College Honors Spring 2023 Graduates

 In Local News

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.

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. “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. “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).