Issues by Date: December 2018

This buzzer-beating 3-pointer by senior Myles Moore lifted the Berry men’s basketball team to its sixth win in seven games to start the 2018-19 season. Commentary on the shot is provided by student Noah Syverson.

Another remarkable fall for Berry athletics is now giving way to a promising winter thanks to a blistering start in men’s basketball under first-year coach Mitch Cole. In opening the season 6-1 – Berry’s best start in men’s basketball since joining NCAA Division III – Cole’s Vikings are building on the momentum created by Southern Athletic Association championships and national tournament appearances in volleyball and football, winning seasons in men’s and women’s soccer, and a pair of national qualifiers in women’s cross country.

Berry volleyball once again had the home fans roaring, finishing with a sparkling 26-4 record highlighted by a second straight sweep of the SAA regular-season and tournament crowns. Leading the way was junior Carson VanCampen, who made history as the first Berry volleyball player to be named a first-team All-American. Emily Hancock and Laura Beier joined her as honorable-mention All-Americans, while Caitlyn Moriarty (14G) was regional Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.

Berry players celebrate the courage of teammate Justus Edwards.

Berry players celebrate the courage of injured teammate Justus Edwards. Photo by student Leigh Hadaway.

In football, Berry continued its dominance of the SAA by winning its third straight conference championship. The Vikings finished 10-2 overall, including a perfect 6-0 record at Valhalla. The team now sports a 21-1 record in four seasons on the Williams Field turf, including two national playoff wins. Players this year drew strength from the courage shown by sophomore Justus Edwards after suffering a severe injury in September. Read more.

Women’s cross country also enjoyed a banner fall, advancing two runners to nationals. Junior Abby Carroll qualified for the second consecutive year, while Meredith Herman made her first appearance. Their subsequent placements at nationals were the best by Berry in the NCAA era. They also extended their team’s streak of sending at least one runner to nationals in each of the last three seasons.

Visit berryvikings.com for complete coverage of all Berry athletics.

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Bob and Betty Anne Rouse Bell

Betty Anne Rouse Bell (52H, 56C), pictured with husband Bob, has distinguished herself as a performer and advocate for the arts.

Betty Anne Rouse Bell’s lifelong love of music and drama was cultivated as a high school and college student at Berry in the 1950s, so it’s entirely fitting that future students find similar inspiration in a place named in her honor.

The Betty Anne Rouse Bell Recital Hall is the first major naming associated with plans to renovate and restore Ford Auditorium as a first-class venue for Berry students, faculty and the community at large. The naming of the performance space inside the historic facility was made possible by a touching act of love by Bell’s husband, Bob, who surprised his wife with a gift to Berry honoring her powerful love and appreciation for the school. Combined with the generosity of many other alumni and friends, that gift has helped push fundraising for the $6.3 million Ford project past the $4 million mark. Berry officials hope to complete funding by May 2019 so that work can begin.

Architectural Rendering of Ford RenovationPlans for the auditorium – constructed in the 1920s at the direction of Henry and Clara Ford – include the restoration of beloved historic architectural elements and significant internal renovations meant to enhance the acoustical experience for performers and audience members alike. Expertise has been provided by Kirkegaard Associates of Chicago, one of the nation’s foremost acoustics consulting firms. The project also calls for refurbishment of the music department.

The recital hall naming is fitting recognition for a “double alumna” (52H, 56C) who has distinguished herself as a performer – sharing her vocal talents with presidents, governors and foreign dignitaries, among others – and advocate for the arts. Click here to read more.

If you would like to join the Bells and so many others in supporting the Ford project, please visit berry.edu/gift.

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Ed Catmull PortraitIf you’ve ever chuckled at the homespun humor of a certain animated tow truck or been moved to tears by the inhabitants of Andy’s toy box, you don’t want to miss Berry’s 2019 Gloria Shatto Lecture, to be delivered by Pixar Co-Founder Ed Catmull.

Catmull, whose company has spawned such animated blockbusters as Toy Story, The Incredibles and Cars, will address the Berry community Feb. 21. This highly respected figure in the business and creative worlds speaks with great experience and thought about leading creative organizations. He is also the author of Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration.

Admission to Catmull’s lecture – “What Makes Creative People Tick?” – is free, but space will be limited and tickets must be picked up in advance and are required for entry. Keep an eye on the Berry website and social media channels for more information on ticket distribution, which is scheduled to begin in mid-January.

The Shatto Lecture Series was funded through gifts to Berry’s Century Campaign to honor the memory of Georgia’s first female college president. Shatto, who served Berry from 1980 to 1998, believed strongly that there is more to a college education than what can be learned in the classroom. The lecture series honors her vision by bringing to Berry speakers of international renown. Past speakers have ranged from former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy to, most recently, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Rick Bragg.

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What do Princeton, Yale, Berry and Stanford have in common (besides being great schools, of course)? All were ranked among the top five most beautiful campuses in America by Architectural Digest. Berry came in at No. 3 on the list, trailing only Yale and Princeton.

“When it comes to a beautiful setting, Berry College can’t be beat,” wrote Stefanie Waldeck, noting the natural beauty of the 27,000-acre campus and the English Gothic architecture of the Ford Buildings.

Berry was the only school from Georgia to crack the top 50. View complete list.

This is the latest in a series of distinctions for Berry, including praise from U.S. News and World Report for the college’s commitment to undergraduate teaching and penchant for innovation, among other notable honors.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Jessica Cantrell (12C) has long dreamed of matching wits with other contestants on the mother of all television quiz shows. This fall, the Berry history major who now works as a development assistant for Tellus Science Museum finally got her chance after surviving the arduous online qualifying process and in-person audition for Jeopardy!

“It’s good to put all the random things I know to good use,” Cantrell said. “I really like trivia, and Jeopardy! is the pinnacle of trivia.”

The Adairsville, Ga., native traveled to California in August to tape an episode of the show that aired in October. Extensive preparation (and a strong Berry education!) prepared her well for the experience, and she carried a slim lead into Final Jeopardy! Alas, victory eluded her when she couldn’t identify the character from early 20th century children’s literature who is so named “because she mends the pots and kettles” (Tinkerbell).

Still, she had a great time and encourages other alumni to take their own shot at Jeopardy! glory. Her only regret – that she didn’t try to qualify as a student when she could have represented Berry in the show’s annual college tournament.

“It’s really bizarre, it doesn’t seem like I was actually on TV,” she said. “But it was an amazing experience. I’ve never been to the West Coast, and it was really cool to see all the behind-the-scenes work too.”

Click here to read more about Cantrell’s Jeopardy! experience, and don’t miss the shout-out to Berry in the promotional clip above.

Reporting by student writer Kendall Aronson

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Debbie Heida PortraitMerriam-Webster defines “pillar” as “a supporting, integral or upstanding member or part,” as in “a pillar of society.” Such words aptly describe Debbie Heida, who this fall was named a “Pillar of the Profession” by the National Association of Student Affairs Administrators in recognition of her work on behalf of students and higher education.

Heida has been a member of Berry’s leadership team for 14 years, beginning with her appointment as dean of students and vice president of student affairs in 2004. This year, she left that role to serve as chief of staff to President Steve Briggs.

“In her 14 years at Berry, Debbie has managed a weighty portfolio of responsibilities and still, to her credit, she is always among the first to run toward a new problem or reach out to offer help when a colleague has a need,” Briggs said. “She is creative and resourceful and therefore one of the people I turn to first for a fresh perspective. She was instrumental in leading the planning effort when Berry joined Division III of the NCAA, and she worked determinedly for several years to bring the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program to Berry and ensure a successful transition.”

Assisting in the nomination process was former SGA President Paton Roden (15C), now second-year experience coordinator at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“I found my passion at Berry through my student involvement and leadership positions on campus and followed this into my current career in higher education,” Roden said. “I did all of this with the help of Debbie Heida. She is very deserving of this award based on her commitment and involvement.”

Photo by student Matthew McConnell

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Alyssa Hollingsworth PortraitAlyssa Hollingsworth (13C) was already a prolific writer when she arrived at Berry. She further developed her craft through one-on-one interaction with English professors and relevant work experience as editor of the college literary magazine and as a writer for Berry magazine.

This fall, the now-published author returned to Berry as the featured speaker in the David James Poissant Creative Prose Reading Series. While on campus, she visited with former teachers and mentors and shared her talents with current students – praising Berry as the “creative space” that helped to fuel her success.

Five years have passed since the former Gate of Opportunity Scholar earned her Berry degree, during which time she has completed a master’s degree at England’s Bath Spa University and signed a two-book, two-continent publishing contract with Roaring Brook Press (MacMillan) and Piccadilly Press.

Earlier this year, she released her debut novel, The Eleventh Trade, which quickly rose to No. 1 on Amazon’s list of new children’s literature. The book tells the story of a young Afghan refugee who embarks on a mission to retrieve a traditional Afghan musical instrument stolen from his grandfather.

The origins of the story date back to an assignment Hollingsworth was given at Bath Spa to prepare a synopsis for a book she would never write. Later, her literary agent saw promise in the idea and asked her to flesh it out. She started writing in February of 2016; by year end the manuscript had been completed and sold to publishers.

Aiding the creative process was firsthand knowledge of Afghan culture Hollingsworth gained during a 2011 visit to the war-torn nation to see her sister, who was serving there at the time. Still, she faced the challenge of crafting a story that would be told through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy who had interests and perspective she lacked. To fill in the gaps, she reached out to her network of fellow Berry alumni to find people with knowledge in those areas.

“There were plenty of things that made me feel very unqualified to write this story,” she said. “But those places where I was completely out of my comfort zone provided really cool opportunities to call on the community around me. I had alumni friends who love Manchester United, or are middle school teachers, or have firsthand refugee experiences themselves. When I got in over my head, I could count on them to help me correct my mistakes. It was such a blessing to take a bit of the Berry community with me into my first book.”

Hollingsworth’s second book, The Invisible Boy, is due for release in fall 2019.

By student writer Kendall Aronson; photo by student Jacob Bushey

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Kevin Kleine has spent the last 30 years losing sleep as Berry’s student publications adviser. Now his work with the Campus Carrier, Ramifications, Valkyrie and Cabin Log has earned him national acclaim as a “Distinguished Adviser” by the College Media Association. He received his award at the CMA national convention in October.

Kleine’s achievements can be measured in awards won and careers inspired. Grateful alumni flocked to a special Mountain Day reception in his honor. Many also supported a successful crowdfunding effort to raise $5,000 in seed funding for a study abroad scholarship that will bear his name.

“Kevin always made us feel like we were part of a family,” said Randee Walters-Paraskevopoulos (92C), a former Campus Carrier editor who flew in from Texas to attend the Mountain Day reception. “More than a teacher, Kevin was a mentor, a friend and a big brother. He brought the Carrier staff together and made it so we could depend on each other in all things.”

Under Kleine’s direction, Berry’s student publications have earned recognition from such notable organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the College Media Association and the Georgia College Press Association. Previous honors for him include two Presidential Citations for Service from College Media Advisers, Inc., and the 2008 Eleana M. Garrett Award for Meritorious Advising and Caring, one of Berry’s most notable honors.

“Week after week, he saved us from our own inexperience with his seasoned advice and somehow turned any mishaps into learning opportunities for us,” praised another former Carrier editor, Bonny Harper Dixon (13C).

Gifts to the Kevin Kleine Study Abroad Scholarship are still being accepted with the eventual goal of raising $25,000 to permanently endow the award. Click here if you wish to honor Kleine with a gift.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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