NEWBERRY — Relief and jubilation filled the air in Newberry College’s Eleazer Arena on Saturday as members of the Class of 2022 turned their acorns to the future.
The weekend start drills celebrated the achievements of 178 Spring and Summer Class graduates. Representatives from 17 states and nine countries walked across the stage.
Each year since 2014, the honor of the Spring Commencement Speeches has been awarded to class members, selected by their senior colleagues, faculty, and staff. The class of 2022 chose Biasia Roberts, a healthcare management major from Fort Mill, and Nathaniel Carrasco, a business administration major from Las Vegas.
“I went from being such a shy, self-doubting young girl to someone who was sure of what she wanted and who she wanted to be,” Roberts said. “If you had told this girl that she would be standing right here at this exact moment, she would have said ‘yeah, right! The moral of the story is that Newberry has helped us become who we are. It allowed us to know what it is to belong.
“In this room we have A-level students, conference champions and leaders ready to take over, because it is ours to serve,” Carrasco said. “We are all here today, because we did not let the distractions of this world bring us down with them. Instead, we used them as reasons to win, as reasons to become victorious.
Gabriel Meyer, senior class president and chemistry specialist from Cocoa, Florida, presented the senior gift, a Japanese maple tree and plaque.
The class presents the Dr. L. Grady Cooper Award to faculty, staff, or students who exemplify the loyalty and dedication to Newberry College shown by Cooper during his tenure as Professor of Religion and Greek. This year, the staff honor went to Carlton Kinard, a graduate of Newberry College in 2016 and program coordinator for the Muller Center. The honored student was Sumner Moorer, a communications specialist from Chapin.
The Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards were established to honor a man and woman in the class who exemplify outstanding character and service to others, traits valued by the Sullivans. The awards went to Elijah Fulmore, an elementary education student from Irmo, and Chandler Watson, a music education student from Powder Springs, Georgia, respectively.
Finally, the Dr. George B. Cromer Award, named for the fifth president of Newberry College, is awarded by the faculty to the graduate who exemplifies academic excellence, leadership ability, and personal integrity. This year, the honor went to Biasia Roberts.
David L. “Buddy” Morgan received the Honorary Doctorate of Entrepreneurship for his service to Newberry College and his dedication to education, innovation, creativity, and the enhancement of learning.
Morgan founded Litton Entertainment and served as President and CEO from 1989 to 2021. He has served on the board of MUSC Children’s Hospital and the College of Charleston School of Business. He resides in Charleston with his wife, Lissy, and they have three children – Katie, Dillon and Henry, who graduated from Newberry in 2017.