Issues by Date: August 2016

GHP LogoThe Governor’s Office of Student Achievement has selected Berry as the new site for Georgia’s prestigious Governor’s Honors Program. Beginning in 2017, Berry will welcome 650 of the state’s best and brightest high school students for a four-week summer residential program featuring classes in a wide variety of fields.

“We are thrilled to host the Governor’s Honors Program,” said Berry President Steve Briggs. “Berry’s campus is an ideal setting for a residential program that offers innovative and engaging experiences for Georgia’s most talented students. We expect the GHP students to make the most of this amazing place and its academic, artistic and recreational opportunities. What a great way for them to test-drive what college can be.”

Berry was chosen from a group of colleges and universities across the state that expressed interest in hosting the honors program. In its official announcement, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement noted Berry’s ability to provide appropriate academic and residential space, as well as a strong partnership and 21st-century resources to support the continued advancement of the program.

“Our specialty is a great residential academic community, and that fits with the Governor’s Honors Program,” said Debbie Heida, Berry’s vice president for student affairs. “We’ll treat these students as our own students.”

Full press release.

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A dream several years in the making became a reality this summer with the grand opening of the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College. Currently the largest single-surface tennis center in the United States, the 60-court facility is located on Berry-donated property just north of Mount Berry Mall.

“Less than a handful of communities in the entire country come close to matching what you have here,” United States Tennis Association Executive Director Gordon Smith praised at the July opening. “You should all give yourselves a round of applause.”

The center is already proving to be a draw for players from throughout the Southeast, hosting four major tournaments and more than 1,600 participants in its first few weeks alone. Two other major events are scheduled this fall, with many more to follow in 2017 and beyond.

The new center was funded by a voter-approved special purpose sales tax as part of a public-private partnership expected to provide a major boost to the local economy while also opening the door to new work and learning opportunities for Berry students. The community partnership has allowed the Work Experience Program’s community and industry initiative to expand into the tennis world. The center also provides opportunities for students to pursue certification in Professional Tennis Management. Berry is one of a handful of colleges and universities nationwide to offer such a certification program.

“We want to create great experiences for our students,” said President Steve Briggs. “We want them to be ready for life and to understand what it means to put on great events and to serve other people’s needs. Students are attracted to Berry because they have the opportunity to participate in something like this.”

Additional coverage: Grand opening photo gallery, Good Day Atlanta

Public Relations Student Assistant Alexi Bell contributed to this story.

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Mountain Day GraphicYou wouldn’t know it by the sweltering heat, but another Mountain Day is almost upon us. The fun starts Friday, Sept. 30, and continues throughout the day Saturday, Oct. 1.

Highlights for alumni include three special events for our reunion classes:

High School/Academy Reunion Brunch
Saturday, Oct. 1
9:30 a.m., Hill Dining Hall

High school and academy alumni from all years are welcome at this gathering honoring the reunion classes of 1971, 1976 and 1981. The cost is $12 per person (free for children 12 and under). Register online.

Class Reunion Brunch
Saturday, Oct. 1
10:30 a.m., Ford Reflecting Pools

Alumni in the college classes of 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011 are invited to join us for brunch before heading to the mountain campus for the Grand March and other traditional favorites. The cost is $12 per person (free for children 12 and under). Register online.

Milestone Class Reunion Reception
Saturday, Oct. 1
4 p.m., Oak Hill

New this year, the milestone reception will welcome college and academy alumni from the classes of 1976, 1991 and 2006 for an afternoon of fun on the grounds of Martha Berry’s estate. Register online.

That’s just a hint of what we have in store. Other events of note include Friday’s golf scramble and Saturday’s reunion reception for KCAB, SOAR and SGA alumni. Click here for a complete schedule.

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Berry College ChapelSince the earliest years of Berry’s existence, the college chapel has been a focal point of campus life, hosting religious services, notable speakers and countless weddings. On Sunday, Sept. 18, alumni and friends are invited to a special celebration marking the 100th anniversary of this Berry icon, which was constructed by students in 1915. The centennial service begins at 5 p.m. and will feature the voices of Berry’s combined choirs as well as remarks by the Rev. Fleming Rutledge. Admission is free.

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Frances Richey

Frances Richey (83A, 87C) is beginning her second term as president of the Berry Alumni Association.

A familiar presence has assumed the mantle of leadership as president of the Berry Alumni Association, with Frances E. Richey (83A, 87C) returning to a role she previously held from 2008 to 2010. She succeeds Tim Goodwin (03C), who will continue service as immediate past president.

Also stepping into leadership positions are three new vice presidents and three appointed officers representing more than a half-century of Berry history. They include:

  • Julie Patrick Nunnelly (88C, 00G), vice president, alumni events
  • Samantha Knight Tuttle (11C), vice president, young alumni and student relations
  • The Rev. Valerie Loner (91C), vice president, Berry heritage
  • Clara Hall McRae (60C), chaplain
  • Robert Aiken (82A), parliamentarian
  • Dr. Jennifer Dickey (77A, 80C), historian

Continuing in service are Jonathan Purser (85C), vice president, financial support; Patricia Tutterow Jackson (82C), vice president, alumni awards; and Mandy Tidwell (93C), secretary.

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Long before the citizens of Savannah elected him mayor, Eddie DeLoach (74C) was a Berry student honing his work-ethic and learning life lessons from the likes of faculty legends Jorge Gonzalez and Gordon Carper. Recently, he shared his recollections with student journalist Sarah O’Carroll in an interview for Viking Fusion. During their conversation, the 66th mayor of Georgia’s oldest city credited Berry with broadening his perspective, instilling leadership skills and stoking his appreciation for history.

Click here to read O’Carroll’s report on the Hometown Headlines news site.

Video courtesy of Sarah O’Carroll and Viking Fusion.

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Olympic Youth Camp“We can’t have the world at our doorstep and not bring them here!”

That sentiment – first expressed by then-Dean of Students Tom Carver – served as the inspiration for the 1996 Olympic Youth Camp, which 20 years ago this summer brought the world to Berry for two unforgettable weeks. The camp – with roots dating back to the 1912 Olympics – welcomed 456 participants from 155 different countries to the Berry campus, which served as an official non-competitive venue for the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Cecily Crow Carries the Torch“Some participants were Junior Olympians; others were the children of prime ministers and kings.” recalled Director of Student Activities Cecily Crow (94C), a camp volunteer who also had the opportunity to participate in the official torch relay for the Centennial Games, bearing the famous flame through Berry on its way to the Opening Ceremonies in Atlanta. “I remember in one case a camper from a small country in Africa won a foot race, and that’s how he got to attend. For a few weeks in July of 1996, the Berry campus was truly a melting pot of the world.”

As the 2016 Olympics opened in Rio, four-time Greek Olympian and 1996 Youth Camp participant Periklís Iakovákis shared his recollections via Twitter. For Carver, who worked with then-President Gloria Shatto to bring the camp to Berry, the memories are equally vivid.

“In my mind’s eye, I see an indelible picture of 150 flags from around the world with ‘Old Glory’ waving in front, leading the way to the largest campus in the world,” he described. “It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my time at Berry.”

If you’d like to learn more about this unique event in Berry history, stop by Memorial Library this fall and check out “Olympic Youth Camp: A Cultural Exchange,” currently on display in the Berry Archives. Hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

By Katherine Edmonds, philanthropic communications student writer

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Viking ChargeSingle-game tickets for the 2016 football season are now available online for alumni and friends wishing to join in the fun as coach Tony Kunczewski’s Vikings – ranked No. 21 in NCAA Division III by Lindy’s magazine – work to build on their 7-3 finish in 2015.

Tickets may be purchased for $6 apiece (including $1 online surcharge) at and picked up at the will-call window on game day; no tickets will be mailed. Online purchases must be made by noon Wednesday of the week preceding each game. If you miss this cutoff or prefer to purchase your tickets in person, visit the Krannert Center Information Desk between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, or stop by the stadium ticket booth on game day. Interest is high, so get your tickets early!

This year’s home schedule is as follows:

Saturday, Sept. 3
Maryville College, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 24
Sewanee: University of the South, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 8
University of Chicago, Noon

Saturday, Oct. 29
Millsaps College, 1 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5
Birmingham-Southern College, 3 p.m.

Last year’s inaugural season at Valhalla was a winner for the team and the fans, producing a 4-1 record on the Williams Field turf and average attendance of more than 3,000 per game (ranking Berry in the top 12 percent nationally for NCAA Division III).

Note to campus community: Free tickets for students and faculty/staff are available at the Krannert Center Information Desk the week preceding each home game. Students are eligible for one free ticket per game; faculty/staff receive two. Up to two additional tickets may be purchased at the time of pickup for $5 apiece.

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Communication Students in Vienna

Communication students pause for a photo in Vienna. Front row from left are Candler Lowe, Lexie Turner, Lauren Fiorillo, Lia Batista and Sarah Casagrande; back row from left are Abbie Smith, Lauren Richardson, Jackson Mattox, Eric Jackson, Madison Eiberger and Courtney Fox.

Lauren Richardson will go to any lengths to get a good story, even if it means traveling halfway around the world. This summer, the aspiring journalist joined 10 other Berry communication students and three faculty members in Vienna, Austria, for a four-week course in international multimedia reporting.

While fellow students reported on topics ranging from opera to coffee houses to street art in their exploration of Austrian culture, Richardson decided to get the scoop on how Viking football is played on that side of the pond. Her subjects were the Vienna Vikings, a professional team playing American-style tackle football in Europe.

“It was really neat to get to know the coaches and players on a personal level and to be able to see the contrast of football in their culture versus ours,” she explained.

To learn more about the Vienna Vikings and other subjects explored by the students, check out the The Spaces of Vienna online magazine.

More than 130 Berry students took their education “on the road” this summer through various study-abroad programs. Destinations ranged from the waters off Honduras to Iceland to Costa Rica, touching five continents in all.

By Katherine Edmonds, philanthropic communications student writer

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No, we’re not talking about THAT election. We’re referring to the Distinguished Alumni Awards. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 awards, and we need your help identifying the best and brightest in Berry’s alumni community. If you have a friend or classmate who is deserving of recognition, please take a few minutes to complete the online nomination form. Awards are available in four categories:

  • Distinguished Achievement
  • Distinguished Service
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Outstanding Young Alumni

The deadline for consideration  is Oct. 31, so don’t delay! Winners will be honored at Alumni Weekend.

Click here for a list of past winners.

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Berry Magazine CoverBeth Collins Earnst (93C) has done it again, winning her second consecutive Alumni Accent trivia challenge by correctly tweeting that the Berry College Chapel is the famous campus landmark celebrating its centennial in 2016.

For this month’s challenge, we take inspiration from the newest issue of Berry magazine. Scroll to the blog footer for two questions about former Fortune 500 CEO and current Berry Board of Trustees Chair Barry Griswell (71C), pictured at left with wife Michele Irwin Griswell (70C). Share your answers on social media using the hashtag #berrycollegetrivia to earn a shout-out in our next issue.

HINT: The answers to both questions can be found in the story, accessible by clicking the adjacent cover image.

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