Issues by Date: March 2014

The arrival of a new eaglet has sparked another outbreak of eagle fever on the Berry campus, but this time it has spread far beyond the Gate of Opportunity. With national media coverage focusing attention on Eagle Cam as never before, millions are tuning in around the globe.

News of Berry’s live video stream has been shared by the likes of National Geographic, the New York Times, NPR, USA Today, ABC World News and The resulting attention has sent camera views soaring into the millions, and the eagles have not disappointed. On the night of Feb. 18, viewers were amazed to see the female fend off a great horned owl attack. A few days later, they thrilled at the sight of the newly hatched eaglet.

Many of those watching are students (estimates put the number at more than one million) whose teachers are using the live images as a learning tool in their classrooms. Faculty and students at the University of Georgia and other colleges and universities are also watching the show, along with Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Viewers from all over the globe have been moved to comment on the Berry College Eagles Facebook page, and donations have come in from as far away as Belgium to help cover the cost of the video stream. Support Eagle Cam.

One teacher reported: “My Pre-K classroom is watching from Austin, Texas. The children were so excited to see the eaglet … The timing of the hatching is perfect since we were just doing a unit on America and had been talking about bald eagles!

Another viewer stated: “I’m in Melbourne, Australia. It’s late at night when I watch and should be in bed but I can’t resist; they are just so fascinating!”

The new eaglet is the third to successfully hatch since the original pair took up residence not far from Berry’s main entrance in spring 2012. If all goes well, it is expected to take its first flight sometime in April.

Eagle Chat with Associate Professor of Biology Renee Carleton.

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2014 Shatto LectureWhoever said “opposites attract” couldn’t possibly come up with a better example than James Carville and Mary Matalin. The longtime spouses and political adversaries will bring their divergent viewpoints to Berry’s Cage Center on Thursday, March 20, as the 2014 speakers in the Gloria Shatto Lecture Series. Alumni wishing to reserve their free tickets for the 8 p.m. event should call 706-236-2226.

The joint presentation – a first for the Shatto Lecture Series – makes the most of the political differences of the two speakers. With Carville weighing in from the left and Matalin holding court on the right, audience members can expect a lively, candid and provocative analysis of the biggest political issues of the day.

The Shatto Lecture Series honors the memory of Berry’s sixth president, the first woman to hold the title of college or university president in Georgia. Read more.

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Berry Nursing

Retired physician Pat Adams chats with students in Berry's new state-of-the-art nursing suite. Photo by student Lauren Neumann.

Berry celebrated the launch of its baccalaureate nursing program with a Feb. 20 luncheon and ribbon-cutting that afforded guests the opportunity to get an up-close look at the state-of-the-art patient simulators at the heart of the Evans Hall nursing suite. Among those in attendance were Lou Brown Jewell, Bob Williams (62H) and wife Kay, and Pat and Colleen Adams, all generous supporters of the new program.

Nineteen students are currently working toward future careers as leaders in the health care field, and more than a hundred have declared their intention to pursue the new major. They represent the first wave of Berry-educated nurses meant to meet a growing national need.

“In the medical field there isn’t just a shortage of doctors, but also of nurses,” said Dean of Nursing Vanice Roberts. “And some nurses are more qualified than others. Those who are able to communicate effectively – to question as well as conform to the health care system – are more helpful to doctors and patients in stressful situations.”

Local news coverage.

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Martha BerryFOX 5 Atlanta kicked off its celebration of Women’s History Month by profiling a pioneer in education near and dear to the hearts of Berry alumni  – Martha Berry herself! Providing context for the audience were Tim Brown, director of Oak Hill and The Martha Berry Museum, and Marti Berry Walstad, Martha’s great niece and a current member of the Berry College Board of Trustees. Many will recognize the FOX 5 reporter as former Atlanta Brave Ron Gant, now a co-host for Good Day Atlanta. Click the image to view his report.

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Mountain Goat 12K

Clockwise from top, Kevin Brodrick (99C), Andy Christie (99C), James Tigue (98C), Joe Mareno (99C), Paul Deaton (91C) and Brian Brodrick (97C) mug for the camera with the Mountain Goat 12K mascot.

Cross country and track alumni resurrected a proud tradition with the Jan. 25 running of the “new” Mountain Goat 12K on the slopes of Berry’s Lavender Mountain. A total of 91 participants braved the frigid weather and challenging course, many of them former student-athletes. Chris Mayer (11C) was first across the finish line in 44 minutes, 28 seconds, while Jennifer Stocks (12C) led all women in 52:11. Full results.

The origins of the Mountain Goat 12K date back to a series of formal and informal trail races started by then-Berry coach Jim Dugger in the early 1980s. Current coach Paul Deaton (91C) got his introduction to Berry when he competed in the 1985 race. The name, he said, comes from the terrain: “Only a mountain goat could run up there.”

Those early races were held in the heat of August and often featured “recycled” awards such as old hats and t-shirts.

“Someone recently mentioned a bowling ball they received,” Dugger said. “And another took home an oversized cheerleading trophy.”

The 8-mile Mountain Goat run eventually evolved into a shorter 5-mile race before moving off campus entirely in the mid-1990s, but the hilly route has remained a weekly staple for Berry distance runners ever since.

No bowling balls were handed out at this year’s race, but there was still fun to be had (as evidenced by the accompanying photo). After the run, some participants gathered at Ford Dining Hall for the first of what Deaton hopes will be an annual reunion of distance running alumni. Attendees were updated on Berry’s cross country and track seasons and heard about future plans for track and field and the associated Valhalla stadium project.

More photos.

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Gary Breton

Gary Breton

Callaway Professor of Organic Chemistry Gary Breton is the new dean of Berry’s School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. Breton, a Berry faculty member since 1994, accepted a three-year appointment as dean after holding the title on an interim basis since last fall. He succeeds Dr. Bruce Conn, who has returned full time to the classroom after 16 years of meritorious service.

In other news, the Board of Trustees has granted tenure and/or promotions to the following faculty members:

Tenured: Dr. Curt Hersey (93C), communication

Tenured and promoted to the rank of associate professor: Dr. Kevin Hoke (chemistry), Dr. Chang Pu (education)

Promoted to the rank of professor: Dr. Bill Davin (biology), Dr. Chris Diller (English, rhetoric and writing), Dr. Michelle Haney (psychology), Dr. John Hickman (government and international studies), Dr. Alan Hughes (psychology)

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Senior Josy Roman and Dr. Eric McDowell have once again struck gold with a video collaboration, winning a second-place national award in the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts for The Calculus Priority Dispute. This is the second consecutive year that McDowell and Roman have placed second in the “Two-Year/Small College Video Production” category. This time they were joined by senior Michael Baldvins, who assisted Roman in producing and creating the animation. Both students work for Viking Fusion, a co-curricular multimedia website based in and managed by the communication department.

In other recent news, the Berry College Forensics Union continued its dominance of the Georgia Intercollegiate Forensic Association, winning nine of 11 events en route to its 20th consecutive state tournament championship. Highlights included the 1-2 finish of junior Nicole Wilson and freshman Logan Ramsey in persuasive speaking. Their reward is a trip to James Madison University in April as Georgia’s representatives in the 145th Interstate Oratory Contest.

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Tree Campus USA

Students Aubry Worsham and Megan Boswell plant a tree on the Berry campus.

Berry has long been renowned for the beauty of its campus and its lush canopy of approximately 7.5 million trees. Now the Arbor Day Foundation has gotten into the act, applauding Berry’s efforts to preserve and manage this vital resource by bestowing Tree Campus USA recognition on the college. This program – started in 2008 and sponsored by Toyota – recognizes colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and engaging staff and students in conservation goals.

“With more than 27,000 acres of natural beauty, wildlife and flora it only makes sense that Berry would hold such a distinctive honor,” said Eddie Elsberry, Berry director of agriculture operations, environmental compliance and sustainability. Read more.

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Berry Swimming

Senior Graydon McCrite celebrates with his teammates. Image courtesy of Wade Photography.

Senior Graydon McCrite will make history later this month as the first Berry student-athlete to compete in the NCAA Division III National Swimming and Diving Championships. He punched his ticket to Indianapolis for the March 19-22 event with a winning time of 20.63 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle at the Southern Athletic Association meet in Birmingham. His performance bested the NCAA qualifying standard, set a new conference record and ranked him No. 18 nationally.

The Kennesaw, Ga., native was one of five Berry swimmers to earn first-team All-SAA honors with championship performances at the conference meet. Also topping the podium were sophomore Cameron Grant, junior Conor Monaghan, junior Johnathon Purdy and, on the women’s side, senior Rachel Sandoval. All four clocked times worthy of national consideration but fell just short of an invitation.

McCrite joins senior cross country runner Ryan James and the women’s volleyball team as national qualifiers in Berry’s first year of active membership in NCAA Division III. Berry student-athletes are also shining in the classroom, with 83 making the SAA’s fall sports honor roll.

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Berry MagazineThe spring 2014 issue of Berry magazine is now available online. If you haven’t received your copy in the mail, click the cover image at left to view the publication on your desktop, laptop or mobile device. Highlights include profiles of Lou Ann Stovall (88C, 90G), a supervisory special agent in the FBI, and Stephen Hammer (97C), an IBM team leader responsible for taking interactive sports technology to new heights. Also be on the lookout for “Berry at its best,” recapping seven years of mission-based progress, and an exciting glimpse into the future by President Steve Briggs.

If you have news you would like to share with your classmates, just drop us an email at We’re currently collecting Class Notes for our next issue, due out this summer.

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Frost ChapelAnother month, another record response to the Alumni Accent poll! The February poll question – Which campus landmark would you most like to see blanketed in snow? – drew 115 responses, besting the previous record of 108 set in December. Frost Chapel finished with 30% of the vote to edge out the Ford Buildings (28%) for favorite snowy landmark. The Old Mill (25%) was a close third, followed by the House o’ Dreams (8%), Berry College Chapel (5%), Barnwell Chapel (2%) and the Normandy Complex (2%).

Since we’ve had not one but two snowfalls at Berry over the last seven weeks, we’re happy to share this picture of the winner taken by student Mary Claire Stewart during the Jan. 28 storm. The source of the photo (Berry’s Facebook page) also provides a perfect segue into this month’s question. Scroll to the blog footer to participate.

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