Rob Franek

Rob Franek of “The Princeton Review” shares insight about selecting a college during interview day for the 2017 Governor’s Honors Program.

More than 1,600 of Georgia’s best and brightest high school sophomores and juniors passed through the Gate of Opportunity on Feb. 25 to interview for the 2017 Governor’s Honors Program. Of those, approximately 650 will return for a four-week residential experience later this summer.

This is Berry’s first year as the host site for the nation’s longest running summer enrichment program. The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement chose Berry from a group of colleges and universities interested in hosting the program, which previously had been held on the campus of Valdosta State University.

Berry’s population swelled by nearly 5,000 as prospective GHP students, parents and volunteer interviewers – many of them teachers from across Georgia – flocked to campus for the daylong interview session. Joining them was Rob Franek, editor-in-chief of The Princeton Review, who shared his insights with parents on the college admissions process. Franek’s tips.

Selected students will return to Berry on June 18 to begin the month-long program. Click here to learn more.

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Mary K. Boyd

Mary K. Boyd

Nancy Rewis

Nancy Rewis

The strength of Berry’s executive leadership team was on full display last spring when two members of the President’s Cabinet were tapped to lead other institutions. Now that team is welcoming two new members who are impressive in their own right – Provost Mary K. Boyd and Vice President of Marketing and Communications Nancy Rewis.

Dr. Boyd is an organic chemist who earned her bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. Her prior leadership experience includes service as vice president of academic affairs at St. Edward’s University, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Diego and chair of Georgia Southern University’s Department of Chemistry. She will begin transitioning into her new role March 20. Dr. Andy Bressette will serve as interim provost through semester’s end before assuming new responsibilities as vice president of enrollment management. More on Boyd.

Rewis brings a track record of success to her new position leading Berry’s marketing and branding efforts, most recently serving as vice president of marketing and eCommerce at Gem Shopping Network in Atlanta. She previously excelled in a variety of roles for Turner Broadcasting, including vice president of marketing and brand development. She also served as senior director of brand partnerships and director of marketing for Turner Classic Movies. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi. More on Rewis.

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Project champion Audrey Morgan received a well-deserved standing ovation during a Feb. 23 “topping-out” celebration marking the halfway point in construction for Berry’s new theatre.

Work on the 9,226 square-foot addition to Blackstone Hall is progressing rapidly, with completion expected as early as May 30. Students, faculty, donors and friends got a glimpse of the developing space during the luncheon, which was held inside the four walls that soon will house a black-box stage with adjustable seating for up to 276, depending on the needs of a particular production. Construction and design partners in attendance praised the cooperation and assistance of Berry’s theatre faculty and facilities staff in helping to bring the project to fruition.

It was Morgan’s $1 million challenge gift that initiated fundraising for the now-completed $6.7 million theatre campaign in fall 2015. A year later, at the project groundbreaking, she announced a second $1 million commitment, this one from the foundation of her late sister, Dr. M. Bobbie Bailey.

Morgan, an honorary alumna and member of the Board of Visitors, spoke fondly of her sister at the topping out and graciously thanked all “who had a part in making this dream a reality.” Later, President Steve Briggs proclaimed to the theatre students in attendance, “This, my friends, is for you.”

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Martha Berry’s friendship with Henry and Clara Ford left an indelible impression on the institution that bears her name. Recently, Ford Motor Company honored the legacy of that friendship in a video featuring Edsel Ford, Henry and Clara’s great-grandson. Shot on campus last October, the video made its debut in January at a “Salute to Dealers” event honoring the philanthropic efforts of Ford dealers worldwide.

President Steve Briggs, who appears with Edsel Ford in the video, explored the history of Martha Berry’s “improbable friendship” with the Fords in his winter Berry magazine essay. Read more.

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President Steve Briggs announced last week that Berry’s LifeReady Campaign has now surpassed $100 million in gifts and pledges. Fundraising for several major campaign projects has been completed, but four strategic priorities remain. Those priorities, and the estimated remaining needs, are:

Click here to read Dr. Briggs’ message, which includes a list of accomplishments to date. Learn more about the vision for LifeReady by viewing the accompanying video. Commitments to remaining priorities can be made at www.berry.edu/gift.

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Georgia Trend ArticleBerry has a fan in Georgia Trend magazine, which showcased the college’s historic work focus and other unique initiatives – including the creative technologies major and HackBerry Lab – in a prominent January feature fittingly titled, “Gate of Opportunity.” In that same issue, four representatives of the college community – three of them alumni – made the publication’s annual list of Notable Georgians:

  • Eddie DeLoach (74C), Savannah mayor
  • Sara Totonchi (99C), executive director of the Southern Center for Human Rights
  • Roger Tutterow (84C), Berry trustee and director of the Econometric Center at Kennesaw State University
  • Maria Saporta, Berry Board of Visitors member and noted business and civic journalist
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Williams Field Dedication

From left, softball coach Cori Thiermann, Dean of Students Debbie Heida, Board of Trustees Chair Barry Griswell (71C) and President Steve Briggs join Kay and Bob (62H) Williams at the official ribbon-cutting for Kay Williams Field.

Four straight wins over top-ranked opponents, a milestone 200th victory for head coach Cori Thiermann and a field dedication honoring one of their biggest fans highlighted a program-best 13-0 start for Berry’s softball Vikings.

The Feb. 18 dedication of Kay Williams Field coincided with a doubleheader sweep of arch-rival Emory University. A pregame ceremony honored Kay Williams’ longtime support of Berry’s student-athletes and the institution as a whole. Husband Bob Williams (62H) joined her for the dedication, along with Board of Trustees Chair Barry Griswell (71C) and other Berry leaders.

The wins over Emory – coming on the heels of a similarly impressive sweep of Texas Lutheran – propelled Berry to a top-5 national ranking. In less than a month of action, three members of the team – Brittany Tuttle, Sarah Moore and Marie Collop – have earned National Player of the Week honors from either Fastpitch News or the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

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Berry's Bald EaglesThe Berry College eagles once again are appointment viewing for wildlife enthusiasts worldwide. In February alone, there were nearly 250,000 unique visitors to Berry’s “Eagle Cam” website, all eager to track the progress of two new eaglets – dubbed B8 and B9. Interest will continue to soar in the weeks and months ahead as the eaglets gain size and strength in preparation for their first flight. Click the image at left to join in the fun; you also can follow their progress on Facebook.

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Viewers across the state recently got a firsthand look at Berry’s fast-growing animal science program thanks to the Georgia Farm Monitor, a news and information program produced by the Georgia Farm Bureau. The four-minute segment – first aired last summer and again at year-end – featured remarks by Berry students as well as two longtime faculty members, Drs. George Gallagher and Judy Wilson.

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Berry WebsiteBerry’s digital marketing team needs your help with an upcoming summer enhancement project for the college website. To have a say in possible new features or user enhancements, simply complete this short online survey seeking input on your past experiences with the site. By sharing your insights, you can help to optimize the Berry College Web experience for all users.

 

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This Is Us Screen CaptureCharlotte Collins Davis (14C) out-tweeted Kate Logan Pearson (02C) by the narrowest of margins to win our most recent Alumni Accent trivia challenge. Both correctly noted that it was President George W. Bush who appointed faculty legend Dr.  Peter Lawler to the President’s Council on Bioethics.

For this month’s question, we shift from politics to television. A few weeks back, we were thrilled to see one of Berry’s inaugural Gate of Opportunity Scholars make a cameo appearance on the hit NBC drama This Is Us. Earn a shout-out in our next issue by being the first to tweet the name of the 2013 alumnus pictured at left (don’t forget to include the hashtag #berrycollegetrivia).

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