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Newberry College welcomes historic TV camera collection

May 20, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College's Langford Communications Center is now home to several rare pieces of broadcast history: a collection of television cameras that tell the story of color television from the 1960s to the 1980s.


The four cameras are from the collection of radio personality and voiceover artist Bobby Ellerbee, the longtime voice of "Sheriff" on the Adult Swim series "Squidbillies." A broadcast history enthusiast, Ellerbee started collecting television cameras many years ago. He also created the acclaimed "Eyes of a Generation" website, which not only showcases his camera collection but has collected hundreds of stories and thousands of photographs and artifacts from the first century of television history.


When Ellerbee recently bought a new home that didn't have as much room for his collection, he called his friend and fellow broadcast historian, Dr. Jodie Peeler, professor of communications at Newberry College, and offered to lend four cameras for display in the Langford Center. Peeler transported them from Ellerbee's home in Winder, Georgia, in February. With the help of a few students, Peeler reassembled the cameras and prepared them for display.


"It's a very good thing for all of us," Peeler said. "Bobby really believes in the historical value of these cameras, and he's happy to have them in a place where up-and-coming generations can learn from them. For me, as a teacher, there's no better learning tool for our students than the real thing. And as a historian, for me it's a pure treat to have these rare treasures on display in our building."


The four cameras are an RCA TK-42, a large four-tube color camera built in the mid-1960s and used by many television stations when they switched to locally produced color programs; a Marconi Mark VII, a British-built camera from the late 1960s; a 1976 vintage Ikegami HK-312, the first all-electronic computer-controlled camera; and an RCA TK-47, introduced in 1978, which won an Emmy award for its innovative technology.


The Marconi, which currently wears CBS markings, originally belonged to Tele-Tape Productions in New York and was used in the production of several nationally televised shows, including the first two years of "Sesame Street." The Ikegami, which Ellerbee outfitted with ABC markings, has an ABC property label on its box lens. The TK-47, wearing NBC markings, belonged to a station in Indianapolis, and the TK-42 was originally delivered to a Minnesota station in 1966. All the cameras are displayed on period-appropriate studio pedestals and are made to appear as they would have looked while in service.


Ellerbee's four cameras join Peeler's own TK-47, which belonged to KCET-TV in Los Angeles and was used in the production of Dr. Carl Sagan's 1980 PBS series "Cosmos." Peeler has had the camera and its control room equipment on display in her office for the last several years.


While none of the cameras on display at Newberry can make pictures any longer, they still tell stories that hold meaning for modern television.


"It's interesting to look at that huge TK-42 and realize the video you can capture on the average smartphone is so much better than anything that 260-pound camera could ever do," Peeler said. "But you can't really appreciate how far we've come until you see that older technology for yourself. These four cameras really demonstrate the evolution of color television: from analog to digital, on through to the incredibly capable high-definition cameras we now use in our television studio."


Guided tours of the collection may be arranged with Peeler at 803.321.5225 or


Newberry celebrates largest-ever graduating class

May 13, 2024


NEWBERRY — On a victoriously bright spring Saturday, Newberry College conferred a historic number of degrees upon the graduating class of 2024. The commencement exercises were held May 11 on Setzler Field.


The spring and summer class formed the largest in the College’s history, with 179 undergraduates and 17 graduate students, for a total of 196. The class also included the inaugural cohort for sport management & leadership, the College’s second master’s program, which launched in 2023. View the commencement program and event recording.


Commencement Addresses

Since 2014, the honor of the spring commencement addresses has been awarded to members of the graduating class, selected by fellow seniors, faculty and staff. This year’s addresses were delivered by Ishita Singh, a business administration major from New Delhi, India, and Vanessa Wilson, an elementary education major from Loganville, Georgia.


“Yes, there were those 7:45 a.m.s that we did not want to attend, but we knew that if we didn’t, we would not be here today. Our professors were sometimes tough on us, but they know their stuff,” said Singh (right). “I hope you remember how Newberry College has given us lifelong memories and prepared us to be future leaders.”


“I want you to realize that everything you’ve ever feared, you’ve survived,” said Wilson (left). “That is why you are here today: because you already know that you can overcome your fears. So, as we close this part of our journey, you have no reason to doubt yourselves. Be thankful for the fear. Be thankful for everything: from the struggles to the victories and everything in between.”


Special Awards

The College’s most senior member of the faculty, Dr. Jesse Scott, professor of history, was presented with the title ‘professor emeritus of history’ on his retirement at the end of the academic year. He joined the faculty in fall 1985 as an adjunct instructor, joined the faculty full-time in 1986, was promoted to associate professor in 1991, and earned his full professorship in 2001. One of his most significant achievements has been the founding of the Summerland Honors Community in 1995.


“You leave a legacy of passion, purpose and personal attention, and have enriched thousands of lives. Our earnest hope is that you may enjoy your well-earned retirement to the fullest,” said Dr. David Harpool, interim vice president for academic affairs.


As a special surprise, Scott (right) also received the Luceo Mea Luce Award, the highest honor the faculty can bestow, given to individuals whose lives of devotion, learning and service exemplify the motto, “by my light, I enlighten.”


“His teaching, service, and scholarship — and his dedication to Newberry College and the local, state, national, and global communities we serve — stands as a powerful testament to the positive impact one person may make on countless lives,” said Dr. J. Tracy Power, associate professor of history and college archivist. “A modest estimate would be that he has taught, mentored, challenged, and encouraged more than 5,000 students since 1985. Dr. Scott, we honor and celebrate your lifelong devotion to Newberry College with the Luceo Mea Luce Award.”


The graduating class presents the Dr. L. Grady Cooper Awards to a faculty member and a senior 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 recipients were Dr. J. Tracy Power and Ishita Singh.


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 McGuire Raines, a biology major from Chapin, and Payton Cronen, a double-major in exercise science and sport management from Louisville, Kentucky.


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 Ja’kobe Bush, a social studies education major from Aiken.


Class of 2024 Quick Facts

The spring and summer graduates represented 20 states and nine other countries — Canada, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Bahamas, Sweden, India, Panama and Zimbabwe. The most popular majors were business administration (33), sport management (19), exercise science (18), nursing (16) and criminal justice (14). This year also saw the largest nursing class since 2013, as well as the largest master’s cohort since the College’s graduate-level accreditation in 2021.


Newberry inducts alumni into Hall of Master Teachers

May 9, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College honored six outstanding alumni educators with induction into the prestigious Hall of Master Teachers. The event was held May 8 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, educators who works outside the classroom, and heroes for diversity and equity.


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


Griffin Gunter ’13 received the Veteran Classroom Teacher Award. He teaches at Lexington County School District One’s College Center, which offers students the opportunity to earn an associate degree in high school. Gunter prepares freshmen and sophomores for dual-enrollment math courses. He works with the Gilbert High School wrestling program and makes a point of supporting other student-athletes in the off-season. He has also mentored Newberry College graduates in their first years in the teaching profession.


Dr. Terry L. Fellers ’69 received the William Dufford ’49 Retired Educator Award. Throughout his career, he taught math at Boiling Springs High School, served as a guidance counselor at Batesburg-Leesville High School, and taught night classes at Piedmont Technical College. After having retired from full-time teaching, Fellers now works in adult education in Newberry County. "Terry Fellers is all about the students,” said his nominator. “He only wants to push them to their greatest potential. There is no better cheerleader to have on your side.”


Kaitlynne Goodman ’22 was honored with the New Classroom Teacher Award, which recognizes teachers in their first five years. She teaches English at Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle/High School and advises the Senior Beta Club and National English Honor Society. She has worked to make sure parents are informed and involved, and that her fellow teachers are appreciated. “Ms. Goodman goes above and beyond to make sure her students know she cares about them. She challenges her students to think outside of the box and her classroom is very student-centered and student-led,” said one nominator. “Her passion and commitment to her students never fails to impress me,” said another.


Derrick Hines ’08 received the Educator Outside the Classroom Award. He mentors up-and-coming educators as director of the Teaching Fellows program at the University of South Carolina, and as a college coordinator for the teacher cadet program. His work takes him to high schools across South Carolina, where he inspires students to continue their education and even to pursue teaching as a vocation. He is a member of the Palmetto State Teachers Association and serves on numerous K-12 and college education advisory boards. He was a 2015 finalist for Dreher High School’s Teacher of the Year and a 2024 finalist for the University of South Carolina’s U101 Program Instructor of the Year. Hines also serves on the Newberry College Alumni Association’s Board of Managers.


Brandarius Jones ’20 and Dr. Peggy Barnes Winder ’86 were co-recipients of the Nancy Lou Anderson Glasgow '70 Diversity & Equity Warrior in Education Award.


Jones teaches fifth grade at Killian Elementary School and works as a defensive coach for W.J. Keenan High School’s football program. He also serves as the campus site coordinator for Newberry College’s Call Me MISTER program, which works to address the nationwide shortage of male elementary school teachers from diverse backgrounds. He has also been involved in community service efforts in the Columbia area, including work with homeless individuals. In July 2023, he received the Neon Apple Award from the Columbia Fireflies.


Winder has taught at Newberry College since 1990, when she became the college’s first Black full-time professor. In 2012, she assumed the role of director of diversity education and was instrumental in the creation of Dufford Diversity & Inclusion Week, which she spearheaded as committee chair for a decade. She also chaired the Multicultural Committee from 2013-22. She is a two-time SGA Professor of the Year, a 2011 recipient of the L. Grady Cooper Award, and a 2022 recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Service Award, among others. A skilled athlete and coach, in 1998, she became the first female inductee into the Newberry College Athletic Hall of Fame. In February, she was one of the first two women’s basketball alumnae to have their Newberry College jerseys retired.


Pictured: Dr. Peggy Barnes Winder ’86, Dr. Terry Fellers ’69, Kaitlynne Goodman ’22, Griffin Gunter ’13, and Brandarius Jones ’20.


Seniors honored by City of Newberry

May 8, 2024


NEWBERRY — The City of Newberry honored a dozen Newberry College seniors Friday as part of an annual tradition that celebrates the impact of college students on the local community. Newberry Mayor Foster Senn presented each student with a 2024 Community Service Award on the portico of Holland Hall, the campus’ main administrative building. The student honorees were as follows:


Armando Acosta, of Gainesville, Florida, is a nursing major and a member of the men’s wrestling team. He has volunteered with health screenings at Mid-Carolina and Saluda high schools, with clean-ups at Gallman Place, and with the Harvest Hope Food Bank. This season, he was named to the Conference Carolinas Academic All-Conference team.


Wayne Belisle, of Summerville, is a computer science major and an active member of the Newberry College music program. He has played trumpet in the Scarlet Spirit Marching Band, Jazz Big Band and Wind Ensemble. He is a quiet and supportive leader who has been involved in numerous initiatives across the college and community.


Sierra Brogdon, of Leesburg, Georgia, is a biology major and a member of the softball team. She has volunteered with Newberry County Memorial Hospital and with the Newberry YMCA youth soccer program. She has also worked with the Miracle League Union and with Screaming Eagles Special Needs Athletics. The second team all-conference infielder started in all 50 games this season, earning a .368 batting average, a .424 on-base percentage, and 10 home runs in the 2024 campaign.


Payton Cronen, of Louisville, Kentucky, is an exercise science and human performance major and a member of the women’s basketball team. Through her work as an officer of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, she organized Make-a-Wish Foundation fundraisers and Life After Sport panels. She has also volunteered with the Newberry YMCA, Newberry Arts Center, Newberry County animal shelter, and Newberry Middle School, among others. In April, Cronen was also inducted into the Bachman Honor Society, which recognizes the top 8% of the graduating class for GPA.


Jayden Davila, of West Hills, California, is a nursing major and a member of the women’s soccer team. She has volunteered with the Living Hope Foundation food bank, Newberry Community Health Fair, Screaming Eagles soccer clinic, Walk Like a Wolf during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, women’s soccer youth clinics, and more. Throughout her career with the Wolves, she was named to the South Atlantic Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll three times.


D’Angelo Hair, of Irmo, is a vocal music performance major who has been a dedicated member of the Newberry College Gospel Choir, College Singers, and Madrigals. He has also participated in musical theatre productions at the college. He currently serves as a minister of music at Gethsemane Baptist Church in Blair.


Kensley Minick, of Irmo, is a double major in digital marketing and graphic design. Through her membership in Kappa Delta sorority and philanthropy chair for the Panhellenic Council, she has volunteered with the Girl Scouts and Prevent Child Abuse America.


Gracie Marchigano, of Greenville, is a vocal music performance major who has been active in the Jazz Big Band, Wind Ensemble, Saxophone Ensemble, College Singers, and in the Scarlet Spirit Marching Band as a drum major. She has volunteered in music classrooms around the community. She also worked in Emergency Medical Services for two years before enrolling at Newberry.


McGuire Raines, of Chapin, is a biology major on the pre-dentistry track. He has been a leader in the college’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Future Medical Professionals Association, and the American Chemical Society. He has served as a peer tutor and volunteered with the Living Hope Foundation food bank.


Jareed Raymond, of Estill, is a health care management major. Through his involvement and leadership of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., he has volunteered with community clean-ups, food drives and other philanthropic initiatives at the college and in the Newberry community.


Destiny Thomas, of Blythewood, is a double major in health science and exercise science & human performance and a member of the cheerleading team. She has volunteered with numerous back-to-school drives, Martin Luther King Jr. Day walks, and women’s self-care drives which have benefited women in the local detention center. Thomas is a charter member of the college’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


Diamond Wright, of Beaufort, is a health care management major. Through her work with the Hampton Inn near the Newberry Opera House, she has been an ambassador of the community and the college. She has also been a leader in campus’ First Year Experience program, a resident advisor, and a member of the Black Student Union.


Pictured (left to right): Gracie Marchigano, Wayne Belisle, McGuire Raines, Councilwoman Jackie Holmes, Armando Acosta, Mayor Foster Senn, Destiny Thomas, Councilman Carlton Kinard '16, Diamond Wright, Jareed Raymond.


Masterson publishes new book on overlooked composer

May 6, 2024


NEWBERRY — Dr. Sarah Masterson, associate professor of piano and music theory at Newberry College, has published a new book on an overlooked composer whose work she has revived out of the annals of history. The book, “Snapshots of Forgotten Adventures: Rediscovering the Piano Music of Philippa Schuyler,” published by Tyger River Books, will hit bookstore shelves May 9.


"With her captivating new book, Sarah Masterson shines light on the incredible life and compositions of Philippa Schuyler,” said Dr. Julia Mortyakova, chair of music at Mississippi University for Women and artistic director of the Music by Women Festival. “Masterson’s research, writing and analysis inspire the reader to further explore Schuyler’s fascinating career and work. What a delight for women composer advocates and music lovers alike. Brava, Dr. Masterson!”


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 war in Vietnam. She died there at the age of 35 while on a helicopter rescue mission. The book’s release date, May 9, will mark the 57th anniversary of her untimely death.


Schuyler’s music had been largely unheard and forgotten until Masterson reassembled, transcribed and recorded some of her lost work. Her research culminated in her first album, “Seven Pillars of Wisdom,” released in 2022 by Centaur Records. The album is the first-ever recording of Schuyler’s composition of the same name, which was written in 1964-65, inspired by the book by T.E. Lawrence.


Masterson is preparing another Centaur album, “Travelogue: Philippa Schuyler’s Music for Piano,” featuring more of Schyler’s solo piano works. The project is funded in part by Newberry College, as well as by the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. It is also funded by a generous award from the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina.


Schuyler’s musical inspirations included Haitian Vodou melodies, medieval French folk tunes, Ugandan hunting songs, and even an oratorio about Catholic martyrs in Africa. Combining these varied materials with tales from local history and her own systems of encryption, Schuyler created complex musical mosaics and miniatures, snapshots depicting a forgotten life of adventure. Based on years of research into Schuyler’s unpublished manuscripts, sketches, letters, personal audio recordings and other documents, “Snapshots of Forgotten Adventures: Rediscovering the Piano Music of Philippa Schuyler” introduces audiences to the music of this accomplished yet overlooked composer.


Masterson joined the Newberry College faculty in 2014, and serves as coordinator of music theory, director of the music department’s social media, and founding artistic director of the W. Darr Wise Piano Competition. Her research focuses on the work of 20th-century American women composers.


The book is available now for pre-order in electronic and hardcover editions through Amazon,, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.


To learn more about Masterson’s work, visit


College announces new partnership with S.C. National Guard

May 1, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has entered a historic new partnership with the South Carolina Army National Guard. The agreement was announced Wednesday in a ceremony at Holland Hall on the college campus.


The enhanced partnership includes a $1,000 scholarship, acceptance of all tuition assistance from the South Carolina Army National Guard, and an on-campus liaison for students who are members of the guard.


“Every time I see a man or a woman in uniform, I know that that person has a calling, and that calling is one of the most selfless callings you could have. And that is to dedicate your life to protecting others,” said Newberry College President Maurice Scherrens. “We want to extend to all those who belong to the South Carolina Army National Guard a scholarship on top of the scholarships that we offer to all other incoming students.


“We think that you’ll add an element to the College, but more than anything else, it’s a way to, in a very, very small way, pay it forward to you for all that you’ve done, and all that your predecessors have done over the years, to keep places like this safe,” added Scherrens.


The event’s keynote was given by Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Jones, deputy adjutant general of South Carolina, who highlighted Newberry College’s history of contributions to the United States Armed Forces.


“We’re honored to help celebrate what I call an enhanced partnership with a university that has such a rich legacy of preparing students for success and for service,” said Jones. “I call this an ‘enhanced partnership’ because our relationship, the National Guard and Newberry College, has always been strong.”


Jones said that the college created the Student Army Training Corps during World War I and hosted a unit of the U.S. Navy’s V-12 officer training program during World War II. In 1945, the Navy launched the SS Newberry Victory, named in honor of Newberry College. Jones also praised “the countless Newberry alumni who have raised their right hands and swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and they’ve served around the world.


“Now is an exciting time to be at Newberry College, and we want to be part of that excitement,” said Jones. “We look forward, through tuition assistance, but I think more importantly, a presence on campus, to help inspire students, both in uniform and out of uniform. To dream more, to believe more, to learn more, and to become more.”


Scherrens cemented the partnership with a proclamation, which was read by Bill Nash, chief development officer, and presented to Jones.


The partnership will be facilitated on campus by Sgt. Gabriel Butler '09, recruiting and retention NCO for the South Carolina Army National Guard.


College honors supporters, confers honorary degree

April 30, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College honored several key supporters Friday night, expressing gratitude for continued service and support of the institution. The honors included induction into the John Bachman Founders Society and an honorary degree.


The society was established in 2015 to recognize and honor individuals, churches, foundations and corporations who have made significant contributions to the college. The distinguished member award is the highest honor bestowed upon a benefactor of the college, and it pays tribute to the recipients’ exceptional generosity, dedication and civic vision.


This year’s recipients of the distinguished member award are Billye and Peggie West.


Despite not graduating from Newberry College, the Wests have supported the institution for decades as longtime members of the Newberry College Athletic Club, major supporters of the Newberry Fund, which provides institutional scholarships and operations, and key contributors toward the Darby Nursing & Health Science Center. Billye West has also served on the Board of Trustees and received an honorary doctorate in business in 2014.


The Wests reside in Newberry and the couple has five children.


The college also presented Bruce A. Brumfield, president and CEO of Founders Federal Credit Union, with an honorary doctorate in community and athletic development.


In 2022, Newberry College and Founders entered into a historic $2.5 million partnership which has provided financial services for students, faculty and staff, including an on-campus branch and ATM, financial literacy curriculum, and completed and named the Founders Federal Credit Union Field House at the athletic stadium. The ribbon was cut on the 18,000-square-foot facility in September 2023, and the same ribbon was framed and presented to Brumfield along with the degree. The field house has provided well-needed space for Wolves athletics, including locker rooms, offices and reception areas, as the second of three phases of stadium renovations.


Brumfield has been with the credit union since 1988, and he has served as CEO since 2003. Under his leadership, Founders has grown to over $4 billion in assets, over 260,000 members, 40 locations and 826 employees. It is one of the strongest credit unions in the nation. Brumfield chairs the board of trustees for the Lancaster County Commission for Higher Education and serves on the board of directors for the Springs Close Foundation.


Brumfield resides in Lancaster with his wife, Michelle, and the couple has two children and three grandchildren.


Warriors On (& Off) the Mat

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - April 24, 2024


NEWBERRY — At the end of its 20th season, the Newberry College men’s wrestling program stands as a powerhouse of the South.


At least one All-American each season since 2008, for a staggering total of 46. Six consecutive conference titles, and 10 Super Region championships. Attendance at the NCAA national tournament every year since 2006, and four national champions. There’s little doubt that the Wolves are forged for battle.


This season, the ranks have been bolstered by two retired and one currently serving member of the United States Armed Forces: Jacoby Benjamin, JP Gamez and John Parker. Each started wrestling as a teenager, joined the military, and, though they took different routes, found their way to Newberry.


“These three in particular have brought so much to the program beyond what we even thought in the initial recruiting process,” said head wrestling coach Deral Brown ’13.


Benjamin, a senior from Richmond Hill, Georgia, began his college career at North Iowa Area Community College, wrestling for a year before joining the United States Army in 2015 as a combat engineer. In that role, Benjamin said he and his team entered an area before the infantry, sweeping it for explosives. After four years, he became an aircraft mechanic, working on electrical components of Blackhawk, Chinook and Apache helicopters. While on a mission at Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Benjamin suffered pectoral muscle and shoulder labrum tears. He passed the course and obtained the rank of sergeant, but a nerve was damaged during the ensuing surgery, ending his military career.


Despite this, Benjamin was able to return as a coach to the sport he loved. While attending Georgia Southern, he took his talents to Georgia’s Richmond Hill High, where, in an unexpected twist he would coach his soon-to-be Newberry teammate, Will Evans. Benjamin soon after applied to coach at Newberry. While there wasn’t an opening for a coach, there was a place on the mat with his name on it. With a degree already in progress and financial aid from the G.I. Bill, he transferred his remaining eligibility to the Wolves.


“Coach [Bryant] Blanton ['11] was a big push towards me coming to wrestle,” he said. "He stayed in contact with me, getting stuff in order. I came out to Super Regionals to watch them, get a feel for the team. I talked it over with my wife, and she was like, ‘hey, let’s do it.’”


Benjamin hadn’t been on the mat in 10 years, but after getting back into the swing of things, he said he is better for it. “It’s helped mold me as a person, as an athlete, and as a man, just with resiliency, confidence and maturity. I love being here, working with the coaches and a great team. The biggest difference between our program and any of the programs I’ve been in is they really preach academics first, wrestling second. We do weekly progress reports, and I’ve never seen that before. The fact that we have the wrestling success we do have, and the academic success, is just a praise to the coaches and the dedication of the team.”


In his time with the Wolves, Benjamin posted a 19-7 record. He plans to graduate in May with a bachelor’s in exercise science and human performance, with the goal of becoming an athletic trainer and continuing to coach. He and his wife are also expecting their first child this summer.


“Jacoby popped up later in the spring semester last year around this time,” said Brown. “He’s been such a breath of fresh air, the leadership he’s brought as an adult. He’s 29, going on 30, with a kid on the way, so just a different perspective than your traditional college student. That has really helped our team when it comes to the maturity it takes to win a championship, which is our goal at the end of the day.”


Gamez, a senior from Dade City, Florida, wrestled in middle and high school and joined the program at North Iowa Area Community for two years (where, coincidentally, Benjamin had been a few years before). He dislocated his elbow, and with his wrestling career set back a bit, he took a couple of years off from school, working various jobs. He joined the South Carolina Army National Guard in October 2020, graduated from bootcamp in July 2021, and enrolled at Newberry the following month. He attended One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and now serves as a cavalry scout in addition to studying full-time.


“We’re more of a stealth-operated kind of unit,” said Gamez. “Originally, U.S. cavalry scouts rode horses, and they were there to scout battlefields, locating enemy troops and using the terrain to their advantage. We do the same thing now except we’re mechanized. It’s cool.”


One of Gamez’s high school teammates came to wrestle at Newberry, and he “got the wheels turning for me,” he said. “It felt like home coming here. I wanted to come to a college with a good wrestling team. I never looked back after that.”


During his time with the Wolves, Gamez has stepped up as a starter in the 141-pound division, and he represented Newberry at the NCAA Super Region tournament, held at Lander University on March 2.


Gamez plans to graduate in May with a degree in business administration. He plans to combine his love of business and the arts, as he works to complete his novel and produces short stop motion animation films.


“JP, I can’t think of a bigger ‘team’ guy,” said Brown. “Any time the call was given to him, that we needed him to step up, he answered it, no questions asked. Perfect example was when Zach Harrington, our starting 141-pounder, he went down with a season-ending injury a month or two before regionals. But I called JP and said, ‘hey, man, we need you to step up, even though you’re undersized, and be the guy for the rest of the year. No complaints at all, did what was asked of him, answering the call for his teammates.”


A native of Temecula, California, Parker attended high school in Florida and was a one-time state qualifier before he joined the United States Marine Corps after graduation.


“I wanted to be physically challenged,” said Parker. “I wanted to serve my country and get a free college education while I was at it.”


He served four years of active duty as a Fire Support Man. “Basically I’d be telling the artillery, mortars, and if necessary, any aircraft where to shoot,” he said. “I went on a MEU [Marine Expeditionary Unit] so I was on ship for seven months just ready in case anything happened. We were all over the place: Hawaii, Guam, Thailand. We trained in Jordan and Kuwait.”


After he concluded his four years in the Marines, Parker looked forward to returning to wrestling and earning a degree. “My high school coach knew Coach Cy [Wainwright]. I saw that this program had two national championships going here, so I knew that it was going to be a solid program where I’d be able to improve, and I definitely have.”


In March, Parker won the 197-pound division at Super Regionals. He was one of five wrestlers to represent Newberry at the national tournament in Wichita, Kansas. He was defeated in the second round, and in the consolation round, he defeated Limestone’s Jack Trautman for the third time in the season. His tournament run ended to Nebraska-Kearney’s No. 8 Jackson Kinsella.


Parker finished his junior season 31-9 and undefeated in South Atlantic Conference play, the best record on the team. Brown said he finished the season with 14 pins, which places him among the nation’s top 10, across all divisions. He was also named the Conference Carolinas Elite 23 Wrestler for his perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA, the best in the league.


Parker plans to graduate in spring 2026 with a degree in mathematics. He hopes to continue his education with a master’s in sport management, with the goal of eventually coaching wrestling at the collegiate level.


“John Parker is a guy who leads by example. Not super vocal in the room, but he leads in his work ethic and the amount of work he puts in here,” said Brown. “John is in here every morning at 8 a.m. with Coach Blanton working on things that he needs to continue to improve on, and so much stuff that people don’t even see. This season was his first time as our starter and he ended up winning the region. It’s so awesome to have him.”


Speaking of all three, Brown said, “The biggest thing they bring is a disciplined lifestyle. I think in any sport it's important to have, but especially college wrestling, given the weight management piece and trying to do that on top of your school, on top of the regular training regimen that we have to maintain. They are assets to our program.”


 Photos provided by Newberry College Athletics.


Newberry welcomes Sigma Gamma Rho

April 23, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has welcomed its newest Greek letter organization, the Upsilon Rho chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. The organization chartered the chapter and presented its nine charter members this spring.


“We, the members of the Nu Nu Sigma Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho, are so overjoyed and proud of each of these young ladies,” said LaVelma Toland, the chapter’s advisor. “The sorors have worked hard, learned an extensive amount of history about the founders of Sigma Gamma Rho, the philanthropies, vision and mission of the sorority, and formed a lifetime bond with one another.”


The chapter’s charter members included:

  • Sariah Alston, sophomore from Conway and chapter secretary

  • Savannah Armistead, sophomore from North McClellanville and chapter treasurer

  • Dyani Burke, senior from Columbia

  • Ayu Douglas, senior from Winnsboro

  • Victoria Noel, sophomore from Elgin and chapter historian

  • Marley Rourk, freshman from Summerville and chapter vice president

  • Kayshona Seabrook, junior from Charleston and chapter president

  • Irma Watson Perez, junior from Sanford, Florida and chapter financial secretary

  • Destyne Wells, senior from Laurens


Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. works to enhance quality of life for women and their families around the world through community service and civil and social action, Toland said. The sorority’s goals focus on progress in education, health, and leadership development.


Some of the sorority’s national programs include Operation Big Book Bag, for at-risk school-aged children; Swim 1922, a partnership with the U.S. Olympic Swim Team; and Women’s Wellness Initiative, which focuses on health issues impacting women and, specifically, women of color.


The sorority was founded at Butler University in 1922 and boasts over 85,000 members and over 500 chapters across the United States, Bermuda, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Germany and South Korea.


Sigma Gamma Rho is the fifth active sorority on Newberry College’s campus, joining Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Xi Delta, Kappa Delta and Sigma Sigma Sigma.


Photo: Seated, left to right: Kayshona Seabrook, Victoria Noel, Marley Rourk, and Sariah Alston. Standing, left to right: Tanya Batchelor Judge, southeastern region undergraduate chapter coordinator, Savanna Armistead, Ayu Douglas, Destyne Wells, Dyani Burke, Irma Watson Perez, and Chenelle Doctor, president of the Nu Nu Sigma alumnae chapter.


Newberry College bestows honors at Awards Convocation

April 12, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College bestowed its highest academic honor, induction into the Bachman Honor Society, upon 11 graduating seniors at Awards Convocation on April 12. The event also included special recognitions for scholastic achievement, service to campus ministry and student life, and the Student Government Association’s faculty and staff honorees.


Founded in 1962 by members of the Newberry faculty, 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 the Board of Trustees.


The following seniors were inducted:

  • Payton Cronen, an exercise science and human performance major from Louisville, Kentucky

  • Andrew Dominick, a physical education major from Newberry

  • Bailey Gause, a biology major from Prosperity

  • Cooper Gentry, an exercise science and human performance major from Inman

  • Caroline Getz, a graphic design major from Leesville

  • Hannah McGee, an elementary education major from Pelion

  • Amanda Morris, a digital marketing major from Pomaria

  • Kevin Raines Jr., a biology major from Chapin

  • Alexandrea Sullivan, a psychology major from Campobello

  • Vanessa Wilson, an elementary education major from Loganville, Georgia

  • Jonathan Wright, a business administration and accounting major from Myrtle Beach

The Jerrol S. Oxner Business Merit Scholarship recognizes excellence in scholastic achievement, service to the college, and potential for future accomplishments in graduate school, leading to success in business and/or teaching at the college level. This scholarship was presented to Taya Matt, a junior from Truckee, California.


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 Jonathan Wright.


The Joe and 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 Stembile Chikoore, a junior from Harare, Zimbabwe. A member of the field hockey team, her service experiences include the Newberry Arts Center, Newberry County Memorial Hospital, and the Living Hope Foundation.


The award for Outstanding Service and Leadership to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes was presented to Kevin Raines Jr., who has been involved with FCA and its Bible study throughout his time at Newberry. “He constantly finds ways to connect with people and make the organizations function. He plans to follow in his father’s footsteps as a dentist while impacting those around him for Jesus,” said Campus Pastor David Coffman '97.


The award for Outstanding Service and Leadership was presented to Jason Costlow, a freshman from Mauldin. “He has been a steady volunteer with chapel and a participant in campus ministry. He is an Eagle Scout, member of the Scarlet Spirit Marching Band, and has been recognized by the South Carolina Lutheran Men in Mission as the Young Lutheran Man of the Year for the Foothills Conference. Recently, he became the Newberry College representative to the Region Nine Lutheran Student Movement Board,” said Coffman.


The Campus Pastor’s Special Service Award was presented to Bobbie Sides '80, chief of staff, who has served Newberry College faithfully for half a century since joining the staff in 1974.
The Office of Student Affairs presented three awards for individual contributions to student life at the college:

  • The Dr. Travis Ballenger First-Year Experience Award: Diamond Wright (senior from Beaufort), Tatyanna Chapman (sophomore from Myrtle Beach), and Campus Pastor David Coffman '97

  • Student Ambassador of the Year: Dayton Fields (senior from Seneca, Missouri)

  • Student Ambassador Rookie of the Year: Ella Allardice (freshman from Harare, Zimbabwe)

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 the Rev. Dr. Lerone Wilder, assistant professor of religion, as Professor of the Year; and presented the Sadie Crooks Award to Dr. Michael Smith, assistant vice president for student engagement & first-year experience.


Pictured: The Bachman Honor Society class of spring 2024: Raines, Wright, Wilson, Getz, Sullivan, Gause, McGee, and Morris. Not pictured: Cronen, Dominick, Gentry.


Ringer earns Excellence in Teaching Award

April 10, 2024


COLUMBIA, S.C. — Keith W. Ringer ’84, professor of practice in political science and public & nonprofit administration, is the College’s 2024 SCICU Excellence in Teaching award winner. Ringer was honored April 9 alongside his family at an award banquet given by South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities.


“It is an honor and privilege to work with such a talented and dedicated faculty and staff. I’ve been very fortunate to not only be a graduate, but to be able to give something back to the College,” said Ringer. “I get to teach my students not only the theory but also include real-world applications of concepts we discuss in the classroom. I have been truly blessed to be afforded the opportunity to watch my students grow and flourish not only in the classroom, but in their professional careers and lives. That is my reward.”


Ringer joined the Newberry College faculty in 1991, and he has taught courses such as American government, public budgeting, nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, public and nonprofit administration, personnel management and more.


His excellence in the classroom is backed by his experience in public administration, including 30 years as a program manager for the South Carolina Department of Education, and five years as executive director of the nonprofit South Carolina Purchasing Alliance. He has also completed extensive research into the effect of leadership in the House Ways and Means Committee on the budgetary process in South Carolina state government.


Ringer takes great pride in preparing his students for success, including assisting them in obtaining internships, writing letters of recommendation for law and graduate schools and career positions.


Ringer was honored in 2021 and 2022 with certificates for outstanding vision and outstanding service to Newberry College.


The second of three generations of Newberry College graduates, Ringer earned his bachelor's degree in political science and history in 1984. He also holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of South Carolina.


Newberry Wins Speech & Theatre State Championship

April 8, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College speech, debate and theatre students clinched the state championship at the South Carolina Speech & Theatre Association’s annual State College Festival Competition. The event was held April 6 on the College campus.


Newberry was represented by Jordan Seay (Camden), Gamahl Bobo (North Charleston), Sullivan Hooper (Lexington), Hannah Ghaly (Newberry), Kyndal Cathcart (Clover), Archkela Lane (Pomaria), Jada Felder (Cope), and Jenesis Hill (Snellville, Georgia). The students worked under the direction of Pat Gagliano, professor of speech and theatre; Dr. David Harpool, director of Newberry College Speech & Debate; and Bill Kuehl, director of enrollment for online & graduate studies.


The event welcomed representatives from six colleges and universities, including the University of South Carolina at Columbia, Lander University and USC Lancaster.


Students competed in 16 events including: Lincoln-Douglas debate, persuasive speaking, impromptu speaking, oral interpretation of prose and poetry, original spoken word, television broadcasting, duet musical theater, audition monologues, det acting, animated voiceover, storytelling and other events. First, second and third prizes were awarded in each event. Newberry College garnered the most top-three finishes across all events, winning the overall sweepstakes and the state championship.


Newberry students placed in the following categories:

Persuasive Speaking
2nd place – Jordan Seay

Impromptu Speaking
2nd place – Gamahl Bobo
3rd place – Sullivan Hooper

Lincoln-Douglas Debate
1st place – Hannah Ghaly
3rd place – Gamahl Bobo

Television Broadcasting
1st place – Kyndal Cathcart
2nd place – Archkela Lane
3rd place – Jada Felder

2nd place – Jenesis Hill

Animated Voiceover
3rd place – Gamahl Bobo

Oral Interpretation
3rd place – Archkela Lane


The programs thank the faculty, staff and administrators who volunteered to judge the tournament. This was the first time Newberry College hosted the competition in a decade.


College raising funds to repair Wiles Chapel organ

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - April 5, 2024


NEWBERRY — The pipe organ in Newberry College’s Wiles Chapel has seen a lot — 57 years of commencements, convocations, weddings, funerals, concerts and much more. It has provided musical counsel and melodious enhancement in some of life’s grandest and most sacred moments.


After decades of faithful service and with just about all its original parts, the instrument is beginning to show its age. To restore the organ to reliability and functionality, the College is requesting support from all who may have been moved by its majestic tones.


“Music touches more than our ears. It is a part of our soul and very being,” said Campus Pastor David Coffman '97. “The right piece of music can invoke joy and heartfelt sadness. The organ is a vital part of the ongoing ministry to the Church, College and community and needs to be restored.”


Equipped with 35 ranks and 1,994 pipes, the organ was built in 1967 by the Schantz Organ Company. The $60,000 purchase price (or about $556,000 in today’s dollars) was provided by Deems Haltiwanger (1897-1997), of Columbia, a faithful supporter of the Lutheran Church in South Carolina. Constructed simultaneously with the College’s Wiles Chapel, it would not be far off to say that the chapel itself was built around the organ.


“Called the ‘King of Instruments,’ the pipe organ is a powerful instrument,” said Tony Roof '85, organist at Pisgah Lutheran Church in Lexington. “From the softest to fullest sounds, the organ can comfort us when we mourn, heighten our celebration when we rejoice, and help us lift our praises to the Lord.”


The grand instrument was designed for the space by longtime College organist and music professor Darr Wise (1929-2021), who would command its keys for the next three decades until his retirement. Today, however, due to a number of factors, the organ’s functionality has become limited. The College is raising $350,000 to not only restore playability, but also to outfit the instrument for many more decades of holy harmonies.


“Some things have to be replaced. They don’t last forever, just like any other piece of machinery. It’s man-made,” said Dr. Jonathan Hall, College organist and coordinator of music education.


Hall said the biggest challenges to overcome stem from the organ’s console, the control center of the instrument where the organist sits. In short, in normal operation, the organist pulls stops, many of which activate ranks, or sets of pipes that share tonal characteristics and functions. These ranks belong to particular divisions of the organ, from the manuals (keyboards for the hands) or pedals (played with the feet). While the organ is turned on, air is pumped into the windchests. When a stop is pulled and a key on the corresponding division is depressed, a valve opens underneath the pipe to allow air to make contact with the pipe and produce sound.


In its present condition, the connection is not as stable between the console and the rest of the instrument, for various reasons. The windchests, which generate air for the organ’s sound, are wearing thin and need new leather. On the console, one of the three manuals does not produce sound at all. Due to aging among air-directing components, twenty-five of the organ’s 35 ranks are not complete.


“If you think about each of these [ranks] being an orchestral instrument, right now we're missing 25 instruments of the 35 that we have,” said Hall. “When something goes wrong with the pipes, like we have a cipher or something where it would just continuously play, then it's common practice to remove that pipe temporarily. So, if you were to play a melody, you would be missing notes.”


In addition to restoring some elements of functionality, part of the renovation will include updates to allow the organ to meet present-day demands. This includes digitizing the console, which currently communicates with the rest of the organ via air dash driven components. Further, the organ’s memory system, which allows combinations of stops to be programmed to switch easily on demand, includes only six available presets.


“Any service you play, this gives you six different options of presets. Organs today will have typically a minimum of 10 pages worth, typically about six to 10 memories, so we’re very limited if someone were to come play a recital. They would have to stop and program or pull the stops in time, which is very difficult and sometimes impossible to do, depending on the piece you’re working on,” said Hall.


The renovation would also include moving the console from the pit, in which it currently resides, to a mobile cart. This would create new space on the chapel’s stage, make the console more accessible to organists, and allow it to be moved depending on the occasion. With this refurbishment, the original ivory keys will be kept and built back into the console.


“All organs get updated throughout the years. That’s not unusual. We’re not asking to build a brand new console or start from scratch or get all new pipes. It’s just making this current and where it’s playable,” said Hall.


The fundraising goal will include $300,000 for the necessary repairs and upgrades, with $50,000 for an endowment to help with future maintenance costs.


“The Schantz pipe organ in Wiles Chapel has provided a majestic musical witness to our Lutheran heritage for the past 57 years,” said Dr. Huger Caughman '00, organist at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Newberry. “The organ restoration project will ensure its continued splendor and glory as we continue to serve the church and posterity.”


To give, visit and enter “Wiles Chapel Organ” in the designation box, or make your check payable to Newberry College, 2100 College St., Newberry, SC 29108, with “Wiles Chapel Organ” on the memo line. To learn more, contact Campus Pastor David Coffman at 803-947-2052 or


APRIL FOOLS: Newberry picks new nickname

April 1, 2024


NEWBERRY — After lengthy discussions with constituents across the entire Newberry College community, Newberry College has announced the adoption of the "Newberry Berries” as the official nickname for all the institution’s athletic teams. The decision is effective April 1.


“We are thrilled to unveil our new nickname as an homage not only to this community’s deep-seeded past, but to the sweetness of our present-day partnerships and hope for a fruitful future,” said President Maurice Scherrens.


The move finds precedent in the history of both the community and the College. When Newberry County was formed in 1785 from the Ninety Six District, the name came simply from what the earliest settlers thought of the land.


“One of the most persistent and most popular theories about the name is that the countryside was so lovely that someone called it ‘as pretty as a new berry,’” said Dr. Tracy Power, associate professor of history and College archivist. “Calling our teams the Berries — a strawberry is scarlet, one of the school colors, and who doesn’t love strawberries? — can be a way to unify us behind the miracle that is nature.”


Power said the “Berry” name is also part of the College’s history. The first known Newberry College yearbook, issued in 1906, was titled "The New Berry” and featured illustrations of strawberries on the cover.


The nickname “Berries” is also fitting for a community known colloquially today as “the Berry.” Conveniently, several Newberry teams, including baseball, women’s basketball and football, have already utilized the phrase on athletic gear and in other settings.


Constituents across campus are ecstatic about the change. The music department will officially rename the Jazz Big Band, led by Dr. Jerry Gatch, to “Jerry & the Merry Varied Berries.” Dr. Charles Horn, professor of biology, will lead an effort to cultivate a variety of berries on the campus quad. Campus Pastor David Coffman ’97 has announced “Fruit of the Spirit” as the theme for fall semester’s chapel services. Finally, the College’s alma mater will be rewritten to the tune of “Strawberry Fields Forever” by The Beatles.


An official logo package is being developed with input from students, alumni, faculty, staff and members of the Newberry community. The new mascot will incorporate the existing “Wolf” imagery. This not only honors the prominence of the animal in campus culture, but also provides mobility and aggressiveness to an otherwise immotile and nonthreatening — yet delicious — fruit.


Four designs have been presented, and online voting will take place until April 31. The Committee on Berry-Picking will also be accepting suggestions of names for the new mascot via social media.



College Opens New Little Free Library

March 28, 2024


NEWBERRY — Little Free Libraries are a global phenomenon. The small book exchanges number more than 150,000 around the world in over 100 countries — from Iceland to Tasmania to Pakistan. Now, a new Little Free Library at the edge of the Setzler Field parking lot at Newberry College will join the movement to share books, bring people together and create communities of readers.


This new Little Free Library will be the eighth in the Newberry area, according to This Little Free Library will be unique in its initial focus on books for adults. The stewards for this project, Angie and David Rachels, initially wanted to put up a Little Free Library in their yard to share with their neighborhood the books they had finished reading. “We are true believers in passing along books rather than collecting them in our house where no one else can read them,” they said.


However, they quickly realized that the library might not get much traffic at their house. After exploring all the Little Free Libraries in Newberry, they reached out to Newberry College for a collaboration. With the support of the College’s president, Maurice Scherrens, and library director, Reid Austin, they went looking for a good structure.


The Rachelses approached Andrew Wigger '13, then publisher of The Newberry Observer. Wigger was eager to help, and the Observer was able to provide a newspaper vending machine that was no longer in use. AJ Rusnak, physical plant director at Newberry College, was dedicated to making the machine usable and attractive. This collaboration now results in a new spot in our community for people to find and share books, all sponsored by Newberry College and The Newberry Observer.


Located between the sidewalk along College Street and the parking lot on the west side of Setzler Field, this Little Free Library will serve the people of Newberry as well as the employees and students of Newberry College. People are encouraged to browse and borrow. While the adage “take a book, share a book” is the default on any Little Free Library charter plaque, everyone is encouraged to treat those directions separately. Take a book if you find one you’re interested in. Share a book that you want to pass along to someone else, or return one when you’re finished. The stewards will curate the collection, keeping the books in order, adding to the collection themselves and removing titles that have been in residence too long.


This is the second Little Free Library at Newberry College. The first, located on the front lawn of the Center for Teacher Education, focuses on books for young people. The Little Free Library nonprofit organization has been honored by the Library of Congress, the National Book Foundation and the American Library Association for its work in promoting literacy and a love of reading. To learn more, please visit


Newberry marks Sexual Assault Awareness Month

March 25, 2024


NEWBERRY — Throughout April, Newberry College will host a series of events to raise awareness and provide resources to fight sexual assault and human trafficking. All events are open to the public and free, except where otherwise noted.


“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.”


Sexual assault makes up the greatest portion of on-campus crimes in the U.S., with 43%. That equates to approximately eight forcible sex offenses per 10,000 students, according to 2022 data compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics.


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.


On April 12, the college will host the inaugural Shedding Light on Human Trafficking & Exploitation Conference. The conference will cover every aspect of human trafficking and provide resources on how to recognize and deal with exploitation in a variety of circumstances, including law, business, social services, nonprofits and more.


The event is open to the public, with an emphasis on members of the social services, law, law enforcement, faith and allied nonprofit communities. The conference has been approved for six Continuing Education credits for law enforcement by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, and is seeking Continuing Legal Education credits. Spaces are limited, with a $150 individual registration fee. The registration deadline is April 4.


The conference is hosted by the Division of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, in partnership with the Muller Center, Stokes Trainor Chevrolet Buick GMC, Genesis Hub, Pope Parker & Jenkins, Newberry County, and the ERA Wilder Realty team of Tina Graham and Angela Reid. To learn more and register, visit


On April 18 at 4 p.m., the college will host its annual Walk Like a Wolf to benefit the nonprofit Pathways to Healing. Participants will walk a mile in support of survivors of sexual assault. The walk will begin at the Wolf Statue at the main campus entrance on College Street and end on the Campus Quad. Rebecca Lorick '02, executive director of Pathways to Healing, will deliver the keynote. To register, visit This event is sponsored by the Division of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences and Psi Chi.


On April 24 at 5 p.m., there will be a showing of the 2015 documentary “The Hunting Ground” at the Center for Teacher Education, 1121 Speers St. The film documents the incidence of sexual assault on university campuses and how administrators handle them. After the film, there will be a town hall discussion about the on- and off-campus resources available to Newberry College students.


For more information about Sexual Assault Awareness Month or resources on the Newberry College campus, please reach out to Caudill at


Hinga appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 22, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has appointed Dr. Bethany D. Hinga to serve as vice president for academic affairs, effective June 1.


“On behalf of the entire Newberry College community, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Hinga as our new VPAA. She will be an asset to the College as we continue to prepare our students for lifetime success,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “I want to thank the search committee for their commitment and expert analysis throughout this process, and our students, faculty and staff for their time and insight.”


Hinga brings 28 years of experience in higher education, with the last 14 years in leadership, most recently as assistant to the senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Nebraska at Kearney since 2017.


Previously, she served as associate dean for academic affairs at Morningside University; director of assessment at the University of Nebraska at Kearney; and chair of the Department of Chemistry, Geosciences & Environmental Science at Tarleton State University. Before moving into administration, Hinga served as associate professor of geosciences at Tarleton State from 1996 to 2012.


In her new role, Hinga will provide leadership for faculty and oversight for the college’s instructional programs and academic support services, all with a commitment to student academic and career success.


“I'm so thrilled to be joining the Newberry College community,” said Hinga. “From the moment I stepped on campus it felt like home. I look forward to working with the faculty, students, staff and executive team to help Newberry grow and flourish in the years ahead.”


Hinga received a very favorable response from students, faculty and staff, and survey respondents stated they were enthusiastic or very enthusiastic about her candidacy.


“Dr. Hinga stood out from the 108 candidates in both the knowledge and skillset needed to lead academic affairs at Newberry College,” said Dr. David Harpool, chair of the search committee and special advisor to the president.


Hinga will be in Newberry periodically between now and June to participate in college events and to relocate to the area.


Hinga is the author of “Ring of Fire: An Encyclopedia of the Pacific Rim’s Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes” (ABC-CLIO, 2015), and “Earth's Natural Hazards and Disasters” (Wiley/American Geophysical Union, 2024). She was also a contributing author and science advisor to the “Ring of Fire” episode of the Peacock series “The End is Nye,” starring Bill Nye.


She holds a doctorate in geological sciences from Southern Methodist University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in geology from Baylor University. Her husband, Gilbert, has built a higher education career in student affairs. The couple has two children, Ben and Semira, as well as two dogs, a cat and a parakeet.


Santiago inducted into SC Band Directors Hall of Fame

March 20, 2024


GREENVILLE, S.C. — David Santiago, director of athletic bands and assistant band director at Newberry College, has been inducted into the South Carolina Band Directors Association Hall of Fame.


He was recognized Sunday in a celebratory luncheon at Furman University during South Carolina All-State Bands weekend. The honor recognizes Santiago’s 38 years of teaching excellence, as well as his service to the association and state throughout his career.


“I am honored to be inducted into the South Carolina Band Directors Hall of Fame, and I am very grateful for the recognition,” said Santiago. “But as I tell people all the time, it's more of a testimony that I have taught in really good places, with really good kids and really good parent support. I’ve had success more because of that than what I put into it.


“I want to give the best to the students here and to anybody I can help out,” he added.


The honor was presented by Leslie Gilreath, president of the association, and Dr. Jerry Gatch, Newberry College’s director of bands and a 2013 Hall of Fame inductee.


“David Santiago is so well-deserving of this distinction,” said Gatch. “The quality of his work, teaching middle school, high school and college students over 38 years, makes him a prime candidate. Additionally, his service to the SC Band Directors Association makes him a ‘shoo-in!’”


Santiago joined the Newberry College faculty in 2017. Before that, he served the Chapin High School band program for 31 years and the Chapin Middle School program from the school’s opening in 1991. His bands received consistent ‘superior’ ratings at festivals and contests throughout the Southeast, as well as 29 consecutive Outstanding Performance Awards from the South Carolina Band Directors Association. In 1986, he founded the Chapin High School Jazz Band, which was consistently acclaimed at state, regional and national jazz festivals. Under his direction, the band performed at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, as well as in various other venues across the nation.


At Newberry College, Santiago directs the Scarlet Spirit Marching Band and Scar’s Army Pep Band, and is integrally involved in the recruitment of prospective music students to the college. During his tenure, the marching band has risen significantly in membership, skill and acclaim, quintupling in number since he arrived. He said he looks forward to directing over 110 this fall.


His other career achievements include honors such as the 1997 South Carolina Middle School Band Director of the Year, 1993-94 Chapin Middle School Teacher of the Year, the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence and 2013 Outstanding Jazz Educator Award, and his 2018 induction into the Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame.


The Columbia native said he comes from a family of musicians and educators, many of whom play trumpet, including him. He holds a master’s from the University of Southern Mississippi and a bachelor’s from the University of South Carolina, both in music education. He resides in Chapin with his wife, Kimberly, and the couple has three adult children: Christian, Colin and Nicole.


In addition to Gatch, Santiago joins influential names in the Hall of Fame such as longtime College band director Charles "Chief" Pruitt '50, as well as other College alumni who have made a difference in music education in South Carolina.


Photo (left to right): Dr. Jerry Gatch, David Santiago, and SCBDA president Leslie Gilreath.


Knowledge is Power: Keith Avery M’23

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - March 13, 2024


NEWBERRY — Keith Avery M'23 is no stranger to leadership in critical situations.


For the past 13 years, he has led the Newberry Electric Cooperative as chief executive officer. He guides and energizes an elite team that provides electricity to over 13,000 homes, schools, churches and businesses. He keeps watch over a complex 1,590-mile network of line with direct impacts on the daily lives of tens of thousands, itself part of a larger grid, powered by an industry evolving at the speed of light. In a business where a stray finger can take a life, steady hands are required on every end of the line. Throughout his career, Avery has stood at all of them.


In December, the 64-year-old utility executive crossed the stage at Newberry College’s Wiles Chapel to receive his Master of Science degree in organizational development & leadership. Avery says the degree wasn’t filling for a box on an application, but the fulfilling of a longtime personal and professional goal.


“I had started my master’s a few years ago and never finished it. I wanted to finish it more for me than anything else, and I liked what I saw at Newberry,” he says. “Even though I can retire right now, there’s still a lot that I need to learn moving forward. Our industry is going through a lot of change right now. In looking at the organizational development part of the curriculum, and then looking at the leadership part, I’ll need both.


“Plus, I wanted to do the master’s because I push my staff to continue their education, and if I’m gonna push them, I needed to continue and to get that done,” he adds.


For Avery, education is for life, and his graduate coursework has been a continuation of the training he began as a teenager, first in the South Carolina Army National Guard, then as a groundman for his local cooperative.


“When I was 17, I joined the Guard, went through basic training, infantry school, whole nine yards,” he says. “I was in for four years, and I decided to go to Officer Candidate School, went overseas twice, and I retired after 21 years as a major. I had no intention of going to school. None whatsoever. But the Army did me a good turn because they straightened my head out. I realized real quick that I did not know everything, so I needed to go back to school.”


Avery studied industrial electricity and electronics at Piedmont Tech, went to work for Laurens Electric, “started out as a groundman and worked my way up.” He soon made it to lineman, then crew leader, moved into engineering, and then to marketing, “of all things.” While climbing the ladder for Laurens, figuratively and literally, Avery worked toward a bachelor's degree at Limestone, which would allow him to be promoted in the National Guard. He started work on a master’s several different times, and then, in 2011, Newberry Electric’s top slot came open.


“This job came up, I put in for it, and I was fortunate enough to get it,” he says.


Thirteen years into the job, Avery isn’t finished growing as a leader — a task he says is never really done, especially in an industry that is vital, dangerous, and ever-evolving. From preserving and growing reliable electricity generation sources, to maintaining local systems and load capacity, to keeping technology up-to-date, to battling the elements and ensuring crew safety, to leading a team and a community when it matters most, there’s no room for complacency.


“It’s bigger than losing a sale, or losing a client, or something like that. Our folks literally can be killed on a daily basis in the jobs that they do,” he says. “When you get into a situation to where your work impacts people's lives, you’ve got to be able to handle that with empathy.”


He talks about the rolling blackouts of Christmas Eve 2022, when temperatures plummeted into the teens, as a recent test of leadership on all fronts.


“The biggest thing is, I have to be up front. I have communications people, I have public relations people, but when a crisis happens, the leader of the organization needs to be the one out front with the plan,” he says. “I talked more to my staff than I probably did to some of my family members on Christmas Eve, until there was enough going online.


“It can be stressful. I’ve been fussed at before because somebody’s had a high power bill. But if you really want to be cussed at, lose power during Christmas Eve when mama’s trying to cook dinner,” he says. “It's easy to lead when things are going well. True leaders come to the forefront when they're involved in a crisis.”


Avery began Newberry’s ODL program in January 2023, and he says his coursework was beneficial and applicable from day one.


“The [organizational development] part of it — navigating change, developing, looking at processes, those type things — have helped me look at how to manage change better in the future,” he says. “From a leadership perspective, the biggest thing with me, in kind of like the twilight of my career, is that it’s my job to make sure that somebody in my staff is ready to move up. So the coaching part of it, and how to do the coaching, has been very beneficial.”


As a seasoned CEO, he says having experienced faculty was quintessential to his success. “All of my professors have real world experience. They’re able to relate to the students, especially the students like myself,” he says. “We can have conversations where I can articulate what I'm dealing with on a day-to-day basis and they understand it. These folks have lived it.”


Avery also says that, even though the degree was offered online, he forged meaningful connections with his classmates, who represent all walks of life. “I was talking about something that we were doing on economic development, and we were trying to determine how to attract young people to Newberry. And there was one young lady who gave me a lesson in life. She said, ‘why don’t you ask them?’ It was like a lightbulb went off in my head.


“This course has taken me to a different level. I wish I had done this 15 years ago,” he adds.


Leading by example, Avery demonstrates the power of education, not just as a way to keep the lights on, but to help oneself and others truly shine.

This article originally appeared in Newberrythe lifestyle magazine of Newberry County.


Historic MacLean Gymnasium takes on new life

by Jay Salter '19 | External Communications Coordinator - March 7, 2024


NEWBERRY — MacLean Gymnasium has fortified the Newberry College skyline and its campus community since its construction in 1923. Now, after a major renovation, the space has been given new life, and the historic playing floor has been named in memory of legendary men’s basketball coach Nield Gordon.


Over much of 2023, the gymnasium underwent a comprehensive restoration to breathe new life and functionality into the space. The iconic playing floor was refinished, repainted, and damaged boards were replaced, new windows were installed, and heating and air conditioning were added.


The renovated building will serve as a refreshed practice space for cheerleading, the Newberry College Dance Team, the women’s acrobatics & tumbling team, intramurals, and other student events.


“We are pleased to announce we have completed renovations to historic MacLean Gymnasium,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “None of this would have been possible without the generous support of numerous donors: former student-athletes, alumni, friends of the College, and our community partners. Having received these needed renovations, MacLean Gym will once again be the hub of campus activities for generations to come.”


The basketball court itself was dedicated in memory of Gordon (right), who led the program from 1963 to 1977. In his final season, he led the only undefeated college team in the country, posting a regular season record of 35-0. The team fell in the second round of the NAIA tournament in its third consecutive national run. That year, he was named the NAIA National Coach of the Year. He remains the winningest basketball coach in Newberry College history.


Gordon was inducted into the Newberry College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. He was also a member of the halls of fame for Winthrop University, Wingate University, Furman University, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and the State of South Carolina. He passed away on May 3, 2022, at the age of 91.


“Coach Gordon was a very animated coach. He knew how to coach, how to push his players to play to their capability,” said Moses King '76, Newberry men’s basketball Hall of Famer. “He was a fun person to be around. He didn’t treat me like a player, he treated me more like a son. He used to say, ‘I can always replace a vehicle, but I can’t replace you, so you be careful out there.’ He will be a person I will always be grateful to, because he helped me to become the person that I am today.”


MacLean Gymasium was home to Newberry basketball for 58 years before Eleazer Arena took over in the 1981-82 season. It has hosted Homecoming balls, commencements, competitions, receptions, and numerous other functions throughout its century of service.


The building was named in 1955 for Fred “Dutch” MacLean (1888 — 1964), legendary student-athlete, English professor, and coach for football, basketball and baseball from 1921-38. MacLean led Newberry basketball to four consecutive state championships between 1921 and 1924. In 1976, he was posthumously inducted as one of the inaugural members of the Newberry College Athletic Hall of Fame.


Newberry launches health care management online

March 5, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College has announced that it will move its health care management major entirely online, effective with the next online term which begins April 29.


The program’s move to an online format will allow the College to better meet growing demand from students and from the health care industry. Students, many of whom are full-time professionals, will be able to complete coursework affordably, anytime, anywhere, and earn their degrees in as few as 18 months. With a wider network of students and an accelerated path to graduation, Newberry will be well-positioned to fill unprecedented needs in the health care field.


“An online format allows us to reach students away from the Newberry campus who want a career in health care management,” said Dr. Steven R. McClung, dean of business, communications & sport. “I believe that this move will grow the program and that it could be one of the largest programs at Newberry College.”


The program, launched in fall 2016, prepares students to pursue the policies and administrative processes outside of direct patient care. Graduates’ career possibilities include work in health insurance, public health agencies, human resources, information systems, public relations, patient care services and more.


For the online program, 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. Each term lasts seven-and-a-half weeks.


Medical and health services managers earn an average salary of $104,830 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry is expected to grow by 28% by 2032, with an estimated 54,700 openings each year.


Health care management becomes Newberry’s sixth fully online bachelor’s-level program, joining business administration, criminal justice, psychology, RN-to-BSN, and South Carolina’s only baccalaureate program in respiratory therapy.


Newberry College’s admission is rolling, and prospective students are encouraged to apply early to secure their spots in the upcoming term. The College also offers a transfer policy for prospective students who already hold college credits.


To request more information about the online Bachelor of Science in health care administration, click here. To apply for admission, click here. With questions, please contact Bill Kuehl, director of enrollment for online and graduate studies, at 803-321-5276 or


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. The program will accept new clients through Monday, April 8, in order to meet the April 15 tax deadline.


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. — Throughout his 97 years, Otho L. Shealy ’48 has played parts in both local and world history. His life’s journey has taken him around the world, from his home in Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina, to Newberry College, to scorched cityscapes of postwar Europe, and back.


Last summer, he came across his ticket to the world’s first experiment in international criminal law, the 1946 Nuremberg Trials, which he was able to attend while stationed there as a medic immediately following World War II. He donated the pass 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 gave us a chance to catch up with Shealy at his family’s business, Economy Furniture Co., where he happily reports to work five days a week.


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). 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.


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. However, he admits he moved to Savannah for a different kind of chemistry. “Mary was working as a secretary for a building and loan place. She lived around the corner,” he says.


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.


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 education, children & community, 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.”


Edit: The Early Childcare Management major has been renamed Education, Children & Community. Edited: April 1, 2024.


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.

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