NEWBERRY — Newberry College students filed into Wiles Chapel on Friday morning for the school’s annual Opening Convocation ceremony. Performed each year during the first week of classes, convocation is a time to welcome back upperclassman students, as well as bring the freshman and new transfers.
Mayor Foster Senn addressed students at the ceremony, encouraging them to venture off campus to visit the downtown areas, take their business to Wilson Road, and to visit Newberry’s local churches.
Senn explained that Newberry College students had already achieved its slogan of “passion and perseverance” by using an example of the nursing students who addressed council this past spring on the dangers of smoking and second hand smoke and the impact it had on council, which has helped lead the beginning stages of a smoke free Newberry inside restaurants.
Senior Rachel Williams, president of the Student Government Association for Newberry, welcomed students new and old back to campus for what she described as a “new beginning” to their college experience.
Williams encouraged upperclassmen to “keep pushing” forward and the freshman students to make the most out of their next four years on campus.
“L-Y-L-S,” Williams said, which stands for Let Your Light Shine. “Someone is always watching, so we need to be the very best we can be at all times.”
Also welcoming students to campus for the fall semester was Hugo Pearce III, who asked them to consider the following problem:
If there are 168 hours in a week and approximately 16 of those are spent in classes, 32 hours are spent studying, then 120 hours, aside from sleeping are left open a week.
“How will you use your 120 hours?” Pearce said. “I advise you to make the best of them.”
Dr. Maurice Scherrens delivered the convocation message and began by saying there was no better place for him to picture himself that day than at Newberry College.
“Passion, purpose, and personal attention,” Scherrens said. “It is who we are and we will never lose that identity.”
Scherrens described the passion that the faculty and staff have for Newberry College and that to be successful, they must keep the students out of their mental comfort zone each day.
With applause from the students, Scherrens showed a presentation of the upcoming plans for the future of Newberry College including a revamping of the science and math building, Kaufmann Hall, the football stadium, and other areas of campus.
“You have made this past year the most special year of my life,” Scherrens told students and faculty. “My family and I are better because of each of you. Thank you for choosing to study and learn at Newberry College.”
Following the convocation speech, Dean of Students Kay Banks had the freshman students rise for the matriculation pledge and Newberrian Creed, a tradition for opening convocation and new students.
Before the recessional of faculty and staff, Scherrens stood before the audience asking them to repeat the phrase: “We are Family,” because to Newberry College, its students are the Newberry College Story.
Elyssa Parnell can be reached at 803-276-0625, ext. 108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.