Newberry College Women’s League

By Wanda Neese

In 1942, a group of determined, committed, and faithful women embarked on a mission to serve Newberry College. That group of women became known as the Newberry College Women’s League. Throughout the years, ways of serving and supporting Newberry College may have changed, but the depth of the League’s determination, commitment, and faithfulness has not. This group of devoted and faithful servants has supported and aided the campus in more ways than most could imagine. For seventy-five years, the Newberry College Women’s League has worked to improve the Newberry College campus in ways that directly benefit the student body.

Founded upon organizational articles and by-laws and rooted in strong Christian faith, the Women’s League began by electing a body of officers and board members. General membership required only one expectation; love for Newberry College and the desire to work towards the good of the campus. The League operates in the same fashion today. Officers such as president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer are elected. Other board members include chairmen of the nominating, projects, and Smeltzer Hall committees. Each committee also consists of additional members. Anyone, male or female, can become a member of the Newberry College Women’s League by simply expressing an interest in doing so.

Over the last twenty-five years, the Newberry College Women’s League has funded projects and gifts totaling more than $140,000. Wiles Chapel, Smetlzer Hall, and the Alumni Music Center have been major areas of focus due to the number of people who visit and utilize these facilities. Past projects include: extensive furnishings for Wiles Chapel, replacing carpet in dormitories, Smeltzer, and the Alumni Music Center, restroom renovations in Holland Hall and Kaufman Hall, extensive furnishings for the Alumni Music Center, marching band uniforms, an array of equipment for the Nursing Department, and funding numerous requests from various academic departments. The Women’s League also funded the majority of handrails on the college campus. Perpetual projects include maintaining water coolers in Wiles Chapel, providing flowers for May baccalaureate services, and maintaining the Summerland Room and parlors of Smeltzer Hall.

Being a non-profit organization, the Women’s League depends heavily on private and church donations. Without donations, this vital organization could not possibly fund such important campus needs and requests. With the exception of postage for yearly luncheon mailings, the Newberry College Women’s League channels all spending towards Newberry College. As part of the seventy-fifth anniversary, the Women’s League is challenging congregations and individuals to contribute seventy-five dollars and help the league with additional projects. With increased financial support and participation, the Newberry College Women’s League will be able to help fund many worthwhile projects that will not only benefit students, but make your Lutheran college a better place.

Please join us on April 1, 2017 for our 75th anniversary celebration luncheon and on April 19 for a special service in Wiles Chapel to honor members of the Women’s League. For further information regarding luncheon registration or the April 19 chapel service, contact Wanda Neese, president at

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