WandaNeeseBy Wanda Neese, President of the Newberry College Women’s League

The Newberry College Women’s League is an organization that was established in 1942 for the sole purpose of serving Newberry College by meeting needs of the campus and students. Originally the Women’s League consisted of female Newberry College alumnae and wives of male alumnae. However, the current membership includes Newberry College alumnae and spouses, faculty, staff, and Lutherans of both genders. The main requirement to be a member of the Newberry College Women’s League is loyalty to this fine institution. Many league members have been a part of the league for more than forty years. Others are daughters and granddaughters of former league members.

Operating according to organizational by-laws, the Women’s League continues to work closely with college officials and administration in its loyal service to Newberry College. Annual meetings are held by league officers and board members to evaluate and make decisions regarding possible donations and service projects for the college campus and its student body. An annual luncheon and meeting is held each spring to celebrate the league, Newberry College, and to have college officials provide the Women’s League and visitors with college news.

Each year the league maintains the water coolers in Wiles Chapel and provides flowers for May graduation. The Women’s League also maintains an endowed fund for Smeltzer Hall which provides for the upkeep of the Summerland Reception Room and other public areas of this historical building. This special segment of the Women’s League was formed in the 1970’s after the college board of trustees thought it wise to create such.

During the 2015-2016 academic year, the Newberry College Women’s League funded the following projects: incandescent lamps in Wiles Theatre Lobby, IPADs for the PE/TC Program to help meet national standards, projector set for the Nursing Department Health Assessment Lab, Multi-media Swivel Robot for the Math and Science Departments, Newberry College logo stand fronts for the Jazz Big Band, racks for the storage and transportation of music stands, funding towards travel expenses for Nnewberry College students to attend a national science conference, funding towards the statewide Science Olympiad held on campus, funding towards travel and lodging expenses for Dufford Diversity Week speakers, and the renovation of the ladies restroom in the Alumni Music Center.

Throughout the years, the Newberry College Women’s League has funded projects such as: carpeting Wiles Chapel and areas of Alumni Music Center, refurbishing bathrooms in Wiles Chapel and Kauffman Hall, providing furniture for dorms and other academic buildings, sponsoring special theatre productions, purchasing instruments for the Newberry College Band program, purchasing covers and locks for college pianos, purchasing teaching equipment and materials for numerous academic departments, financing trips for students to attend special conferences, matching other grant money to buy choral risers and instrument lockers, restoring artwork around campus, covering steps and patios outside of buildings with weather proof matting, tinting windows in the foyer of Alumni Music Center, and installing bathrooms in the upstairs of Alumni Music Center. The Women’s League provided funding for the majority of the handrails which have been installed during the past three years.

Members of the Newberry College Women’s League are leaders on this campus and in many other walks of life. They are also committed to the institution of family, the Christian faith, and the pursuit of future generations devoting themselves to serving the Newberry College community.


This article has been reprinted from March-April 2016 edition of The South Carolina Lutheran magazine. Subscriptions to the magazine are $10.00 for 6 issues annually. To subscribe send your name, address and check made payable to the “South Carolina Synod, ELCA” to 1003 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201.

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