Issues by Date: March 2012

Scholarship Night has always been an emotional celebration bringing together students and the donors who fund their scholarships, but this year’s event took on added significance thanks to the tremendous generosity of a longtime Berry friend and the incredible opportunities that will result.

On a night when Berry annually expresses its sincere appreciation to all scholarship donors, a new act of generosity was announced that has resulted in the formation of a $10 million Donor Opportunity Fund designed to help speed the creation of 80 additional Gate of Opportunity Scholarships. The fund provides matching support – at a rate of $1.25 for each dollar given – to individuals or groups who endow new Gate of Opportunity Scholarships. Once established, these new scholarships will benefit Berry students for generations to come.

Each four-year Gate of Opportunity Scholarship represents a partnership among a donor, a student and his or her family, and Berry, with each partner contributing approximately one-third of the cost of the student’s education. The student’s portion comes largely through extensive participation in the Work Experience Program.

Twenty-eight students currently are working their way through Berry with the prospect of graduating debt-free thanks to Gate of Opportunity donors. One student whose life has already been changed by this mission-focused program is Naing Oo. Watch the video to learn more about his inspiring story.

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For more than four decades, Cokie Roberts has roamed America’s halls of power as a political commentator and Hall of Fame broadcaster. On March 29, she will share her “Insider’s View of Washington, D.C.” as the 2012 Gloria Shatto Lecturer. The Emmy-winning journalist and bestselling author will speak at 8 p.m. in the Steven J. Cage Athletic and Recreation Center. Admission is free, but tickets are required for entry. “Will call” is available for alumni who live outside the Rome area. Call 706-236-2226 for more details.

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Move over deer! Step aside skunks! A new representative of the animal kingdom has been spotted on the Berry campus, and it’s none other than America’s national bird. The local community has been abuzz in recent weeks with news that two bald eagles have been seen working on a potential nesting site not far from the Gate of Opportunity. We can’t reveal the exact location due to the delicate nature of the nesting season, but we thought you’d enjoy this glimpse, courtesy of Berry staff member Eddie Elsberry.

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Looking for something fun to do in late spring? We’ve got not one, not two but three GREAT OPTIONS: Alumni Weekend, Young Alumni Weekend and Alumni Work Week.

Alumni Weekend, May 18-20, will feature college, academy and high school reunions for the classes of 1947, 1952, 1957, 1962 and 1967, as well as the presentation of the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards and the Golden Guard induction of Berry’s two 50th year reunion classes, 1962H and 1962C.

That same weekend, young alumni (those who graduated in the last 10 years) are invited to their own celebration including campus service projects, intramural competition, a party on the green at Oak Hill and, new this year, a live auction to raise money for The Berry Farms Season’s Harvest, one of Berry’s student-operated campus enterprises.

The fun continues with Alumni Work Week, May 20-25, which offers opportunities for alumni of all ages (and skill levels) to renew old friendships and build new ones while working side-by-side on various campus projects.

Information and online registration for all these events is available by clicking the links above. If you have questions, please contact the alumni relations office at 800-782-0130 (toll free) or alumni@berry.edu.

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No, alumni from the Decade of Disco, you’re not seeing things. That really is Dennis DaSilva (74A, 78C), your friend and classmate, in a recent promotional video for Ram trucks. As it turns out, the 2010 winner of Berry’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award is also a rodeo enthusiast. He shares screen time in the video with daughter Rebecca. Click the image to see them in action.

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Start stretching now, men’s soccer alumni, because a celebration a half-century in the making is now less than a month away! Former coaches Bob Warming, Bob Pearson and Bret Simon are among those planning to be in attendance April 13-14 for the 50th anniversary of men’s soccer at Berry. Join your old (okay, not that old) coaches for a weekend of food, fun and, yes, soccer. Bring your memories … and your cleats! The accompanying video should provide all the inspiration you need. Watch it, then click here to RSVP.

If you have questions, call at 800-782-0130 (toll free) or email alumni@berry.edu.

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Your alumni magazine is once again among the best of the best, as judged by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. This year, Berry received an Award of Excellence in the nine-state CASE District III awards competition. Only one publication ranked higher in Berry’s enrollment category. As an added bonus, Shannon Biggers (81C), chief designer for Berry magazine, and fellow alumna Jennifer Beard (93C, 00G) also claimed an Award of Excellence for Berry’s 2011 Young Alumni Weekend invitation.

If you’ve yet to explore the latest issue of Berry magazine, featuring stories about international banker Michael Contreras (76C), Jeopardy! champion Ryan Fox (02C), and the inspiring work of lifelong friends Mack Gay (59C) and Walter Maine (59C), click the cover and check it out today.

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Conor Monaghan put his name in the record books as the first conference champion in the three-year history of Berry swimming and diving with victories in the 200-yard butterfly and the 200 freestyle at the Appalachian Swimming Conference championships. The performance by the Gainesville, Ga., freshman highlighted a seventh-place team finish for the Berry men. The women’s team also placed seventh in Berry’s final ASC championship appearance. In 2012-13, the Vikings and Lady Vikings will transition to the Southern Athletic Association, Berry’s new NCAA Division III conference.

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If you’re a recent graduate trying to find your way in a challenging job market, we hope you’ll make plans to join us April 12 for a special networking event in Atlanta. Cheryl Huffman (91C), Berry’s financial aid coordinator, will be on hand to share her insight into how you can tackle your student loan debt. The event gets under way at 6 p.m. at the Park Central Condominiums between 10th and 14th streets in Midtown.

Contact Jennifer Beard (93C, 00G) at 800-782-0130 (toll free) or jbeard@berry.edu for more details.

Click here to RSVP.

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Berry LinkedIn NetworkAlumni of all ages are invited to join the official Berry College Network group on LinkedIn. As this new online meeting place develops, we will be promoting opportunities to build professional connections and take part in career-focused discussions benefiting students, alumni, faculty/staff and all friends of the college. You can access the Berry College LinkedIn Network by clicking the link above. Once on the page, select “Join Group” to begin networking. (If you’re not already a LinkedIn user, you’ll first need to establish a free account.)

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Never let it be said that Berry alumni aren’t opinionated. In our Alumni Accent poll for February, we asked how you prefer to learn about Berry news, upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and other college initiatives, and an overwhelming 89 percent responded Email. Needless to say, the Accent staff appreciates this strong vote of confidence in e-communication!

To offer your thoughts on this month’s question – What type of alumni career services would be beneficial to you? – simply scroll to the bottom of this page and pick the answer of your choice. We’ll share the results in the next issue!

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