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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.

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