Students returning for fall semester will find construction of Berry’s new Welcome Center well under way. Funded through support for LifeReady: The Berry College Campaign for Opportunity, the project is designed to make the campus both more inviting and more secure.
Unlike the existing gatehouse, which occupies the median between Berry’s main entrance and exit, the new facility will be located on the right shoulder of the entrance way. Staffed by campus police and student hosts, the 1,100-square-foot structure will serve a dual function as a safety/security area for the campus and a welcome/information area for guests. Features include an advanced gate system balancing convenience for members of the campus community with enhanced security.
Construction is being fast-tracked to minimize activity during the nesting season for Berry’s bald eagles. Completion is anticipated in early 2015. The Welcome Center is part of an overall plan to enhance the college entrance that includes last summer’s addition of new crosswalks, warning lights and planters for the traffic circle in front of Hermann Hall.
In the May issue of the Alumni Accent, we attempted to quantify “eagle mania” among our readers by asking the question, How often do you find yourself watching Berry’s Eagle Cam? Not surprisingly, the most popular response – with 38% of the vote – was multiple times each day. Close behind was once or twice a week (35%), followed by once or twice a day (15%), never (8%) and every waking moment (4%).
This month, we turn our attention to SOAR – an annual rite of passage for incoming students. Scroll to the bottom of this page to share your memories of summer orientation.
Tentative rendering for new Valhalla stadium site. Cage Center is top center.
Berry’s eagles were back in the news in late spring thanks to a decision by college officials to preserve the natural buffer around the famous nest by changing the site for the new Valhalla stadium.
Already shifted once as part of an eagle buffering plan approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Valhalla will be constructed south of the original site in the field bordered by Maple Drive (the service entrance), Martha Berry Highway and Memory Lane.
The relocation announcement was met with widespread support on Berry’s social media channels, especially among nature enthusiasts who have helped to make the college’s Eagle Cam an international sensation.
“The eagles are mesmerizing, better than any reality television show,” said President Steve Briggs. “And the truth is we are entranced by them as well.”
Fundraising for Valhalla – which will provide a home for intercollegiate football, lacrosse, and track and field in addition to intramural sports and other campus events – is more than 80 percent complete. Construction is expected to begin later this year. As part of the project, Maple Drive will be widened and a grassy field for track-and-field throwing events will be added.
The stadium is expected to be completed in time for the 2015 football season. Home games this fall will be played at Barron Stadium in Rome.
The arrival of a new eaglet has sparked another outbreak of eagle fever on the Berry campus, but this time it has spread far beyond the Gate of Opportunity. With national media coverage focusing attention on Eagle Cam as never before, millions are tuning in around the globe.
News of Berry’s live video stream has been shared by the likes of National Geographic, the New York Times, NPR, USA Today, ABC World News and Slate.com. The resulting attention has sent camera views soaring into the millions, and the eagles have not disappointed. On the night of Feb. 18, viewers were amazed to see the female fend off a great horned owl attack. A few days later, they thrilled at the sight of the newly hatched eaglet.
Many of those watching are students (estimates put the number at more than one million) whose teachers are using the live images as a learning tool in their classrooms. Faculty and students at the University of Georgia and other colleges and universities are also watching the show, along with Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Viewers from all over the globe have been moved to comment on the Berry College Eagles Facebook page, and donations have come in from as far away as Belgium to help cover the cost of the video stream. Support Eagle Cam.
One teacher reported: “My Pre-K classroom is watching from Austin, Texas. The children were so excited to see the eaglet … The timing of the hatching is perfect since we were just doing a unit on America and had been talking about bald eagles!
Another viewer stated: “I’m in Melbourne, Australia. It’s late at night when I watch and should be in bed but I can’t resist; they are just so fascinating!”
The new eaglet is the third to successfully hatch since the original pair took up residence not far from Berry’s main entrance in spring 2012. If all goes well, it is expected to take its first flight sometime in April.
Eagle Chat with Associate Professor of Biology Renee Carleton.
Eagle Cam is back and better than ever – just in time for another nesting season. Sony donated the camera and Georgia Power provided the bucket truck and manpower for the installation of the new camera, which gives viewers a spectacular overhead view of the bald eagle nest located near Berry’s main entrance. Fluid Mesh Networks is providing wireless transmission and equipment for the nest cam – the only one of its kind in Georgia.
Eagle Cam has generated approximately 200,000 page views since its debut last December, and more people are flocking to the site every day. Click the image for more information on the eagles and live views from two different vantage points. Hint: The best viewing times are mornings, evenings and overnight (the camera has infrared capability for just this purpose!).
In our last issue, we were excited to share news of the worldwide audience flocking to our new webcam to see live video of the bald eagles now residing on Berry’s campus. Soon after publication, interest spiked again with news that the eagles had produced offspring. Visitors to Eagle Cam now exceed 90,000, spurred in part by television news coverage of the beautiful birds. Not surprisingly, the viewing area near the nest has become a popular gathering spot for photographers, wildlife enthusiasts and other curious onlookers. For those who can’t make it out in person, we’re happy to share this video of one of the eagles taking flight. Photos are posted on the Berry College Facebook page.
One of the many perks of living or working at Berry is the possibility that on any given day you might see two of our newest residents – a pair of nesting bald eagles – take flight from their home high above the campus. Now, thanks to a web cam streaming live video of the nest, viewers from all over the world are joining in the fun. In just a few short weeks, the site (which also includes information about the eagles) has welcomed more than 33,000 unique visitors, some from as far away as Japan and Europe.
As first reported last March, the eagles have built a substantial nest in the top of a pine tree near the main entrance. After leaving for several months, they reappeared last fall and in November were seen mating. With an incubation period of 33 to 35 days for any eggs that might have been produced, our hope is that we will soon see offspring. View Eagle Cam.
UPDATE (Jan. 30): The eggs have hatched! Check out this story from Fox 5 Atlanta.