Issues by Date: June 2012

Alumni Weekend is a memorable experience for all involved, but as the newest inductees in Berry’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame, John W. Coleman (04C), Amy Moskovitz Williams (03C) and Thomas Ray Fewell (58C) found it truly unforgettable.

John, a published author who recently completed both his MBA and MPA from Harvard University, was honored with this year’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Amy, wife of 2010 Outstanding Young Alumnus Michael D. Williams (03C), claimed the Distinguished Service Award for her commitment to global volunteerism in the area of public health. Ray, meanwhile, took home the Distinguished Achievement Award in recognition of his considerable accomplishments as a physicist and innovator in radiation measurement. He is the seventh member of his college class to win a Distinguished Alumni Award (and the third to be honored for Distinguished Achievement). You can read more about this amazing class in the fall issue of Berry magazine.

John, Amy and Ray were recognized during a May 18 gala that also featured Golden Guard inductions for the high school and college classes of 1962. Representatives of those two classes, Bob Williams (62H) and Yoniece Miller (62C), had the special honor of presenting a combined gift of more than $3 million to Berry from the high school, academy and college classes that celebrated reunions during Alumni Weekend 2012 and Mountain Day 2011.

The Friday night gala set the stage for a full weekend of reunion activities attended by nearly 500 alumni and friends.

More coverage (including photo gallery).

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More than 180 alumni and friends returned to campus in late May for one of Berry’s most unique and time-honored traditions, Alumni Work Week. This year’s celebration of Berry’s work heritage drew one of the largest crowds in history. Participants worked on a total of 24 different projects, including the reconstruction of the Oak Hill gazebo crushed last year by a falling tree, a new walkway on the Mountain Campus and a run-in shed for horses at the Gunby Equine Center.

Photo gallery.

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We all know that young alumni love to have fun, but the second-annual Young Alumni Weekend celebration (held concurrently with Alumni Weekend) proved once again that our newest graduates can get serious about service and giving too. A total of 84 alumni and friends turned out for this year’s event, which featured service projects, intramural grudge matches, a party on the green at Oak Hill and, perhaps most notably, a live auction that raised more than $5,000 toward the purchase of a tractor for the Season’s Harvest student enterprise. A special shout out goes to Hugh Hagen (08C) for his superb auctioneering skills!

Photo gallery.

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Berry science alumni from the 1950s and ’60s are renowned for their pioneering accomplishments, up to and including NASA’s history-making moon shots and other initiatives in space. Given their considerable record of achievement, it should come as no surprise that when members of this group set their minds to naming Berry’s science building after their longtime mentor, the late Dr. Lawrence E. McAllister, they found a way to make it happen.

Announced May 19, this alumni-driven campaign to honor the man known affectionately as “Dr. Mac” has already surpassed the initial goal of $5 million. The project continues so that all those who are interested in honoring Dr. Mac with gifts that support science education and student scholarships will have the opportunity to do so. A naming ceremony will be held Mountain Day Weekend.

A special Web page has been established to help spread the word about this unique fundraising initiative and to educate new generations about Dr. Mac, a faculty member from 1932-71 who founded the physics program and helped lay the groundwork for Berry’s continuing commitment to excellence in the sciences. If you are one of his former students, we hope you will take a moment to visit the page and share your memories.

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Julia Barnes and Kathy RichardsonAlumni don’t have to be sold on the quality of Berry faculty – we’ve experienced it – but it is exciting when outside groups affirm what we already know.

This spring, Assistant Professor of Spanish Julia Corine Barnes (near left) claimed the title of Most Valuable Professor in a national contest sponsored by Questia, an online library and research tool for students. She was nominated for the award by Berry student Marlon Blugh and emerged victorious after a public vote on Facebook.

“I am so honored that my students thought enough of me to vote for me! I’m blown away by their enthusiasm, just as I am continually impressed by the considerateness of students at Berry,” Julia said.

Professor of Communication Kathy Brittain Richardson has made a similar impact, as evidenced by her Teacher of the Year award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Small Programs Interest Group. Her candidacy was driven in part by the words of a former student, who wrote, “There are certain mentors in life whose presence does not fade. As time passes, their voices instead resonate, continuing to influence and inspire long after daily conversations and weekly classes cease. Dr. Kathy Richardson is one of those mentors for me, and thousands of others.”

Kathy will be honored later this summer at the association’s annual meeting in Chicago.

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Brin Enterkin in AfricaBrin Enterkin (12C) has been making news for her service activities since high school, when her efforts to raise funds to establish a school in rural Cambodia landed her on the cover of Fayette Woman magazine (and later in Berry magazine). As she completes her distinguished career as a Berry student, it’s only fitting that we spotlight her one more time as recipient of the $40,000 William E. Simon Fellowship for Noble Purpose Grant to support The SOUP (Sponsorship of Orphans in Uganda Project), a nonprofit she started while at Berry. More about Brin.

Junior Aaron Ostrander also earned praise this spring as one of a select group of students nationwide to be awarded the Goldwater Scholarship for his work in physics and mathematics.

On the athletic front, sophomore Kristin Brennan made her mark by claiming top honors individually in the Novice Equitation on the Flat event at the 2012 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association national championships. In team competition, Berry’s western riders logged another top-five finish. Not be be outdone, senior lacrosse player Jenny Miller finished as one of the nation’s top scorers and earned a spot in the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Division III North-South Senior All-Star Game.

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Dr. Ron TaylorStudents who have passed through the mathematics department in recent years can tell you many things about Dr. Ron Taylor. Some will no doubt reference his “paper-throwing” ability in the physics lounge; others might laud his ability to build towering structures out of what look like Tinker Toys. All will describe a man who is both a national leader in the area of interactive learning and a committed classroom instructor. These qualities made Ron a natural choice for two of Berry’s most prestigious honors this spring, the Martindale Award of Distinction for Faculty and the Dave and Lu Garrett Award for Meritorious Teaching.

Numerous other members of the Berry community also received notable distinctions this spring (some of which were covered in the April issue of the Alumni Accent). It’s impossible to share all the names here, but we do want to hit some of the highlights:

• Becky McLarty, Martindale Award of Distinction for Staff
• Dr. Frank Stephenson, Mary S. and Samuel Poe Carden Award for Outstanding Teaching, Scholarship and Service
Cecily Crow (94C), John R. Bertrand Superior (Student) Work Supervisor Award
• Dan T. Cathy and Terry A. Graham, Honorary Alumni

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Berry Magazine - Summer 2012Need some reading material for your summer vacation? We’ve got the perfect thing – Berry magazine! The new issue includes the captivating alumni profiles you’ve come to expect, as well as campus news, class notes and a thought-provoking essay by President Briggs detailing Berry’s efforts to launch a four-year nursing program. If you can’t wait for the hard copy, click the cover at left to explore the publication online.

We’re currently hard at work on the fall issue. If you have a class note you’d like to submit, please email us at alumni@berry.edu (don’t forget to include your class year). If you have good news to share, we want to hear it. The deadline for submission is June 30, so don’t delay!

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Tom and Ollie PoeOllie (51C) and Tom (48H, 52C) Poe made history this spring as the first couple to receive the Charter Fellows Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession of Teaching. The award was presented by Dr. Jackie McDowell (far left), dean of the Charter School of Education and Human Sciences. Ollie dedicated 30 years of her life to education, spending much of that time teaching first grade. She taught at a number of schools, including several in Rome and Floyd County. Tom also enjoyed a long and fruitful career as an industrial arts teacher and principal. In 1971, he was awarded the Laureate Citation from the Epsilon Pi Tau professional fraternity for research that led to a federal grant to construct the Rome-Floyd Technical High School (now the Floyd County Schools College and Career Academy). He also played an instrumental role in the creation of the Fred H. Loveday (39C) and James N. Luton Sr. endowed scholarships at Berry.

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Collin McHugh

Courtesy of WBNG-TV in Binghamton, N.Y.

Former Berry pitching standout Collin McHugh (09c) is one step from the majors after being promoted to the New York Mets’ Class AAA affiliate in Buffalo, N.Y. Collin, who pitched for Berry from 2006-08, earned his promotion after posting a 5-5 record with a 2.41 ERA at Class AA Binghamton, where he was Pitcher of the Year in 2011. In addition to his pitching prowess, Collin is also a social media sensation. His blog, A Day Older, A Day Wiser, has gained mainstream coverage from outlets such as ESPN New York, while his musings on Twitter have attracted more than 1,400 followers.

Also making news this spring is Jim Owen (81C), one of the many Berry alumni enjoying success as collegiate golf coaches. Jim recently reached the pinnacle of his profession – again – by leading Oglethorpe University to the 2012 NCAA Division III men’s golf championship. The title is the second in four years for Jim and the Stormy Petrels; Oglethorpe is only the sixth school to win multiple championships in the 37-year history of the event. Next season, Jim will find himself coaching against his alma mater as Oglethorpe and Berry begin play in the Southern Athletic Association.

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It’s time for another edition of one of our favorite new features – the Alumni Accent poll! Before getting to our June question, let’s take a quick peek back at our April poll, when we asked about the type of alumni programming you would like to see come to your area. Two answers accounted for nearly 80 percent of all responses:

• Opportunities to socialize and network with other alumni – 49 percent
• Discussion of Berry’s strategic initiatives led by President Briggs – 30 percent

Among the other three possibilities, faculty presentations focusing on a particular area of interest was the most popular answer, garnering 9 percent of all votes cast.

This month, we turn our attention to Alumni Weekend, Alumni Work Week and Young Alumni Weekend. Specifically, we’re interested in hearing from those of you who weren’t able to attend this year. A list of reasons can be found in the footer of the blog. If you would like to expand on your answer or offer input for future events, please take a moment to email Alumni Relations Director Chris Watters (89C).

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