NEWBERRY — Anyone who has set foot inside Wessels Library on the campus of Newberry College has most likely come across the enthusiasm and hospitality of Peggy Winder.
Even though her office is located at the back of the library in the Student Success Center, it does not go unnoticed. A big, colorful sign above her office entrance welcomes students to step in at first sight.
Winder is a professor in the Department of Sport Professions and Director of Diversity Education, who began her teaching career at Newberry College in 1990.
A native of Lancaster, she holds a bachelor of arts degree in physical education from Newberry College, a master of science degree in Health and Physical Education from Western Kentucky University, and a doctor of philosophy degree in Health Sciences from Trident University International.
Because of her excellence inside and outside the classroom, Winder has received numerous accolades and honors, such as two time Newberry College Student Government Association Teacher of the Year and the Grady L. Cooper Award in 2011.
In 1999, Winder was selected as one of the 20 South Carolina Woman Making a Difference or Women in Sports, presented in The State newspaper, and was selected in 1998 as the First Female Inductee into the Newberry College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Despite such honors, Winder carries an admirable willingness to help others.
“I truly believe that it’s my calling to teach and to serve. Through God’s grace and mercy, family and friends, I have experienced much success in my life and I am so very thankful for that,” Winder said.
Winder said many people have helped her get where she is today thus indicating the reason why she is willing to lend a hand to help others.
Among those people, she emphasized the importance of her parents, Almetta Barnes and the late George Barnes, who worked hard to raise seven children and get them all through school.
Students and colleagues have high praise for Winder.
“Peggy is an amazing teacher, a caring colleague and a brilliant leader,” said Jane Willis, interim dean of students and associate dean of educational services.
Newberry senior Romina Adum said she admires Winder for her dedication and experience.
“Having her as a teacher and as an adviser is really incredible because she not only helps you with your career path, but she makes you feel very comfortable and in a safe environment,” Adum said.
With February being Black History Month, Winder has been contributing to the organization of events to raise its awareness at Newberry College.
Some of the events held early in February were movie viewings, the African American Read-in and Black History Trivia Night. Speaking the Dream,” a dramatic presentations from the life and words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will be held Feb. 26.
Winder said Black History Month is important because it helps people to understand many defining moments in the country’s history.
Although she values Black History Month, Winder wants her children to realize that it is equally important not just to recognize black history in February, but every month throughout the year.