History Mural

Guests attending Berry’s annual Scholarship Night celebration were wowed by new floor-to-ceiling murals in Krannert Center designed to bring the college’s history, beauty and mission to life visually. These displays represent a first step in telling the Berry story in public spaces across campus.

Speaker WallAmelia Earhart, Teddy Roosevelt and Henry Ford are three of the famous faces that show up on the new 26×8-foot Berry history mural, located in the lobby leading to Spruill Ballroom. That mural is complemented by a 20×8-foot display on the opposite wall demonstrating the breadth of student experiences at Berry. Nearby, another large display showcases campus speakers of national and international renown. All were designed in-house by staff member Kathy Clements.

“We live in a visual age” said Jeanne Mathews, assistant vice president of public relations and marketing. “Murals such as those in Krannert and digital displays featuring interactive maps and other content will help us to acquaint our many guests with information about Berry’s unique history and the opportunities that abound on the world’s largest campus.”

Photos by student Lauren Neumann

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Pole VaultA championship legacy will be reborn in spring 2016 with the resumption of full participation in track and field for Berry student-athletes. Competition in throws, jumps and sprints will be added to the sport, which has been limited to distance running at Berry since the 1980s.

Ready to SoarThe return of the sport that produced Berry’s first conference championship in 1961 will coincide with the completion of Valhalla stadium, Clark Track and Dickey Field. Funded through LifeReady: The Berry College Campaign for Opportunity, the stadium and related facilities will provide a first-class on-campus home for track and field, lacrosse and football.

A national search is now underway for a track and field head coach. Assistance will be provided by Paul Deaton (91C), Berry’s longtime cross country coach, and two members of the football staff, Ossie Buchannon and Zach Smith. Read more.

Vintage photos courtesy of Cabin Log yearbook

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Doris Kearns GoodwinNoted presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will be the featured speaker for the 2015 Gloria Shatto Lecture. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former assistant to President Lyndon Johnson will address students and others in the Berry community at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 19, in the Cage Center. Admission to the lecture is free, but tickets are required for entry. Call 706-236-2226 for details.

Goodwin’s impressive list of accomplishments includes six New York Times bestsellers and numerous awards for her writing. Her Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln inspired the award-winning film Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day Lewis. Her most recent book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, has been acquired for film rights by DreamWorks Studio and Spielberg. She is a familiar face on television news programs and has served as on-air consultant for several PBS documentaries.

Goodwin joins a long line of notable speakers who have visited Berry thanks to the Gloria Shatto Lectureship, which was funded through Berry’s Century Campaign to honor the memory of Georgia’s first female college president. Past speakers include commentator Cokie Roberts and political adversaries James Carville and Mary Matalin.

By Carey Blankenship, philanthropic communications student assistant

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LifeReady LogoLifeReady: The Berry College Campaign for Opportunity has now surpassed $80 million in gifts and pledges thanks to generous commitments from Trustee Sunny Park and two anonymous alumni. This marks an increase of more than $5 million since the campaign’s public launch in May 2014.

Fundraising has been completed for two campaign priorities – the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship Program and McAllister Hall Science Endowment – and is nearing completion for Valhalla stadium and the renovation of Richards Gym, Berry’s new Welcome Center, and the nursing patient-simulation laboratory in Evans Hall. Other priorities for which fundraising is now underway include an animal science research and teaching center at the Rollins Complex and the new Integrity in Leadership and Entrepreneurship centers. (Look for more on Integrity in Leadership in our next issue.)

Updated information on all campaign priorities is available at www.berry.edu/LifeReady.

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Berry FarmsBerry has proved itself a powerhouse in terms of natural beauty – ranking No. 3 in the South according to one recent compilation – but a new list of America’s top 20 college farms reminds us that our 27,000-acre campus is more than just a photographer’s playground.

Best College Reviews used a number of criteria in making its selections, including farm size, sustainability, course offerings, student involvement, and integration with the main campus and community at large. The authors cited opportunities available through Berry’s farm-centered student-operated enterprises in ranking the college among the likes of Michigan State, Clemson, Yale and other notable institutions ranging geographically from the Deep South to California.

By Maxine Donnelly, philanthropic communications student assistant

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Paul NealHarry MusselwhiteBerry’s music department will experience a changing of the guard this fall as Dr. Paul Neal (left) assumes the role of director of choral activities in place of Harry Musselwhite, who is retiring after 30 years.

Neal will join the Berry faculty after completing his tenure at Valdosta State University, where he oversees the choral program and serves as assistant director for the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra. His impressive resume also includes service as assistant conductor for the Angeles Chorale, one of the largest community choruses in the Los Angeles area, and as musical director for the Texas Shakespeare Festival. In addition, he spent two seasons as a performer for the Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Master Chorale.

While Musselwhite’s long tenure at Berry will soon draw to a close, he has no plans to slow down. Rather, this new chapter in his life will provide the perfect opportunity to pursue other creative interests.

“I am going full-time into the film and television professions as an actor, director and producer,” he said. “I already have a heavy schedule of auditions, as well as producing.”

He also hopes to finish the second edition of his children’s book.

Musselwhite will take up his Berry baton for the last time Sunday, April 12, when he leads the Berry Concert Choir and Berry Singers in a 3 p.m. performance at the college chapel. After retiring, he will relocate to the Southwest to join his wife, Dr. Laura Gilstrap Musselwhite (89C), the chief academic officer and dean of instruction for the University of New Mexico – Valencia.

A retirement party will be held Saturday, April 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Harvest Moon in Rome. Alumni wishing to attend should contact Jennifer Tucker Beard (93C, 00G).

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Viking ConnectionsStudents working toward careers in business and the humanities honed their networking chops through participation in two recent “Viking Connections” events in Atlanta.

Piloted in 2014, this program allows students to build career connections with successful professionals – many of them alumni. The impressive roster of participating employers included Chick-fil-A, Turner Broadcasting, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Invesco, Cox Communications, the Peace Corps, Jackson Spalding and AT&T.

“The primary focus of Viking Connections is helping students build relationships that will lead to jobs after graduation,” said Mark Kozera (79C), director of employer development for Berry’s Work Experience Program. “It’s also an excellent way to engage alumni, providing opportunities for them to assist students while also expanding their own career networks.”

The program has already borne fruit for students, with several securing summer internships through their participation in the 2014 pilot events.

Alumni interested in participating in future Viking Connections events or offering other types of career assistance for current students should contact Kozera at mkozera@berry.edu.

By Maxine Donnelly, philanthropic communications student assistant

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Berry AwardsNational and international attention for Berry’s resident bald eagles and promotional efforts in support of the LifeReady Campaign have earned state and regional acclaim from the Georgia Education Advancement Council and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Berry received six awards in CASE District III, which encompasses colleges and universities across the Southeast, including Grand Awards (first place) in four categories. Last fall, the unprecedented media coverage and public attention generated by the bald eagles and the impressive early success of the LifeReady Campaign earned Berry the Award for Overall Institutional Excellence in Advancement from GEAC, a professional organization representing all of Georgia’s public and private colleges, universities and technical colleges.

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Berry Half MarathonHundreds of runners, joggers and walkers will converge on the Berry campus Saturday, March 28, for the eighth-annual Berry Half Marathon, 10K and 5K road races.

Now a beloved tradition, this fundraising event for Berry College Elementary and Middle School promises fun and fitness for a good cause. The half-marathon and 10K start at 8 a.m.; the 5K follows at 8:20 a.m. The half-marathon course takes participants down Lavender Mountain Drive (stretch road) to Berry’s mountain campus, past such famed landmarks as Frost Chapel, the Old Mill and WinShape Retreat Center, then back to main campus by way of the Viking Trail. The 10K and 5K races utilize shorter sections of stretch road and the Viking Trail. There’s also a 1-mile fun run for children in the Clara Bowl. Registration fees are currently $70 for the half marathon ($75 after March 22; $80 on race day), $35 for the 10K ($40 on race day) and $30 for the 5K ($35 on race day). Sign up today at www.berryhalf.com.

By Maxine Donnelly, philanthropic communications student assistant

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Amelia Earhart

Three years before disappearing over the Pacific while attempting to circumnavigate the globe, Amelia Earhart (third from right) posed with Martha Berry during a 1934 visit to Berry.

If the results of our latest Alumni Accent poll are any indication, Berry alumni LOVE their campus landmarks!

Our January question – Which Berry landmark is your favorite? – drew unprecedented response. Two mountain campus favorites – Frost Chapel and the Old Mill – led the way, each drawing 30 percent of the vote. Ford Dining Hall was next with 21 percent, followed by the House ‘o Dreams (9 percent), Oak Hill (6 percent), Possum Trot (2 percent) and Roosevelt Cabin (2 percent).

This month, we turn our attention from famous places to famous people. Scroll to the footer to tell us which notable Berry visitor you would most like to have met.

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