Kent Newberry

SMC Professor Kent Newberry recognized with SCICU Excellence in Teaching Award

Spartanburg Methodist College is proud to announce that Professor Kent Newberry was recently recognized with a 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award and awarded a $3000 professional development grant from South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.

The hallmark of South Carolina’s private non-profit colleges and universities is their emphasis on individualized learning and student achievement. This can only be accomplished by a faculty of the highest quality working in a supportive environment that encourages and fosters serious inquiry, critical thinking, and a broader understanding of the world in which we live.

Each year, SCICU recognizes and celebrates the best of the best with its Excellence in Teaching Awards. Award recipients are first and foremost teachers who come to liberal arts institutions to work one-on-one with students whom they also serve as advisers, mentors, and friends. They are dedicated and committed professionals who have worked long and hard to be the best in their particular academic disciple in order to instruct and guide future generations as their life’s work. They are value-centered, passionate, creative, and caring.

Professor of Drama and Speech and Director of SMC Theater Productions Kent Newberry has been motivating and listening to his students and advisees at SMC for more than thirty-five years. Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Ann Bowles, says of Professor Newberry, “He is described by his peers as a masterful teacher for his skill in helping speech students overcome their fears of speaking in public.” In teaching students to write speeches, he helps them develop skills in organizing a presentation and speaking and writing in correct English. In his drama workshop, students have learned how to plan and build sets, operate theater lighting, and create programs. Some of those drama students have pursued careers on stage or in theater-related professions.

Newberry’s teaching style is described as enthusiastic and motivational. He takes the time to talk everyday with his students before and after class and he is always prepared when advisees drop by to discuss their career plans. His expectations are high and his students have a tremendous sense of accomplishment and confidence when they successfully complete his courses.

Newberry earned baccalaureate, master’s and educational specialist degrees at the University of Florida. He has been honored twice by the SMC faculty with the A.V. Huff Faculty Prize for teaching excellence as well as the Exemplary Teacher Award presented by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. “SMC is fortunate to count among its outstanding faculty a gifted teacher, advisor, and leader like Kent Newberry,” Dr. Colleen Perry Keith, President of Spartanburg Methodist College shared. “He exemplifies SMC’s mission through his hard work and servant leadership, and almost always with a twinkle in his eye and smile on his face!”


SMC named winner of SC’s Career Preparedness Award for ACT’s College and Career Readiness Campaign

Spartanburg Methodist College has been notified that they were selected as the prestigious statewide award winner of South Carolina’s Career Preparedness Award for ACT’s College and Career Readiness Campaign.

Spartanburg Methodist College, a two-year private, residential, liberal arts institution, is one of a very few such institutions left in the United States. SMC plays a vital role in preparing students for success in careers and in senior colleges. SMC’s “success rate” (the sum total of students who either graduate and transfer or transfer prior to graduation into educational programs elsewhere to complete their higher education journey) is 86%. The national success rate for 2-year colleges is in the 20% range.

Founded in 1911 as the first cooperative education program in the United States, SMC has a strong 104 year history of providing resources for education and for life.  “Starting in the Fall 2015, SMC is devoting two of its Learning Communities to an in-depth focus on career decision making, which will further extend the College’s reach into career readiness work,” according to SMC President Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D.

Bobby Russ, District Manager of State Organizations, reached out on behalf of ACT and shared “Our council membership felt that your application and data demonstrated that Spartanburg Methodist College made significant strides in helping its students prepare for the success in the workforce or in continuing their education.”

SMC’s Counseling and Career Center utilizes a variety of assessment tools, such as a Career Personal Profile assessment, Personality Type Inventory, the SIGI, SDS, etc., to help students develop greater self-understanding and begin the process of lifelong growth and professional development.  Working with their SMC advisors, students can evaluate their career goals and make appropriate course selections and transfer options with senior colleges.

“Spartanburg Methodist College’s programs are aimed at career awareness, our success rate, and our support structures that are in place for students and our demonstrated commitment to providing leadership opportunities for students outside the classroom were all factors that catapulted SMC to the top of the list,” shared Keith.

Students at SMC have opportunities to begin to develop as leaders from the first day they arrive on campus through a variety of programs and opportunities. Students are provided a Leadership and Involvement Transcript that documents the activities that have enhanced their liberal arts education.   SMC’s President plays a key leadership role in the community, and members of the faculty and staff are involved in numerous professional and service groups, in addition SMC has been recognized by the President’s Honor Roll of Service for the past several years.

Spartanburg Methodist College will go on to a selection processes for national semifinalists of other statewide college exemplars as part of this ACT Campaign. The selected finalist will be recognized as the National Exemplar and will be honored at an ACT Gala in Washington, DC on June 9th.

To learn more about the ACT College & Career Readiness Campaign and view highlights from prior years, visit



SMC Partners with Pinwheel Project to promote Child Abuse Prevention

Spartanburg Methodist College is proud to partner with Spartanburg Partners for Prevention’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month Pinwheel Project.

The Pinwheel Project is a collaborative community project to promote the protective factors every family can adopt to help keep children safe and secure. The purpose of the Pinwheel Project is to help spread the good news of the work being done in our community, and to promote the little things every family can do to help keep children happy and healthy.

Project Pinwheel features a coalition of over 300 partners across the Upstate including education, government, non-profit, faith-based and corporate leaders. SMC’s Pinwheel garden, “planted” by students from Dr. Mary Jane Farmer’s psychology class as well as students from SMC’s Paralegal Certificate Evening Program, symbolizes healthy, happy childhoods.

SMC Paralegal students recently toured the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) of Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union Counties, Inc. During that visit Carmen Massey, a paralegal student from Spartanburg, shared she was shocked to learn the CAC is the only resource specifically for sexually abused and/or severely physically abused children in any of the three surrounding counties and that “95% of alleged offenders are someone the child knows and 68% of those offenders are family members.”

Learn more at



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SMC Professor Dr. Jill Coyle winner of Emrys Poetry Award

Spartanburg Methodist College Professor of English, Dr. Jill Coyle, recently won the Emrys Poetry Award presented by the Hub City Writers Group for her piece entitled “Walker Creek.”

Ms. Marjory Wentworth, poet laureate of South Carolina, served as judge for the competition.  She said of Coyle’s poem, “I admire everything about this poet. The attention to specific image detail is superb and reminds me of Elizabeth Bishop’s work. The poems are beautifully crafted; there isn’t a spare syllable. What an accomplishment.”

Coyle earned her PhD in Classical Studies from Duke University and her MA in English from N.C. State University. Her poems have appeared in Blueline, Avocet, Main Street Rag, and Pinesong.

Through providing workshops to enhance writing skills, offering symposia for writers to present their work and awarding scholarships and fellowships, the Emrys Foundation nurtures creativity among emerging and established writers, seeks to expand the impact of the literary arts, and collaborates across a variety of art forms to give voice to the written word.

As a result of her award, Coyle, of Travelers Rest, will receive a scholarship to the week-long Wildacres Writers Workshop in Little Switzerland, N.C. in July. The SMC Division of English hosted a reading of Dr. Coyle’s original poetry in Ellis Hall on April 24.

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SMC Sophomore Students Recognized as Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges

Katie Alexander
Tori Allen
Guillermo Arce-Ruiz
Anah Bagwell
Jonathon Bailey
Matt Bishop
Brookelyn Brockelbank
Michael Campbell
Ian Clevenger
Kristen Clark
Lindsey Corbett
Jesse Davis
Lilasha Dervin
Riah Egan
Jesse Herrera
Shakira Jackson
Hannah Jefferson
Skyler Karalus
Brittany Moore
Glory Pi
Kelsey Robinson
Deja Smith
Courtney Tutterow
Leeanna Will
Kendall Witt



SMC Students Recognized During the 2015 Awards Ceremony

Guillermo L. Arce-Ruiz Sophomore Achievement Award in Academics
Anah Gail Bagwell Sophomore Achievement Award in Service
Anah Gail Bagwell Sophomore Ella Jordan Lynn Award
Matthew Reid Bishop Sophomore Achievement Award in Leadership
Matthew Reid Bishop Sophomore Kappa Sigma Alpha President’s Award
Matthew Reid Bishop Sophomore Psi Beta Award
Brookelyn Summer Brockelbank Sophomore Pioneer Peer of the Year Award
Robert Dalton Bryant Sophomore Paul S. Lofton, Jr. History Award
Sarah Rebecca Burns Sophomore Blue Granite Review Art Award – 3rd Place
Sarah Rebecca Burns Sophomore Blue Granite Review Prose Writing Award – 1st Place
Ian Duncan Clevenger Sophomore Achievement Award in Academics
Ian Duncan Clevenger Sophomore American Legion Award
Ian Duncan Clevenger Sophomore Chemistry Award
Ian Duncan Clevenger Sophomore Outstanding Pioneer Award
Lindsey Rebecca Corbett Sophomore Residence Life Hall of Fame Award
Lilasha Sharee Dervin Sophomore Achievement Award in Academics
Ryan Thomas Donohue Sophomore Biology Award
Ethan Zachariah Dye Sophomore Achievement Award in Athletics
Savannah Millen Edis Sophomore Religious Studies Award
Meredith M. Elm Sophomore Blue Granite Review Art Award – 1st Place
Heidin Antonio Espinal Freshman Physics Award
Heidin Espinal Freshman Mathematics Award
William Chandler Goodrich Sophomore A.J.R. Helmus Poetry Award – 1st Place
Adell Enrique Gordon Sophomore Achievement Award in Leadership
Adell Enrique Gordon Sophomore Music Department Award for Excellence
Adell Enrique Gordon Sophomore SGA Leadership Award
Patrice F. Haynes Sophomore A.J.R. Helmus Poetry Award – 3rd Place
Patrice F. Haynes Sophomore Outstanding Drama Student Award
Caroline Briana Hill Sophomore Achievement Award in Athletics
Caroline Briana Hill Sophomore Outstanding Pioneer Award
Shakira Laquesta Jackson Sophomore American Legion Award
DeAndre L. Johnson Sophomore Achievement Award in Athletics
Lorenzo Dante Larry Sophomore Achievement Award in Athletics
Jordan Jason Man Sophomore Computer Science Award
Faith-Nicole Yvonne Mendoza Sophomore Blue Granite Review Prose Writing Award – 3rd Place
Jeffrey Hunter Nelmes Freshman Blue Granite Review Prose Writing Award – 2nd Place
Khalid Emir Olenja Sophomore A.J.R. Helmus Poetry Award – 2nd Place
Mason Chandler Christian Painter Sophomore Music Department Award for Excellence
Christian Devont’a Pelham Sophomore Achievement Award in Athletics
Emily Elaine Pye Freshman Blue Granite Review Art Award – 2nd Place
Victor Antonio Ramirez Sophomore Achievement Award in Service
Victor Antonio Ramirez Sophomore Spanish Award – Native speaker
Harrison William Reed Sophomore Achievement Award in Leadership
Harrison William Reed Sophomore Residence Life Hall of Fame Award
Michala Rose Robinson Sophomore Achievement Award in Academics
Ashley Danielle Rogers Sophomore Achievement Award in Leadership
Ashley Danielle Rogers Sophomore Achievement Award in Service
Victoria Elizabeth Shaw Sophomore Psi Beta Award
Tyrone Smith Freshman Outstanding Freshman Award
Steven Keith Taylor Freshman J. Lacy McLean Award
Courtney Lee Tutterow Sophomore Achievement Award in Academics
Courtney Lee Tutterow Sophomore Achievement Award in Athletics
Courtney Lee Tutterow Sophomore Norma Jean Miller Scholarship
Courtney Lee Tutterow Sophomore Travis Eiler General Excellence Award
Karina Vega Freshman Trailblazer Journalism Award
Leeanna Kay Will Sophomore A.G. Carter Literary Award
Leeanna Kay Will Sophomore Achievement Award in Academics
Leeanna Kay Will Sophomore Charles Moss Award
Kendall Roshad Witt Sophomore Achievement Award in Service
Kendall Roshad Witt Sophomore Olin D. Johnston Good Citizenship Award
Kendall Roshad Witt Sophomore Reverend Samuel Haywood Poston Award
Kendall Roshad Witt Sophomore Thomas R. Bailey Humanitarian Award
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Spartanburg Business and Professional Women’s Club Recognizes SMC’s Jennifer Hutcherson

The Breakfast of Spartanburg Business and Professional Women’s Club recently awarded the 2014-2015 Vergene Colloms Scholarship to Jennifer Hutcherson of Campobello, SC.

The annual scholarship is provided to women age 25 or older seeking education necessary for entry, re-entry or advancement within the work force.  Hutcherson, a current student in the Spartanburg Methodist College Paralegal Certificate Evening Program, is employed as a paralegal by the Johnson, Smith, Hibbard & Wildman Law Firm, L.L.P. in Spartanburg, SC.

A previous law enforcement officer, crime scene investigator, and member of the United States Army, Hutcherson enrolled in the SMC Paralegal Certificate Evening Program in April of 2014. “Jennifer quickly immersed herself in her legal studies and within a short time transitioned into a positon with a respected and successful firm where she immediately put her prior education, talents and newly acquired legal training to use.  Jennifer exemplifies the qualities of the ideal SMC paralegal student.” Yvonne Harper, Director of SMC’s Paralegal Program shared

Hutcherson will attend the June BPW membership meeting where she will be recognized as the recipient of the Vergene Colloms Scholarship.

SMC’s Paralegal Certificate Evening Program is a 14-course program of study offering quality education for adult students, convenient evening hours, reasonable tuition, and practical courses taught by local judges, attorneys and paralegals committed to excellence. Students learn today to earn tomorrow. For more information, contact Yvonne Harper,, 864-266-7409, or visit

Logan Website

Legal Staff Professionals of South Carolina Recognize SMC’s Candice Logan

The Legal Staff Professionals of South Carolina recently awarded the 2014-2015 Norma F. George, PLS Scholarship Award to Candice Logan of Boiling Springs, SC.

The Legal Staff Professionals of South Carolina (LSPSC) is an affiliate of NALS, the association for legal professionals, dedicated to enhancing the competencies and contributions of members in the legal service profession. Their $1000 annual scholarship is awarded to deserving students pursuing a career in the paralegal field.

Logan, 2010 graduate of Dorman High School, is a current student in the Spartanburg Methodist College Paralegal Certificate Evening Program. She is employed as a paralegal by the law firm of Rainey and Brown Attorneys At Law in Spartanburg, SC.

Yvonne Harper, Director of SMC’s Paralegal Program shared “Candice enrolled in our program in December 2014 and quickly exemplified the leadership and standards of conduct required of all legal professionals – she encourages respect for law and the administration of justice; she observes rules governing privileged communications and confidential information; she promotes and exemplifies high standards of loyalty, cooperation, and courtesy and she performs all duties of the profession with integrity and competence. It is an honor having her in our program.”

Logan will attend the LSPSC Annual Meeting and Education Conference on Saturday, April 26 in Columbia, where she will be presented her Certificate of Award.

SMC’s Paralegal Certificate Evening Program is a 14-course program of study offering quality education for adult students, convenient evening hours, reasonable tuition, and practical courses taught by local judges, attorneys and paralegals committed to excellence. Students learn today to earn tomorrow. For more information, contact Yvonne Harper,, 864-266-7409, or visit


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SMC Dedicates The Write Place in Ellis Hall

The Dr. Edgar H. Ellis, Jr. Hall, situated on the campus of Spartanburg Methodist College, was “the right place” to be at 11 am on Friday, April 10th.   In fact, it was at that exact time Ellis Hall was the site of the formal dedication and official ribbon cutting for The Write Place, the college’s newly renamed writing center.

Marvin, Kathy and DonDr. Katherine Cann, Professor of History and Chairperson of the Social Sciences Division, and her husband, Dr. Marvin Cann, who has taught at SMC as an adjunct faculty member, were the benefactors of The Write Place, which is established in memory of their parents, Harold and Mary Davis, and Roy and Catherine Cann. (The Canns pictured with SMC’s Director of Development Don Tate).

The Write Place is a living memorial to the passion, sacrifices and enthusiasm their parents held for the education of the Canns.   Over the years, that same appreciation and awakening to the power of education has been shared in Canns’ classrooms, and now their commitment to education has the opportunity to be experienced by future generations of SMC students.

Nearly 18 years ago, SMC officially opened a writing center on the third floor of the Frank Walker Building. Since the fall of 1997, the center has always been staffed by full-time faculty of the English Division who give two hours per week to assist students from all academic divisions (computer science, health, natural sciences statistics, criminal justice, psychology, history, literature, and of course, English composition) with their class writing assignments, but also with scholarship and university application writing needs. Over 200 students visit the writing center each semester.

Professor Jane Brackett, Director of The Write Place, stated “on behalf of the college, I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the Canns’ gift. This new academic resources is comfortable and inviting and will enable us to continue to help students for years to come.”

During the ceremony, Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D., President of SMC, read several quotes from the book Give to Live: How Giving Can Change Your Life by Douglas M. Lawson. In particular, Keith shared Lawson’s words “Change and growth can occur only when each of us accepts the truth that we must all give of ourselves so that we all may live….We cannot heal all of the problems of the earth by ourselves, but we have to believe that if enough of us commit ourselves and turn loose our energies and resources, collectively we can create wholeness…Once you decide you are ready to go the extra mile, you will need to reallocate your time, energy, and talents…Progress and change live only in the mind and the hearts of committed, compassionate citizens.”

Keith concluded with Lawson’s quote “Once you accept the reality that a better world begins with you, relax in the knowledge that you will be the beneficiary of wonderfully rich, life-sustaining experiences. Your journey will not lead you down a road of sacrifice and drudgery. With grace and perseverance, you’ll get much more than you give.” Harold and Mary Davis and Roy and Catherine Cann would be proud of the SMC legacy they set in motion and the tribute that will forever bear their names, The Write Place, truly is at the right place.


art show

SMC’s Ellis Hall Gallery Hosting Regional Art Show until May 15

The Ellis Hall Gallery, on the campus of Spartanburg Methodist College, is currently hosting an exhibition featuring 25 recent artworks by four regional artists. Artist participating in the exhibit are Marjorie Huwa, Prosperity, SC; Larry Millard; Athens, GA; Bruce Nellsmith; Edisto Beach, SC; and Paula Riddle; Newberry, SC.

The show includes a variety of media, including paintings, prints, drawings, and a sculpture installation by Larry Millard.

Nine, color drenched oil paintings based on Bruce Nellsmith’s trips to Southern France and the Mediterranean depict the impressive limestone cliffs found along the coast near Cassis, France.

MillardMillard’s installation is a large, interactive, walk-through piece that accounts for all of the senses, including smell.

Huwa at SMC Marjorie Huwa’s oil paintings subtly flirt with Surrealistic motifs.

Riddle at SMCThe collagraph prints by Paula Riddle examine the role of texture in the graphic arts.


The public is invited to tour the artwork Monday thru Thursday, from 7 am to 11 pm and on Friday, 7 am to 5 pm.  A reception will be held on Tuesday, April 14 from 5 to 7 pm; with each artist providing a gallery talk at 5:30 pm.

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104th Commencement @ Spartanburg Methodist College will inspire all to claim the life to which the Spirit calls

Spartanburg Methodist College will hold their 104th commencement exercises at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 9th in Bridges Arena to celebrate an estimated 200 students who have successfully met the academic requirements for graduation. The class of 2015 boasts over 20 honor graduate students who have maintained a 3.5 or better grade point average and will be recognized as a Summa Cum Laude, Manga Cum Laude or Cum Laude graduate during commencement.

Courtney Tutterow, recipient of the Yandle Student Leader Award, will be the 2015 Student Speaker for commencement. Nominated by her peers and described as “an all-around outstanding person…Courtney has played soccer both years at SMC… and has also kept a 4.0 GPA. She is a Pioneer Peer, has great leadership skills and qualities and always has a positive attitude.”   Tutterow, daughter of Mike and Michelle Tutterow of Boiling Springs, SC was named a two-time all-region soccer player, an Academic All American and has served as a tutor and student mentor.  “Courtney personifies what it means to be a Pioneer,” stated SMC President Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D.

Paul Roger Leonard, Jr. will be the 2015 Commencement speaker. Leonard s a man moved by a generous and loving spirit. His most recent work, When the Spirit Moves, is a collection of stories, poems, prayers and reflections that invite readers to look back on their lives, and witness all the ways the Spirit has prodded, poked, touched and moved them. Leonard wants his readers to laugh and cry with him, to get angry with things as they are, to pray for peace, to hope for a brighter tomorrow, to give thanks for every day and to reach out, touch, listen and love all who cross their path.  His goal for the book was for it to be more about you and your life, than it is about him and his, and together he wants us to claim the life to which the Spirit calls.

Throughout the book, Leonard shared the ups and downs and twists and turns of his adult life – spanning four decades, one wife, four children, eight grandchildren, lots of dogs, one cat and multiple jobs from minister to home builder and real estate developer. Leonard, who has worked for nonprofits and both privately and publically held for-profit companies, has served as interim CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, college trustee and board member.  His travels have taken him to all seven continents and over 60 countries and given him a global perspective on our world and its glories and sorrows—and render him a fitting speaker for the college’s 2015 commencement.

Author of WHERE IS CHURCH?-One Man’s Quest and MUSIC OF 1000 HAMMERS, Inside Habitat for Humanity, Leonard graduated Cum Laude with Honors in history from Davidson College, continued his studies, earning a Bachelor of Divinity from the University of Chicago and earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Emory University.   He first served at Trinity Presbyterian Church after which he founded a non-traditional church that focused on community action and service and eventually left the traditional ministry to work in city housing.  Leonard was recruited by the John Crosland Company, becoming the company’s president in 1984. After the company was acquired by Centex Real Estate Corporation, Leonard was appointed as its Executive Vice-President, responsible for the company’s southeast region. After retiring from Centex, Leonard was elected to the Board of Habitat for Humanity International; he served as Chairman of the Board from December, 2001 to December, 2003 and was employed as the Interim CEO of Habitat for Humanity.  Today he is a member of the US Council for Habitat for Humanity International.

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Exam Survival Kit – what every student needs to be successful!


Exam Survival Kits are no longer available for the Fall 2016 Semester.

Families will be notified when Spring 2017 Exam Survival Kits will be available to purchase.

The time is quickly approaching for end of the semester Final Exams! Help your student breeze through exam week by sending an Exam Survival Kit! Exam Survival Kits contain tasty and healthful treats, vital school supplies, and toys for stress relief! We guarantee your student will appreciate this thoughtful surprise! The cost for an Exam Survival Kit is $20. Any proceeds from the sale of Exam Survival Kits will be used for campus educational, social, and cultural programming.


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AdvanceSC Ensures Success for Student Careers @ Spartanburg Methodist College

Spartanburg Methodist College has been awarded a $75,000 grant from AdvanceSC for an SMC project entitled “Testing and Internships that Ensures Success for Student Careers.”

According to SMC President Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D., “We received our first $75,000 grant to start the ‘Signature SMC Experience’ with up to 100 incoming freshman beginning in the Fall 2015 semester.”  Keith elaborated saying, “the experience involves career testing, comprehensive debrief of that testing, and use of the results in the advising and career planning for those students. It will also include some type of internship or career shadowing experience.”

AdvanceSC supports economic development, education, manufacturing and public assistance agencies in Duke Energy’s South Carolina service area. Established as a limited liability company by Duke Energy in 2004, AdvanceSC is funded with profits from the company’s BPM program and is managed by a board of Upstate S.C. leaders. Information about AdvanceSC is available on its website at

Spartanburg Methodist is continuing to seek additional revenue sources for their “Signature SMC Experience” so that all incoming students have the opportunity to participate.


Two SMC Students will be Pepping up NCAA Tournament

Many college students travel to Florida during the spring, but two Spartanburg Methodist College students will have their trips fully paid for – thanks to the NCAA Tournament!

SMC’s Jesse Davis and Jaaron Snyder will have the privilege of a front row seat (so to speak) at the tournament. Yes, all meals, transportation and accommodations will be covered by Wofford thanks to Wofford College being named the 12th seed in the West Region of the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Davis and Snyder have been loyal participants with Wofford College’s WOCO Band during the 2014-2015 Wofford basketball season and most recently traveled and performed with Wofford at the Southern Conference Tournament in Asheville. Ron “Doc” Miller, Director of Athletic Bands at Wofford College, shared “both are excellent student band members and we are delighted to have them travel and perform with us.”

Ask any hoops fan and they will tell you there is “something electric” about the environment of a college basketball game. Packed arenas, bright lights, shiny wooden floors, the undeniable sound of screeching shoes on the court and of course, long before the opening tip-off, each team’s pep band filling the building with energy and excitement in anticipation for the on-court action to come.

Davis, a sophomore from Startex who attended Byrnes High School, never imagined while pursuing his associate in Fine Arts at SMC he would one day be performing during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  Snyder on the other hand, a freshman from Jonesville who attended Boiling Springs High School and is pursuing an associate in Arts with a major in film, said the invitation to attend the NCAA Tournament and perform was like something straight out of a movie.

“The fact that Jesse and Jaaron are able to do this probably means we have some pretty envious students left back here on campus! This is not an opportunity that comes along for our students all that often. We are all excited for them! It is also wonderful that SMC and Wofford, as sister colleges in the United Methodist system of higher education, are working together in this way,” shared Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D., President of Spartanburg Methodist College.

The Wofford Terriers will play the Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday, March 19 in Jacksonville, Florida. The winner of the game will play the winner of a game between North Carolina and Harvard on Saturday. Wofford is 28-6 this season and won the Southern Conference Tournament championship. The Terriers enter the tournament on an eight-game winning streak and have won 15 of their last 16 games. It is the fourth time in six years Wofford has made it to the NCAA Tournament.

Davis and Snyder are looking forward to being a part of the Terrier nation traveling to Jacksonville. Snyder, who plays the tuba, and Davis, who plays the alto saxophone, participate in the WOCO Band out of pure joy and love of music. Both are quick to say they realize they do have a job – they are responsible for not only amping up the crowd but also motivating the team and keeping the Terriers pumped up during the Thursday game – and hopefully the Saturday game, too. But both agree, you can’t beat a few days in sunny Florida with 80 degree weather, knowing your SMC classmates are sitting in class while you have an enviable seat at the Big Show!

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The SMC Players present August Strindberg’s Easter on March 26-27-28 in Gibbs Auditorium, Ellis Hall

In co-operation with the August Strindberg Repertory Theatre of New York, SMC will be presenting their successful 2013 adaptation, set in New York City in 1958.

Easter (1901) is a late play by August Strindberg, Sweden’s most famous playwright. The drama takes place on days leading up to Easter Sunday. The plot concerns the fortunes of the Morgan family, who are on the edge of ruin. The father is imprisoned for embezzlement and their youngest daughter, Lenora, is committed to a mental institution. The family has been ostracized by their friends and neighbors for the financial scandal, and Ellis’ job is endangered. Into this situation steps Lindy, to whom the family is greatly indebted thanks to their father’s malfeasance. At the moment of greatest turmoil comes a breakthrough of unexpected and, indeed, quite undeserved grace and mercy.

Easter is one of Strindberg’s late expressionist dramas. Typical of the genre, the characters display extremes of emotional suffering and spiritual awakening. Strindberg was greatly affected by the bankruptcy of his own father, and the character of Ellis puts the playwright’s own suffering at center stage. The character of Lenora, one of his finest female roles, was inspired by Strindberg daughter, whose sanity was only tentative. Lenora’s spiritual gifts anticipate the play’s happy conclusion.

SMC Cast:

Pierce Allen Burch as Ellis Morgan, a college instructor.  Pierce is a freshman theater major from Holly Hill, SC and a graduate of Holly Hill Academy.

Shakira Jackson as Christine, the fianceé of Ellis.  Shakira is a sophomore Fine Arts/Fashion Design major from Inman and a graduate of Chapman High School

Tatiana Sade Ferguson-Short plays Mrs. Morgan, the matriarch of the Morgan household. Tati is a freshman Mass Communications major and graduate of Union County High School.

Samuel Stockdale plays Benjamin, a scholarship student living with the Morgans. He’s a Dorman High School graduate from Moore, SC majoring in Speech and Drama.

Anna Elizabeth Barrett as Lenora, the youngest daughter of the Morgan family.  Anna is a sophomore education and biology major from Greenville, and a graduate of J. L. Mann High School.

Patrice Faith Haynes plays Lindy, a family acquaintance to whom the Morgans owe great deal of money. Patrice is a sophomore Performing Arts major from Columbia, and a graduate of Ridge View High School.

The production opens in Gibbs Auditorium on Thursday, March 26 at 8 p.m. and will also be performed on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28 at 8 p.m.  Gibbs Auditorium is located inside Ellis Hall.