The ultimate Internet source for information about
the Rev. John Bachman; clergyman, naturalist, social reformer, and founder of Newberry College
An on-line initiative of the
Alumni Association of

Newberry SC


Personal Background
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The Rev. John Bachman, founder of Newberry College and first president of its board of trustees, is memorialized at several places on the campus--as described below.

Bird Sculptures on Alumni Music Building

Willard N. Hirsch's aluminum sculptures--which adorn the front of the Alumni Music Building--represent Bachman's Sparrow on a Short-leaf Pine (above and below left, once called "Bachman's Pinewood-Finch") and Bachman's (Swamp) Warbler on a Water Oak (right), both named in Bachman's honor by noted ornithologist John James Audubon. The sculptures--dedicated in 1973--were commissioned by Dr. Richard Haymaker of Charleston in honor of his mother, Emma Vogelgesang Haymaker. Dr. Haymaker taught history and Latin at Newberry College in 1925-26.

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An outdoor plaque (below) to the left of the main entry to the Alumni Music Building describes the bird sculptures and mentions John Bachman's importance in many realms. (The species name for Bachman's Warbler, Vermivora bachmanii, is slightly misspelled on the plaque.)

Bas-relief Plaque in McClurg Learning Center

Mrs. Mary Bachman Hoover (left) of Charleston SC was a granddaughter of the Rev. John Bachman. (She is incorrectly identified in the photo caption at left as Bachman's great-granddaughter.) Mrs. Hoover was on hand for Newberry College's Founders Day Convocation on 11 February 1974, when Dr. Raymond Bost spoke on John Bachman: Nature, Truth, and No Humbug.

Mrs. Hoover helped with the unveiling (left) of a new bas-relief bronze plaque commemorating Bachman. The plaque, designed by Willard N. Hirsch (see bird sculptures above), hangs inside the main entrance of the College's "New Classroom Building," recently re-named the Lenora McClurg Center for Teaching and Learning. Mrs. Hoover also wrote a personal commentary about Bachman.

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Bachman Plaza

To honor the Rev. John Bachman, the road between Kaufmann Hall and MacLean Gymnasium was converted in recent years into a pedestrian walkway called "Bachman Plaza." Shaded by Bradford Pear trees and equipped with stone benches where students and visitors may rest and ponder, a bronze bust of the Rev. John Bachman gazes toward Holland Hall and Wiles Chapel. The plaque reads: "John Bachman, 1790-1874, Lutheran Pastor, American Naturalist, Friend of Education; 'Nature, Truth, and No Humbug'." The latter phrase is explained in detail in a 1974 Founder's Day Convocation Address by Dr. Raymond Bost, president emeritus of Newberry College.

Bachman Honor Society

At Newberry College a "living memorial" to the Rev. John Bachman exists through the Bachman Honor Society--founded on 15 March 1962 by a group of faculty members who were either members of Phi Beta Kappa or deeply committed to fostering high standards of scholarship. Society members are selected from the top 10% of the graduating class and are recognized near the end of their senior year at an academic awards convocation. To designate their high honor at graduation they wear with their robes a special cord of scarlet and gray--the Newberry College colors.

Past and new members of the Bachman Honor Society will be invited to a special reception following the John Bachman Symposium worship service on Sunday, 23 April 2006.

You can access detailed information about Bachman's life and work by clicking on the links in the column at left.

Please check back later as we add to this section.

Please revisit this Web site often at and plan to attend the Symposium on Nature, God & Social Reform in the Old South: The Life & Work of the Rev. John Bachman in April 2006.