Issues by Date: September 2013

Okay all of you procrastinators out there, time is running out to register for the many special events scheduled for Mountain Day. Next Saturday, Oct. 5, thousands of your fellow alumni will gather on the slopes of Lavender Mountain for the annual celebration of Martha Berry’s birthday. A full schedule and registration details can be found on the alumni relations website. Advance registration closes Oct. 2, so don’t miss out!

Highlights this year include a special tribute to Berry’s historic high schools – the Mount Berry School for Boys, Martha Berry School for Girls and Berry Academy. A reception and dinner will be held Friday, Oct. 4, with other high school-themed events to follow on Saturday. Of particular note is the roll out of A History of the Berry Schools on the Mountain Campus, a much-anticipated book about the high schools written by Dr. Jennifer Dickey (77A, 81C). Copies will be available for purchase throughout the weekend. Jennifer’s sister and fellow academy alumna Angela Dickey (75A, 79C) will be the featured speaker at Saturday morning’s Mountain Day Convocation in Frost Chapel. Angela is the 2013 recipient of the Berry Alumni Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award. High school celebration.

Also on tap is the sixth-annual Mega Reunion, this year hosting alumni from the college and academy classes of 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008. The fun gets under way at 5 p.m. Saturday on the grounds of Oak Hill and The Martha Berry Museum. Information and registration.

Other events of note include Friday afternoon’s Golf Scramble, Saturday morning’s 5K (this year benefitting Berry’s planned athletic stadium, Valhalla) and, of course, Saturday afternoon’s picnic lunch and Grand March. While you’re on the mountain, don’t forget to check out the many products available from Berry College Student Enterprises.

If you can’t join us in person, we’re pleased to once again offer a Virtual Mountain Day experience featuring streaming video of the Grand March and a live chat function accessible to anyone with a Twitter account. Be sure to include the hash tag #mtnday13 in your tweets.

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Photo by student Hayden Sloan.

In news that should come as a surprise to no one in the alumni community, Berry has once again earned national recognition for the quality of its educational experience and the incredible beauty of its campus.

College leaders from across the country have chosen Berry as the nation’s No. 1 “up-and-coming” liberal arts college, according to the U.S. News 2014 Best Colleges edition. The distinction stems from a spring 2013 survey in which liberal arts college officials were asked to nominate institutions making the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty or student life. More details.

Also this summer, Berry was included on a Buzzfeed list of 41 Scenic College Campuses that were made for Instagram. Berry ranked 25th on a list that also included such notable institutions as Yale, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Notre Dame. While the recognition is exciting, the ranking seems a bit low. Speaking for Berry alumni everywhere, we demand a recount! Berry on Instagram.

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Three months after awarding a record number of degrees at spring commencement, Berry welcomed the largest incoming class in school history. More than 700 new faces – including 672 freshmen – arrived in late August, eager to take advantage of the firsthand opportunities that are making Berry a destination of choice. It didn’t take long for them to make their mark on campus, embracing the mantra to “Be Berry” with a stunning display (see video) orchestrated by the college’s Firsthand4You student philanthropy program. They quickly introduced themselves to the local community as well, turning out in force for First-Year Service Day.

Overall enrollment now stands at 2,223, including 2,141 undergraduate and non-degree students. Opening of School.

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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!).


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A crowd more than 6,700 strong overflowed Rome’s Barron Stadium on Sept. 7 for the first intercollegiate football game in Berry history. With the new Viking Drumline providing the sound track, students, faculty/staff, alumni and friends displayed their Berry pride with a blizzard of blue-and-white shakers, horned Viking helmets and yes, even the occasional cow bell. Many fans lingered afterward to join the players and coaches in the singing of the Alma Mater. Though the game was won by visiting Maryville College, the day belonged to Berry. As the Rome News-Tribune praised, “That Berry football was so warmly welcomed should come as no surprise and not just because of the college’s considerable reputation and unusual history. It is part of the growing one-for-all and all-for-one attitude that is at the core of a local economic and social success that is becoming more visible, and more remarkable, all the time.” More coverage.

A week later, the team broke into the win column, with Chris Lilly tallying Berry’s first score.

Prior to the season, the Viking football players gained fans on campus and off with a flash mob at the opening reception for Berry’s first-year class. As the later noted, “It was silly, awkward and fairly endearing. What an introduction for the team to both the school and the Internet. This year, we are all Berry Vikings.”

Berry will play three more games in Rome this season: Oct. 12 and 26 at Darlington School and Nov. 9 at Barron Stadium.  Click here to purchase alumni tickets.

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Berry students need YOU … to be part of the new Alumni Career Network. Maintained by the Berry College Career Center, this database is an important resource for students seeking information about prospective career paths. To join, simply complete this online form. The data you provide will be stored on a password-protected website accessible only to Berry students and career center staff. As you complete the form, be sure to indicate the level of interaction you prefer. Occasionally, students may wish to reach out with career-specific questions, but we will not release your contact information to them unless you have given us prior permission.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Completion of the online form is mandatory for anyone wishing to participate in the Alumni Career Network. The previous databases have been retired. Career Center Director Sue Tarpley can answer any network-related questions you might have.

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Rachel QuillinBiochemistry major Rachel Quillin (pictured) is one of only a handful of students nationwide to be awarded a Lambda Sigma National Honor Society scholarship in 2013-14. Quillin, the recipient of Lambda Sigma’s Emily Taylor Scholarship, has distinguished herself in the classroom – making the dean’s list in each of her four semesters at Berry – and through significant participation in the Work Experience Program. She also established a literacy program at the Open Door Children’s Home. The aspiring health care provider was nominated for the scholarship after serving as president of Berry’s Lambda Sigma chapter in 2012-13.

Also earning acclaim this summer were the seven students responsible for The Jews of Florence multimedia reporting project, which placed third nationally in the Newspaper Project Award competition. The series – consisting of more than a dozen stories across multiple media – was produced during a summer study-abroad experience in 2012. Other institutions honored in the competition included Northwestern, Iowa State, James Madison and the University of Texas at Austin. Read more.

Not to be outdone, Berry math majors scored in the 97th percentile nationwide on the Educational Testing Service Major Field Test, a comprehensive undergraduate assessment designed to measure the critical knowledge and understanding obtained by students in a major field of study. Read more.

UPDATE: In our last issue, we shared news that Berry tennis player Kaleigh Carpenter’s inspirational story had been featured in the summer issue of the NCAA’s Champion magazine. More recently, the sophomore standout – born missing part of her left arm – has been interviewed by ESPNW and Fox Sports Radio.

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New Faces in Athletics

Curtis Gilbert, left, and Dr. Tom Hart

A coach with a championship pedigree has taken the reins of Berry’s men’s lacrosse program. Curtis Gilbert previously distinguished himself at New England College in Henniker, N.H., where he posted a 69-48 record in seven seasons, culminating with a 2012 North Atlantic Conference championship and NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Tournament appearance.

The Berry team he inherits is coming off a program-best 13-5 finish highlighted by a Southern Athletic Association regular-season championship. After the season, the Vikings were lauded by as the nation’s third most-improved team among the 208 institutions fielding NCAA Division III men’s lacrosse programs. More on Gilbert.

Earlier this summer, Berry welcomed Dr. Tom Hart as director of intercollegiate athletics. He brings a wealth of experience after serving for 19 years as athletic director at Webster University in St. Louis. Under Hart’s direction, the Webster program garnered 52 conference championships and 49 NCAA playoff appearances. Webster student-athletes also shined academically, graduating at a rate 10 percent higher than that of the overall student body. More on Hart.

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Mountain Day Olympics

The faculty/staff team (including your fearless Alumni Accent editor) shows its spirit during the 2012 Olympics. Photo by student Mary Claire Stewart.

In the August issue of the Alumni Accent, we asked you to share your most vivid memories of your first week at Berry. Moving into the residence halls was the top choice with 39% of the vote. Next, with 23%, was driving through the Gate of Opportunity. Meeting your roommate (14%) was third, followed by reporting to your on-campus job (10%), Viking Venture (4%), walking into your first class (4%) and Friday afternoon (4%).

This month, our focus shifts to the greatest of all Berry competitions – the Mountain Day Olympics! Scroll to the blog footer to vote for your favorite event.

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