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Columbia Business Monthly

Newberry Celebrates Graduating Class

May 09, 2018 03:44PM ● By Kathleen Maris

Newberry College hosted its spring commencement ceremony for the Class of 2018, celebrating the accomplishments of 141 graduates on Saturday, May 5, at 2 p.m., in Eleazer Arena. 

“This happy occasion brings us together to celebrate the achievements and realized goals of this senior class,” said Newberry College President Dr. Maurice Scherrens during his remarks at the ceremony. “Seniors, in partnership with your professors and mentors, each of you has invested four years in an effort to cultivate your individual potential into singular accomplishment." 

Student Commencement Speakers 

In keeping with the College’s practice of selecting students to give the commencement address, graduating seniors LaQuasha Nicole Jefferson and Benjamin Colton Herring were selected for this honor.

LaQuasha Nicole Jefferson graduated with a major in Physical Education with a concentration in Leisure Services and a minor in Coaching. She was a captain on the Newberry Wolves Women’s Basketball team, served as senior class president, and was selected as the 2017 Homecoming queen. She was a resident advisor and an alpha leader (a student team that leads incoming freshmen through the new student orientation experience).

“Think big and believe every step you take is necessary,” Jefferson said during her commencement remarks. “We have not only made an impact on ourselves and friends, we have changed our minds to become greater citizens.” 

Benjamin Colton Herring graduated with an International Studies major with a Spanish minor.  He served as the 2017-18 president of the Newberry College Student Government Association. He is on the Newberry Wolves baseball team and served on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. He is a Dean’s List student, a member of the Blue Key Honors Society, and was named to the South Atlantic Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll. He was a member of the Summerland Honors Program and was inducted into the Newberry College Bachman Honor Society and was named to the Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities.

“Newberry College has taught us all how to achieve happiness in the real world by making us lifetime learners, encouraging our passions, and focusing on services to others,” Herring said during his commencement remarks. “I challenge you to find out what is really important and ask the tough questions that our professors and peers have asked of us.” 

Senior Class Gift

Each year, graduating seniors make a class gift to their alma mater. This year’s class gift is a six-foot Pullman Bench, which will be installed on the patio of the new residence hall when construction is complete. 

Awards and Honors

Dr. L. Grady Cooper Award: The graduating class annually presents the Dr. L. Grady Cooper Award to faculty, staff or students who exemplify the loyalty and devotion to Newberry College that Cooper demonstrated during his long tenure as a professor of Religion and Greek. Professor Paul Smith and LaQuasha Jefferson were selected for this honor. Smith, an assistant professor of Business Administration, was recognized for his classes that offer practical and advantageous to students in their future careers. Jefferson has been involved in Salkehatchie Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, South Carolina Clay Conference, and volunteers as a basketball coach for the City of Newberry Office Parks, Recreation and Tourism. She was recently recognized by the City of Newberry for outstanding leadership and service to the community. 

Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards: These awards were established to honor one man and one woman of the graduating close who exemplify outstanding character and service to others, traits valued by Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan. 

Benjamin Herring received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. He is a Muller Center Research Fellow and volunteered in Quito, Equador for one month conducting a research project on the business strategies of non-governmental organizations in that country. He is active in the community, volunteering with the Harvest Hope Food Bank and Spanish Academy.

Hannah Lepaio was honored with the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award. Lepaio graduated with a double major in Psychology and Criminal Justice and was selected to present her capstone project at the Carolina Undergraduate Social Science Symposium. She is a Dean’s List student and was inducted into the Newberry College Bachman Honor Society. Lepaio was captain of the Newberry Wolves women’s basketball team and was a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. She is a Dean’s List student, served as a resident advisor, and was vice president of the International Student Association.

Dr. George B. Cromer Award: Established by the Class of 1938 in memory of Dr. George B. Cromer (College president from 1895-1904), the award is given annually to the graduating senior who exemplifies the qualities of academic excellence, leadership and personal integrity that Cromer demonstrated throughout his tenure. Brooks McCormick Allen was honored with this award. Graduating with Business Administration major and a minor in English, Allen served as a Student Marshal and was a Dean’s List student. He was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Blue Key and Sigma Alpha Pi honor society. He has served as president and chaplain of Tau Kappa Epsilon and is part of the Summerland Honors Community. Allen is secretary of the Newberry College Republicans, president of Future Business Leaders of America, and present of Sigma Tau Delta. He is a Student Ambassador for the Office of Admission and student editor of Lacuane, the College’s literary magazine. Allen was inducted into the College Bachman Honor Society and was named to the Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities.

Luceo Mea Luce Award: Newberry College presented Carol A. Bickley with the Luceo Mea Luce Award, which honors individuals whose lives of devotion, learning and service exemplify the motto, “By my light I enlighten,” associated with Newberry College founder John Bachman. Bickley devoted 50 years of service to Newberry College, including the last 35 as Registrar. The Newberry College faculty by acclamation bestowed this seldom-given award on Bickley in honor of her tireless decades of service to the College. The College also presented her with the traditional Windsor-style rocking chair in honor of her impending retirement from the College on June 30.