administration, and social services. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, more than 800,000 sworn law enforcement officers serve nearly 18,000 agencies from the local to the federal levels. As the field continues to grow and evolve, Newberry’s master’s degree is designed to prepare criminal justice practitioners with knowledge of modern demands and dynamic changes.


The 30-hour program includes coursework in professional ethics, jurisprudence, criminology, juvenile law and justice, mental health and addictions, and diverse populations & criminal justice. The program also includes leadership coursework in contemporary organizational development, change management, and research methodology.


“Our master’s in criminal justice is on the cutting edge of an ever-changing, vital, growing industry,” said Dr. David Harpool, vice president for online and graduate programs. “The online modality and our commitment to affordability mean that degree advancement is more accessible than ever, all with the dedication and expertise of experienced faculty with decades in their fields.”


The program joins the College’s undergraduate major in criminal justice, which has been one of Newberry’s most popular programs since its launch in 2016. The College also offers a variety of concentrations complementary to criminal justice, including forensic chemistry and forensic psychology. Criminal justice has been offered as a minor since 1997.


The program also joins two other master’s degrees at Newberry — the Master of Science in organizational development & leadership and the Master of Science in sport management & leadership.


Students are invited to enroll in the Master of Arts in criminal justice program six times a year, with new classes beginning every eight weeks. For more information, please contact Bill Kuehl, director of online & graduate studies enrollment, at or 803.321.5276, or visit


Gilliam appointed Director of Security

December 14, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has announced the appointment of Kevin Gilliam as its new director of security.


“Kevin brings a wealth of experience and credentials to Newberry College,” said Dr. Carl Wells, associate dean for community building & campus life. “We are thrilled to have him in this crucial role leading our campus security.”


Gilliam has more than 25 years of experience in law enforcement, first through the City of Newberry Police Department, followed by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. He welcomes anyone from the campus community to stop by his office in Oakland Mill to introduce themselves and share their questions or concerns.


“I look forward to getting to know the students, faculty and staff, and working with them to make Newberry College an even better place to learn and thrive,” said Gilliam.


Gilliam holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Francis Marion University.


In addition to Gilliam's appointment, the College has increased the number of security officers on campus for expanded coverage around the clock. The College has also appointed a Security Council to regularly review and advise on security matters. The council's membership includes Newberry Police Chief Kevin Goodman, Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster, Newberry Fire Chief Gene Shealy, and key members of the administration, faculty and staff.


To learn more about Campus Security, report an incident, receive emergency notifications and more, visit the Campus Security page.


Newberry College offers 24/7 student counseling services

December 12, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has partnered with Christie Campus Health to offer Wolf Wellness, providing students with mental health counseling services 24 hours a day.


Free to students, the program offers accessible, confidential and skilled counseling, in addition to on-campus resources already available through the Office of Health & Counseling Services and the campus pastor. Wolf Wellness can be accessed by calling 833.434.1217.


“Students today are often faced with a number of challenges involving academic pressure, adjusting to college life, grief and loss, financial stressors, as well as mental health concerns,” said Ashley Williams '11, director of health and counseling services. “At Newberry College, caring for the whole student is our goal. This partnership will provide additional support to students, allowing them access to trained counselors 24/7. Wolf Wellness offers a safe and confidential space for students to discuss their concerns, obtain emotional support and explore options for seeking professional help.”


The program provides resources outside the college’s regular business hours, and counselors have a network of local professionals to whom students can be referred for advanced or ongoing support. Many students also prefer speaking with professionals remotely, instead of going for an in-person visit.


Wolf Wellness services are available to current students wherever they are, and even when classes aren't in session, such as during breaks and holidays.


Newberry honors largest-ever fall graduating class

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - December 11, 2023


NEWBERRY — “The table is set. It is time for you to take a seat at that table so that you can eat, and so that you can leave no crumbs,” said commencement speaker Dr. John Lesaine '07 to Newberry College’s graduating class of fall 2023. “I’m saying that you need to be committed to living a life of excellence. That everything that you do, you do it well. I know you’re hungry for greatness, and that’s great, but get this: the world is hungry for your greatness as well, because there is a great need for each and every one of you.


“Wherever it is that you go, whatever it is that you do, you need to show up as the best version of you,” he said.


Newberry’s commencement exercises, held Dec. 8 at Wiles Chapel, conferred degrees upon the largest fall class in school history. Relive the day with the stream recording, commencement program, and photo gallery.


The 91 graduates — 82 bachelor’s- and nine master’s-level — represented 11 states — California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee — and five other countries — Australia, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands and Nigeria.


Among undergraduates, the most popular majors included business administration (12), exercise science (11), sport management (eight), nursing (seven), biology (five), health care management (five), health science (five) and psychology (five).


The master’s-level graduates, all from the organizational development & leadership program, ranged in background from recent undergraduate alumni to a president & CEO.


The college also inducted five graduates into the prestigious Bachman Honor Society, named for the college’s principal founder, which recognizes seniors who finish in the top 8% of their class. This semester’s inductees included Lauren Alston (Newberry), Bowdy Boyce (Bell Buckle, Tennessee), Emma Dowell (Mount Airy, North Carolina), Lillian Drury (Ballarat, Victoria, Australia), and Luke Seals (Ponca City, Oklahoma).


As is Newberry tradition, the Professor of the Year delivers the fall commencement address. In the spring, the Student Government Association bestowed the honor upon Lesaine, associate professor of physical education.


The College also honored the late Rev. Dr. Mike Beggs, professor of religion, who passed away Oct. 30, with an empty chair at the front of the chapel, draped with his cap and gown. Beggs’ portrait sat atop the chapel’s organ, beaming before colleagues and students alike.

“He was a tireless advocate for higher education and an inspiration to students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Sid Parrish, vice president for academic affairs. "We miss him dearly."


Darius Starks ’16 to debut at Newberry Opera House

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - December 6, 2023


NEWBERRY — Darius Starks ’16 has been playing saxophone since the age of 10. Nineteen years later, and seven after earning his music degree, he is coming home to make his debut at the Newberry Opera House.


Starks will perform Sunday, Dec. 17, at 6 p.m. alongside David Glymph and Steven Galloway, who together form the soul-stirring trio DSG. The group’s smooth harmonies across contemporary jazz and R&B will be an unforgettable start to the Christmas season.


Starks says he first fell in love with the instrument at a revival service at his grandmother's church, Columbia’s Temple Zion Baptist, where Greg Whittaker was playing as a guest. (As an interesting side note, Whittaker has been a member of the Lowcountry’s Deas Guyz Band, founded by another Newberry grad, Reggie Deas '89.)


“He played 'Amazing Grace,' and it just brought chills,” he says. “I asked my dad, after he finished playing, like, ‘what is that?’ and he said, ‘a saxophone.’ And I knew right then, I wanted to be just like him when I grew up. And for Christmas, my dad got me a saxophone, and I’ve never put it down since then.”


Staring when he was in fifth grade, Starks began taking lessons. The Irmo native played football for two years in high school, then decided to go out for the marching band. His junior year, he was Rookie of the Year, and then Woodwind Captain the next. Even at this stage, Starks says he was performing in front of audiences as a solo artist.


“I would play at my grandmother’s church at the beginning, then I moved to [Right Direction Church] and was part of the band. From playing every Sunday, they asked me for small little gigs here and there, weddings and stuff like that. One gig would lead to the next gig, and it just kind of started from there, and it progressed definitely after college.”


His journey led him up the road to Newberry College, where he studied under the likes of woodwinds professor Dr. Barry McGinnis, professor emeritus and director of bands Bill Long, and director of bands and jazz conductor Dr. Jerry Gatch.


“My experience at Newberry was great. It was a small community, everyone knew each other. I was part of the [Call Me] MISTER program. It was like a close-knit family, apart from my own family,” he says.


At Newberry, Starks was a member of the Scarlet Spirit Marching Band, the saxophone quartet, the College Singers, and the Jazz Big Band, which named him Most Valuable Player in 2015. The College band also gave him the opportunity to perform alongside big names, including trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and “The Late Show” trumpeter Al Chez.


“Newberry definitely gave me the work ethic to practice every day. Dr. McGinnis was on us about perfecting our craft and devoting at least one or two hours a day to perfect your instrument,” he says. “We had a lot of performances, going around to different schools, jazz tours, even choir tours, just the experience of performing in front of people, getting comfortable in front of a crowd.”


After graduation, Starks took his musical and business skills to work as a full-time musician, performing solo and group shows, weddings and parties, and creating content across social media platforms. He released an EP, “Christmas in the Key of D” in 2018, and he has performed on television shows such as “Good Day Columbia.” He has performed in Washington State, Connecticut, Chicago, New Orleans and across the South. He has a “residency” at Halls Chophouse in Columbia, where he performs for brunch each Sunday. This summer, he, Galloway, and Glymph formed DSG, and the group is rapidly growing in skill and acclaim.


“We’ve been friends for a long time, crossing pathways, and we’ve been trying to get something together,” he says of the group. “It just kind of happened this summer. We decided to do a video, [a cover of Boyz II Men’s “I'll Make Love to You”] that’s still going viral. I had the Newberry Opera House already booked earlier this year, so I wanted to bring my group with me. We get a lot further with us coming together.”


Starks says he’s looking forward to recording an original single with his group and performing in bigger and more exotic venues, such as a wedding in Cancun booked for next year.


To purchase tickets to Starks’ Dec. 17 show, click here.


To learn more about his work, visit and follow him on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.


A Devotion for Thanksgiving

by the Rev. David Coffman '97 | Campus Pastor - November 21, 2023


“Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest, and let these gifts to us be blest. Blessed be God, who is our Bread: may all the world be clothed and fed.”


What prayer do you and your family offer at mealtimes? Will you gather together and celebrate with your family for Thanksgiving? Will you gather with multiple families, the in-laws and the out-laws, so to speak? Will you run in an annual Turkey Trot? Will you give time and energy to feed those in need?


This semester we have been studying, The Lord's Prayer. We have been taking each of the petitions and digging a little deeper into its meaning and how it might impact us. I’m reminded of Dr. Lerone Wilder’s comments about the use of pronouns and “OUR” daily bread this Thanksgiving.


This Thanksgiving, I’d like to remind us all of our need to take care of one another. It is a day and season to pause and give God thanks for all the blessings that we have. Might we give thanks for our family? Might we give thanks for our friends? Might we give thanks for learning? Might we give thanks for challenges that help us grow? Might we ask God to help us be better servants as we take care of those around us. I’ve included a couple prayers that you might memorize that draw us beyond ourselves to help one another:

  • Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

  • Lord, we thank you for the food before us, the family beside us, the love between us, and your presence among us. May your gifts refresh us, O God, and your grace strengthen us. Amen.

 May God bless you this Thanksgiving and fill you with grace and joy enough to share with others.


Listen to this devotion:


Over the next few weeks, we will share Advent and holiday devotions from the Newberry College community. These can be found at and will be shared via social media and with the College community via email.


Otho Shealy ’48 Shares His Part in College — & World — History

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - November 21, 2023


BATESBURG-LEESVILLE, S.C. — Otho L. Shealy ’48 enjoys a penchant for storytelling. At age 97, he has more than a few good stories to tell, often between assembling dining sets at the family business, Economy Furniture Co., where he happily reports to work five days a week. His life’s journey has taken him around the world, from his home in Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina, to the lessened moors of postwar Europe, and he has played roles in both Newberry College — and world — history.


In July, he was sorting through some old effects when something caught his eye. A scrap of paper, small, plain and easy to miss, harkened back across the globe and several worlds ago. Seventy-seven years ago, it granted him access to the world’s first experiment in international criminal law — the Nuremberg Trials. Now, he has entrusted it to the South Carolina Military Museum in Columbia, where, opposite Great War gas masks and an M48 Patton main battle tank, it represents a path to peace.


The discovery and donation gave us a chance to catch up with Shealy at his family’s store about his magnificent journey.


When Shealy (right) arrived on the Newberry College campus, fresh out of high school on the eve of summer 1943, he was the youngest of just 31 men enrolled. At the height of the Second World War, most college-age men and even some professors were spending their semesters across opposing seas or marking time somewhere in between. For Shealy, weeks away from his 17th birthday, age wasn’t just a number. It was the only thing standing between him and the arms to which conscience and country called. He looked forward to becoming a pilot in the Air Corps — the branch known as the Air Force didn’t exist until 1947.


Weeks after he enrolled, on July 31, Newberry life was drummed to a whole new cadence. Three hundred twenty-five cadets in the U.S. Navy’s V-12 program, designed to supplement the supply of trained officers, took up residence on campus. The College provided the facilities and academic training, while the Navy handled discipline, physical fitness and military drill. Cadets came from among college students, various reserve programs, enlisted men from the fleet, and high school seniors who passed the nationwide qualifying examination. Newberry — one of two South Carolina colleges and 131 campuses nationwide to host V-12 — educated over 1,000 cadets in its 27 months of participation.


“The boys that were there when I first went there that summer were probably gone the next year,” says Shealy. “I didn’t think about it, then, being such a serious time. We were playboys. We were ready to shoot more pool and play more cards. And just wait till tomorrow, I’m gonna get my notice that I’m supposed to report for service.”


During his first year-and-a-half at Newberry, Shealy studied math & natural sciences, as it was known then, a versatile major encompassing mathematics, biology and chemistry. “I can’t say that I was going to be a doctor,” he says. “But I always liked the sciences.”


During his sophomore year, he crossed paths with a two-year business student from Savannah named Mary Reiser (1927-2020). Like him, she came from a Lutheran family of German heritage, but she was unlike anyone he had known before. Dark-haired, dimpled and outgoing, she was a leader among her classmates — president of the business students, secretary of the Y.W.C.A., and a member of the Newberry Players.


“She got my attention,” he says. “I tried to date her, but she was dating a sailor. We walked together, going down to [the Lutheran Church of the] Redeemer to church. We spent some time together but not really as a date.”


Unfortunately, their relationship didn’t have long to bloom before Shealy’s number came up in December 1944, just as the Battle of the Bulge was taking shape in western Europe. Before he left Newberry, the pair promised to write each other. He was inducted into the Air Corps in January, and was sent promptly to Biloxi, Mississippi, for basic training, and from there to B-29 gunnery school in Florida. By this time, however, Germany had surrendered, and all eyes were on the war in the Pacific.


“In Florida, I understood that we had around 15,000 cadets that were being prepared in some way. We had been told, before they dropped the A-bomb, that we would be going to Nebraska, and then would be assigned to a B-29 that would go to the south Pacific. So we were that close,” he says.


Luckily, Japan surrendered weeks later on Aug. 15. As the theaters of action fell quiet, Shealy and his compatriots were “bounced around” as the United States determined its next moves in a postwar world. After serving and training at various stateside bases, he boarded the Pontotoc Victory in January 1946 to assume his new post among the Allies occupying Nuremberg, Germany.


When Shealy arrived, the city, like many others in Germany at the end of the war, was a skeleton of its former self. “Many of the little villages that the train would go through, you could never tell a war was there. But anywhere that was of much size, there had been nothing done. Inside the walled city was known then as 95% destroyed,” he says. “The whole year, I didn’t see any work going on to rebuild.”


Thanks to his math & natural science coursework at Newberry, Shealy was assigned to a medical unit. “I didn’t ask for it, but that became a real blessing. First, I could drive almost anything. I had driven everything when I was [at home], and back then it was all straight shifts. The ambulance was a good fit for me.


“We had a place that a patient could lie down to be examined, but nothing much more than that. I remember Dr. Floyd, and we acted as his nurses. Giving shots was one of the biggest things. I can just see them right on today, lines of GIs there for their different kinds of shots. What meant more to me was taking patients to the hospital in Nuremberg. I think about some of them that I carried there.”


Throughout his assignment in Nuremberg, the International Military Tribunal was underway. In what became known as the Nuremberg Trials, the Allied coalition of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union tried two dozen surviving leaders of Nazi Germany. The charges included crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and conspiracy. Shealy was able to obtain a pass to attend a session of the trial.


“In your seat, you put your headphones on, and you could dial it to English and hear what was being said, because it was all done in German. I can still see the Germans seated on two rows. I can still see the guards standing behind them. I don’t remember any one of the prisoners saying anything. At the time, it was like just another day,” he says.


Shortly after the trial ended and sentences were handed down, on Oct. 16, 1946, the day 10 of the Nazi defendants were to be executed, Shealy was shipped out. Back in the States, during his stay at Camp Kilmer, in New Jersey, Shealy remembers taking a detour to the City That Never Sleeps. “We’d heard some of the radio stuff from New York City, so several of us got a cab to take us from Camp Kilmer to New York and put us out. We went to NBC, we went to the Chesterfield hour, and there was the first TV I ever saw.”


After he was discharged and spent Christmas at home in Leesville, he picked up his college career where he left off two years before.


Within a few weeks of his return to Newberry, he found himself a player in what would become local lore. According to the late College archivist Gordon Henry (1931-2020), on Jan. 31, 1947, Newberry played rival Presbyterian College in basketball, in what would later be named MacLean Gymnasium. Legend has it that a Newberry student climbed a ladder on the outside of the building, into an open window behind the visitors’ stands, and took a bowler hat off the head of a Blue Hose. Former student Corrin Bowers would later write that the hat was originally his, and that the whole operation was merely to recover stolen property.


“You know who helped hold the ladder?” Shealy asks. “You’re looking at him! This fellow with this hat on, he was making a lot of noise. We lifted the hat out the window and I didn’t know where it went to.”


Several altercations ensued after the game. Soon after, Presbyterian’s public relations director, Charles MacDonald, wrote Frank Kinard ’47 (1924-2021), Newberry’s sports publicity director, suggesting that the hat be recovered and made into a symbol of the schools’ rivalry. The hat was turned in anonymously, cast in bronze, and the Bronze Derby was born. The trophy would be passed to the victor of each meeting in basketball, baseball and football until 1956, and only in football until 2006, just before PC left Division II. Photo from the 1974 "Newberrian."


After settling back into student life, Shealy joined the College Singers, where he sharpened his vocal skills and connected with the director, fellow veteran Dr. Milton Moore (1914-94). Moore left Newberry to serve in the U.S. Army, where he served in north Africa and in Italy. “We probably spent half of our time together talking about our experiences in the service,” he says.


Shealy graduated in spring 1948, and took a position in Savannah as a chemist for Southern Cotton Oil Co. “I wasn’t even thinking about coming back here with my daddy. There wasn’t enough here,” he says.


Of course, he admits, there was another reason for moving to Savannah. “Mary was working as a secretary for a building and loan place. She lived around the corner.”


Their relationship budded in letters from across the sea. Now that they were reunited, it wasn’t long before wedding bells echoed from the church steeple. Their marriage would thrive for 71 years.


“In the meantime, my daddy offered me a job at the store with him, and he’d pay me the same thing I was getting paid down there, which was $200 a month. That was pretty good pay back at that time,” he says.


Since then, Shealy has worked alongside his family for most of the 84 years that Economy Furniture has been in business. It also happens that these three generations of Shealys are also Newberry College graduates, including (in photo order) Betsy Shealy Dority ’06, Brian Shealy ’04, and Brent Shealy ’77. At 97, Otho Shealy (seated) has no plans to retire, instead hoping to continue the work he enjoys for as long as he can. He has not only more stories to tell, but more to write.


Marie Waxel ’08 wins national journalism award

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - November 14, 2023


WASHINGTON — Marie Waxel '08 has been honored by Military Reporters & Editors with an MRE Journalism Contest Award. The Emmy and Murrow award winner is an evening anchor for WAAY-TV in Huntsville, Alabama, and much of her work highlights the region’s veterans and military organizations.


Waxel took the Small Market Television category for her February 2023 piece, “A look at Redstone’s role in supporting Ukraine.” The special examined how Redstone Arsenal coordinates the “massive logistics web” sending supplies to Ukraine.


She also received an honorable mention with her colleague Tim Collins for their June 2022 report, “Doomsday Plane provides power in the sky,” a rare, inside look at the E-4B Nightwatch. This piece also earned her a NATAS Nashville/Midsouth Emmy Award earlier this year.


“I’m incredibly honored to receive my second MRE Award and an honorable mention,” said Waxel. “Sharing stories on our nation’s military is truly a passion of mine, and to be recognized on this level among some of the very best military reporters and editors is something I hold close to my heart. It’s a privilege to be trusted to do what I do.”


Waxel said the pivotal events of Sept. 11, 2001, opened her eyes to the significant role journalism plays in communities and around the world. At Newberry, she majored in mass communications with a minor in psychology.


“On day one, I found myself in the television studio on campus, working alongside and learning from upperclassmen,” she said. “Beyond the on-campus hands-on experience, I was encouraged to seek out multiple internships, each of which provided me with a valuable, real-world perspective of the industry. Newberry's small class sizes and the direct access I had to my professors played a pivotal role in shaping my vision for my future career.”


After graduating in 2008, she began her career at WHNS-TV in Greenville. She served stints at WAFF in Huntsville and KSLA in Shreveport, Louisiana, before joining WAAY as a morning anchor in 2019. She moved to the evening slot after she welcomed her son in 2021. That year, she and her team won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in journalism, as well as a MidSouth Emmy nomination.


“Fast-forward 15 years, and I find myself in a position to effect real change, be a voice of calm in chaos, and inspire others to reach their potential,” said Waxel. “I've been privileged to witness the full spectrum of life, from the utmost acts of kindness to dark moments of despair, often within a matter of hours. It's a privilege that comes with an equally significant responsibility to hold this role in the North Alabama community and beyond.”


Masterson receives national award for Schuyler album

November 8, 2023


DANBURY, Conn. — Dr. Sarah Masterson, associate professor of piano and music theory at Newberry College, has won Third Prize in the 2023 Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music. The award was presented by the American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts.


The award, which recognizes the best performances of American music by ensembles and individual artists worldwide, was for her recording of Philippa Schuyler’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom.” Masterson released the album in 2022 after she reassembled, transcribed and recorded the late composer’s lost work. The album, released by Centaur Records, is available on all streaming platforms and music retailers.


Masterson’s research focuses on the work of 20th-century American women composers. Schuyler was a mixed-race concert pianist, composer and freelance journalist, who began her career as a child prodigy. She was performing Mozart at age five, and by 10 she had earned national fame as a young composer. She left the United States and toured more than 80 countries as a concert pianist, and then became a published writer and correspondent during the Vietnam War. She died in 1967, at the age of 35, while on a helicopter rescue mission. Her music has been largely unheard since her untimely death.


“Seven Pillars of Wisdom,” inspired by T.E. Lawrence’s book of the same title, was written in 1964-65. Though performed by Schuyler, the composition was never published nor recorded, until Masterson revived the work.


In January, Masterson will record more of Schuyler’s solo piano music for a second Centaur album, “Travelogue: Philippa Schuyler’s Music for Piano.” Featured works will include Schuyler’s folk song arrangements, “Carnival in Languedoc,” “African Rhapsody,” “Uganda Martyrs,” and “White Nile Suite,” as well as a recently uncovered untitled piece, likely Schuyler’s final composition. Schuyler’s music traverses the globe with inspirations from Haiti, France, Chile, China, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique and more.


The project is funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and also by a generous award from the John & Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina. The project is also partially funded by Newberry College.


Since she joined the Newberry College faculty in 2014, Masterson has become coordinator of music theory, director of the music department’s social media, and founding artistic director of the W. Darr Wise Piano Competition.


Bill Hilton Jr. ’70 awarded Order of the Palmetto

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - November 6, 2023


COLUMBIA, S.C. — Bill Hilton Jr. '70 has received South Carolina’s highest civilian honor for his contributions to science, nature and education. Gov. Henry McMaster awarded him with the Order of the Palmetto to recognize his life’s work, which includes bird banding, teaching, preservation, and serving his alma mater.


Bird banding involves catching and tagging birds to better study and identify them, as well as to monitor the health of bird populations. Hilton began banding birds in South Carolina in 1982, the same year he established Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History near his home in York. As of press time, Hilton has banded 78,814 birds of 127 species in his 41 years of practice.


“That's a lot of birds,” said Hilton. “A lot of those I banded and never saw again, either they were in migration, or they just dispersed or whatever. But a lot of them have been resident birds or have come back after migrating away. They've been adding to the understanding of the behavioral ecology of birds in the Carolinas.


“Since very little banding is done in the Carolina Piedmont, the work I'm doing here has potential for significant information that we wouldn’t have otherwise,” he added.


Hilton said bird banders catch birds using a variety of live traps and nets, affix a numbered band, issued by the Bird Banding Laboratory, to one of the birds’ legs, take a variety of measurements, and then release them. The identification allows other banders to record their findings in the national bird banding database, which compiles information on movements, longevity, site fidelity and more.


“I think the furthest bird I've had was in Newfoundland, and that's pretty far to go,” said Hilton. “Not all of them are long-distance, but quite a few of them are.”


While he has documented many species, his specialty is the ruby-throated hummingbird (one of which he is holding at right). The species can be found in the Carolinas during the spring, summer and fall, but they migrate south for the winter. Hilton is one of a select few who have studied them on the other end of their migration to Central America.


“I’ve taken 30 different groups of citizen-scientists to the Neotropics — Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Belize — and we made a lot of discoveries down there that were unknown about ruby-throats on their wintering grounds,” he said.


After graduating from Newberry College with a degree in philosophy, Hilton earned a master’s in teaching biology from Winthrop University. He then traveled to Minnesota, where he banded and studied Blue Jays while earning his master’s in ecology and behavioral biology from the University of Minnesota. After returning to the Palmetto State, he taught high school biology and established his namesake nature center, the only year-round, long-term banding site in the Carolinas.


In addition to pioneering ornithology in South Carolina, Hilton’s other accomplishments include helping to establish the Governor's School for Science & Mathematics with his wife, Susan Ballard Hilton '71; as well as working with the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, the Allison Woods Foundation, and RibbonWalk, Charlotte’s Botanical Forest.


At Newberry College, Hilton chaired the John Bachman Symposium of 2006 and served as president of the Alumni Association, which included a stint on the Newberry College Board of Trustees, from 2004-06. For his achievements and service, Hilton has been honored with a charter membership in the Hall of Master Teachers (2012), an honorary Doctor of Science degree (2013), and the Alumni Distinguished Service Award (2021), among many others.


Hilton was nominated for the Order of the Palmetto by his state senator, Mike Fanning, who surprised him with the news on his 77th birthday.


Hilton refuses to use the word, “retired.” A lifelong educator, Hilton encourages everyone to do their research about what they can do to help birds, prevent further habitat loss, and enjoy nature.


“Birds are a really good indicator of the health of the environment, and there are a lot of indications that our environment is not all that healthy,” he said. “I encourage people to do away with manicured lawns and put in native plants, put out a bird feeder and maintain it properly, and watch what happens.


“People don’t have to go to foreign countries or across the U.S. to see nature. The best place to watch nature, in my mind, is in your own backyard. Get familiar with what you have and what you can do to provide habitat right out your back door,” he said.


To watch CN2 News' special report (1:50), click here.


To learn more about Hilton’s ongoing research, visit


Concert to commemorate 150 years of Rachmaninoff

November 1, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College will host a special concert to mark the 150th birthday of the great Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. The performance is set for Nov. 12 at 3:30 p.m. at the Alumni Music Center.


The concert will be led by piano professor and accompanist Wanda Neese (right). She will be joined by Christopher Dukes ’06, Shawn Hair ’02, Lilly Tague ’21, Chandler Watson ’22, and current music students Joseph Loera, Belle Kneece and Micah McNamee. The event will also include an exhibit and memorabilia on Rachmaninoff’s life and career, which will open at 2:30 p.m.


“I've always been fascinated with Rachmaninoff,” said Neese. “I was fascinated with his life story, even though I didn't know that much about it while I was in undergraduate school. Even today, they don't cover him a lot in music appreciation and history books, and they should, because he is one of the greatest composers of all time.”


The concert pianist, composer and conductor was born into a musical Russian family in 1873. He began learning piano at age four, studied at the Moscow Conservatory, and settled in the United States in 1918 following the Russian Revolution. He toured extensively, giving concerts and recitals throughout the U.S. and Europe. He died in Beverly Hills, California, in 1943.


His works span a wide repertoire, including symphonies, concertos, piano and choral works, and even operas. He is regarded as one of the last composers of the Romantic era, which spanned the mid-19th to the early 20th centuries.


“The concert is a combination of low brass, high brass, flute, and piano,” said Neese. “We even have one piece that Rachmaninoff wrote for six hands at one piano. Most of the pieces were composed during his time at the Moscow Conservatory.”


The event is free and open to the public.


Young elected chair of Newberry College Board of Trustees

October 24, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has announced that Dr. Lenna Corley Young '77 has been elected chair of the Board of Trustees. She becomes the first woman to lead the governing board in the College’s 166-year history.


Young has served on the board since 2017, and as its secretary since 2018.


“Dr. Young has given of her time, dedication and resources to support Newberry College for decades as an alumna, a supporter, and as a member of the board,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “We will benefit greatly from her understanding and experience in higher education. She is the perfect selection to lead the Board after six years of incredible leadership from Rob Best. The College is blessed to have such a dedicated and supportive Board of Trustees.”


Young is a seasoned leader in education, and she has championed quality education through teaching excellence. She served as dean of business and public services and then vice president for academic affairs at Greenville Technical College before retiring in 2017.


She has educated children of U.S. armed service members at Peterson, Patrick and Maxwell Air Force bases, and served as a budget analyst for U.S. Special Operations Command. While there, Young was nominated as one of a limited number of civilians to complete the Air Force’s Squadron Officer Leadership School. During her federal civilian service, she was selected as a recipient of the Army Special Act Award and the Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Medal.


Her education career has also included stints at Tri-County Technical College and Clemson University.


In her communities, Young has served on the board of directors for the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Non-Violence, the board of the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce, the Academic Members Council of the University Center of Greenville, and the MedEx Academy Advisory Board in the Greenville Hospital System.


Young earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from Newberry College, with an emphasis in guidance and counseling. She also holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Central Florida, and a doctorate from Clemson University.


Young and her husband, retired Air Force Col. Lance Young '76, reside in Gilbert.


Jazz Big Band to honor Wagner

October 23, 2023


NEWBERRY — In its fall concert next week, Newberry College’s Jazz Big Band will pay tribute to longtime member and professor emeritus Dr. John Wagner. The performance will be held Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m. in Wiles Chapel.


Wagner, 87, served as a professor of music at Newberry College for 37 years until his retirement in 2002. After having educated and inspired generations of musicians, the clarinetist and flutist stayed on as a regular member of the Jazz Big Band. Since his retirement, his “John Wagner & Friends” concerts at the Newberry Opera House have become an annual favorite.


“Rarely can it be said that someone has been a part of the music scene in a small town for almost 60 years,” said Dr. Jerry Gatch, director of bands. “To say ‘thanks’ is hardly sufficient for a lifetime of service, so we want to honor Dr. John Wagner for his dedication to his students, his service to Newberry College and our community, and being part of our lives.”


During the performance, Wagner will be featured as a soloist on several pieces and formally recognized by the band.


A native of the Chicago area, Wagner and his wife, Bobbi, moved to Newberry in 1965, when John came to Newberry College and Bobbi began her career in local public schools. They are active members of Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Newberry, where Bobbi served as organist until her recent retirement. The couple has two sons, Ben and Dan, and two grandchildren, John and Hannah.


“Together they have touched the lives of many students and countless members of the Newberry community through their selfless service to others,” added Gatch.


Wagner holds a doctorate in musicology from Indiana University, a master’s in clarinet performance from Florida State University, and a bachelor’s in music education from DePauw University.


Alumni Association Presents Distinguished Awards

October 19, 2023


NEWBERRY — As part of Newberry College’s 101st Homecoming celebration, the Alumni Association presented four Distinguished Alumni Awards during its annual meeting on Oct. 14.


Each year at Homecoming, the association honors graduates and friends of the College who have distinguished themselves through service and support of the institution, the church, and their communities.


The awards were presented by Dr. Maurice Scherrens, president of Newberry College, and Dr. Lisa Wagner '91 and Matt Fogle '09, past president and president-elect of the Alumni Association.


The Alumni Distinguished Service Award was presented to Joyce Roof Carter '82. Carter is a former president of the Alumni Board of Managers and has served on the Board of Trustees and advisory committees for the teacher education and music departments. She is a member of the Newberry College Hall of Master Teachers, having received the William Dufford Retired Educator Award. 

In her community, Carter has served on the board of Lexington County First Steps, the board of the Lexington One Educational Foundation, and as a philanthropic event planner for the Free Medical Clinic in Columbia. 

Carter is married to Jeffrey Mark Carter, and they are members of Pomaria Lutheran Church in Pomaria. 

The Noah & Pansy Derrick Outstanding Friend of the College Award was presented to Leah Blackmon. Blackmon is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Newberry College Athletic Club and a former member of the Newberry YMCA Board. She founded the William C. Blackmon Athletic Memorial Foundation, in memory of her late husband, a proud 1992 Newberry graduate. She is a lifelong member of the Newberry community, and she works to make Newberry College the best it can be for students and for the community. 

Blackmon is a member of Summer Memorial Lutheran Church in Newberry, where she serves on the church council, chairs the evangelism committee, and plays in the handbell choir. She is the proud mother of sons, Ben and Alec '21, and daughter-in-law, Brady Keeler '20.


The Thomas A. Epting Outstanding Alumni Award was presented to Jim Hale '63. Hale has served his alma mater faithfully for decades as a loyal alumnus, president of the Alumni Association, and director of planned giving. In this role, he fostered love for Newberry among his classmates, and grew scholarships that have allowed countless students to succeed. Though he graduated in history and political science, he has maintained a lifelong passion for music, and has been a supporter of the College’s music programs and of the Newberry Opera House.

Hale is a member of Virginia Wingard Memorial United Methodist Church in Columbia. He has three children, Jimmy, Lyn, and Elise; and six grandchildren: Robert, Sam, Michael, Caroline, Matthew and Sara. Hale was unable to attend the event, and his award was presented in absentia.

The Phillip T. Kelly Jr. Outstanding Young Alumni Award was presented to Jay Salter '19. Salter joined Newberry College's Department of Marketing & Communications after graduation. His role has allowed him to give back to the institution that has given him so much. As the staff writer, his work includes news & public relations, the alumni magazine, "Dimensions," the College's social media accounts, advertisements, and strengthening the Newberry College brand. He also enjoys serving as a public address announcer for Wolves volleyball.


Salter is a member of St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Prosperity, where he is a member and secretary of the church council, sings in the chancel choir, teaches Sunday School, and serves as an offering clerk.


In addition to recognizing these honorees, the association also recognized the classes of 1953, 1963, 1973, 1983, 1998 and 2013, which celebrated their 70th, 60th, 50th, 40th, 25th and 10th reunions, respectively.


Top: Alumni Association president Jessica Beam Shealy '12 at Homecoming 2022, taken by Trey Love '95. Homecoming 2023 photos: Garry Talbert '75.


Syno appointed to Center for Student Success

October 5, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has announced the appointment of Dr. Jennifer Syno to the role of assistant dean for the Center for Student Success, effective Oct. 30.


Syno comes to Newberry from Georgia Southern University, where she has served as director of advising for three campuses since 2019. She brings 14 years’ experience in higher education academic success, preceded by five years as a 7th grade math teacher.


“Jennifer will be a great asset to our students and a key leader in ensuring student success and persistence at Newberry College,” said Dr. Sandy Scherrens, dean of enrollment management. “Please join me in welcoming Jennifer to the Newberry family!”


Syno holds a doctorate in educational leadership and a master’s in higher education administration from Georgia Southern University, and a bachelor’s in middle grades education from Elon University.


Newberry to Celebrate 11th Dufford Diversity & Inclusion Week

October 4, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College will celebrate its 11th Dufford Diversity & Inclusion Week from Oct. 16 through Oct. 20. The annual event series is designed to inspire appreciation for the multiplicities of humanity and bring people together on common ground. This year’s theme is “Searching for Healing Truth.”


Dufford Diversity and Inclusion Week began in 2013 with the vision and generosity of Dr. Bill Dufford '49, who continues to sponsor the program. Dufford made history in 1969 as the school administrator responsible for integrating the Sumter County school system. As an educator, he has been a lifelong advocate for civil rights and quality education for all. 


This year’s program will include the following events, which are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. 


Monday, Oct. 16
Searching For Healing Truth
7 p.m. | Center for Teacher Education, Gnann Conference Room

Herb Frazier, co-editor of “Ukweli: Searching for Healing Truth: South Carolina Writers and Poets Explore American Racism,” will deliver a keynote address on the theme of “Searching for Healing Truth.” A Q&A session will follow the keynote address.


Wednesday, Oct. 18
Chapel Service
10 a.m. | Wiles Chapel

The Rev. Dr. Jonathan C. “Jay” Augustine, senior pastor at St. James A.M.E. Church and missional strategist from the Center for Reconciliation at Duke Divinity School, joins the College for Wednesday Chapel as its guest speaker.


Wednesday, Oct. 18
Hip-Hop Orchestra Experience
7:30 p.m. | Newberry Opera House

Led by composer and pianist JooWan Kim, the Hip-Hop Orchestra Experience, featuring Ensemble Mik Nowooj, creates Metamusic by sampling principles of Hip-Hop and Classical music. Executed with resident MCs, a lyric soprano, turf dancer, woodwinds, French horn, strings, piano and drums, the music is rigorous, nuanced and accessible. The performance is free for Newberry College students with ID and $10 for general admission.


Thursday, Oct. 19
Who Are My People?
All-Day Event | Center for Teacher Education

The Division of Teacher Education will display a gallery of photos depicting the diverse and connected people of the Newberry College family.


Newberry invites community to Handel’s “Messiah”

October 3, 2023


NEWBERRY — Continuing a beloved tradition, Newberry College will perform the Christmas portion of G.F. Handel’s sacred oratorio “Messiah” and invites the community to be part of the magic.


The concert, given by the Newberry College Singers and Newberry Chamber Orchestra, is set for Friday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Wiles Chapel on the College campus. Experienced singers from the area are invited to participate in the performance.


“I don’t know of any better way to ring in the holiday season than with Handel’s ‘Messiah,’ and the collaboration between college and community makes it all the more special,” said Dr. Chris Sheppard, chair of the Department of Music.


Rehearsals will be held Sunday, Oct. 15, and Sunday, Nov. 19, from 4 – 5:30 p.m., with a dress rehearsal on Monday, Nov. 27, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.


The group will sing choruses from the oratorio including “And the glory of the Lord,” “O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion,” “For unto us a child is born,” “Glory to God in the highest,” and “Hallelujah.” Participants are asked to provide their own scores, Schirmer or VanCamp editions, but there are a limited number of copies available for use.


To participate as a singer, click here to submit the free registration form. With questions, please contact Dr. Jonathan Hall at or 803-321-5634.


Lions Club gives to nursing & health sciences

October 2, 2023


NEWBERRY — The Lions Club of Newberry presented a check Sept. 28 to Newberry College, benefiting the nursing and health sciences programs and the Newberry Medical Center on the College campus.


The club’s $10,000 contribution was part of its ongoing philanthropic efforts in the community.


“We sold some of the property the Lions Club owned and we’ve been able to distribute these funds to various charities,” said Pete Simpson, treasurer of the Lions Club of Newberry. “We wanted to give back as much to the community as we could, and we feel like this is a worthy project and can be used for future endeavors as student nurses progress in their studies.”


“I want to thank the Lions Club for their generous donation,” said Bill Nash, chief development officer at Newberry College. “This is going to help our students and enrich their experience at Newberry in nursing and the health sciences. We are deeply grateful to the Lions Club and others in the community for their continued support.”


The College cut the ribbon on the Darby Nursing & Health Science Center on Aug. 24. The 11,000-square-foot facility at 1910 College St. is the state-of-the-art home of the College’s growing health care programs. Adjoined to the center will be a 1,200-square-foot community clinic operated by Newberry County Memorial Hospital. The clinic will hold a grand opening later this fall.


“The support of our community partners makes lifesaving work possible,” said Dr. Jerry Alewine, dean of nursing & health sciences. “These funds will go toward innovative equipment and techniques that will make a difference in the lives of our students, and also of their future patients.”


Lions Club International is a global leader in community and humanitarian service, with more than 48,000 clubs and 1.4 million Lions around the world. The Newberry club has been active since 1928.


Photo: Bill Nash, Doggett Whitaker (past president of the Lions Club), Dr. Jerry Alewine, Pete Simpson, and Dr. Jenny Lindler '11 (director of nursing).


Newberry Alma Mater Turns 100

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - September 29, 2023


NEWBERRY — The Newberry College Alma Mater is celebrating a full century of stirring the hearts of students and alumni alike. The song was composed in 1923 by the historian and musician Gilbert P. Voigt, a 1903 Newberry College graduate. He wrote the lyrics while he served as a professor of modern languages and as an accompanist for the glee club.


Voigt derived the tune from Gustav Luders' two-act musical, "The Prince of Pilsen," which debuted on Broadway in 1903. The romantic comedy was adapted for a silent film by the same name in 1926.


After graduating from Newberry, Voigt earned graduate degrees from Southern Theological Seminary and the University of Virginia, and he completed graduate work at the University of Leipzig in Germany. He served on the Newberry College faculty three separate times — 1907-19, 1921-23, and 1948-54 — in which he taught English literature, French and German. He also served as Newberry's first men's basketball coach from 1911-13, leading the team to the South Carolina state championship in 1912. He received an honorary doctorate during the College's centennial celebration in 1956.


The Alma Mater is traditionally performed at the end of commencement exercises, convocations, football games and more. The Alma Mater is also played on Holland Hall's carillon bells at noon each day. Students, alumni, faculty and staff raise their right hands while singing the last two lines of the second and fourth verses. Listen to the Alma Mater, performed by the College Madrigalians.



Though small nor rich in worldly goods,
Our Alma Mater dear,
We bless thy name, fresh crowned with fame,
In every passing year.


Oh, Newberry, we pledge to thee
Our hearts and hands this day;
Our love, our faith, our loyalty,
Hail, Scarlet and the Gray.
Our love, our faith, our loyalty,
Hail, Scarlet and the Gray.


When years have passed and college days
Become but memories,
Though far or near, we’ll all hold dear
Thy name, thy victories.


Where’er we go, come weal or woe,
For thee we’ll work and pray.
Thy loyal ones we’ll ever hail,
The Scarlet and the Gray.
Thy loyal ones we’ll ever hail,
The Scarlet and the Gray.


In the last stanza, the Board of Trustees changed the word "sons" to "ones" in 1992.


For more information about Homecoming 2023, click here.


Scherrens Featured on PLEXUSS Podcast

September 27, 2023


NEWBERRY — President Maurice Scherrens was a special guest last week on the PLEXUSS Presidential Podcast Series. The podcast, sponsored by the California-based education technology company PLEXUSS, features passionate leaders in higher education for their thoughts and insights in today's world. The podcast was hosted by Brad Johnson, PLEXUSS' vice president of business development.


President Scherrens discussed his professional journey, how Newberry College continues to buck trends, the value of college, creating belonging on campus, and Newberry's path ahead.


Listen to this episode (38 mins.) on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or on PLEXUSS' website.


Newberry College rises as a leader among Southern colleges

September 18, 2023


WASHINGTON — Newberry College has boldly taken its place among the South’s top 10 colleges in multiple categories, according to the latest rankings by U.S. News & World Report, which were released today.


Over last year, Newberry has risen in three categories — value, social mobility and overall best — and crested a fourth, having been named an ideal college for veterans. The College is recognized in the following categories:

  • Best Regional Colleges — South: No. 10

  • Best Value — Regional South: No. 3

  • Social Mobility — Regional South: No. 4

  • Best Colleges for Veterans — Regional South: No. 2


“These phenomenal rankings are a reflection of the affordable, high-quality, elite education which our students receive,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “Newberry College has risen steadily as a leader among Southern colleges, and we owe our gratitude to the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff, and the support of our alumni and friends of the College.”


Newberry reached the top 10 among Best Regional Colleges in the South for the first time in the history of the College. In 2016, the College was ranked No. 41 and has continued to rise in the rankings every year.


For Best Value, Newberry rose three places to an all-time high at No. 3, marking its eighth year in the top 10.


Recognizing a remarkable commitment to social mobility, the College rose four places and maintained its status among the top 10 each year since the category’s creation in 2020. The list is based upon graduation rates of students who received federal Pell Grants. Most Pell Grant funds benefit families with incomes below $20,000. Newberry College’s Pell Grant recipients graduate at one of the highest rates in the country.


Newberry also took record placement at No. 2 among the Best College for Veterans, returning to the list for the first time since 2017.


In the last year, Newberry College has made large advancements across all areas, including: its largest enrollment of incoming students and its largest-ever total student enrollment; adding two new undergraduate majors — nutrition and special education — and an online bachelor’s in business administration; opening new buildings — the Darby Nursing & Health Science Center and the Founders Federal Credit Union Field House. The College has also graduated four cohorts of its inaugural master’s program in organizational development & leadership.


Learn more about the rankings at


College to commemorate Constitution Day

September 14, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College will celebrate Constitution Day by welcoming Shelly Kelly, South Carolina’s deputy state treasurer and general counsel for the Treasurer’s Office.


The event will take place Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Alumni Music Center Recital Hall, on Luther St. on the college campus.

An attorney with three decades’ experience, Kelly joined the Treasurer’s Office in 2019 as general counsel, and added the role of deputy state treasurer in 2022. In this role, she oversees debt management and internal audit functions. She has also served as director of health regulation for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, and as general counsel for the Department of Education.


Constitution Day, officially Sept. 17, marks the day in 1787 when the United States Constitution was signed by delegates in Philadelphia, ending the Constitutional Convention. The first 10 amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were added in 1791.


Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from North Carolina State University and a law degree from the University of South Carolina.


Professor emeritus Joe McDonald publishes book on desegregation in Newberry

September 13, 2023


NEWBERRY — Dr. Joe McDonald, professor emeritus of sociology at Newberry College, has detailed the largely unknown events of the Civil Rights Movement in Newberry in his new book, "'With All Deliberate Speed' - School Desegregation in Newberry: A Story of Protest and Resistance."


McDonald will give a free talk on his book Sunday, Sept. 17, at 3 p.m. at the Old Newberry Hotel, 1110 Caldwell St. in Newberry.


His book centers around the 1969 student boycott at Gallman High, the county's high school for Black students. He argues that this event was part of the national movement for equality, and was instrumental in bringing about reform in the rural community.


"It's good to know where your community has been, and how we got to where we are now, and I think this was an important event, really, in changing race relations," said McDonald. "Once this had happened, I think opportunities really opened up for the for the Black community, and so it really made its mark on our very history."


McDonald said that, despite his living in Newberry for over four decades, he had never heard of the boycott until a chance meeting in 2019.


"I was doing some work with the Newberry Literacy Council, an adult education program, and we were running some college-like seminars for people in the community. One of the participants brought his brother along, who was visiting from Alabama, and he just mentioned, during our discussion about South Carolina history, about the boycott at Gallman High. I thought, this needs to be written down, needs to be part of Newberry history," he said.


McDonald took several interviews with students and teachers, beginning with this one gentleman, who was one of the boycott's organizers. He pulled archived issues of the Newberry Observer and other papers around the state. He then tied the local movement to the events happening at the national level.


"The first chapter of the book starts back in 1896, with the Supreme Court ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld 'separate but equal,'" he said. "That really began the whole Jim Crow era. Then in 1954, the Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education finally declared 'separate but equal' unconstitutional. But very little happend from 1954 to 1964, when Congress passed legislation demanding school desegregation. The Gallman boycott of 1969 is part of that story. The schools were finally desegregated in the fall of 1970.


"The students all refused to go to class the first few weeks of the semester. Some students stayed out the whole semester. The students organized marches. They appeared before the school board. They engaged in all kinds of things that were typical of the Civil Rights Movement at the time. It was civil disobedience. This was not just an isolated series of events. Newberry was part of the nation's history and the history of the movement. A lot of the older Black citizens know about this, but most of the other population, I don't think we know anything about these events, which have been sort of ignored up to this point," he said.


McDonald taught sociology at Newberry College from 2006 until his retirement in 2014. He and his wife, Mary, are the proud owners of the Old Newberry Hotel, having renovated and revitalized the historic property after years of abandonment.


Copies of McDonald's book will be available at the Sunday talk, and are also available from BookBabyAmazon, ThriftBooks and Barnes & Noble.


Photo: Ted B. Williams / Newberry Magazine


Nash appointed chief development officer

September 11, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has announced the appointment of William “Bill” Nash to the role of chief development officer.


“Bill has demonstrated, through decades of experience, the qualities of a great leader and a skilled fundraiser,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “We look forward to welcoming him to the leadership team and the Newberry College family.”


Nash comes to Newberry from Jacksonville State University in Alabama, where he has served in various development roles since 2010. His service included managing the university’s $35.1 million capital campaign from 2015 to 2020. Previously, he served INJOY Stewardship Services, a Georgia-based firm that assists churches with fundraising campaigns. In 2008, Nash won the Dr. John Maxwell Leadership Award, named for the organization’s founder and bestselling author.


"I'm thankful for this opportunity. Newberry already feels like home and I look forward to working with everyone to help the College fulfill its mission," said Nash.


Nash holds an MBA and a bachelor's degree in marketing, both from Jacksonville State University.


A Wolf-Packed Weekend: Sept. 15-17

September 5, 2023


NEWBERRY — The weekend of Sept. 15-17 will be a packed weekend for Newberry College! Three big events will bring hundreds to campus — Family Weekend, Open House, and Lutheran Youth Day — along with exciting home games for field hockey, men's & women's soccer, and football.


Sept. 15-17 | Family Weekend

Family weekend is a celebration of the extended Newberry College family — parents, grandparents, siblings and more — and a chance to share the Newberry experience with them. The weekend will include fun activities, everything to know about campus life, and tailgating. Click here for more information.


Sept. 16 | Admission Open House

Prospective students and their families will explore our beautiful campus, meet current students and faculty, and get a taste of everything Wolf Nation has to offer! Stick around afterward for a carnival and a tailgate with the President and First Lady! Plus, each participant will receive three tickets to the Wolves football game vs. Emory & Henry. Click here to register.


Sept. 16 | Lutheran Youth Day

Youth and all Lutherans are invited to Newberry College for Lutheran Youth Day! The festivities begin with check-in at 2:30 p.m. and include campus tours, a carnival, scavenger hunt, worship, tailgating, pictures with Scar, and cheering on Wolves football vs. Emory & Henry. Your admission price of $20 includes a T-shirt, meal, and game ticket. Click here to register.


Wolves Home Games | Sept. 16


College welcomes another record class

August 31, 2023


NEWBERRY — The Newberry College student body is the largest in its 166-year history. With fall semester underway, an incoming class of 582 students has brought total enrollment to 1,521, a 15% increase over last year.


This is the fifth time in the last nine years that the College has set a new enrollment record.


“We are honored that more students are choosing Newberry College than ever before,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “We are committed to our students, to affordability and accessibility, and to a life-changing experience in and out of the classroom. This record incoming class and record student body are reaping the benefits of an incredible college education that will pay dividends for the rest of their lives.”


The record student body represents 42 states and 33 countries. The top three states outside South Carolina are Georgia, Florida and North Carolina, and the top three foreign countries are Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom. One-in-four are the first in their families to go to college. Over 40% come from underserved populations. The College has also seen an increase in the number of local students who enroll, signaling a strong connection between community and college.


“At Newberry College, students find a small school on the move: growing yet personal, forward-thinking yet time-honored, and residential yet world-reaching,” said Dr. Sandy Scherrens, dean of enrollment management. “I would like to thank our team of energetic counselors who so successfully take the spirit of Wolf Nation out into the world.”


There is no better time to be at Newberry College. This spring, the College announced two new majors — nutrition and multi-categorical special education — a fully online bachelor's in business administration, and a second master’s program in sport management & leadership. The College also now offers a competitive speech & debate team.


Last week, the College cut the ribbon on the state-of-the-art Darby Nursing & Health Science Center, and next week will officially open Founders Federal Credit Union Field House. Next fall will mark the first seasons for women’s acrobatics & tumbling and women’s wrestling. Finally, the College is enriching the student experience with a new partnership with Metz Culinary Management and plans for a new residence hall and its first-ever student union.


Kokos appointed CFO

August 29, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has announced the appointment of Jonathan M. Kokos to the role of vice president for business & finance and chief financial officer.


“Jon brings a solid breadth of experience with him, and he has provided sound financial management throughout his career in higher education,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “We look forward to having him on the senior leadership team.”


Kokos comes to Newberry from Wheeling University in West Virginia, where he served as vice president of finance and administration. He brings two decades’ experience in higher education leadership, including stints at Lees-McRae College, Catawba Valley Community College, and Gaston College in North Carolina.


"I am thrilled to join Newberry College during this time of growth and opportunity,” said Kokos. “I look forward to working closely with this talented and accomplished leadership team to ensure the College continues to thrive. Newberry College exemplifies the very best of private higher education."


Kokos holds an MBA with emphasis in management information systems from Point Park University, and a bachelor's in business administration from Robert Morris University.


Newberry College celebrates August master’s graduates

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - August 28, 2023


NEWBERRY — Nearly one year since conferring its inaugural master’s degrees of the 21st century, Newberry College is celebrating its fourth cohort of graduates in organizational development & leadership.


The graduates include: Jackie Aldrete ’21 (Oxnard, California), Nicole Borowinski (San Diego), Olivia Diggs ’22 (Titusville, Florida), Dre Harris ’21 (Greenville), Ryan Heriot ’22 (Fort Mill), Kody Varn ’22 (Clinton) and Jon Williams ’22 (Irmo).


While the versatile online program is open to anyone, it so happened that each member of this cohort is no stranger to Newberry College, having earned their Newberry bachelor's degree or having coached for Wolves athletics.


The graduates, like those before them, have experienced professional and personal growth as a result of their academic achievements in this program.


“I would say that something that I wish I would have known at the beginning of this journey would be how much of a growing process I would go through within the year,” said Borowinski, who was recently promoted to assistant head women’s soccer coach at Newberry College. “This program really pushed me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to grow.”


Borowinski said her research, “Finding Identity Beyond Sports: A Journey of Transition and Transformation,” has immediate, real-world applications in her career.


“I want to utilize the knowledge that I have gained and truly help athletes and their families before the retirement process,” she said.


Harris — who led Newberry’s football team to consecutive South Atlantic Conference championships in 2021 and 2022 — finished his master’s degree from Germany, where he plays American football professionally with the Regensburg Phoenix. His research, “The Building of Team Camaraderie Overseas,” went beyond academic theorizing for the rookie chasing his dreams across the pond.


“The task of taking on a major capstone project in the beginning stages of being a pro athlete has honestly been one of the best things that could've happened,” said Harris. “Getting to experience how a functional organization operates gave me insight that I will be able to carry on for the rest of my leadership journey.”


Two of Harris’ teammates, Heriot and Varn, will finish their final seasons on the Wolves football team this fall. Each of them also focused their research close to home, dealing with safety practices for community athletic facilities and stress of college football players, respectively. Heriot will take his newest leadership and communication skills back home, going into business in neighboring Charlotte. Varn aspires to a career in athletic administration.


Aldrete completed her degree from her home in California. After earning her bachelor’s in chemistry and playing forward on the Wolves women’s soccer team, her master’s studies allowed her to combine her passions for science and sports. Her capstone project examined the role leadership and communication play for athletes when choosing a college.


“Leading involves making well-informed decisions and implementing constructive changes, and action research offers me a systematic approach to achieving these objectives through a structured framework,” she said. “Having such a supportive staff and faculty was very nice and I would highly recommend this program to anyone who's looking to seek further education, or just willing to learn more about how leadership goes beyond being in an authoritative role.”


Aldrete plans to pursue forensic chemistry in a crime lab unit, with aspirations to join the FBI.


“One of the many things that I love about this program is that I can apply it anywhere I go and with anything that I choose to do,” she added.


Williams aligned his graduate research with his undergraduate studies in health care management and accounting. His capstone was titled, “Enhancing Small Business Growth in the Post-COVID Era: Strategies for Navigating Government Contract Bidding.”


“This program has taught me a lot about myself, what I'm capable of, and it taught me what kind of leader I am and want to be,” he said.


Diggs, an alumna of the Wolves volleyball team, researched pay equity in sports. She plans to continue her Newberry education even further with an internship as an athletic communication assistant.


“My biggest takeaway from the MSODL program is being able to take the leadership skills I learned throughout the program to better myself and understand how to lead different people,” she said.


The seven graduates will be formally recognized at fall commencement on Dec. 8.


The August cohort brings the total number of Newberry’s master’s-level alumni to 15, with that number expected to double by summer 2024. At press time, there are 47 students currently enrolled across both graduate programs.


Newberry’s second master’s program, in sport management & leadership, has begun its inaugural classes after achieving approval in January. Other graduate programs are in development, including criminal justice, education, public policy, and teaching.


Photo: Fall graduating class of 2022 on Commencement Day, Dec. 9, 2022.


Wells joins College in campus life & student success

August 23, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has welcomed the Rev. Dr. Carl R. Wells as associate dean for community building and campus life.


Wells brings nearly three decades’ experience in higher education. He comes to Newberry from Iowa State University, where he served as director of equal opportunity. Previously, he served the University of South Carolina for 22 years in a variety of roles, including senior advisor for civil rights and affirmative action, director and assistant director of the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs, and Title IX coordinator.


“I am excited to begin this new phase of my professional journey at Newberry College,” said Wells. “The growth and development of Newberry under the leadership of Dr. Scherrens have been steady and exemplary. I look forward to being a member of the student affairs team and the Newberry College family.”


His new role will allow him to work with leadership across campus departments, serving as chief student judicial officer and deputy Title IX coordinator.


“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Wells to the College,” said Barry McClanahan, vice president for student affairs. “With his experience, enthusiasm and dedication, he will be an asset to our students, faculty and staff. I am very excited to have him join our leadership team and look forward to campuswide collaborations improving the student experience and building community.”


Wells holds a doctorate in public health administration from the University of South Carolina, a Master of Divinity from Emory University, and a bachelor’s in communications and music from Winthrop University.


College to cut ribbon on Founders Field House

August 17, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College student-athletes will begin the 2023-24 season with a game-changer as doors open to the long-awaited Founders Federal Credit Union Field House. The ribbon-cutting ceremony and building tours will take place Thursday, Sept. 7, at 5 p.m. at the College’s athletic stadium, 88 Wolves Way in Newberry.


The 18,000-square-foot field house will provide well-needed space for growing Wolves athletics — locker rooms for football, lacrosse and field hockey, coaches’ offices, field-view classrooms and reception areas. Along with new east-side seating, the facility comprises the second of three phases of renovations to the college’s athletic stadium.


“This is a watershed moment for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans at Newberry College,” said athletic director Sean Johnson. “The most important part of the Founders Federal Credit Union Field House is that it directly impacts nearly 350 student-athletes in a profoundly positive way.”


Newberry College and Founders Federal Credit Union entered a transformative $2.5 million partnership last fall. Since then, the Lancaster-based firm has opened an on-campus branch in Kaufmann Hall, provided ATM services and financial literacy curriculum, and become a continuing partner of Wolves athletics.


A Picture Worth a Thousand Notes

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - August 11, 2023


NEWBERRY — In just the last few years, Newberry has been the canvas for a grassroots art renaissance.


The small Midlands town is home to a growing community of creators and connoisseurs, covering all forms, genres and media through the performing and visual arts. Among individual artists and the various hubs of creativity — including Newberry College, Newberry Made, the Newberry Opera House and the Newberry Arts Center — there is a collaboration and a camaraderie so characteristic of the City of Friendly Folks.


A longstanding association has been the Newberry Chamber Orchestra, formed in 2013 at Newberry College and open to students, college staff, and members of the community. The group gives a concert each fall and spring semester, incorporating everything from the Baroque to the 20th century and even performing works arranged by students. Dr. Patrick Casey, professor of music education, took up the baton in January 2016, and the group has only grown in size and in prominence.


This town and gown collaboration added another layer in May when local artist Robert Matheson painted the ensemble in concert at the Newberry Opera House. Perched in the orchestra right boxes, to the sounds of Bach, Mozart and Stevie Wonder, he rendered the performers and their conductor in acrylic on canvas.


Last week, Matheson presented the work to Newberry College in honor of Casey's work for artistic collaboration in Newberry.


“I think the power of this type of project is community, art and collaboration, and that’s something that both [my wife] Amy and I have tried to foster, and I believe the College is doing that as well,” said Matheson. “It’s powerful to have a community that can elevate the arts and culture of Newberry County, and that’s ultimately what this was about.


“I’m so proud to have [the painting] in the permanent collection at the College. It was an honor to participate and I can’t wait to do more,” he added.


Since settling in Newberry in 2019, Matheson has undoubtedly made a name for himself, not only as an artist, but as a leader and pioneer. The Utah native spearheaded the creation of Newberry Made, a community of over 160 local artists and makers that began as a single exhibition nearly four years ago. Since then, he has introduced “poetrees” — trees on which others are invited to leave poems — to the local flora, and opened South Carolina’s first museum for non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. He can usually be found there or at his studio at 1213 Main St., painting or enjoying coffee and live music under his poetree.


“What excites me most is the double connection, between the arts — music and visual art — and the College and the community,” said Dr. Chris Sheppard, chair of music at Newberry College. “That’s what I love most about this, and not to mention the painting, which is fabulous.”


Matheson’s orchestral painting will go on display in the lobby of the college’s Alumni Music Center on Luther St. A limited number of 11x17 prints are available for purchase, with all proceeds benefiting the College’s Pay It Forward Scholarship in Music Education. Prints are $20 unframed or $30 framed. To reserve one of these prints, contact Dr. Patrick Casey. They can also be purchased at the Alumni Market at Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 14.


Top photo: Dr. Wiebke Strehl, dean of arts, humanities & social sciences; Dr. Chris Sheppard, chair of music; Dr. Patrick Casey, music director of the Newberry Chamber Orchestra; Robert Matheson and Amy Matheson share the painting at the Matheson Art Studio in Newberry.

Right: Robert and Amy Matheson discuss the painting inside their studio.


Newberry College to cut ribbon on Darby Nursing & Health Science Center

August 9, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College will officially cut the ribbon on the Darby Nursing & Health Science Center, its newest academic building.


The dedication ceremony will be held Thursday, Aug. 24, at 10 a.m. at the new facility, situated at 1910 College St. at the corner of College and Evans in Newberry.


The 11,000-square-foot facility will become the state-of-the-art home of the college’s growing health care programs. These include nursing, health science, respiratory therapy, neuroscience, and a brand-new bachelor’s degree in nutrition set to launch this fall.


"The Darby Nursing & Health Science Center represents not only a new academic building, but community partnership, a place of healing, and the future of health care in South Carolina," said Dr. Jerry Alewine, dean of nursing and health sciences at Newberry College.



Adjoined to the new facility will be a 1,200-square-foot daytime health clinic operated by Newberry County Memorial Hospital. The clinic will be an urgent care center for the community, as well as a prime location for students to gain hands-on experience. The clinic is expected to open separately in September.


“We see the collaboration between Newberry College and Newberry Hospital as a positive for our community as we work together to grow nurses for the future, and provide additional resources for health care in our community,” said Meg Davis, chief nursing officer at Newberry Hospital.


The center is named in honor of Gordon ’61 and Anne Darby, of Mount Pleasant. The Darby family is prominent in the Lowcountry, where Gordon Darby is a leader in economic development, a heartfelt advocate of health care, and a proud Newberry College graduate and supporter.


Alexis Shealy ’22 receives DAISY Award

August 2, 2023


NEWBERRY — Alexis Shealy ’22, a registered nurse at Newberry County Memorial Hospital, was honored in July with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.


The award honors nurses for the skillful and compassionate care they provide to patients. The award is sponsored by the DAISY Foundation, an nonprofit that recognizes exceptional nurses around the world. Nurses can be nominated by patients, families and colleagues, and are chosen by a committee at their care facilities.


“Alexis not only is very confident in her job, she is one of the best nurses that I experienced during my five-day stay at Newberry Hospital,” said the patient who nominated Shealy. “I would have never guessed that she had only been nursing for a short time. Alexis deserves a nomination for the DAISY Award. She is certainly in the right field of work, she has a great bedside manner, shows concern for all of her patients, and also answers any questions or concerns that family has without any problems.


“A big thank you to wonderful nurses like her,” the patient added.


Shealy earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from Newberry College in December.


Since becoming a DAISY program partner in 2017, Newberry Hospital has presented the award to 23 nurses.


The foundation’s acronym stands for “diseases attacking the immune system.” The nonprofit was established in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at 33 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a blood clotting disorder.


Photo courtesy: Newberry Hospital.


Rusty Pulliam ’80 Creates Success After Changeups

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - July 26, 2023


A bright glint on the high school diamonds of western North Carolina, Rusty Pulliam dreamed of pitching in the big league.


In 1976, with his diploma from Asheville’s T.C. Roberson High School and a full scholarship to Western Carolina in hand, Pulliam set off. He was second on the Catamounts’ pitching roster, and he didn’t lose a single game.


But the spring of 1977 also came with challenges at home. His parents had filed for divorce, and that May, his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. His college career would have to take a detour.


“My mother and I had moved out from our home, my parents had split up, and so I felt like I needed to stay at home and take care of my mother,” he said.


He transferred to Montreat-Anderson, a junior college 18 miles east of Asheville (present-day Montreat College).


“I went from being a big fish in a big pond to a small fish in a smaller pond, but I needed to be there,” he said. “While I was at Montreat-Anderson, we played the No. 1 ranked junior college team in the U.S., Valencia College, in Orlando, Florida. We lost two-to-one, and they had mad players on that team that were drafted into the pros.


“While I was pitching that day, the head east coast scout for the Atlanta Braves, a man named Smokey Burgess, was there,” said Pulliam. “He was flying from Palm Beach to Columbia, South Carolina. Jack Rhine had just been named head baseball coach at Newberry College, and they happened to be sitting beside each other on the plane. Coach Rhine asked him if he saw any players that he would recommend for scholarships. And he gave him my name and said this is a kid who pitched a great game against a great team.”


The next day, the Pulliams’ phone rang. Rhine extended Rusty and his mother an invitation to visit Newberry, along with a full scholarship, if he wanted it.


“I did go down and visit and told Coach Rhine at the time, I had started having some issues with my pitching arm my sophomore year. I said I had pitched that year several times in pain and I didn’t know what was going on. And he said, ‘Well, that's not going to deter me from offering you a scholarship.’


“I went down to visit the school, and they had a great school of business. At that time, it was the No. 1 ranked school of business in South Carolina, headed up by Dr. Sandra Logan (1940 - 2014). I wanted to major in business, which I did,” he said.


Pulliam transferred to Newberry and got off to a great start. But during fall workouts and practices, it became clear that the twinge in his shoulder wasn't going away. Rhine pulled some strings and sent Pulliam to see the team doctor for the Boston Red Sox. Following the thrill of the proximity to greatness, the visit brought devastating news.


“They found that I had a torn labrum. They would’ve had to cut it wide open and he said your chances of ever coming back and pitching on a high level, whether it was college or pros, would be pretty much like two percent.


"That was the longest trip coming back from there with my dad, knowing that my baseball career was done,” he said.


After returning to Newberry, he voluntarily gave up his baseball scholarship, saying it could help another good player. He stayed on the team, however, and was able to pitch in four games his senior year.


After the diagnosis, Pulliam doubled down on his studies in business administration. Easier said than done, he said.


“It was a difficult core of business classes. It was kind of like going to boot camp, I mean, it put me through the wringer. When I graduated in 1980, there was only one other baseball player that finished in business. It was really tough,” he said. “It pushed me to study and broaden my mind and my skillset, going from being focused on being an athlete to more being focused on being a good student.”


He said that in some of his classes, like price theory, only one-in-three students passed, at least the first time. He said he had to really fight for each letter grade, but that the academic rigor eventually paid off.


“The discipline, knowing you’re doing something that most kids wouldn’t do. There were a lot of kids that dropped out of that major because it was so tough. But I learned a lot,” he said.


Between study sessions, Pulliam indulged in a burger, or two, at Dopey’s — the beloved dive on the edge of campus that served diner fare from 1950 until the owners’ retirement in 2017.


“When we would bet on games, we wouldn’t bet money. It was Dopey’s burgers,” he said. “Those were very fun times.”


Pulliam received his well-earned diploma in spring 1980, spent a few years in banking, and then took up real estate, his passion and success for the last 38 years. Today, Pulliam Properties is western North Carolina’s largest full-service commercial real estate firm, with 72 commercial projects developed across multiple states.


“I had four unique years in college, but I’ve had a career far greater than I could’ve dreamed of. My mom ended up beating cancer. I had two great years at Newberry that helped me to be very successful,” he said. “It was the best experience I could’ve had. I wouldn’t change that.”


College to partner with new YMCA childcare center

July 25, 2023


NEWBERRY — Affordable, high-quality childcare centers are in high demand in South Carolina. With the Newberry YMCA planning to build a new center in the next year, Newberry College teacher education students can gain experience toward their degrees while alleviating a shortage in the community.


“The first years of a child’s life are vitally important to brain development, present and future health, along with the ability to learn and overall success in life,” said Dr. Susan Fernandez, dean of education at Newberry College. “Our students have opportunities to interact with children in educational settings throughout their years at Newberry. We jumped at the chance to participate in this win-win partnership.”


Students majoring in early childcare management, early childhood education (prekindergarten through third grade), and special education (pre-K through 12th grade) will be able to complete field experience requirements through the YMCA program.


“Newberry students will be supporting their community, helping young children, and growing as professionals,” Fernandez added.


According to the National Institute of Children's Health, 15% of young children in South Carolina belong to families in which someone quit, changed or refused a job because of not having child care.


Aslynn Halvorson-Weaver, assistant professor of exercise science and human performance at the college, welcomed her first child in April and, like many parents, saw the childcare shortage firsthand.


“Calling 27 daycares and having them all be full, and being on four separate years-long waitlists will stress you out to no end, so I'm happy to hear the YMCA and Newberry College are doing something to alleviate some of the burden,” she said.


The new center plans to accommodate up to 70 local children and to stand potentially near one of the county’s industrial parks. The facility will accept children up to five years old and cost between $100 and $130 per week, depending on the child’s age.


“The Child Development Center will provide the community with many more resources than simply being a daycare,” said Scott Sandor, CEO of the Newberry YMCA. “One of our goals is to use this facility with input from local industry, so that we may better meet their needs and the needs of their employees. The partnership with Newberry College can provide a system for the early childhood education majors to gain real-time learning opportunities while helping us deliver a high-quality experience for the families that we serve.”


Spring 2023 Dean’s List Honors 412 Students

July 24, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College's spring 2023 Dean's List is ready, and there is much cause for celebration.


The Dean's List honors undergraduate students who have achieved semester GPAs of 3.5 or higher on a four-point scale. Last semester's list honors 412 students representing 30 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and 20 foreign countries. The list is organized alphabetically by last name.


Click here to view the Dean's List.


Masters of Their Own Destiny

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - July 13, 2023


An aspiring high school teacher and softball coach. A grandmother-of-two with an established career in human resources. A returning alumna climbing the ladder at UPS. A pastor, professor and college administrator. A defensive lineman on the verge of going pro. A collegiate cheer coach. A young alumna working in the nonprofit sector.


These seven individuals come from backgrounds diverse in every way: age, race, education, gender, industry, family, aspirations. But they all hold at least one thing in common: They are the first to earn master’s degrees from Newberry College in nearly a century.


A year after they enrolled, they each received their respective graduate diplomas in organizational development & leadership. The online program was designed not only for leaders of organizations — of every kind — but for anyone for whom personal and professional growth is a worthy goal. The curriculum covers organizational behavior, change and talent management, performance optimization, leadership, and communication. Its students (and now alumni) are as diverse as the program is versatile.


Since the flagship program’s launch in 2021, the College has christened a second graduate degree, a Master of Science in sport management & leadership. The newest program comes amid the College’s emergence as an impactful force in the online and graduate space, taking its signature passion, purpose and personal attention beyond the traditional, in-person, undergraduate realm. Starting this fall, the College will also offer an online bachelor’s degree in business administration alongside existing offerings in criminal justice, psychology, respiratory therapy, and RN-to-BSN. Plans are in the works for the College to add graduate programs in criminal justice, public administration, and education in coming years.


The SML program will incorporate many of the themes covered in the ODL program, along with coursework in sport business, finance, marketing, public relations, and research. Both programs are offered completely online. Students of each program can earn their degree within 12 months of the Aug. 21 course launch, and applications are still being accepted for the upcoming term.


We caught up with several ODL graduates, the College’s first graduate-level alumni, who earned their degrees in August and December 2022. So far, none of them have limited their praise for the program to the professional sphere, but testified to holistic growth since logging on for their first class.


“The MSODL was a life-changing experience,” said Justina Teale, who earned her degree three years into her career as head Wolves cheerleading coach. “In a year of my program, Dr. [Jacki] Wisler poured so much into my life both professionally and personally. This institution has given me more than just a higher education. It has given me friends, family, and future growing professionals that I get to help mold.”


Since earning her degree, Teale has begun teaching College 101 courses to first-year students, on top of her role as cheer coach.


The inaugural class’ members also span generations and stages in career. Chaunel Johnson (right) has worked in human resources for 15 years, recently became a new grandmother, and started a new job three months into the program.


“I was slightly anxious because I had not been in school since 2005,” she said. “What I didn't expect was for it to produce such growth and development in a personal way that I experienced.”


Johnson said her degree has not only allowed her to expand the contributions of her professional role. The program also gave her confidence to take on work and speaking opportunities as a consultant, helping other organizations. In March, she outlined the importance of competencies in job descriptions before the Charlotte chapter of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources. She has also led similar talks and workshops across the country.


“I was able to use content from my studies to for that presentation. Public speaking is a place in which I feel very comfortable. I desire to do much, much more of that, to teach in universities, to acquire many facilitation opportunities,” she said.


“I believe that the program will impact many lives, not just the lives of the students that participate and acquire their degrees, but the people who will benefit from their presence in their organizations,” Johnson added. “I appreciate Newberry affording opportunities that have greatly impacted my life in a positive way and armed me to be successful in my future pursuits.”


The Rev. Dr. Christina Wendland joined the Newberry College faculty in 2007, and she now also serves as associate dean of academic affairs. Her daughter, Kayla, earned her bachelor’s from Newberry in 2021. As a professor and administrator, Wendland “jumped at the chance” not only to switch roles and experience the program from the ground up, but to continue her own education.


“As a professor who regularly teaches online courses, it was quite a different experience being a student,” she said. “I experienced both the joys and the trials of student life. … Absolutely the biggest takeaway for me is the ability to see the larger picture … I believe I am a better leader because of what I learned in this program.”


Caroline Addison ’20 had long planned to take her Newberry bachelor’s in communications to work for a nonprofit. With this program, her alma mater offered yet another way to help chase her dreams. She now serves as a community outreach coordinator for Agape of Central Alabama, a faith-based foster care and adoption agency.


Another undergraduate communications alumna, Megan Horton ’06, put her degree to work for UPS after graduation, progressing from sales to HR project management. For her, the program represented a “new Newberry,” and now she is taking her new degree back to her company. Left: Addison and Horton pose before fall 2022 commencement.


“My professors took a vested interest in me, my success and challenged me to dig deeper when solving complex problems,” she said. “The program is challenging and takes a lot of commitment and discipline to achieve. … I found opportunities to dig into business challenges at my organization and use the time in my courses to try new approaches, bringing it back to my professional role to test the methods and find new solutions.”


The program has made such a difference in her life that Horton is “invested in the success of the program long-term.” She makes a point of “spreading the good news” to prospective students, especially fellow undergraduate alumni in whom any potential remains untapped.


For more information about Newberry’s online and graduate programs, please contact Bill Kuehl, director of online and graduate studies enrollment, at 803.321.5276 or


Top: The August 2022 master's program graduates: Teale, Ty'Ran Dixon '21, M'22, Wendland, Johnson, and Hannah Towery '21, M'22.


A previous version of this article appeared in the spring 2023 issue of Dimensions, the magazine for alumni and friends of Newberry College. Access the digital version here.


Scherrens: Our Differences Make Us Better

by Dr. Maurice Scherrens | President of Newberry College - July 6, 2023


Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Students for Fair Admissions regarding higher education admission practices.

Newberry College remains steadfast in our continued commitment and priority to building a campus environment that supports and respects individuals with a wide variety of diverse backgrounds and experiences.


It is the diversity of the student body, especially those from often underrepresented segments of the population, that enriches the campus learning environment. The diversity of the student body enhances campus-wide empathy and understanding.


We all benefit from the rich diversity of our students, faculty and staff. We will continue to enroll students who contribute to our inclusive campus environment. We invite and embrace every student who helps us better understand that it is our differences that make us better. Our differences help us engage and learn in a way that we lead with our hearts as we strive to create a more just and inclusive environment for everyone.




Strehl appointed dean of arts, humanities & social sciences

July 5, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has appointed Dr. Wiebke Strehl to serve as dean of arts, humanities & social sciences.


Strehl comes to Newberry from Penn State Brandywine, where she has served as director of academic affairs and professor of German since 2020. Before that, she served as dean of humanities and chaired the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She has also taught and served in various capacities in the Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures at the University of South Carolina.


“Dr. Strehl is an experienced educator, leader and manager who understands the deep and meaningful liberal arts roots of Newberry College, and she will be a tireless advocate for our faculty and students,” said Dr. Sid Parrish, vice president for academic affairs.


In her new role, Strehl will lead Newberry College’s programs in art, criminal justice, English, history, music, political science, psychology, public & nonprofit administration, religion, sociology, Spanish, speech, and theatre.


"I am excited and delighted to step into the role of dean of arts, humanities, and social sciences,” said Strehl. “The courses taught in this division are the cornerstones of a well-rounded education. I am looking forward to working with the talented and dedicated faculty and to developing a vision and mission that will move us forward as a division."


Strehl holds a doctorate and a master’s in German, both from Pennsylvania State University, and a bachelor’s in German and English from Pädagogische Hochschule Flensburg in northern Germany.


McClung appointed dean of business & communications

June 27, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has appointed Dr. Steven R. McClung to serve as dean of business & communications, beginning in July.


McClung comes to Newberry from Florida A&M University, where he has served as director of the Innovation Center and Sustainability Institute. In this role, he has grown enrollment and development for the university’s School of Environment, and developed its undergraduate curriculum, marketing and brand.


Before that, he served as dean of the College of Business & Industry at Jacksonville State University, and as senior associate dean of the Stetson School of Business & Economics at Mercer University's Macon campus. His experience also includes curriculum development for graduate and undergraduate programs, fundraising, and classroom teaching in integrated marketing communication.


“Dr. McClung brings years of experience and expertise, ranging from his work in the field as a television reporter, his leadership as an educator and dean, and his experience as an entrepreneur,” said Dr. David Harpool, associate vice president for online and graduate programs. “Dr. McClung will be a great asset to students and colleagues as the leader of Newberry’s largest academic division.”


The programs coming under McClung’s direction include accounting, business administration (traditional and online), communications, digital marketing, graphic design, health care management, international studies, and sport management.


“It’s my honor to serve at Newberry College. I'm excited to meet the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Newberry,” said McClung. “This position is a great fit for my experience, research, teaching, and career path. I look forward to my start in July and believe that we are positioned well for a bright future. Kathy and I are looking forward to getting to know the community and the College.”


McClung holds a doctorate in communication from the University of Tennessee, and a master’s in speech and broadcasting and a bachelor’s in counseling, both from Marshall University.


College partners with Metz Culinary Management

June 26, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has announced a new partnership with Metz Culinary Management, which will transform the campus dining experience beginning this fall.


The new partnership will bring greater choice and healthy options, fresh-from-scratch recipes, locally sourced ingredients, expanded meal service hours, revitalized community relationships and more.


“After rigorous review and hard work by a committee of students, faculty and staff, Metz emerged as the best choice for Newberry,” said Dr. David Sayers, vice president for administrative affairs and CFO at Newberry College. “We are excited to partner with them as they are small enough to focus on the needs and desires of Newberry, but large enough to have the resources to really serve us well.”


Metz brings with it two national brands, Freshens and Starbucks, which will join the campus’ existing Chick-fil-A Express option. Metz will offer its signature chef-driven dining concepts in the dining hall, providing top-quality breakfasts, fresh daily soups, a fresh and flavorful salad bar, an allergen-free station, made-to-order sandwiches, Italian specialties and much more.


Meal plans will include meal exchanges, in addition to the declining Flex Dollars that come with each plan. These new exchanges will allow students to use five dining hall meal swipes per week at Chick-fil-A, Freshens or Starbucks.


“Dining is a crucial part of campus life and the Newberry College experience. Gathering around a shared table is not only about food, but the building of friendships,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “We believe Metz will provide our family with a dining experience that will exceed our expectations.”


Metz serves colleges, universities, hospitals and airports nationwide. Newberry College will become the company’s flagship higher education institution in South Carolina.


Metz succeeds Sodexo, which served campus dining needs since 2014.


For more information, menus, hours of operation and more, visit


College to grow math educators through grant

June 22, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has received a grant from the South Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics to relieve the state’s shortage of math teachers, starting with current K-12 students.


With the help of grant funds, the College will partner with the Newberry County School District to offer professional learning opportunities to middle and high school students. The innovative project seeks to cultivate a love of math and education well before college, setting off a sustained rippling effect for years to come.


“We are so thankful to have been awarded this grant,” said Dr. Susan Fernandez, dean of education at Newberry College. “This will help grow teachers here in our local communities, creating memorable moments and fostering the merriment of math.


“Thank you to Dr. Kim Neal, a former high school math teacher, for working diligently to secure this grant,” she added.


According to South Carolina’s Center of Educator Recruitment, Retention & Advancement, math is the second highest area in need of teachers, next to special education. Math positions make up 184 out of the 1,273 teaching vacancies across the state.


The College’s plan includes four professional learning events in Newberry beginning this fall.


On Sept. 29, the “Falling in Love with Math” Campus Visit will allow students to participate in college math classes and math-related activities, featuring a luncheon with college students and guest speaker from the center, who will detail the positive aspects of becoming a math teacher.


This fall and in the spring, high school seniors and Newberry College freshmen and sophomores will engage in professional development related to succeeding in the math portion of the Praxis Core exam, including preparation resources, mentorships and training by experienced professionals.


At the end of fall semester, current math teachers from across South Carolina will gain instructional strategies and develop strong relationships and support systems in the Education Expertise Meet & Greet.


In spring 2024, the College will host “Valuing Our Community” events in various locations, where participants will learn about the importance of community to education.


“I'm thrilled at the opportunities that this grant will provide for Newberry College to provide positive practices in the education profession, and the establishment of strong, trusting relationships with a variety of educational and community supporters,” said Dr. Kim Neal, program coordinator for math education at the College.


The project’s leaders will present their results and findings at the council’s annual conference in fall 2024.


For more information about this project, contact Neal at


Newberry College launches online business degree

June 20, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College now offers students the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree in business administration entirely online.


The innovative program aims to equip students for success in the world of business, all with the flexibility to pursue their education from anywhere in the world. Classes are set to begin this fall.


“With a strong focus on real-world application, the business administration curriculum has been carefully designed to prepare students for a wide range of careers, in business and in many other sectors,” said Dr. David Harpool, associate vice president for online and graduate programs. “This online program is the next step in meeting the needs of our students and of today’s ever-changing business landscape.”


Students in the versatile online program will have access to a comprehensive set of courses that combine theoretical foundations with practical skills. The program also emphasizes global perspectives and networking opportunities, and its format will facilitate collaboration not only across the country, but around the globe. A team of supportive expert faculty will lead the program, each bringing a wealth of experience and success in the field.


For online business students, some core curriculum requirements will be reduced compared with the in-person program. Students will also be able to earn 12 credit hours of internships. Courses will last seven-and-a-half weeks, and students can earn their degrees in as few as 18 months. The college also offers a generous transfer policy for prospective students who already hold college credits.


Business administration degrees are highly sought, and the area of study is the college’s largest undergraduate program by enrollment. This program seeks to meet a demand expected only to increase in the next few years.


Newberry College’s admission is rolling, and prospective students are encouraged to apply early to secure their spots in the upcoming term. To apply for admission, click here. To learn more about the online bachelor’s in business administration, contact Bill Kuehl, director of online and graduate studies enrollment, at 803.321.5276 or


Op-ed: What is Juneteenth? Why Do We Celebrate It?

by Carlton Kinard '16 | Muller Center Program Coordinator - June 19, 2023


Juneteenth commemorates the date, June 19, 1865, two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after the end of the Civil War, when hundreds of thousands of enslaved men and women in Texas finally learned they had been freed. Juneteenth is an important milestone in American culture. After President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, freeing our enslaved ancestors in the Confederacy, the news didn’t reach parts of the American South until after the Civil War ended (April 1865). In fact, more than 250,000 enslaved people in Texas didn’t receive the news until June 19, 1865. Yes, you read that right; a quarter-of-a-million people continued to suffer in slavery for two-and-a-half years after it was outlawed. You may be thinking, since it was a different time with limited communication outreach to citizens, such as internet and computers, that may have been the reason. Well, not exactly!


On the evening of April 14, when President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending a concert at the Ford’s Theatre, news of the president’s passing the next day spread quickly thereafter. In other words, important news could reach the entire country, if the people in charge of local newspapers chose to report it. Finally, on June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform the Lone Star State that slavery was outlawed in formerly Confederate states. Unfortunately, the path to liberation didn’t end there.


When Union soldiers delivered the news, the ex-Confederate mayor of Galveston openly disregarded Granger’s orders and forced freed people back to work. On the local plantations, it was up to the enslavers to decide when and how to announce the news to enslaved men and women. Many enslavers waited until the harvesting process was complete so they could make a profit off their harvest and keep control over the enslaved. Even “legally” free Black men and women continued to be terrorized, shot, and hanged for minor “offenses” like expecting fair treatment from their employers or wanting to have the same basic rights as their White counterparts. As a nation, we are still battling the age-old curse of racism. People of color are still on the front lines fighting for their rights and freedom.


In 1872, seven years after Granger announced slavery was outlawed in formerly Confederate states, a group of Black ministers and businessmen raised enough money to purchase 10 acres of park land in Texas. The land, now known as Emancipation Park, offered surrounding Black communities a safe place they could celebrate Juneteenth. Many Americans have visited the site over the years to commemorate sacrifices made throughout the African American culture.


Juneteenth has been celebrated with a sense of jubilation and the need to educate and empower those who are in our communities. Parties, barbecues, and church services were held, and there was a focus on how to pursue the so-called “American Dream.” Former enslaved men and women were freed to do things that they were restricted from doing such as praying, gathering, reading, and writing. The history of Juneteenth is not as recognized now as it once was due to limited knowledge and information in educational textbooks. With more awareness and more willingness to engage in research, many are determined to bring it back to the forefront. As a nation, we typically celebrate the Fourth of July during the summer. However, from an African American history standpoint, while we were independent as a nation, our ancestors weren’t independent, we weren’t free as a people. So, there has been a lot of conversation over the years about how we’re celebrating the American holiday, but not fully celebrating the day we were truly freed from slavery. As we continue to broaden our knowledge about Juneteenth and pay homage to our ancestors for all the many sacrifices they’ve made, it is vital that we continue to pass down our history to our younger generations. So they, too, will understand the ultimate sacrifices made for us to celebrate our freedom.


For some, it's eating barbecue, shooting fireworks, gathering at a cookout, and drinking hibiscus tea. This tea is a cure to help lower blood pressure, a tradition that symbolizes perseverance and honors the blood that was shed by African Americans. Some traditional foods that are cooked during the Juneteenth holiday are black-eyed peas and pork, which is a representation of wealth. Some other food for prosperity and side dishes consist of corn, cornbread, collard greens, cabbage, potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes. Like the New Year’s celebration in the African American community, many may recognize the foods that are cooked during Juneteenth. It’s all about celebrating good luck and wishing for the best! It is equally important that we as a culture and nation find healthier options, such as vegan and vegetarian. Fish fries, crab boils, and other seafood options are great ways to utilize a healthier way of eating.


Now that more Americans are out and about, the City of Newberry was excited to offer the Third Annual Newberry Juneteenth Festival last weekend. The Newberry Juneteenth committee consists of Councilwoman Jackie Holmes, Councilman Carlton Kinard, Barbara Chapman, Sheila Brown, Margo Whitener, Mike Raiford, Tomekia Means, Yolanda Hair and Denise Graham. All are welcome to participate in the annual festival, celebrating Black-owned businesses, enjoying live music, delicious food, a talent showcase and car show, and visiting Juneteenth history displays at the Newberry Opera House. Even though many folks may not be familiar with the Juneteenth celebrations coming forth, we are hopeful that all Newberrians will enjoy a fun-filled day with family and friends.


Celebrating Juneteenth in Newberry

June 16, 2023


NEWBERRY — The City of Newberry will hold its third annual Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 17.


The holiday itself is celebrated every June 19. This marks the day in 1865 when U.S. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger proclaimed freedom for enslaved persons in Texas amid the surrender of the last remaining Confederate forces. Though slavery in the United States did not officially end until the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment on Dec. 6, 1865, Juneteenth has become a landmark holiday for African Americans as a celebration of freedom, resilience and culture.


Locally, the celebrations have been headed in part by Carlton Kinard '16, program coordinator for the Muller Center at Newberry College and Newberry city councilman. Kinard and Councilwoman Jackie Holmes spoke about the festivities on Soda City Live:



To learn more about Newberry's Juneteenth celebration, click here.


Peeler publishes book on TV pioneer Dave Garroway

June 15, 2023


NEWBERRY — Dr. Jodie M. Peeler, professor of communications at Newberry College, has published a new book, "Peace: The Wide, Wide World of Dave Garroway, Television's Original Master Communicator" (Tyger River Press, 2023).


Peeler's book is the first to cover the life of the groundbreaking original host of NBC’s morning show, “Today.” Garroway hosted the show from 1952 until 1961.


“I have been fascinated with television history for almost as long as I can remember, and Dave Garroway was a big presence in those days,” said Peeler. “The older I got, the more it bothered me that he was so forgotten, or that when he was talked about, it was in terms of how he died or about his later years, when his world started to fall apart.”


Peeler dove into the subject in 2015, when she befriended radio journalist Brandon Hollingsworth, who had begun work on his own biography of Garroway. The two decided to combine their efforts, and Hollingsworth compiled much of the source material. Peeler visited the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, where much of NBC’s corporate archives are preserved. She also drew on more than 3,000 newspaper articles that span Garroway’s life and later legacy. Peeler said her research received a great boon when, after years of trying, she made contact with Dave Garroway Jr. in 2018.


“As it turned out, he had wanted to write a book about his dad,” said Peeler. “A short while later, while he and his sister, Paris, were on the East Coast to see after some family business, they drove to Newberry. We spent a couple of wonderful days together, and they told stories about their famous dad and showed me photographs and other keepsakes from the family's collection. Dave Jr. also gave me a collection of short stories he had written about his experiences with his dad. We worked out an agreement on the book, and I proceeded with their blessing.”


Peeler said she worked on the book off and on throughout 2020, often in the quiet hours of the early morning. She completed her final draft on Christmas night, and sent a copy to the Garroways.


“[Dave Jr.] thought it was a perfect Christmas present and was looking forward to reviewing it,” she said. “Unfortunately, about a month later, Dave Jr. passed away. Paris eventually took the project back up with me and we moved ahead, and she wrote a beautiful tribute to her brother as an epilogue.”


Peeler said she hopes to give overdue insight and recognition to Dave Garroway, the man.


“He was a man with a thousand fascinations. He turned a chance meeting into a broadcasting career. He literally made himself into a broadcast personality through pure will and incredible effort after he had been told he didn't have what it took,” she said. “‘Today’ is an institution now, and we can't think of television without a morning news program. But it took a Dave Garroway to turn skeptics into believers.


“My book doesn't shy away from the difficult subjects in Dave Garroway's life, but I also hope it provides insight on the good things he did, the innovations he helped turn into things we take for granted, and the life of a man who lived in interesting times, for broadcasting as well as the world at large,” she added.


"Peace: The Wide, Wide World of Dave Garroway, Television's Original Master Communicator" is available from the publisher.


Peeler, a member of the Newberry College faculty since 2001, is also the author of "Ben Robertson: South Carolina Journalist and Author” (University of South Carolina Press, 2019) and “Touring Greenwood County” (2020).


Tiller appointed interim chief development officer

June 13, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has appointed William “Bill” Tiller as interim chief development officer.


The Clinton native came to Newberry in July 2021 as director of development for athletics, and since then he has worked diligently to bolster support for Newberry’s 24 NCAA Division II teams.


Prior to Newberry, Tiller worked with the Greenwood Genetic Center Foundation. He has also served as CEO of Make-A-Wish South Carolina, and as executive director of United Way of Laurens County.


“Bill has done amazing work advancing the mission and supporting the students of Newberry College,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “His experience will continue to be an invaluable asset to the continued growth of the College in this vital role.”


Tiller succeeds Lori Ann Summers, who resigned last week after three-and-a-half years of service.


“There is so much positive momentum at Newberry College, and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of our donors,” said Tiller. “I look forward to meeting and engaging with alumni and friends of the College as we work together toward continued success.”


Additionally, Dr. David Harpool, associate vice president for online and graduate programs, will advise the Department of Marketing & Communications, part of the Office of Institutional Advancement, on an interim basis.


A member of the Newberry College family since 2021, Harpool also serves as professor of business & communications, director of competitive speech & debate, and general counsel.


Before Newberry, Harpool served as president and provost of Northcentral University in San Diego. During his decade-long tenure, Northcentral experienced rapid growth in online enrollment, with 12,000 students enrolled online. He also has extensive experience in communications and public relations.


Relative Resonance

by Alanna Boozer | Integrated Marketing Coordinator - June 8, 2023


Undergraduate chemistry students get a unique opportunity for hands-on research with the gift of a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer. The equipment comes courtesy of Dr. Candace Hanberry Rausch ’79 and her uncle, Charlie Arnsdorff.

“You’ve got to keep current. Small doesn’t mean we’re going to have a lesser program,” said Rausch. “It means you’re going to get more hands-on experience. Touch it yourself. Feel it. Understand it. Students are going to get a better education for going to a smaller school as long as we have the same things available.”


Rausch knows first-hand how having the right tools and training can prepare a student for the future. The second of three generations of Newberry College alumni, her time as a chemistry major, studying under Dr. Conrad Park ’41 (1919 – 2010), trained her well and launched her down a successful career path in dentistry. She received a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the Medical College of Georgia and opened a private practice with her husband in Stone Mountain, where they both continue to work full-time. Their daughter, Diana Rausch ’19, graduated with a degree in chemistry and is following in her parents’ footsteps, attending the Dental College of Georgia in Augusta.


By the time Diana was a student, though, much of the science department’s equipment was outdated and needed to be replaced. Rausch was approached by a former member of the Institutional Advancement staff about making a gift to the College. She felt strongly about investing in science equipment for students. One of the items on the department’s wish list was a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, or NMR. She talked with her Uncle Charlie and they decided this was the perfect way to support the department and its students. Even though he didn’t graduate from Newberry College, Arnsdorff had become a friend of the College through his love of his family.


“A nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer uses the magnetic field to be able to identify organic compounds,” said Dr. Peter Foster, assistant professor of chemistry. “It can be used to distinguish one compound from another. It'll be used in a lot of student research, as well as it's an important part of several different classes here at the College, such as organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and instrumental analysis.”


It took time, but the spectrometer was purchased and installed in 2022. What really makes this equipment unique is that undergraduate students are getting hands-on experience using this machine. According to Foster, that isn’t always the case.


“A lot of larger institutions might have a machine like this but a lot of times, that is restricted to graduate students and to professors to be able to use this. This is a unique opportunity for students to get hands-on experience using sophisticated equipment,” he said. “Also, the NMR runs its mechanics very similar to an MRI machine. So, this is not just a preparation for careers in chemistry, this also applies to a lot of medical pursuits.”


Thanks to the generosity of Rausch and Arnsdorff, the Newberry College chemistry department now has a great tool to give students a competitive advantage.


To make a gift to the Newberry Fund, which supports scholarships, innovative programs, and College operations, visit or call 803.321.5363. You can also designate your gift to an area or program of your choice. Thank you for your continued support of Newberry College and its students.


Top: (Left to right) Dr. Bret Clark, Dr. Candace Hanberry Rausch ’79, Dr. Peter Foster, Charlie Arnsdorff, and Dr. Steve Lambert.


This article originally appeared in the spring 2023 issue of Dimensions, the magazine for alumni and friends of Newberry College. Access the digital version here.


Hughes to lead resource development for Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education

June 7, 2023


NEWBERRY — Dr. Krista E. Hughes, director of the Muller Center at Newberry College, has been named the inaugural director of resource development for the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education. Hughes will continue to direct the Muller Center half-time when she assumes her new role in July.


In her new role, Hughes will be responsible for developing digital and print resources, helping expand the scholarship of vocation in higher education, and extending the reach of NetVUE’s work to campuses and educators.


“My colleagues and I are thrilled that Krista Hughes will be joining the NetVUE staff,” said David S. Cunningham, the network’s executive director. “She is a rigorous and inspirational thinker whose theological work spans a wide range of concerns. Her outstanding leadership of the Muller Center at Newberry, along with her deep engagement with the larger concerns of the academy, put her in an excellent position to shepherd the development of new resources for vocational exploration and discernment. The work that she will do in this role will increase the capacity of NetVUE member institutions to support their undergraduate students in the important work of reflecting on their many callings in life.”


NetVUE is a network of over 300 colleges and universities which provides resources and programming to advance vocational exploration with undergraduate students. The network is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges and funded by both member dues and generous support from Lilly Endowment, Inc.


“Dr. Hughes’s appointment to NetVUE is a win-win,” said Dr. Maurice Scherrens, president of Newberry College. “It positions Newberry as a leader in values-based higher education and a model for how to prepare students for not just a career, but a life of meaning and purpose.”


During her eight years at Newberry, Hughes has been active in national conversations around vocational exploration and Lutheran higher education. She chairs the Faculty Working Group for the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities, and serves on the planning team for NECU’s annual Vocation of Lutheran Higher Education Conference. She publishes regularly in the field, most recently contributing to the volume, “So That All May Flourish: The Aims of Lutheran Higher Education” (Fortress Press, 2023).


As a NetVUE member since 2015, Newberry has benefitted from two grants, totaling nearly $85,000, a campus consultant, and opportunities for staff and faculty to attend professional development conferences, participate in webinars, and access online resources.


The college currently holds a NetVUE Vocation Across the Academy Grant, the aim of which is to envision and design a “pathway with purpose” for all Newberry students. Thus far, grant monies have funded professional communities of practice to equip staff and faculty to serve students more effectively, an off-site planning retreat, and faculty development events.


Dutch MacLean: Life of a Legend

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - June 5, 2023


The name “MacLean” has been a monumental part of the Newberry College story for 110 years — first as that of a living legend, then as that of a hub of athletics and campus life. As historic MacLean Gymnasium gains new life, so should the little-known story of its incredible eponym.

Ohio-bred Fred Douglas “Dutch” MacLean (1888 – 1964) first entered Newberry history when he transferred from Brown University in 1913, at the behest of the Indians’ first coach and one-man athletics department Raymond Thomas, who had seen him in action. The ban on football had just been lifted, and Thomas needed the best for the College’s first intercollegiate squad. Though he stood only about five-foot-five, MacLean quickly made a name for himself as Newberry’s first quarterback.


“He never used a leather helmet. He just wrapped a black sweatband around his head to hold his ears in, because the other guys like to pull his ears. This was in the very early days of football, back when it was rough and tumble,” said Maj. Fred MacLean III, a retired Army chaplain and Dutch’s grandson. “They gave him a nickname, ‘the Flying Dutchman,’ because when a guy would get tackled and they’d all pile on, they would pick up Dutch, throw him over the pile with the ball, and he’d hit the ground running and score. They were so effective that they outlawed that play. But the name stuck, and they shortened it to ‘Dutch.’”


Along with football, Dutch lettered in baseball and basketball before graduating in 1915. That same year, a German submarine torpedoed the British liner RMS Lusitania, killing 1,195 passengers, including 123 Americans. Like many young men, Dutch was eager to fight.


“Dutch and five of his friends all got together and decided America’s not getting into World War I fast enough. So, they were all going to go up to Canada and enlist,” said MacLean. “When he got up to Ottawa, none of the other boys showed up, but his sense of duty was so strong that it didn’t matter.”


Dutch joined Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, and with his strong pitcher’s arm he lobbed grenades from French trenches. According to newspaper reports, he was gassed at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917 and spent six months in a London hospital. Unbeknownst to him, in the chaos of war, he was reported as killed in action. After being released from hospital, Dutch transferred to the U.S. Army, where he served until 1920. Upon returning home to Youngstown, Ohio, he surprised his family and friends with the realization that he was indeed alive.


Devastatingly, MacLean's sweetheart from Newberry, Woodie Bowman, had married another man, believing that Dutch had been killed in France.


"She fell in love with him, but he wasn't ready to get married. He was off to war, and they were going to get married after he came back," said MacLean. "She had married after they told her that he was dead. She married a salesman, and unfortunately, as I understand it, he suffered an accidental gunshot wound while he was cleaning his gun and he died [in 1921]. After he was back teaching at Newberry, they renewed the relationship, fell in love again, and eventually they were married."


Dutch returned to Newberry in 1921 to teach English and to coach the three sports in which he excelled as a player. That year, the men’s basketball team won the first of four consecutive state championships. In 1922, his football team defeated The Citadel for the first time on the brand-new Setzler Field. The following year, MacLean saw the completion of new gymnasium, which would be dedicated in his honor in 1955. His 1924 football squad achieved a season record of 8-2, which stood unmatched until 1971 and unbroken until 2006. As of 2023, Dutch remains Newberry College’s longest-serving head football coach with 17 seasons.


After leaving Newberry in 1938 to pursue other callings, Dutch returned to lead the Indian Club, the athletics booster organization, from 1957-62. It was in these latter years that his grandson remembers summers and holidays visiting him in Newberry.


“You wouldn’t think of a rough and tumble football player as being well-versed in Shakespeare,” said MacLean. “I don't remember ever seeing him without a three-piece suit, and he always had a whistle and a stopwatch. He would talk with me about the principles of character, the value of duty, the sense of what’s right.”


MacLean was posthumously inducted in 1976 as one of the first two members of the Newberry College Athletic Hall of Fame.

To learn more and support the renovation of MacLean Gymnasium, visit or contact Bill Tiller at 803.321.5676 or


A shorter version of this article appeared in the spring 2023 issue of Dimensions, the magazine for alumni and friends of Newberry College. Access the digital version here.


McDowell honored by Society of Pediatric Nurses

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - June 1, 2023


PITTSBURGH — Dr. Betsy M. McDowell, professor emerita of nursing at Newberry College, has received the Margaret S. Miles Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Pediatric Nurses. The award was presented at the society's annual conference in Pittsburgh.


The award recognizes a member of the society who has made exceptional contributions to organization and to pediatric nursing. McDowell, in addition to her 48 years of teaching in nursing prelicensure programs in South Carolina, has worked as a pediatric critical care nurse. She has contributed to the society since 1990, most recently as chair of the Pediatric Nursing Excellence Task Force.


McDowell is a “transformational leader who listens more than she speaks" and who seeks "clarification that brings out the strength in others," said Kathy Van Allen, the society's president, when she presented the award. McDowell is the ninth individual to receive the award since its creation in 2006.


McDowell helped establish Newberry College’s nursing program, which began classes in 2009. She served as the department’s founding chair until her retirement in 2018. Her KATTS framework for high achievement on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam has been adopted by at least 12 prelicensure programs across the United States. In October, she was inducted as a fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Nursing.


Cook appointed Director of Health Science

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - May 25, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has appointed Tracy L. Cook, MSc, RRT, RCP, as director of health science.


In this role, Cook will be responsible for the college’s undergraduate program in respiratory therapy, in addition to building and refining other programs in the Division of Nursing & Health Sciences. Cook comes to Newberry College from Midlands Technical College, where she served as director of the respiratory care program.


“Tracy has extensive experience teaching within an accredited program and is a respected member of the healthcare industry,” said Dr. Jerry Alewine, dean of nursing and health sciences. “She truly is a dynamic, creative, student-centered instructor, and she brings a visionary approach to higher education.”


Professionally, Cook has served as president of the South Carolina Society for Respiratory Care, and as a member of the Lexington School District Two STEM Advisory Board. She is also a graduate of the Commission on Accreditation of Respiratory Care’s Key Personnel Academy.


Cook holds a master’s degree in respiratory care leadership from Northeastern University, a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Columbia College, and an associate degree in respiratory care from Midlands Technical College.


Newberry to launch special education major

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - May 24, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has announced the launch of special education as its 39th undergraduate major.


The program will lead to teacher licensure in multi-categorical special education, including behavioral, emotional, intellectual and learning disabilities, from kindergarten through grade 12. Newberry’s program will be transfer friendly, allowing an easy transition of associate degree credits. The program will also carry the South Carolina Read-to-Succeed Endorsement.


Among the state’s 12 institutions that offer undergraduate degrees in multi-categorical special ed, Newberry’s will be the only program offered in multiple modalities, including in-person, online or hybrid. With only 120 required credit hours, Newberry’s program will allow students to earn their degrees in less time than other institutions.


“This innovative new program is designed to be open and accessible to meet the needs of not only our students, but also more than 109,400 students with disabilities across South Carolina and many more beyond,” said Dr. Susan Fernandez, dean of education at Newberry College. “This flexible, high-quality program will offer opportunities for non-traditional students, student-athletes, and others who can benefit from a teaching credential in special ed.”


Newberry College will also partner with the School District of Newberry County for the necessary field and clinical placements.


There are over 200 vacancies in special education roles across South Carolina, and career opportunities are only expected to grow as demand increases. Across the state, special education teachers in kindergarten through grade 12 earn an average of $54,493, according to data gathered from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Nationwide, the special education field is projected to grow 4% between 2021 and 2031, with about 37,600 new openings each year, according to the bureau. In 2021 and 2022, the number of public school students who received special education services was 7.3 million, or 15% of all public school students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.


Click here to apply for admission, and contact Dr. Shannon Jones for more information about the special education program.


Newberry, Piedmont Tech sign agreements for education, graphic design

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - May 23, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College and Piedmont Technical College are partnering to streamline degree completion in the fields of early education and graphic design. The agreements were announced May 18 at a signing ceremony on the Newberry College campus.


The partnership will enable Piedmont Tech graduates to transfer a greater number of credits to Newberry College, allowing them to complete their bachelor's degrees in as few as four semesters. These are often called “2+2” completion programs, in which students can earn their associate and bachelor's degrees each in two years.


“Every articulation agreement is cause for celebration, and it never gets old,” said Dr. Keli Fewox, vice president for academic affairs at Piedmont Tech. “This one in particular is meaningful because of Newberry College’s exemplary record of graduating skilled individuals well-prepared to serve its community, a community we also serve from our campus in Newberry County. Our physical proximity to this fine institution is not happenstance. PTC deliberately forges partnerships with the best in education.”


The first agreement connects Piedmont’s associate in early care and education degree and Newberry’s bachelor's in early childhood education, along with South Carolina teacher certification.


“The exciting part is that a student can attend PTC for their first two years and immediately transfer to Newberry and complete their degree in two additional years,” said Dr. Susan Fernandez, dean of education at Newberry College. “It’s a smooth transition.”


The second agreement applies to Piedmont’s associate degree programs in advertising design, photography, and digital rendering & gaming development, which will apply toward a bachelor's degree in graphic design.


“We’re excited about students from Piedmont Tech coming to Newberry College to complete their graphic design and early education degrees, and we’re looking forward to other partnerships in the future,” said Pat Gagliano, interim dean of arts, humanities and social sciences at Newberry College.


The agreements will take effect this fall.

Top: Standing: Tania Sosiak, Newberry College associate professor of graphic design & social media; Karla Gilliam, PTC dean of curriculum & online learning; Dr. Jodie Peeler, professor of communications; Menka Brown, PTC dean of business, information technology & public service; Pat Gagliano. Sitting: Dr. Sid Parrish, Newberry College vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Keli Fewox.


Right: Standing: Dr. Susan Fernandez, Karla Gilliam, Menka Brown, Deborah Poston, Newberry College assistant professor of teacher education. Sitting: Dr. Sid Parrish, Dr. Keli Fewox.


Shooting for the Moon

by Jay Salter '19, External Communications Coordinator - May 22, 2023


If you own a television, there’s a good chance you’ve seen their work. And even if you don’t, there’s still a good chance you’ve seen their work.


Entrepreneurs Keith Bogart ’93 and Banks Meador ’97 have over two decades’ experience in video production. They cover just about everything — commercials, television shows, training videos and more — for diverse clients across the United States. Their booming enterprise, West Columbia-based Zero Gravity, is a major player with a huge impact. And it all began at Newberry College.


Bogart returned to his alma mater in January 1996 to work with communications students and faculty. In addition to College broadcasts and class projects, the program also did high-level video productions for institutional partners, including the Florida-Bahamas and South Carolina synods of the ELCA. In what was essentially a working production company within an academic department, Meador — then a junior balancing majors in communications and English — stood out like no other.


“Banks clearly excelled at video production,” Bogart said. “At some point we started traveling around what feels like the lower part of the country, definitely through every city in Florida. You get to know people pretty well, so Banks and I became brothers, if you will.”


“Keith taught me a ton about video production,” said Meador. “And we said to each other, ‘Gosh, wouldn’t it be great one day to have our own video production company?’”


Three-and-a-half years and a couple detours later, in September 1999, the pair co-founded Zero Gravity from scratch. They chose the name not only because it sounds cool, but because where there is no gravity, there are no limits. But even space missions begin on the ground.


“We begged and borrowed and worked deals, and credit to Keith’s relationships, which were the entre to so much that just wasn’t accessible before,” said Meador. “He understood the value of relationships and that’s something that carries through to our success today. It just made sense to always do right by the client. If our clients aren’t happy, we’re not happy.”


The entrepreneurs steadily climbed learning curves to keep pace with technological advancements. Their class productions on VHS tapes bore little resemblance to the digital revolution taking shape under their feet. However, they adapted with the industry and with clients to bold success, aided by the fact that communication needs have become greater than ever before, especially since 2020. As the business continues to grow, so do the opportunities.


“It’s never the same. You’re always learning and going to somebody else’s line of business and having to understand it and turn it into a video,” said Bogart. “You find yourself sometimes knee-deep in a sewer or hanging out of a helicopter or driving around a racetrack. It’s so unique, so different, and it’s absolutely creative.”


The two credit Newberry College — specifically shared mentors Dr. Clem Chow, Marshall Maddy and Mic DeCinti — with helping them find their passion and acquire the skills to pursue it.


“I really do believe that the Lord’s blessed us and we’ve tried to be good stewards of that. Blessed with an awesome start with professors and people who care about our education,” said Meador. “And again, my mentor, Keith. … We’ve shared, at this point, half our lives together, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”


Top photo: Bogart and Meador at their West Columbia office. Right photo: Meador at work in the field.

This article originally appeared in the spring 2023 issue of  Dimensions, the magazine for alumni and friends of Newberry College. Access the digital version here.


Newberry College honors alumni educators in Hall of Master Teachers

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - May 16, 2023

Photo: Back (left to right): Dr. Reggie Wicker '04, Kim Taylor '85, Hannah Carnes '18. Front (left to right): Dr. Andrew McMillan '05, Anne Caughman '67, Dr. Cindy Van Buren

NEWBERRY — Newberry College has honored five alumni and the founder of the Hall of Master Teachers with induction into the prestigious society. The event was held May 11 at the Center for Teacher Education.


The society’s awards recognize graduates of Newberry College for exemplary dedication, service and excellence in the field of education. Each year, honorees are selected for five awards, each recognizing a different area of distinction: new, veteran, and retired classroom teachers, an educator who works outside the classroom, and a hero of diversity.


Nominees are evaluated on their professional activities, educational and community leadership, and influence on students and colleagues.


Hannah Carnes ’18 was honored with the New Classroom Teacher Award, which recognizes teachers in their first five years. Carnes teaches English at Spring Hill High in Chapin, and advises the school’s chapter of the National Beta Club.


“Hannah’s teaching style is one of creativity and joy,” said Dr. Amanda Hodges, associate professor of English at Newberry College and Carnes’ undergraduate advisor. “She is, at her core, a brilliant educator who knows her students individually and is aware of where they are in their learning. Therefore, she is able to develop creative plans that engage all of her students in meaningful ways.”


A National Board-certified educator with 38 years’ experience, Kim Taylor ’85 was presented with the Veteran Classroom Teacher Award. Taylor currently teaches third grade at Lake Murray Elementary in Chapin. Her dedication to excellence has earned her multiple honors along the way, including that as the first African American to be named Teacher of the Year for District Five of Lexington & Richland Counties.


In honor of her four-decade career as a devoted educator, Anne Caughman ’67 received the William Dufford Retired Educator Award. In addition to teaching in the Newberry County School District for 40 years, Caughman has helped numerous adults earn high school equivalency diplomas and written grants for Newberry Adult and Continuing Education. She was introduced at the ceremony by her son, Huger Caughman ’00, who was inducted into the hall in 2021.


Dr. Andrew McMillan ’05 earned the Educator Working Outside the Classroom Award. He currently serves as principal of Chapman High in Inman. He has been honored as Principal of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators and by the South Carolina Art Education Association, and under his leadership, Chapman High was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2020.


“It is not in his individual accomplishments, however, that his influence is best acknowledged, but rather it is in the authentic, sustained culture of love and dedication to students he has established as an educational leader,” wrote assistant principal Amy Driggers in her nomination.


Dr. Reggie Wicker ’04, director of personnel for District Five of Lexington & Richland Counties, was presented with the Nancy Lou Anderson Glasgow Diversity Warrior Award. Wicker entered the classroom after Newberry College, teaching fourth grade at Newberry Elementary. He soon moved into administration, becoming assistant administrator in 2007 before being named principal in 2011. He has also worked extensively with Call Me MISTER, an intercollegiate program designed to recruit and retain male elementary school teachers from diverse backgrounds. He established and led the program at Newberry College in 2010, and he currently assists the cohort at Columbia College.


Until this year, membership in the Hall of Master Teachers has been reserved for Newberry College graduates. This year, honorary membership was extended to Dr. Cindy Van Buren, who served at Newberry as a professor, department chair and administrator between 2006 and 2013. She led the RETAIN Center for Excellence, which focuses on educator retention in high-need schools, and more than quintupled teacher education program enrollment. She spearheaded the hall’s creation in 2012. Van Buren now serves at the University of South Carolina.


In addition to honoring educators, the teacher education program recognized outstanding students from each class, including: freshman early childhood education major Molly Mattas, of Duncan; sophomore elementary education major Julia Wyatt, of Blair; junior physical education major Bowdy Boyce, of Bell Buckle, Tennessee; and senior secondary social studies education major CJ Saverance, of Whitmire, who was named Student-Teacher of the Year.


Back (left to right): Dr. Reggie Wicker '04, Kim Taylor '85, Hannah Carnes '18. Front (left to right): Dr. Andrew McMillan '05, Anne Caughman '67, Dr. Cindy Van Buren


College honors spring 2023 graduates

by Alanna Boozer | Integrated Marketing Coordinator - May 15, 2023


NEWBERRY — Against a backdrop of construction and progress, family members, friends, faculty and staff converged Saturday on Newberry College’s Setzler Field to celebrate the graduating class of 2023.
The weekend’s commencement exercises celebrated the achievements of 168 graduates from the spring and summer classes, including 167 undergraduates and one master’s degree recipient. Click here to view the commencement program and full list of graduates. Click here to watch the event steam.

Commencement Addresses
Since 2014, the honor of the spring commencement addresses have been awarded to members of the graduating class, selected by fellow seniors, faculty and staff. This year’s addresses were delivered by Caylee Burgess, a triple major in criminal justice, sociology, and history from Lexington; and Tyla Stolberg, a physical education major from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
“The role that faculty and staff have played in our Newberry College experience and our lives cannot be understated,” said Burgess (right). “Not only have they guided us through an unprecedented event (the pandemic), but our professors have provided a learning environment that has helped their students to think critically, independently, and most importantly, for themselves.”

“Everyone at Newberry has been able to have the amazing experience of meeting people from different places, learning about our differences and finding our similarities, sharing our experiences with each other,” said Stolberg (left). “We all ended up here in one way or another. We came from all over the world, and the one thing we will always have in common is Newberry College. People that we didn’t know existed four years ago, we now consider family.”
Special Awards
Dennis LoDolce, senior class president and a double major in political science and public & nonprofit administration from Stamford, Connecticut, presented the senior gift: a mural to be displayed on the O.L. Casey Center.
The graduating class presents the Dr. L. Grady Cooper Award to students who exemplify the loyalty and devotion to Newberry College that Cooper demonstrated during his tenure as a professor of religion and Greek. This year’s recipient was Dennis LoDolce.
The Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards were established to honor one man and one woman of the graduating class who demonstrate outstanding character and service to others, traits valued by Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan. The awards were presented respectively to Zackery Nash, a double major in music theory and music performance from Sumter; and Shakera Griffin, an early childhood education major from Newberry.
The Dr. George B. Cromer Award, named for Newberry College’s fifth president, is presented by the faculty to the graduating senior who exemplifies academic excellence, leadership ability and personal integrity. This year, the honor was presented to Rest Johnson, a mathematics major from Lagos, Nigeria.

Finally, Dr. Otis Walker was awarded the title, professor emeritus of mathematics and physics, in honor of his retirement after 40 years of service to Newberry College and its students.

Class of 2023 Quick Facts
The spring and summer graduates represented 14 states, Washington, D.C., and nine other countries — Canada, England, Germany, Nigeria, Australia, Italy, Spain, Panama, and France. The youngest graduating senior was 20 and the oldest was 51. One graduate is a commissioned officer with the rank of second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. The most popular majors were business administration (25), sport management (20), criminal justice (16), and psychology (15).


Wyatt receives grant, donates funds to children’s library

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - May 11, 2023


NEWBERRY — Julia Wyatt, an elementary education major at Newberry College, always looks for ways to ‘pay it forward.’ When she learned she had been awarded a scholarship by the Cindy Mackie Foundation, she decided to donate a portion of her grant toward renovating the children's library at the college’s Center for Teacher Education.


Based in Blackstock, part of Chester County, the foundation honors the memory of Winthrop professor Cynthia “Cindy” Furr, who, along with her daughter, Mackie, were killed in a car accident in 2009. In addition to her career as an educator, Furr was also the music minister at her church. For Wyatt, who has a minor in music and serves in music ministry with her sister, Peyton, the foundation and its mission struck a chord.


“As I learned about this special family, I wanted to pay forward what I had so generously been given,” said Wyatt. “I was working alongside Dr. [Susan] Fernandez in hopes of renovating the children's library to develop the venue into a literacy location accessible to all students. Thus, as I value reading and education, I felt as though I had been given a blessing that would not only bless me, but prayerfully bless many others in the process.


“My hope is that this will honor the foundation, as well as provide many exciting opportunities for schoolchildren in the area,” added Wyatt.

The children’s library is currently undergoing renovations to make it more welcoming and interactive for local children and their families. This will include updating furnishings and décor, adding displays for holidays and special commemorations, and adding new programs, such as featuring a local author each month. Deborah Poston, assistant professor of teacher education, is spearheading the project, assisted by members of the Newberry Education Society.


“Julia is an amazing student,” said Dr. Susan Fernandez, dean of education. Of the library, she said, “Mikayla Dupree, a sophomore early childhood education major, has painted Scar on the wall. We have cushions that look like tree stumps. It’s decorated very nicely and we want the community to be able to use it, too. We hope to have it done by the end of the summer so that we can have our celebration in the fall.”


Wyatt said her aspirations for after graduation include continuing to manage her business, Inner Journey School of Music, teaching piano and voice lessons, and traveling with her sister in their music ministry group, Sister Harmony.


Newberry football, men’s golf teams honored at State House

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - May 10, 2023


COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina General Assembly recognized the Newberry College football and men’s golf teams Wednesday for their respective championship seasons in 2022.


Head Coach Todd Knight and the Wolves football team were recognized with a resolution for winning the South Atlantic Conference championship in 2022 for the second consecutive season. On Nov. 12, Newberry beat visiting Mars Hill by a score of 27-24 to take the first back-to-back conference title in school history.


Head Coach Howard Vroon and the men’s golf team were recognized as 2021-22 academic national champions. The Wolves earned a 3.81, the highest team grade point average in the nation, even besting their counterparts at Harvard University and Carleton College. This was the Wolves’ second academic national title, as they also boasted the honor in 2019.


The resolutions were introduced and presented by the members of Newberry County’s legislative delegation, state Sen. Ronnie Cromer and Rep. Joe White, both of Prosperity.


“Having won the South Atlantic Conference championship, two years in a row, ’21 and ’22, is outstanding,” said Cromer. “I tell you, Coach Todd Knight and the young men that he has brought along under his tutelage have really done an outstanding job. We’re extremely proud of them in Newberry, but we’re also proud of them in South Carolina.


“And for our golf team that was named academic national champions for the last year, with the best GPA in the country, that is magnificent. I am very congratulatory of them,” he added.


Top photo: (Left to right) Kinard Lisbon '18, director of digital media for the governor, Rep. Joe White, Lori Ann Vinson Summers, vice president for institutional advancement, Director of Athletics Sean Johnson, Eric Wells '87, vice chair of the Newberry College Board of Trustees, the Rev. Charles Seastrunk '55, chaplain for the South Carolina House of Representatives, Secretary of State Mark Hammond '86, Head Football Coach Todd Knight, and Head Men's Golf Coach Howard Vroon.


Bottom: (Left to right) Mark Hammond '86, Sen. Ronnie Cromer, Howard Vroon, Todd Knight, Sean Johnson, Sen. Penry Gustafson '92, Eric Wells '87, Lori Ann Vinson Summers, and the Rev. Charles Seastrunk '55. Courtesy: Sen. Penry Gustafson '92


Eight seniors honored by City of Newberry

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - May 8, 2023


NEWBERRY — The City of Newberry has honored eight outstanding Newberry College seniors for community service and leadership during their time as students. Mayor Foster Senn and Mayor Pro-Tem Lemont Glasgow presented the official proclamations May 5 during a ceremony at Holland Hall, the college’s main administrative building.


The following seniors were recognized:

  • Christopher Taylor, of Timmonsville, a member of the Newberry College Black Men for Success Initiative, and of the two-time conference championship Wolves football team, and a mentor to young men in the Newberry County School District

  • Shanna Wicker, of Little Mountain, a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority, a student worker in the Office of Institutional Advancement, a 2023 inductee into the Bachman Honor Society, and an avid community volunteer who plans to remain active as a teacher in Newberry County

  • Ericka Wiseley, of Mount Pleasant, a member of the women’s basketball team, for volunteering at Newberry Middle, Newberry Academy, Springfield Place and other community efforts

  • Sean Swaringer, of Greeleyville, a member of the Newberry College Black Men for Success Initiative, and of the football team, and a mentor to young men in the Newberry County School District

  • C’Xaurius “CiCi” Corley, of Newberry, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a student ambassador and member of the Student Government Association, for her involvement as a volunteer and a promoter of Newberry College and of the City of Newberry

  • Dennis LoDolce, of Stamford, Connecticut, a member of the Student Government Association, for volunteering with voter registration, Oktoberfest, park clean-ups, community pumpkin carvings, blanket making, and for serving as an intern with the city

  • NaTaishja “Tae” Hymes, of Charleston, a member of the Student Government Association, a First-Year Experience mentor, an Alpha Leader and resident advisor, for volunteering with clothing and food drives, school supply events and the Project Cradle Care program

  • Tia Downing, of Spartanburg, a member of All Campus Entertainment, the Minority Student Alliance and Women 2 Women, for volunteering with back-to-school bashes, snack provision for children, and Adopt-a-Highway clean-ups

Photo: Back (left to right): Mayor Pro-Tem Lemont Glasgow, Sean Swaringer, Tae Hymes, Tia Downing, Dennis LoDolce, Ericka Wiseley, Mayor Foster Senn. Front (left to right): Cici Corley, Christopher Taylor, Shanna Wicker.


Caudill wins Excellence in Teaching Award

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - April 27, 2023


NEWBERRY — Dr. Carrie Caudill, associate professor of psychology, has been named Newberry College’s 2023 Excellence in Teaching Award winner by the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.


Since joining the Newberry College faculty in 2017, Caudill has distinguished herself in and out of the classroom. In her courses, she fosters collaborative learning with an enthusiasm for the material and its practical applications. She connects students with internships and service opportunities, ranging from equine therapy to forensic psychological agencies.


On campus, she has led the development and implementation of the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan, Newberry Edge, which seeks to enhance student success with a focus on academic advising. She has also worked to raise awareness of sexual assault and human trafficking, culminating in a series of events to mark Sexual Assault Awareness Month each April.


Earlier this month, Caudill was inducted into the college’s prestigious Bachman Honor Society for her dedication to Newberry College and its students.


Caudill is a licensed professional counselor with three decades’ experience and a published researcher. Her research has focused on wellbeing, mindfulness, and college students’ wellbeing and spirituality. She also publishes quarterly articles for Psychology Today.


She holds a doctorate in counselor education and an education specialist degree in marriage and family counseling from the University of South Carolina. She also earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and Biblical studies from Columbia International University.


South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities is a consortium of 21 private, nonprofit institutions, founded in 1953 and headquartered in Columbia. For more information, visit


Newberry named HOSA Partner of the Year

April 25, 2023


NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Newberry College has been named 2023 Partner of the Year by the South Carolina chapter of HOSA – Future Health Professionals. The award was presented at the association’s state leadership conference in North Charleston.


“When it comes to the health sciences and nursing, HOSA is everything,” said Dr. Jerry Alewine, dean of nursing and health sciences at Newberry College. “From a College perspective, we can help foster these high school students’ interest and growth in health occupations. These students get opportunities they otherwise would not have had, and we are proud to be an active partner in this vital work.”


Newberry College has been a valued partner of HOSA for numerous years, hosting conferences, offering workshops and exhibits, and providing financial and professional support. At this spring’s conference, Dr. Steve Lambert, associate professor of chemistry, led a presentation titled, “Advances in Forensic Science,” detailing the use of chemistry and biology to solve previously unsolvable cold cases.


Newberry College will have the honor of hosting the chapter’s fall leadership conference, set for Thursday, Oct. 5.


Photo: Kay Chandler, director of online & graduate operations, Dr. Jerry Alewine, and Mandy Counts, adminstrative assistant for nursing.


Call Me MISTER initiative continues growth at Newberry

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - April 24, 2023


NEWBERRY — "I am a dedicated servant leader who is perpetuating a sorely needed concept — servant-leaders as role models in elementary schools. I am devoted to planting seeds of dignity and respect in children and inspiring them to cultivate those seeds, producing a crop of unprecedented success.”


Each student member of the Call Me MISTER initiative knows by heart these and the lines that follow. The intercollegiate program’s vision statement doubles as a sort of creed, concisely and resolutely reminding him of his calling … as well as his identity.


Call Me MISTER, first established at Clemson University in 2000, addresses a nationwide shortage of male elementary school teachers from diverse backgrounds. The program’s name is an acronym, standing for “Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role models.” The initiative’s student participants, called MISTERs, are selected largely from underserved, educationally at-risk communities, and receive extensive mentoring, scholarship support and professional growth opportunities. Now one of 18 participating South Carolina four-year institutions, Newberry College joined the program in 2010 and graduated its first MISTER in 2013.


“Mister” is more than just a prefix for these gentlemen. It is a demand for respect, a testament to character and integrity, and a reference to vision.


Now in its 13th year, the Newberry site continues to grow and develop, with 14 graduates carrying the title and 10 students preparing to assume its weight.


At the end of March, Dr. John Lesaine ’07, campus site coordinator, Dr. Susan Fernandez, dean of education, and senior Ja'kobe Bush, of Aiken, represented the Newberry program at the Association of Teacher Educators’ annual meeting in Jacksonville, Florida.


Fernandez and Lesaine led a session titled "Someone Who Looks Like Me: Recruiting and Retaining Teachers of Color,” in which Bush and MISTERs from USC Aiken and USC Upstate shared their experiences. At the end, Fernandez said, a standing ovation ensued.



“It was a great opportunity and learning experience, especially for Mr. Bush,” said Lesaine. “The collaboration with the cohorts from USC Aiken and USC Upstate was nothing short of special. We live by the statement, ‘We are many schools, but we are one MISTER.’ During this presentation, the power of MISTER was on full display and these young men showed what makes the program so special.”


“We've had MISTERs who have gone on to be Teachers of the Year, and who continued into administration in different capacities. I have former MISTER who wants to be the superintendent of Greenwood County Schools. That's what his aspirations are,” said Fernandez.


“It's just a valuable program that is putting young African American men in our school system with a strong support system and professional development experiences, opportunities they might not have had if they hadn't been part of the program,” she said.


Beginning this month, Newberry MISTER graduate Brandarius Jones ’20 will lead the program as campus site coordinator. Jones currently serves as a fifth grade teacher at Killian Elementary and defensive football coach at W.J. Keenan High.


“I was still always helping out and was in constant contact with Dr. Lesaine and Mr. [Jared] Woolstenhulme with suggestions. Mr. Woolstenhulme contacted me and wanted me to help out, and the talks progressed from there,” said Jones.


“As a student, the experience was just what I needed to get through college and to grow,” he said of the program. “It reminds me of my ‘why’ every day and gives me a sense of purpose. Without Call Me MISTER and that brotherhood, I wouldn’t be the person or the teacher who I am today.”


Top: South Carolina Call Me MISTER cohorts at the Association of Teacher Educators’ annual meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, March 28, 2023. (Standing) Rashad Paige of USC Aiken, Ja'kobe Bush and Dr. John Lesaine '07; (Sitting) Melvin Archie, Jordan Walker and Terrance Williams of USC Aiken. Right: Brandarius Jones '20.


Speech & Theatre Students Shine at State Festival

April 18, 2023


GREENWOOD, S.C. — Newberry College students brought home numerous placements from the South Carolina Speech and Theatre Association’s annual State College Festival Competition. The event was held Saturday at Lander University, and featured teams from Newberry, Lander, USC Lancaster, Denmark Tech and Northeastern Tech.


Newberry was represented by junior Madison Bickley (Newberry), senior Cayman Duvall (Lexington), junior Dennis LoDolce (Stamford, Connecticut), sophomore Elijah Ngugi (Florence), and senior Maggie O’Toole (Irmo).


The students worked under the direction of Pat Gagliano, professor of speech and theatre, Dr. David Harpool, director of Newberry College Speech & Debate, and Dr. Jodie Peeler, professor of communications.


Newberry’s individual competition results:

Persuasive Speaking
First — Madison Bickley
Second — Cayman Duvall

Informative Speaking
Second — Dennis LoDolce

Musical Theatre Audition
Second — Maggie O’Toole

Television Broadcasting
Second — Madison Bickley
Third — Cayman Duvall

Impromptu Speaking
Second — Dennis LoDolce
Third — Elijah Ngugi


Newberry College will host the festival in 2024, the association announced.


Photo: (Front) Madison Bickley, Cayman Duvall, Maggie O’Toole. (Back) Dennis LoDolce, Dr. David Harpool, Pat Gagliano, Elijah Ngugi.


College presents awards, inducts Bachman Honor Scholars at spring convocation

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - April 14, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College celebrated the achievements of students, faculty and staff with its annual spring awards convocation, held April 14 in Wiles Chapel. The honors included scholastic, ministry, student life and student governments awards, along with the induction of 14 students and two professors into the prestigious Bachman Honor Society. Click here to view the full photo gallery.


Founded in 1962 by Phi Beta Kappa-affiliated professors, the Bachman Honor Society recognizes seniors in the top 8% of their class, as well as distinguished faculty and staff members. The society is named for the Rev. John Bachman, Newberry College’s principal founder and first chair of its Board of Trustees. Induction is the highest academic honor the College bestows.


This spring, the following seniors were inducted:

  • Robin Bedford, an accounting major from Welwyn, England

  • Giulia Bongiorno, a sport management major from Rome, Italy

  • Nastassia Chamoun, a business administration major from Dijon, France

  • Hillary Dana, an elementary education major from Prosperity

  • Holly Davies, a sport management major from Newberry

  • Tyron Dennis, a criminal justice major from Columbia

  • Haley Havermann, an art and digital marketing major from Indian Land

  • Emily Hughes, a business administration major from Parrish, Florida

  • Emma Johnson, a health care management major from Camden

  • Timothy Luker, a psychology major from Goldsboro, North Carolina

  • Shield Sawyer, a business administration major from Newberry

  • Marcel Schomburg, an exercise science major from Bingen, Germany

  • Shanna Wicker, an elementary education major from Little Mountain

  • Courtney Wilson, an early childhood education major from Newberry

The society also welcomed two faculty members, Dr. Carrie Caudill and Dr. Sara Peters, both associate professors of psychology.


The Jerrol S. Oxner Business Merit Scholarship recognizes excellence in scholastic achievement, service to the College, and potential for future accomplishments in graduate school and in business or education. This scholarship was presented to Robin Bedford.


The Donald K. Melaas Business Merit Scholarship is given in honor of the time Melaas spent at Newberry College as a Navy V-12 cadet during the Second World War. The scholarship is given to a business administration major who demonstrates academic excellence, service to the College, and potential for future accomplishments in graduate school. This award was presented to Nastassia Chamoun.


The Joe & Jeffrey McDonald Community Service Scholarship recognizes a student who has demonstrated a dedication to public service through involvement in the community. The award was presented to Jayden Davila, a junior nursing major from West Hills, California, who has volunteered locally with her soccer teammates and as a digital volunteer for the Smithsonian Transcript Center and for Zooniverse.


The award for Outstanding Service and Leadership to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes was presented a Jonathan Wright, a senior accounting and criminal justice major and men’s basketball player from Myrtle Beach.


The award for Outstanding Service and Leadership was presented to Tatyanna Chapman, a first-year psychology major from Myrtle Beach.


The Campus Pastor’s Special Service Award was presented to Marshall Maddy, internal communications and media services coordinator, who has served Newberry College faithfully from behind the scenes for 31 years.


The Office of Student Affairs presented four awards for individual contributions to student life at the College:

  • Senior Resident Advisor of the Year: Nicole A. Harker, of Naples, Florida

  • The Dr. Travis Ballenger First-Year Experience Award: Reggie Wright (senior from Summerville), Shakiyah Lunsford (senior from Columbia), and Dr. John Lesaine ’07, associate dean for student-athlete success

  • Student Ambassador of the Year: Payton Findlay, junior from Cairns, Queensland, Australia

  • Student Ambassador Rookie of the Year: Camryn Wiley, first-year from Cayce

Each year, the Student Government Association presents two awards to members of the faculty and staff for their dedication and service to the College and its students. The association elected Dr. John Lesaine ’07 as the 2023 Professor of the Year, and presented Sherrigan Feaster-Johnson, director of housing and residence life, with the Sadie Crooks Award.


Top photo: Spring 2023 student inductees into the Bachman Honor Society. Back row, left to right: Shield Sawyer, Timothy Luker, Marcel Schomburg; Front row, left to right: Robin Bedford, Emily Hughes, Shanna Wicker, Emma Johnson, Tyron Dennis. Not pictured: Giulia Bongiorno, Nastassia Chamoun, Hillary Dana, Holly Davies, Haley Havermann, Courtney Wilson.


College to host Spartanburg author William Buchheit

April 12, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College will welcome Upstate author William Buchheit to speak about his book, “The South Carolina State Hospital: Stories from Bull Street” (History Press, 2020). The free lecture and Q&A will be held April 19 at 2 p.m. in the Alumni Music Center Recital Hall.


A native of Spartanburg, Buchheit is an award-winning journalist and photographer. His work on mental illness earned him the 2011 Reporter of the Year award from the South Carolina chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He currently serves as an English instructor at Spartanburg Methodist College.


This event is sponsored by Newberry College’s Division of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.


Buchheit's lecture comes weeks after Dr. Len Lawson, assistant professor of English, launched a new book of poetry also based on the infamous hospital.


Alewine appointed permanent dean of Newberry College nursing & health sciences

April 6, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has named Dr. Jerry Alewine as dean of nursing and health sciences, dropping the interim title he has held since last year.


A Newberry native, Alewine joined the faculty in 2017 as head of the brand-new respiratory therapy program. He was appointed interim dean in February 2022. Since then, he has overseen the groundbreaking and construction of the Darby Nursing & Health Science Center, set to open this fall, and launched a new undergraduate major in nutrition. In spring 2022, the Student Government Association named him Professor of the Year.


Prior to coming to Newberry, Alewine served eight years as dean of health science at Piedmont Technical College, where he was directly responsible for all health-related programs. He serves as president of the South Carolina Society for Respiratory Care, as chair of the respiratory committee of the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners, and as a member of the Newberry County Memorial Hospital board of trustees.


Wolves Pantry receives grant from Redeemer

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - April 4, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has gratefully received a grant from the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Newberry to benefit Wolves Pantry.


The Rev. Matt Titus '05, pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, presented a check for $1,100 to the Rev. David Coffman '97, campus pastor at Newberry College. The funds will provide a three-month supply of breakfast and snack items for students experiencing food insecurity, along with reusable cloth bags to destigmatize seeking help.


“We're happy to award the Newberry College Wolves food pantry with a check to help support them in their ministry as they continue to push down the stigma of food insecurity among students and in the community,” said Titus. “Over the last few years, our mission endowment fund has been able to award over $300,000 to other worthy ministries, not only in our community but around the world. It is a way for us at Redeemer to continue to give to the communities we are a part of, and the communities that do so much for God's ministry in the world.”


Wolves Pantry opened in the college’s Weber Campus Ministry House last September. Food insecurity and inaccessibility exist among students, faculty and staff, whether it’s a recurrent necessity or an occasional gap. According to a 2020 study by Temple University’s Hope Center for College, Community and Justice, 29% of students at four-year colleges nationwide reported experiencing food insecurity.


To learn more about Wolves Pantry and how to help, click here.


Newberry Recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - April 3, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College will host a series of events throughout April to raise awareness of sexual assault and human trafficking.


“College provides a unique time for education, engagement and transformation,” said Dr. Carrie Caudill, associate professor of psychology and event organizer. “When college students learn about the prevalent nature of sexual violence, their insight provokes action. Newberry College is committed to educating and fundraising for the prevention and treatment of sexual assault.”


Approximately 13% of undergraduates nationwide are victims of non-consensual sexual contact, according to a survey by the Association of American Universities, last taken in 2019. However, sexual assaults often go underreported, so that number is likely higher.


The events scheduled during Sexual Assault Awareness Month will provide support and advocacy for students, spread awareness of available resources, and spark conversations that educate and facilitate change. 


Schedule of Events:

April 12 at 11 a.m. | Sexual Assault Awareness Flag Campaign
Students will plant flags on the Campus Quad to symbolize the number of sexual assaults that occur in the United States. Pathways to Healing, a nonprofit that serves Clarendon, Lexington, Newberry, Richland and Sumter counties, will provide educational materials.

“Statistics show that there is a sexual assault every 68 seconds in the United States. In the two hours the flag campaign will run, that amounts to 106 sexual assaults,” said senior Abby Beddingfield, of Greenville. “The event is also a way to inform students of resources available and educate them on what they can do to help prevent sexual assault.”


April 20 at 4 p.m. | Walk Like a Wolf
A fundraising walk around Newberry College to benefit Pathways to Healing.  The walk will begin at the Wolf Statue at the main campus entrance on College Street and end on the Campus Quad. This event is sponsored by the Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Psi Chi, the international honor society in psychology.

Miss South Carolina, Jill Dudley, is set to participate in the walk. Dudley's social impact initiative is "Shatter the Cycle: Supporting Survivors and Ending Rape Culture."

"As a rape survivor myself, I know firsthand that America has a problem with sexual assault," said Dudley in a statement on Miss South Carolina's website. "Nearly half a million of us — 1 in 6 women and 1 in 10 men are sexual assaulted every year. My assault has not defined me. I have evolved from victim to survivor to advocate."

Rebecca Lorick '02, executive director of Pathways to Healing, will deliver the event's keynote. Register with a donation of any amount.



April 27 at noon | Lunch & Learn: Domestic Violence 101
Caudill and Cynthia Eshleman, assistant professor of criminal justice, will host a Lunch & Learn session on Ernie’s Porch, adjacent to Kaufmann Hall, about domestic violence.


April 26 | Denim Day
Denim Day encourages everyone to wear jeans to support survivors of sexual assault and spread awareness about all forms of sexual violence.


For more information about any of these events, please contact Caudill at or 803.321.5262.


Kelly makes Red Sox’ Opening Day roster

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - March 30, 2023


BOSTON — Today marks the beginning of the Major League Baseball season, and former Newberry College standout Zack Kelly '17 has earned his spot on the Red Sox’ Opening Day roster.


Thursday is Boston’s home opener, with the Red Sox taking on the Baltimore Orioles at 2:10 p.m. EDT.



Kelly made his major-league debut on Aug. 29, pitching for the Red Sox against the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis. The right-hander pitched a scoreless sixth inning, with two strikeouts and a hit, in what would be the first of 13 appearances for Boston in August and September. Thursday will be the first time Kelly has made an Opening Day roster in the big leagues.


The Virginia native’s journey to the majors has been awe-inspiring. He came out of Lord Botetourt High School, just outside of Roanoke, and played two seasons for Concord in West Virginia before transferring to Newberry in 2016.


“I can still recall the day he called me asking for an opportunity. I’m thankful for the call and that our program gets the opportunity to feel his impact to this day,” said head Wolves baseball coach Russell Triplett. “Zack Kelly is the prime example of what happens when you combine work ethic, determination, with being an overall good person.”


He took an uncommon and unlikely route to the pros, signing undrafted with the Oakland Athletics’ organization for only $500 after graduating from Newberry in 2017.


“To be honest with you, I didn’t even know if I was going to have a chance,” said Kelly. “During my senior year, I had a couple of teams that were interested, but nothing really materialized. But then it was our senior night against Lenoir-Rhyne, and a scout from the Oakland A’s came. … I ended up being able to sign after the draft as a free agent, and from there my mindset was, if I have a jersey on my back then I have a chance.”


Kelly pitched in the rookie-level Arizona League in 2017 before being released in April 2018. He was “fortunate enough” to get another chance with the Los Angeles Angels later that year.


“You get released and whatever I’ve been doing for the last year, that’s not going to cut it, it’s not going to get me anywhere, so I had a different mindset once I went over there,” said Kelly.


He climbed the ranks of the Angels system in 2018 and 2019, with stops in San Bernadino, California, and Mobile, Alabama. He “had a couple of good years” before a devastating double whammy — an elbow injury and a pandemic.


“Everybody was losing money and teams got rid of a lot of players. I had gotten hurt a couple months before and in need of surgery, and so that was a pretty easy decision for them to let go,” he said.


To his relief, after his recovery Kelly was able to sign with the Red Sox organization later that year. He played for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs before being promoted to the Triple-A Worcester Red Sox in 2021. He was invited to spring training as a non-roster player in 2022, then returned to Triple-A to start the season. He was on the bus with his Worcester teammates when he got the big call-up on Aug. 28.


“There was no way to put it into words, obviously super excited, and humbled to get the opportunity finally,” he said of getting the news. “Getting to the big leagues doesn’t happen very often … hardly any non-drafted free agents get to the big leagues, so I’m grateful to be an example for that.”


Making the majors wasn’t the only dream to come true that week. Four days after making his debut at Fenway, Kelly was back in Newberry as he and his wife, Brittany, welcomed their first child, a son. He came back from paternity leave the following Monday.


“I think pitching that week was the easiest part,” he said. “The hardest part was making plans to get home, for my parents to get to Minnesota and then back to Virginia and then down to South Carolina. I had to make sure everything was good with my wife and get to the hospital with the baby.”


Kelly said the logistics are a bit easier now that Brittany and little Kayden are in Boston during the season. As for time management, he said despite the challenge, he’s got it pretty well covered.


“Whenever I come home, I turn baseball mode off and be a dad, and when it's time to flip the switch to baseball, I go 100%,” he said.



His perseverance has been paying off from the start. In late September, Kelly received the Red Sox' Lou Gorman Award, which is given annually to a Red Sox minor league player who has demonstrated dedication and perseverance in overcoming obstacles while working his way to the Major League team.


“Nothing has come easy for Zack, but he doesn’t allow that to become a reason or excuse. He’s a competitor with a will to win and he’s proven that over and over. It’s pretty amazing to get to see a Newberry alum make the Opening Day roster for the Red Sox. I couldn’t be more proud of Zack,” said Triplett.


With his first Opening Day hours away, Kelly said, the destination is awesome, and so has been the journey.


“Pitching in Fenway Park is a feeling that I can't really describe, all the history that's there and all the legends of baseball that have come through that stadium,” he said. “With my career and how it’s unfolded, it’s maybe not as ideal for some. It’s a lot different, but I take pride in that. … As for my time at Newberry, I really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Newberry College is a really special place.”


Kelly said he gets back to his alma mater every chance he gets, and Triplett said he’s grateful to have him. He threw the first pitch at the Wolves’ Feb. 3 home opener against Francis Marion. For college players and anyone else looking to succeed in life, Kelly said the key is to go all-in toward your goal.


“Pick whatever you want to do and don’t let anybody tell you different,” he said. “Whenever I was going through the tail end of my college career, and I said I wanted to play professional baseball, people would ask me, ‘what’s your ‘plan B?’’ I didn’t have one, so I didn’t have an option. Having a ‘plan A,’ you have to be 100% committed to that, and if it doesn't work out, find a new ‘plan A.’ I think having a ‘plan B’ is a fallback, almost like you don’t believe that ‘plan A' can happen. Whatever you want to do, do everything you can to get there and don’t let anybody tell you it’s not realistic. It might take a little bit, but you’d be surprised.”


Phillips to compete on ‘American Idol’

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - March 28, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College junior Brayden Phillips is one of eight South Carolinians headed to Hollywood to compete on “American Idol.” Hollywood Week starts Sunday night, April 2, on ABC.


The exercise science major and quarterback from Lancaster, South Carolina, is a country singer-songwriter with a single under his belt and over 1.7 million views on TikTok. He took his talents to 'Idol' auditions and made it past the initial round to Hollywood.


When he’s not studying or helping the Wolves take back-to-back conference championships, Phillips is performing with his group, the Red Rose Band, and spending time with family.


Alongside football, Phillips said his love of music began in church when he was a child.


“My first interest in music was growing up and going to different churches with my Dad,” said Phillips. “He used to travel around and sing at churches, and just growing up around it was awesome. I’ve been singing since I was like five years old, so it’s something that I’ve always had fun with.”


In September Phillips released his first single, “Old Young Man,” inspired by his father and his Midlands upbringing.

“My inspiration for music is 100% my Dad,” he said. “He’s helped me become not only the singer that I am, but the man I’m becoming. It’s not easy to talk about, but he’s been in the hospital since the beginning of this year, so it’s been a really long year so far for him and my family.


“[The song] talks about how I was raised and a lot of stuff my Dad has taught me over the years, so it was really a blessing for a song like that to be my first song I released,” said Phillips (right). “I'm just going to keep letting music take me where it takes me, along with balancing it with football.”


Phillips also has a promising career ahead as a college quarterback. The 6’1” two-time All-Region selection from Buford High made his first start for the Wolves Oct. 8 at home against Barton. He accounted for 127 yards with seven completions, with his receivers finding the end zone twice. He started again the following week, throwing for 228 yards on nine receptions in Newberry’s 34-27 victory at Catawba.


“Brayden got thrown into the fire last year, because our all-conference quarterback got hurt against Carson-Newman and then our second-team quarterback got hurt four plays later,” said offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Todd Varn. “He came in, and in the following two weeks was able to win us two important ball games to help us win the conference. And for him to be able to do that with no reps was a big motivator for our football team to try to finish the way we did last year.


“He's a good kid, he's always on time, he's motivated, in music, too. He's going to be a contender for the quarterback position next year. His work ethic and the way he takes on his job is obviously the way he does with music. I'm excited to work with him this year, and hopefully, he'll battle for the starting job,” said Varn.


New to this year’s Hollywood Week, contestants will have the opportunity to work with past 'Idol' finalists to hone their songs before going before judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. With their mentors, the contestants will choose an area where they could best benefit from coaching, including confidence, songwriting and stage presence. In the history of the show, so far only one South Carolina native has claimed the title of Idol: Candice Glover, of Beaufort, in 2013.


“I’ve got a special place in my heart for this young man, because he's from my hometown, and I like to see kids from my hometown make it,” said head football coach Todd Knight. “He's a very talented young man on and off the field. I didn't realize how talented he was off the field until the ‘American Idol’ stuff came around, and I wish him the best of luck.”


Eason appointed registrar

March 27, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has appointed Marilyn Eason, of Augusta, Georgia, as the institution’s new registrar. Today is her first day.


Eason comes to Newberry from Allen University, where she served as dean of enrollment management since 2016 and as registrar since 2008. She previously served the university as adjunct professor of business, coordinator of corporate planning and assessment, and data manager in the Office of Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness.


“We are excited to welcome Marilyn Eason to the Newberry College community. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in registrar's offices and career-long connections with financial aid and admission,” said Dr. Christina Wendland M'22, associate dean of academic affairs. “Marilyn's passion for collaborative work and team building will make her a great addition to Newberry College.”


Eason holds an MBA from Claflin University and a bachelor’s in business administration from Voorhees College.


Harpool to Host Dilemma Solver Seminar

March 22, 2023


IRMO, S.C. — Newberry College’s online and graduate studies program will hold a free seminar on managing the modern workforce in an era of remote, flexible and quiet quitting employees. The seminar will be held April 4 from noon until 1:30 p.m. at the Residence Inn boardroom, 1944 Lake Murray Blvd. in Irmo.


The event will focus on the challenges that employers face in the wake of transitions brought on by the pandemic. This includes managing remote workers and those with flexible work arrangements, keeping remote employees engaged and motivated, talent retention, and crisis management.


Dr. David Harpool, associate vice president for online and graduate programs, will lead the seminar. Before teaching business and leadership at Newberry, Harpool served as president and provost of Northcentral University. He also served as the chief operating officer for Kaplan, an international educational services firm whose workforce was diverse, distributed and online.


The event is free, lunch will be provided, and space is limited. Click here to register.


Nutrition Major to Launch this Fall

March 21, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has announced nutrition as its newest undergraduate major, set to launch this fall.


The program will specialize in functional nutrition, applying to health care, recoveries, weight management and fitness. Graduates of this program will be equipped to provide nutritional guidance in and out of clinical settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, athletic programs and schools.


“Nutrition is the foundation for good health, and different conditions require different diets, so nutritionists play a vital role in health care,” said Dr. Jerry Alewine, interim dean of nursing & health sciences.


The program will include core curriculum on campus, followed with online nutrition courses in the late junior and senior years to allow students to gain experience in the field. Alewine said that the nutrition major pairs well with minors in biology, chemistry or health care management.


Alewine also said graduates of the program will be able to transition smoothly into graduate programs to become registered dieticians, if they so desire. However, a bachelor’s degree will allow graduates to embark immediately on successful careers as functional nutritionists.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the field of nutritionists and dieticians to grow by 7% by 2031, with about 5,600 openings each year. The field’s median salary was $61,650 in 2021, according to the bureau.


“Newberry College gives students a competitive advantage after graduation, helping them develop highly valued skills to thrive in this rapidly growing, economically strong field,” said Dr. Sid Parrish, vice president for academic affairs.


Nutrition joins other growing health and wellness-related programs at Newberry College, including exercise science and human performance, health care management, health science, neuroscience, nursing, respiratory therapy, and the RN-to-BSN degree completion program.


The Darby Nursing & Health Science Center, the new home of nutrition and other health programs, is expected to open this summer at the corner of College and Evans streets. The facility will also include a daytime health clinic operated by Newberry County Memorial Hospital.


Music to Host Piano, Saxophone Recitals Next Week

March 14, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College will host two musical performances next week, featuring a concert pianist and celebrating a composer’s five decades in his craft. Both performances will be held in the college’s Alumni Music Center Recital Hall, free and open to the public.


Dr. Evan Mitchell, concert pianist and educator from the University of Florida, will perform March 21 at 7:30 p.m. Part of his solo recital tour, the program titled, “Reflections” will include works by Florence Price, Missy Mazzoli, and Franz Schubert.


On March 23 at 7 p.m., Dr. Barry McGinnis, professor of music at Newberry College, will perform a recital in honor of his collaboration with composer and educator Dr. Howard Buss.


The saxophonist will be joined by clarinetist Zachary Bond '12; Dr. Cory High, adjunct professor of percussion; pianist Alice Ramirez, college organist and accompanist; and vocalist Dr. Chris Sheppard, associate professor of music and department chair.


Over the last 50 years, Buss has published more than 280 works of contemporary classical music to international acclaim, including instrumental solos, chamber music, symphonic, choral and band works. McGinnis began collaborating with Buss in 2016, when they worked together on a saxophone piece for the North American Saxophone Alliance’s national conference. The recital, which Buss is set to attend, will include five of his compositions, four of which are dedicated to McGinnis. Two of these will receive their world premieres in the March 23 recital.


Advancement promotes Rice, Shealy

March 1, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College’s Office of Institutional Advancement has appointed Ivy H. Rice '22 as advancement services manager, and Laura Beth Shealy '16 as director of annual giving.


Rice joined the advancement staff in 2020 as an administrative coordinator. She earned her bachelor’s degree in health care management from Newberry College last year. She resides in Whitmire with her husband, Terrence, and their son, Xander.


Shealy returned to her alma mater in March 2021 as assistant director for alumni engagement and communication. She graduated from Newberry in 2016 with a degree in history. She resides in her hometown of Newberry.


The office is currently accepting applications for the position of alumni engagement coordinator. For more information, visit


"Ivy and Laura Beth have been an integral part of the advancement team for several years. As two proud alumni, I am excited to see them further their work and love for Newberry College through these promotions,” said Whitney Mitchell '09, assistant vice president for institutional advancement.


Presenting the 2023 Wise Piano Competition Winners

February 28, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College congratulates the winners of the fourth W. Darr Wise Piano Competition, held Feb. 11 on campus. This year's competition included a record 29 entrants across three divisions, which covered grades six through 12.


The division winners received cash prizes of $250, $100 and $50, respectively, along with additional Newberry College scholarships available for high school juniors and seniors at the judges' discretion. The winners are:


Division I

First Prize: Jonathan Mei (Mount Pleasant)

Second Prize: Brandon Luo (Apex, North Carolina)

Third Prize: Zhanshuo Zhang (Greer)

Honorable Mention: Vanessa Nguyen (North Charleston)

Division II

First Prize: Xavier Galloway (Columbia)

Second Prize: Benjamin Stickney (Lexington)

Third Prize (tie): Henry Sun (Greer)

Third Prize (tie): Spencer Smith (Greenwood)

Honorable Mention: Joseph Minka (Greer)

Honorable Mention: Sylvia Tong (Durham, North Carolina)

Division III

First Prize: Bryan Ouyang (Greer)

Second Prize: Roger Luo (Central)

Third Prize: Alexia Liu (Simpsonville)

Honorable Mention: Dominic Minka (Greer)


The judges were Dr. Howard Kim, of Anderson University; Dr. Eunjung Choi, of Claflin University; and Dr. Linda Li-Bleuel, of Clemson University. Newberry College music students helped run the competition's logistics. The event was hosted by the Newberry College Department of Music and organized by Dr. Sarah Masterson, associate professor of music and concert pianist.


The competition, which began in 2018, is named in memory of W. Darr Wise, professor emeritus of music. He taught piano and music theory and served as college organist for 42 years until his retirement in 1998. Wise passed away in 2021 at the age of 92.


Newberry Helps Ukrainian Refugees Find Work in Poland

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - February 24, 2023


NEWBERRY — It has been one year to the day since Russia began its large-scale invasion of Ukraine. As the conflict persists longer than anticipated, Lutheran churches in neighboring Poland are helping refugees find meaningful work to support their families while displaced.


Atop the perils of war, however, Ukrainian refugees must overcome yet another obstacle — the language barrier. The good news is, education efforts are finding support nearly 5,000 miles away, from members of the Newberry College community.


“Eight months into the war in Ukraine, the needs of the refugee and host communities in Poland are shifting. What initially was primarily a cash-based response on behalf of the LWF will now be expanded into the areas of protection and social cohesion, as well as education,” the Lutheran World Federation reported in October.


The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland’s parish in Radom — a city of about 230,000 about 65 miles south of the capital, Warsaw — is one of a handful of Lutheran churches educating adult refugees for life in Poland, however temporary it may be. Newberry College sophomore Kornelia Rudkowska calls this parish home. Her father, Wojciech, is its pastor, and her mother, Katarzyna — one of the first nine Lutheran women to be ordained in Poland — is the local program’s director.


“Previous experience in working with refugees teaches us that the most urgent need is for them to quickly master the language of the country in which they found shelter,” said Kornelia, adding that about 9,000 Ukrainian refugees have registered in Radom so far. “Refugees, despite the fact that they often have high professional qualifications, do not find work. The biggest barrier is poor knowledge of the Polish language.” 


The program, titled “I Overcome Barriers,” started twice-weekly Polish classes on Jan. 23. The 20-week course is taught in line with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, or CEFR. Fortunately, Polish and Ukrainian are similar enough that refugees are not “starting from scratch” linguistically.


The program currently has 33 students, mostly women, divided among three groups taught by member Halina Twardosz-Bobryk (right). “The smaller the group, the more effective it is to learn a foreign language,” said Rudkowska. “Two have even signed up for my mum’s church choir.”


The project is supported by the Lutheran World Federation and contributions from member churches and institutions, including Newberry College. “Campus Ministry raised about $6,700 from private donations to support refugees in Radom,” said Campus Pastor David Coffman ’97. Included in the total is $1,000 generously given by the Newberry Opera House, he added. The funds came from proceeds of last month’s visit by the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine.


The demand for these language courses has only increased. Donations collected and sent through Newberry College have directly allowed the Radom program to launch its third class, Rudkowska said.


Over 1.4 million Ukrainian refugees have registered to stay in Poland, far more than any other country. According to the Polish Family and Social Policy Ministry, around 900,000 Ukrainians have found employment in the country since the invasion began.


Top: One of the Polish classes at the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Radom.


College’s 65th Jazz Festival to feature saxophonist Jeff Coffin

February 23, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College invites you to enjoy world-class artists and music at its 65th Jazz Festival, to be held March 3-4 on campus. The event will coincide with the South Carolina Band Directors Association’s 25th Jazz Performance Assessment.


The weekend will include clinics and concerts with two all-state jazz ensembles, and performances by a record 71 middle and high school jazz bands from across South Carolina. The big event will be a special concert by the Newberry College Jazz Big Band, featuring guest artist Jeff Coffin, educator and member of the Dave Matthews Band.

“We are so excited to host a record number of school bands, and we’re especially excited to feature the legendary Jeff Coffin,” said Dr. Jerry Gatch, director of bands at Newberry College. “This event is a great opportunity for students from middle school, high school and college to grow as musicians and work with some great jazz educators.”


Coffin, the event’s headliner, is a three-time Grammy Award-winning saxophonist, Yamaha artist and composer. The Maine native performed with Bela Fleck & the Flecktones before joining Matthews in 2008. He also fronts his own bands, Jeff Coffin & the Mu'tet and the Viridian Trio, and he boasts more than 10 solo CDs. Coffin holds a bachelor’s in music education from the University of North Texas, and he serves on the music faculty at Vanderbilt University.

Throughout the weekend, the middle and high school jazz ensembles will each perform three selections for adjudicators and receive a rating. These performances will take place in the Alumni Music Center and Wiles Chapel on Friday afternoon and all-day Saturday.

High school students from across South Carolina were selected through competitive auditions to participate in two all-state jazz ensembles. Leading the bands this year are professional musicians and educators Ron Westray and John Lamkin.

The all-state bands and the Newberry College Jazz Big Band will perform back-to-back beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Wiles Chapel. The college band will perform last at 1 p.m. The festival and concerts are free and open to the public.

The Newberry College Jazz Festival has been one of the longest-running of its kind in the nation, having started in 1958. The festival has been held in conjunction with the association’s event since 1998. Each year, the festival invites an accomplished jazz artist to perform with the College band and lead a clinic. Guest artists have included Jeff Coffin, Delfayo Marsalis, Steve Wiest, Terell Stafford, Al Chez, Victor Wooten, and others.


Photo courtesy of Jeff Coffin Music.


College Appoints First Chief Diversity Officer

February 22, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has appointed Dr. Altheia Richardson as chief diversity officer and vice president for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. She will assume the role in mid-May.


As chief diversity officer, Richardson will lead the effort to refine and implement a strategic plan advancing programs, policies and practices on campus. She will work closely with students, faculty and staff to integrate diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging into all facets of the college. Richardson will be the first person to lead this newly created department.


“Altheia is such a perfect fit for this position,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience leading diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging initiatives in higher education. She has a proven track record as a collaborator with all campus stakeholders and as a strong leader.”


Richardson has spent much of her career in various roles at Clemson University, most recently as associate vice president for strategic diversity leadership. In that position, she led a strategic plan initiative to help the university cultivate and maintain a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. During her tenure, she also developed and led the first multicultural affairs department and co-chaired the task force that created the university’s first diversity plan.


Richardson is a member of the National Association for Diversity Officers in Higher Education, and she serves as president of the association’s Carolinas chapter. She is also a founder of the Carolina Coalition chapter of the National Coalition Building Institute.


“I am excited to begin my journey at Newberry,” said Richardson. “I felt right at home during my visit to campus in January. It was clear to me there’s something very special about this institution, and I’m looking forward to working alongside the amazing team there to assist them in reaching their goals related to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. I hope to meet as many members of the Wolves family as possible upon my arrival.”


Richardson holds a doctorate in educational leadership and an MBA from Clemson University, and a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of South Carolina.


Biology Students Lead Institution in Alzheimer’s Research

February 21, 2023


NEWBERRY — Two Newberry College biology students have paved the way for mammalian cell culture research at the institution.


Over the last year, Kimberly Fuhrman '22 (Clinton) and senior Daniel Oluwarotimi (Lagos, Nigeria) studied how Alzheimer’s Disease begins and progresses. Their research was supported by South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities’ 2022 Undergraduate Student & Faculty Research Program. They presented their findings Feb. 16 at the consortium’s symposium in Spartanburg.


“What is really exciting is that this research brings mammalian cell culture to Newberry College, a powerful tool that has not been successfully offered here before,” said Dr. Lindsy Boateng, assistant professor of biology and the students’ research advisor. “This opens the door for many new opportunities in cell biology and genetics research that can be expanded to environmental impacts and developmental studies as well.”


Fuhrman and Oluwarotimi examined how two cellular proteins — p53 and Tau, which are associated with cancer and with Alzheimer's Disease — interact under various conditions. The first, p53, controls the cell division cycle and prevents uncontrolled cell growth that leads to cancer. The second, Tau, forms abnormal aggregates that partially explain why brain cells gradually die off in Alzheimer's.


“If we figure out how the protein tangles form in the first place, we may provide insight into how to prevent Alzheimer's Disease, or at least its progression,” said Boateng.

Fuhrman examined the location of the proteins using a fluorescence microscope in a dark room, and watched for changes in movement patterns under different conditions. Oluwarotimi examined the interactions between these proteins using protein purification and detection techniques.


“Their results suggest that we may have detected an interaction, but this research needs to continue to confirm the results and perform more experiments,” said Boateng.


SCICU provided $8,868 to support the research, which began in summer 2022 and ran through the fall. The consortium advocates on behalf of 21 private institutions across South Carolina.


Photos: (Top) Oluwarotimi at work in the lab; (Right) Boateng, Oluwarotimi and Fuhrman at the SCICU Symposium, Feb. 16, 2023.


Lawson to release new book of poetry

February 20, 2023


NEWBERRY — A Newberry College professor is combining South Carolina history and poetry as he explores matters of mental health and race in a new book.


Dr. Len Lawson, assistant professor of English, will launch his new book, “Negro Asylum for the Lunatic Insane” on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Center for Teacher Education.


“It has a narrative storyline, centered around the speaker of many of the poems who is a Black World War II veteran,” said Lawson. “He’s dealing with his own mental health issues, maybe some PTSD from different things that happened to him in the war. But he’s up in age now and he’s a custodian at an all-Black mental asylum, set here in South Carolina.”


Lawson said he based the setting on the infamous South Carolina State Hospital on Bull Street, in operation from the 1820s until the 1990s. His research included visiting the abandoned buildings and speaking with people who have experienced mental health issues. In his book, he wanted to explore how far mental health care has come, especially for the African American community.


“I want people to enjoy the poetry but also to learn about the history of what’s going on here, and to have an understanding about mental health in general,” he said. “Sometimes mental health is seen as an excuse for why people do certain things, or it’s abused and seen as, like, a crutch, but other people have no control over their conditions. So there are a lot of different patients in this book who deal with different issues.”


The book is Lawson’s third, following “Chime” (Get Fresh Books, 2019) and “Before the Night Wakes You” (Finishing Line Press, 2017). He has also edited two poetry collections, “Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race” (Muddy Ford Press, 2017) and “The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry” (Blair Press, 2021).


Lawson is a 2022 recipient of South Carolina Humanities’ Fresh Voices in the Humanities Award.


College to host Black History Month Events

February 2, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has announced a series of on-campus events throughout February to commemorate Black History Month.


Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 10 a.m. | Wiles Chapel
Wednesday Chapel service with homily by Nikki Brooks, director of human resources.


Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 10 a.m. | Wiles Chapel
Wednesday Chapel service with homily by the Rev. Jonathan Hemphill, assistant to the bishop of the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Hemphill also serves as staff liaison for the synod’s Diversity and Justice Task Force.


Wednesday, Feb. 15, at noon | Kaufmann Dining Hall
Muller Center Table Talk: Most of those who make Newberry College run did not plan to work on a college campus when they were younger. At Table Talks, students have a opportunities to share a meal and conversation with staff, faculty and coaches about their life journeys. We will highlight our African American faculty, staff and alumni as our table hosts this Black History Month.


Monday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. | Gnann Room at the Center for Teacher Education
Muller Center Film Series: "Making Black America." This four-part series from Henry Louis Gates Jr. recounts the establishment of the Prince Hall Masons in 1775 through the formation of all-Black towns and business districts, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, destinations for leisure and the social media phenomenon of Black Twitter. It takes viewers into an extraordinary world that showcased Black people’s ability to prosper, defy hate and define Blackness in ways that transformed America.


Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. | Wiles Theater
Screening of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (2022), followed by a brief discussion.


Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 10 a.m. | Wiles Chapel
Wednesday Chapel service with homily by Gerald Seals, associate professor of business administration. Seals also serves as pastor of Living Word Church and Fellowship in Columbia.


Thursday, Feb. 23, at noon | Kaufmann Dining Hall
Muller Center Table Talk: Most of those who make Newberry College run did not plan to work on a college campus when they were younger. At Table Talks, students have a opportunities to share a meal and conversation with staff, faculty and coaches about their life journeys. We will highlight our African American faculty, staff and alumni as our table hosts this Black History Month.


Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. | Alumni Music Center Recital Hall
This Open Mic Night invites students, faculty and staff to share a poem, speech or song from your favorite Black writer or artist regarding Black history, or share an original work.


Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. | Gnann Center at the Center for Teacher Education
Book launch and Q&A for “Negro Asylum for the Lunatic Insane” by Dr. Len Lawson, assistant professor of English. Lawson is the author of “Chime” (Get Fresh Books, 2019) and “Before the Night Wakes You” (Finishing Line Press, 2017), and a 2022 recipient of South Carolina Humanities’ Fresh Voices in the Humanities Award.


Board of Trustees approves second master’s degree, continues Tuition Promise, welcomes new members

February 1, 2023


NEWBERRY — The Newberry College Board of Trustees has approved the addition of a second graduate program, continued the Tuition Promise for incoming students, and welcomed four new members in its Jan. 27 meeting.


The Master of Science in sport management and leadership is set to launch this summer, becoming the College’s second graduate-level program. The online degree program can be completed in as few as 12 months.


“This program will equip students with the skills, knowledge and ability to succeed in a high-demand, growing field, from professional sports to education and municipal organizations,” said Dr. David Harpool, associate vice president for online and graduate programs. “Taught by expert faculty, sport management and leadership will offer hands-on experience in a flexible format at a competitive price.”


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the sport industry to grow by $600 billion by 2025, with tens of thousands of new jobs created. The curriculum will include courses in leadership, change management, sport business, finance, marketing and public relations, and research. Tuition for the program is set at $575 per credit hour. The board also approved a discount for full-time College employees who enroll in the College’s graduate programs.


Sport management and leadership joins the Master of Science in organizational development and leadership, launched in 2021. Plans are in place to add graduate programs in criminal justice, public administration, and education in coming years.


The board also voted to extend the College’s Tuition Promise, program which freezes tuition for incoming first-year students for their four years at Newberry College.


“You really have to look at not just one year of college, but four years, and when new students and families come to Newberry, they know their tuition rate is locked in for their college career,” said Rob Best '71, chair of the Board of Trustees.


The program was enacted in 2019 as a vital part of the College’s commitment to accessibility and affordability. While the Tuition Promise does not apply to room and board costs, incoming students’ tuition will not increase during their second, third and fourth years.


Finally, the board approved changes to its membership, welcoming four new members and extending terms for four members.


William “DD” Boyd '80, Mark Hammond '86, Dr. Lisa Wagner '91, and the Rev. Lamont Wells will begin their terms on the board.


Boyd is a retired personnel manager and development partner for Michelin Tire. In his community, he has served on the board of directors for United Way of Cleveland County, North Carolina, and for GLEAMNS Head Start of Cherokee, Union and Spartanburg Counties in South Carolina. He is a proud member of the Newberry College Athletic Club, and of the Laurens High School, Newberry College, and South Atlantic Conference halls of fame. He resides in Simpsonville with his wife, Barbara, and the couple has two children, Derek and Adrian.


Hammond has served as South Carolina’s secretary of state since 2003. Throughout his public service, he has been Spartanburg County clerk of court, and chair of the business services committee and co-chair of the international relations committee of the National Association of Secretaries of State. He has been honored with the association’s Medallion Award in 2017, and as a Henry Toll Fellow by the Council of State Governments. Hammond is a 2019 inductee into the South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame and a 2007 recipient of Newbery College’s Thomas A. Epting Outstanding Alumni Award. He resides in Spartanburg with his wife, Ginny, and the couple has three children, Matthew, Ross and Grace.


Wagner has worked as a pediatric occupational therapist for over 30 years, striving for excellence in patient care, research and education. She has developed a variety of assessment tools, spoken at various national and international conferences, and published peer-reviewed journal articles and a book chapter. She is a former president of the Newberry College Alumni Association. Wagner resides in Pickens with her husband, William “Woo” Wagner '89, and the couple has two children, Jacob and Samantha, and one grandchild.


Wells was named executive director of the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities on Jan. 3. He previously led ELCA Campus Ministry since 2019. He also serves as national president of the African Descent Lutheran Association. He succeeds the Rev. Mark Wilhelm, who served as the network’s director from its formation in 2015 until his retirement last month.


The board also extended three-year terms for Richard Herrington '69, Hugo “Hap” Pearce '67, Patricia Pearson, and Dr. Lenna Young '77. Outgoing member Misty West was recognized at the meeting for her nine years of service to Newberry College.


Photo: Board chair Rob Best '71 addresses fellow trustees at their Jan. 27 meeting.


Newberry leads in education with GROW Symposium

January 31, 2023


NEWBERRY — Newberry College’s teacher education division hosted its 9th GROW Symposium on Jan. 27 at the Center for Teacher Education.


The conference brought together 153 student teachers from five institutions — Newberry College, Anderson University, Columbia College, Lander University and Presbyterian College — to prepare for careers in education.


The event included seminars and workshops from veteran educators, financial advice from Thrivent, and a teacher clothes closet provided by the Palmetto State Teachers Association. The event also featured a career fair of 46 school districts from across South Carolina.


“It’s grown so much since we started it almost 10 years ago, from 18-20 students and five school districts to about 150 students and over 40 districts” said Deborah Poston, assistant professor of teacher education. “I think we’re making a difference because we’re giving them professional development that’s really geared for them.”


Several students left the event with job offers in hand. One Newberry College senior, Jillian White, of Irmo, shared that she had accepted a position at Blythewood’s Westwood High School earlier that day.


“It’s shown me more of what my first year of teaching is going to be like, helped me meet new teachers and get advice from them, from what they’ve learned,” said senior Rebecca Watson, of Aiken, about the event.


Among the symposium’s presenters were Newberry College alumni and educators Sarah Bouwkamp ’19Sunshine Hayes '06Lindsey Fallaw ’16 and Taylor Gooding ’22.


“The pure enthusiasm and eagerness of future teachers is unmatched,” said Bouwkamp, who teaches at Saluda Elementary. “Newberry College has been integral in my career. My continued connection with the College through events like this just proves the essential nature of the relationships I made with my professors. These same professors put on this phenomenal event and continue to grow the future generation of teachers. Any opportunity I can have to assist in that, I will always take.”


Photo: Taylor Gooding '22 offers tips as a first-year teacher. She currently teaches at Saluda Elementary in Saluda, S.C.

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