Newberry College welcomed 76 graduates to the ranks of alumni Saturday in the largest winter commencement in school history.
The commencement exercises were conducted in Wiles Chapel, on the College campus.
“This is an exciting day for all of you, graduates and families,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “I hope you will enjoy this momentous occasion as the graduates complete their time here at Newberry College and begin a new chapter in their lives.”
In addition to the baccalaureate degrees, the College awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree to the Rev. Kevin Strickland. A 2004 Newberry graduate, Strickland took office earlier this year as bishop of the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
“Newberry College changed my life, and I hope you will say it has changed yours,” said Strickland. “I look forward to seeing what you, the Class of 2019, do as graduates of Newberry College.”
The College also honored two retiring professors with emerita status: Dr. Marilyn Schroer and Dr. Marilyn Seymour. Schroer, associate professor of psychology, completed her 27th year as a member of the Newberry faculty. Seymour, associate professor of English, retired in May after 10 years of service to the institution.
Each spring, the Student Government Association elects a Professor of the Year, who in turn speaks to the graduating class the following December. Dr. Alicia Davis, associate professor of accounting, delivered the commencement address.
“Today, you need to decide exactly, ‘what type of person am I going to be professionally? What type of contribution am I going to make to the world from here on out?’” said Davis. “Today is your starting line.”
“You can make a difference, and this world needs a difference,” said Scherrens, after the graduates moved their tassels. “And the difference that you offer is the first edition of you.”