When Stewart Fuqua (80A) sits down to make his travel plans each summer, sandy beaches and swaying palms are the last thing on his mind. The destinations closest to his heart are Guatemala – where he serves each year with his church – and Berry. Every year since 1998, the academy alumnus has returned “home” for Alumni Work Week. This May, he was one of 175 alumni and friends who spent a week working on 17 different campus projects.

Stewart Fuqua

Stewart Fuqua

Working alongside Al Christopher (61c) and other friends, Fuqua helped build an equipment barn for the Season’s Harvest student enterprise, putting to good use the skills he learned decades ago as a student working on the grounds crew and in the water plant. Those skills have served him well throughout his adult life, whether in his work as a contractor and volunteer firefighter or building a home for a doctor in Guatemala.

Fuqua loves returning to “God’s backyard” – as he refers to Berry – for Alumni Work Week, and he intends to be back next year.

“God willing,” he declared, “I’ll be here.”

Click the video for scenes from Berry’s 31st annual Alumni Work Week.

By Katherine Edmonds, philanthropic communications student writer

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Bill Pence

Bill Pence

The Berry College Board of Visitors has a new chair in William L. “Bill” Pence (76C), a partner specializing in environmental law with the BakerHostetler law firm in Orlando. A board member since 2010, Pence holds a Juris Doctor from the Syracuse (N.Y.) University College of Law and a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from The London School of Economics and Political Science. He was named to the “Best Lawyers in America” list in 2015 and also serves as a volunteer guardian ad litem for the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, Fla.

In addition to a new chair, the Board of Visitors has two new members: Mike Crego (92C), managing director of Benjamin F. Edwards and Co. in Rome, and Jack Allen Morgan, a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Tax Division and special assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. Morgan is the grandson of Berry benefactor and honorary alumna Audrey Morgan and her late husband, Jack.

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Golden Guard Induction

Joy was in the air May 20-22 as nearly 400 alumni and friends gathered to celebrate their shared Berry heritage at Alumni Weekend. This year’s event included reunions for the high school, academy and college classes of 1951, 1956, 1961 and 1966.

Highlights included Golden Guard induction for the academy and college classes of 1966 and presentation of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards. Winners included:

Roger W. Lusby III (79C), Distinguished Achievement

Joy Bernice Ogle Whaley (53H), Distinguished Service

Tricia Steele (09C), Entrepreneurial Spirit

Chris R. Hayes (04C), Outstanding Young Alumni

Ross MagoulasAlso honored were Alumni Association Secretary Mandy Tidwell (93C), recipient of the Alumni Association President’s Award, and Robert Catanzano, who received the Berry High Schools/Berry Academy Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award.

Alumni WeekendThe college class of 1966 shined in class competition, claiming the Reunion Cup (highest percentage attendance), Viking Cup (highest giving percentage) and Heritage Cup (greatest increase in Berry Heritage Society membership). The Ford Cup (highest total amount given) went to the college class of 1961. Total reunion giving for all classes was $1.4 million.

Nominations for the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards are now being accepted. Click here for details.

Additional content: Alumni Weekend photos, Alumni Weekend Worship Service audio

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Audrey Morgan

Audrey Morgan

Todd Brooks

Todd Brooks

The visionary donor who helped spur development of the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship Program and the administrator who has led Berry’s athletic program during a period of tremendous growth have been granted honorary membership in the Berry Alumni Association. Audrey Morgan and Todd Brooks join an impressive list that includes former college presidents, beloved faculty members and other close Berry friends.

Morgan has committed more than $7.5 million to programs and facilities benefiting Berry students, including $1 million in matching funds to encourage support for a new campus theatre. She is a member of the Board of Visitors and a recipient of Berry’s honorary doctorate.

Brooks, meanwhile, has served two stints as athletic director, helping guide Berry’s transition to NCAA Division III and the Southern Athletic Association and assisting in the planning process for the Cage Center and Valhalla.

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Kassie HowardA trio of Berry student-athletes found themselves ranked among the very best in NCAA Division III after dominating seasons in softball and men’s golf.

Sophomore pitcher Kassie Howard (pictured) won acclaim as Berry’s first softball All-American and was one of 10 finalists for National Player of the Year after leading her team to a program-best 39-8 record and a second straight trip to nationals.

Two Berry golfers – senior Tommy McCloskey and junior Ryan Elmore – were Jack Nicklaus Award semifinalists after helping their team qualify for nationals for the third consecutive year. McCloskey also earned All-America Scholar recognition with his 3.49 GPA. He graduated in May with a degree in finance.

Photo by student Russell Maddrey

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Joyce HeamesThe associate dean for innovation, outreach and engagement at West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics will soon assume the mantle of leadership for Berry’s Campbell School of Business. Dr. Joyce T. Heames will succeed Dr. John Grout, who is returning full time to the faculty after serving as dean since 2007.

Heames’ academic credentials include a bachelor’s degree and MBA from Samford University and a doctorate from the University of Mississippi. She joined the West Virginia faculty in 2006 and since has earned the Dean’s Award of Distinction in Service from the College of Business and Economics. Outreach – with an eye toward alumni involvement and stronger corporate relations – will be a point of emphasis in her new role.

Grout leaves the dean’s office after successfully overseeing renewal of Berry’s business accreditation by AACSB International. His duties going forward will include teaching, research and an ongoing leadership role within Berry’s groundbreaking creative technologies program.

Additional content: Heames new business dean

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Viking Fusion wowed judges at this year’s Southeast Regional Emmy Awards, earning top honors in the College/University Student Production/Non-News Program category for Sunrise, a short film written and directed by senior communication major Gino Destefano Valdivia.

The winning entry tells the story of a suicidal man confronting his own sorrow. Inspiration came from Valdivia’s childhood, when his mother taught him to smile at people he met on the street because you never know what they might be going through.

“That smile could save a life,” he noted. “Even though Sunrise is simple from a production standpoint, my hope is that the story captures this sentiment.”

Valdivia’s film was one of three Viking Fusion productions to earn Emmy nominations this year. It previously claimed third-place honors for Best TV Entertainment Program at the College Media Association’s Pinnacle Awards.

This is Viking Fusion’s second regional Emmy.

Other recent honors for Viking Fusion include a third-place national showing for The Collector, a dark comedy produced by junior communication major Ryan Warrick, and a first-place regional award for The Things They Carry, an online series produced by students in Berry’s COM 311 Sports Journalism class.

By Katherine Edmonds, philanthropic communications student writer

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Todd TimberlakeMany alumni will recall the “star parties” thrown by Professor of Physics and Department Chair Todd Timberlake at Berry’s mountain campus observatory, but this summer he’s playing to a completely different audience – and hemisphere – as part of the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative. While leading a course of study in physics at the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Mundgod, India, Timberlake used a hand-controlled, six-inch telescope to share the wonders of the night sky with 50-60 Tibetan Buddhist monks and 20 U.S. college students. Afterward, he exclaimed on Facebook: “The best part of the night was watching the monks snap pictures with their iPhones and download the Stellarium app. I guess they have a better data plan than I do!”

Timberlake is one of a number of Berry faculty members working in countries around the globe this summer. Many times, they’re accompanied by Berry students (more on that in our next issue). Destinations include Cuba, Denmark, Israel, Honduras, Ecuador, Belize, South Korea, Iceland, Austria, Jamaica and Costa Rica.

By Katherine Edmonds, philanthropic communications student writer

 

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Cecily Crow

Beth Collins Earnst

Beth Collins Earnst

In 2013, Beth Collins Earnst (93C) won well-deserved acclaim as the winner of Berry’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Now she can add another distinction to her resume – Alumni Accent trivia champion! She recalled correctly that it was Cecily Crow (94C) who bore the Olympic flame through the Berry campus on its way to Atlanta in 1996. We’ll include more on Berry’s Olympic legacy in a future issue. In the meantime, scroll to the blog footer for this month’s question about a famous Berry landmark. (HINT: Many of you have celebrated a major life event inside its walls.) Share your answers on social media using the hashtag #berrycollegetrivia.

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