The rhythmic beat of the Viking Drumline provided the perfect soundtrack as students, faculty, staff, board members, project donors and special guests celebrated the Oct. 17 groundbreaking for Valhalla, including Williams Field, Clark Track and Dickey Field.

“What a great day it is for Berry College,” said President Steve Briggs, addressing the large crowd gathered at the construction site just south of the Cage Center. “It’s an important milestone in our ongoing effort to enhance this amazing campus and to create places of opportunity for students, for our friends and for our community. And like the Cage Center behind us, Valhalla will provide a major venue for recreation, excitement, achievement, participation and just plain fun.”

Taking up shovels were Steve Cage (74C), the Berry trustee whose 2012 lead gift initiated fundraising for Valhalla; Bob (62H) and Kay Williams, whose generosity paved the way for the naming of the stadium field; alumni trustees Bert Clark (82C) and Roger Lusby (79C), who led the successful Clark Track Challenge, and Bert’s wife, Cathy; Dr. Ouida Dickey (50C, FFS), who has joined daughters Jennifer (77A, 80C) and Angela (75A, 79C) in making a challenge gift to name the track and field throws area for the late Garland M. Dickey (42C); Steve and Michelle Tart, football parents and project supporters; Randy Berry and Barry Griswell (71C), trustees and LifeReady Campaign co-chairs, and Barry’s wife Michele (70C), all major donors to the project; and Board of Trustees Chair Karen Holley Horrell (74C), another major contributor to the fundraising effort to build the stadium.

Steve CageIn his remarks, Cage (pictured) noted that Valhalla is “a collaboration of hard work, trust and leadership with the Board of Trustees, Dr. Briggs, faculty and staff, students and donors.” He offered special praise to the Berry president, dedicating the new stadium in his honor, and thanked all those who had made gifts to the project. Groundbreaking coverage.

Christened  “a place for us” by SGA President Paton Roden, Valhalla will provide a new home for Berry’s football and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams when completed in 2015. The stadium and adjacent Dickey Field will also make possible the spring 2016 resumption of full competition in men’s and women’s track and field, in addition to hosting intramural competitions and other large outdoor events. Berry’s service entrance will be closed until construction is completed.

Fundraising for Valhalla is now entering its final phase. Gifts to the project can be made online. If you’d like to double your giving power, make your commitment through the Dickey Field Challenge.

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What do you get when you mix a gorgeous fall weekend, a steady diet of tradition-rich events, a fantastic finish on the football field and a fireworks display worthy of July 4th? Why, it’s the perfect Mountain Day!

The 100th anniversary of Berry’s one-of-a-kind homecoming celebration exceeded expectations in every way. A stormy forecast threatened to force Friday’s Mountain Day Olympics indoors, but then the skies cleared and a glorious weekend dawned. Saturday got off to an early start with a convocation speech by Board of Visitors member Billy Blanchard (93C) and the new reunion brunch, which drew 330 to the Ford Reflecting Pools. From there, it was on to the Mountain Campus, where 7,500 students, alumni, parents and friends gathered for the annual picnic and Grand March, which this year took place to the strains of a new Mountain Day March composed by longtime faculty member Dr. Stan Pethel.

Victory ScoreboardLater that evening, 4,200 fans at Rome’s Barron Stadium celebrated as Berry’s second-year football team claimed its first-ever varsity win. Students and other Viking supporters poured onto the field after Dale Jackson’s 25-yard pass to Josh Bullock won the overtime thriller. The victory was followed by a spectacular fireworks display. The night ended with a festive crowd of approximately 2,500 filling the Clara Bowl for the 10th annual Marthapalooza student carnival.

Bonny Harper (13C) captured the spirit of Mountain Day in her column for the Barrow County News. As she expressed, “it is truly a pleasure to return and watch the current students taking part in such a time-honored tradition and experiencing the same joy I did.” To that, we can only say amen!

Special thanks to all those who made a gift to the 1914 Challenge in honor of Martha’s birthday. The students set a goal of 1,914 gifts to commemorate the very first Mountain Day; we wound up with 2,014. Great job everybody!

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Garland M. Dickey (42C) is a name that resonates across decades of Berry history. As the college’s first full-time athletic director, Dickey helped lead the rebirth of intercollegiate athletics at Berry in the years after World War II, forging the college’s first conference affiliation, initiating the contest that resulted in Berry’s “Viking” nickname, and at one time or another coaching every men’s sport on campus, including track and field. More than three decades after his death, he is poised to once again play a key role in the establishment of full competition in track and field – which has been limited to distance running since the 1980s – this time through the generosity of  wife Ouida (50C, FFS) and daughters Jennifer (77A, 80C) and Angela (75A, 79C). Their commitment of $100,000 has made possible the Dickey Field Challenge, which will provide a dollar-for-dollar match for all future gifts to the track and field throws area adjacent to Berry’s new Valhalla stadium. As a result, your giving power is effectively doubled! There’s no better way to honor the memory of a pioneer in Berry athletics.

Take the Dickey Field Challenge today by visiting our online giving page and selecting “Valhalla stadium – Dickey Field” in the drop-down menu under Campaign Priorities. Pledges can be fulfilled over a period of up to five years. Contact David Clark at dclark@berry.edu or 706-236-1708 for more information.

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Bruce ConnGund Professor of Biology Bruce Conn has received his fourth consecutive five-year appointment as associate of invertebrate zoology at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. During his tenure, he has taken several groups of Berry students to visit and work in Harvard’s laboratories. Conn served for 16 years as dean of Berry’s School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences before returning full time to the classroom in fall 2013. He is also a member of the lead committee for Berry’s One Health Center and a Jefferson Science Fellow for the U.S. State Department.

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Online MarketplaceBerry’s student-operated campus enterprises continue to come up with new ways to serve their customers – including you! Launched in 2009, this program provides tremendous opportunities for students to gain firsthand experience while also delivering a diverse (and growing) array of products and services. Recently, an online marketplace was launched that provides easy access to several of these products, including cheese made from Berry milk, woven items created on original Berry looms, and handcrafted cypress furniture constructed on campus. More products will be added in the future.

“Our enterprise program continually searches for new and progressive ways to market our quality products,” said sophomore Greg Howard, acting director of the Berry Enterprise Student Team (BEST). “We believe our new online marketplace will give consumers an additional and easy way to view and purchase our merchandise.”

Click here if you would like to receive future email updates from Berry College Student Enterprises.

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Brin Enterkin FeatureNot long ago, we were pleased to share a CNN story highlighting work done by Brin Enterkin (12C) to help the people of Uganda. Now the successful social entrepreneur is in the spotlight again, this time as the subject of a feature article in the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation magazine, Engage. The publication traced her development from a Berry student teaching microfinance in Uganda to founder of The African SOUP, a nonprofit started while she was at Berry, and CEO of Lion’s Thread, a social enterprise co-founded with Sydney Hulebak (14C). Click the image to read more.

The Sullivan Foundation promotes service and social entrepreneurship on more than 60 college and university campuses. Berry is an invited participant in the foundation’s annual Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards program, which recognizes students whose character and dedication to service sets them apart as examples to others.

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Berry’s first varsity football win featured more than its share of drama – a late comeback to force overtime and a tremendous stand by the Viking defense on the first series of OT, followed by a perfect pass to win the game – all before a huge Mountain Day crowd that swept onto the field to celebrate with the team. It also produced a play that has been heralded as one of the best in the nation this season. Malcholm Graham’s diving one-handed interception late in the fourth quarter was named National Play of the Week by D3football.com (see accompanying video) and has been nominated for GEICO Play of the Year. The winner will be announced Nov. 28 during GEICO’s Best of College Football 2014 on CBS.

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Daphine RooksWith another season of eagle watching almost upon us, 60 members of the “B3 Buddies” (named for the most recent eagle fledgling) flocked to campus in October for an in-person look at the famous nest. Among the visitors was 94-year-old Daphine Lummus Rooks (38H, 42C). She recalled pinning violets on Henry Ford’s wife, Clara, during a visit to Berry by the famous couple and described living on campus while husband Herman (43C) was teaching here. Her son, Leland, is named for former Berry president Leland Green. 11 Alive coverage.

Eagle watchers will be happy to hear that a new camera with sound capabilities has been installed for the upcoming nesting season. The sound will be enabled once the eagles return to the nest full time (any day now). Click here to access all three views.

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Michael Morgan Michael Morgan (94C) found himself face to face with some of America’s most famous athletes as a volunteer for the United State Olympic Committee during the weeks leading up to the 2014 Winter Games. Working at a USOC processing facility in Munich, Germany, Morgan (far right in photo) had the opportunity to assist famed ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis (pictured) and other future medalists as they made final preparations to travel to Sochi, Russia, for the Games. He was awed by the experience, noting, “It was really nice to see some of the most famous athletes in the world and realize that most of them are very humble people who are just trying to live out a dream.”

Morgan, a laboratory manager for Wacker Polysilicon who was on a training assignment in Germany at the time, is now on the short list for volunteer opportunities at future Olympic and Pan-American Games.

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There’s still time to nominate deserving classmates for the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards, but you need to act fast! The deadline for consideration is Oct. 31. There are four categories – Distinguished Achievement, Distinguished Service, Entrepreneurial Spirit and Outstanding Young Alumni. To submit a nomination, simply complete our online form. Winners will be announced in the spring, and recipients will be honored at Alumni Weekend 2015.

Need inspiration? Check out the video at left or visit our Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.

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Berry OutdoorsIn September’s Alumni Accent poll, we asked you to share the one thing in your Berry experience that most helped you to become LifeReady. The No. 1 answer, not surprisingly, was student work experience, with 54% of the vote. Next with 20% was guidance from faculty/staff mentors, followed by involvement in campus activities (10%). The remaining votes were scattered among challenging classes (6%), study abroad (4%), participation in intercollegiate athletics (4%) and alumni connections (2%).

This month, we take our cue from Berry’s inclusion on Best College Reviews’ list of the Top 35 Outdoor Schools in America. Scroll to the blog footer to share your favorite outdoor activity at Berry.

 

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