Samuel William Newell, Jr. '39
Dallas seemed a long way from Davidson when Sam Newell left there in 1935 to enroll in the class that would become the proudly self-declared Titans of 1939. For Sam, however, family roots in Mecklenburg County Presbyterianism made his transition from Texan to loyal Davidsonian natural and easy. His student years as expert trombonist, YMCA and fraternity leader, and valued disciple of faculty stalwarts Cumming and Lilly took him to the presidency of his senior class and membership in ODK.
After wartime army service, he headed toward preparation for the teaching of English, only to be redirected by higher authority to the Christian ministry. That eventually brought him back to Davidson for nine years as minister of the Davidson College Presbyterian Church, one of four churches he served with distinction during his professional career. In awarding him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree, the college cited his "rare combination of theological learning, original creative skill, intuitive perception of beauty, and genial personal address."
Whenever Davidson has called on him - to rally his class for the Annual Fund, to host presidential dinners, to serve on the Board of Visitors, to lead in capital fund campaigns, and to give generously of his own resources - Sam has willingly answered. He has capped decades of service to the college by chairing both fiftieth and sixtieth reunions for his fellow Titans.
Because you make your alma mater proud to call you her own, and because your exemplary life inspires others to your high standard of service, the Davidson College Alumni Association presents to you, Samuel William Newell, Jr., the Alumni Service Award on the occasion of the 60th reunion of the Class of 1939, October 2, 1999.