NEWBERRY — More than 100 Newberry College employees, along with 31 Residential Assistants joined forces on Aug. 5 for the second annual Newberry College Service Day.
Teams of staff and faculty tackled a variety of projects, including pressure washing buildings and sidewalks, landscaping, assembling outdoor furniture and painting bleachers and walls in the football arena.
The first Service Day event in 2013 was the brainchild of Newberry College president Maurice Scherrens who was then completing his first year as the institution’s new leader.
Based on the notion that many hands make quick work, Scherrens and his executive team decided to enlist the help of the campus community in a one-day “blitz” to complete numerous campus beautification projects before students returned to campus.
“As a campus that emphasizes service to others, both on-campus and in the local community, it seemed fitting that our employees would model those same values of service to the campus,” Scherrens said. “It was gratifying to see the enthusiastic response to our request and the tangible results of their teamwork.”
The Department of Facilities has heavy demands placed upon it as the start of a new school year approaches. Service Day helps them beat the time crunch.
“We had a great turnout for Service Day,” said Facilities director Fred Errigo. “We were able to complete some big projects that would have been difficult for the Facilities team to tackle on its own. With the help of the campus community we accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time.”
Volunteers sported Service Day T-shirts and enjoyed a free lunch courtesy of the college. Despite the hard work and hot conditions, employees said they enjoyed the opportunity to make an impact outside of their regular responsibilities.
“Service Day allowed me to team up with people from departments I don’t always get to work with,” said Sarah Dougherty, data coordinator for Institutional Advancement. “I really enjoyed making those new connections and being in service to the campus community at the same time.”
Athletic director Matt Finley agreed with Dougherty.
“One of today’s big projects was painting the stadium, but it wasn’t just an Athletics effort,” he said. “It was great to see people from across campus joining in to get that project done.”
Tien Chih is a new Math professor who reported for his first day of work on Service Day. In addition to the typical HR paperwork, Chih also donned his work clothes, grabbed a paintbrush and pitched in.
“I’m excited to be a new member of the Newberry family and was happy to contribute to the Service Day activities,” Chih said. “It was an excellent opportunity for the faculty and staff to get more connected to the campus.”