Issues by Date: May 2014

2014 Gloria Shatto LectureJames Carville and Mary Matalin are famous for their dueling political perspectives, but the couple did find one point of agreement as co-presenters for the 2014 Gloria Shatto Lecture – they both loved Berry!

Carville was particularly impressed by the fact that students introduced the two speakers, seeing it as evidence that Berry’s focus is in the right place.

“That’s a unique thing in higher education – that you put the students ahead of everybody else,” the former presidential campaign manager told the Cage Center crowd. “That’s not always the case. That’s hardly ever the case. I find that much more impressive than how many acres you have. It’s a place where you are producing human capital.”

Matalin was similarly moved, stating, ““What an amazing place. I don’t think we have visited one as unique.”

The lively presentation drew a crowd of more than 1,200 students, faculty/staff, alumni and community members. While on campus, Carville also took part in a classroom discussion.

Read more.

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Chris Watters (89C)

Chris Watters (89C)

Spring has been a season of mixed emotions for Berry’s alumni staff, with the departure of one longtime servant and the arrival of another.

Chris Watters (89C) ended her six-year tenure as alumni relations director in March, moving to Pennsylvania with husband Mark (83C) and daughter Kristyn to take on a new challenge as senior associate director of alumni relations for on-campus programs at Bucknell University. Though excited by the opportunity to pursue her career goal of becoming a published researcher in the field of alumni relations, Watters voiced confidence in the organization she leaves behind and issued a charge for other alumni to continue the work of building connections that will keep Berry strong, just as she plans to do.

“I am forever grateful for the opportunity I had over the past 6.5 years to serve my Berry family,” Watters said. “My fellow alumni, I treasure the relationships and partnerships built during those years. I appreciate you and thank you for all you do. Even though I have chosen to follow a career opportunity that leads me away from Berry, rest assured Berry is always in my heart.”

Jennifer Schaknowski

Jennifer Schaknowski

As one chapter closes, another opens with the April arrival of Jennifer Schaknowski in the role of alumni development director, a position previously held on a part-time basis by Dr. Jackie McDowell, dean of Berry’s Charter School of Education and Human Sciences. The Rome resident brings an impressive mix of enthusiasm and experience to her position that will help her achieve the goal of taking alumni connectivity to even higher levels. Before arriving at Berry, Schaknowski distinguished herself as a brand and communications leader for Cox Communications and as owner of her own marketing company. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Alma College.

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Alumni Weekend PromoGood food? Yes!

Familiar faces? Absolutely!

Fun times? We guarantee it!

Berry’s annual Alumni Weekend and Young Alumni Weekend celebrations promise all of the above and more. The only thing missing is you!

This year’s events will be held Friday, May 30, through Sunday, June 1, with Alumni Work Week beginning immediately afterward and continuing through June 6. Click the links for details on each and to register online. The deadline is Friday, May 16, so please don’t delay.

Highlights this year include 11 different class reunion dinners on Friday, May 30, and an expanded alumni gala the following evening at the Forum in Rome. Reunions are scheduled for the college and high school/academy classes of 1949, 1954, 1959, 1964 and 1969 as well as the college class of 1961. Reunion dinner schedule and pricing.

The expanded gala promises to be an unforgettable tribute to Berry’s past and future, with several special recognitions scheduled. These include the induction of college and academy alumni from the class of 1964 into the Golden Guard and the presentation of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Awards to the following recipients:

Rayford Boyett (58C), Distinguished Achievement
John Shahan (64A, 69C)
, Distinguished Service
Andreas Economopoulos (97C)
, Entrepreneurial Spirit
Heather Henderson-Keller (03C)
, Outstanding Young Alumni

In addition, two longtime faculty members – Dana Professor of Government and International Studies Peter Lawler and Provost and Professor of Communication Kathy Richardson – will be welcomed as honorary alumni. Receptions for young alumni and Golden Guard members will precede the dinner, and an evening of dancing will follow the official program.

Other events you don’t want to miss include the Friday morning golf scramble, Saturday’s “behind-the-ropes” tour of Oak Hill and The Martha Berry Museum, and Sunday’s worship services. Events specific to young alumni include a Friday night gathering at Schroeder’s on Broad Street, a Saturday morning campus service project, and opportunities to take advantage of recreation and fitness facilities in the Cage Center on Saturday afternoon.

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Berry Alumni at the White House

Two Berry alumni, the Rev. Luis Leon (67A), far left, and Carlos Whittaker (96c), standing third from left, join President Barack Obama for a photo during the White House Easter Prayer Breakfast.

President Barack Obama was front and center April 14 as Carlos Whittaker (96c), a Nashville-based singer/songwriter and author, led worship at the annual White House Easter Prayer Breakfast. Among the Christian leaders in attendance was the Rev. Luis Leon (67A), rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Leon has had a role in the last four presidential inaugurations, most recently delivering the invocation preceding the 2013 inaugural address.

Here’s a brief video clip of Whittaker’s performance.

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Kathy RichardsonBerry Provost Kathy Richardson (pictured) is the 2014 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in recognition of her many accomplishments as a teacher, author and administrator. A communication faculty member since 1986, Richardson is a past recipient of Berry’s top awards for teaching and service. She is currently serving a three-year appointment as provost. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees from UGA. Joining her in the spotlight are several other Berry faculty and staff members lauded at spring campus awards programs. They include:

Dr. Judy Wilson, associate professor of animal science, Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award
Dr. Victor Bissonnette, associate professor of psychology, Eleana M. Garrett Award for Advising and Caring
Dr. Alice Bristow, associate professor of theatre, Outstanding Faculty Member (SGA)
Laura Phillips, administrative assistant, vice president for student affairs and dean of student’s office, Outstanding Staff Member (SGA)
Matt Forrester, systems engineer for network operations, John R. Bertrand Superior Work Supervisor Award

Emeritus recognition: The Board of Trustees recently granted emeritus titles to Professor of Philosophy David McKenzie, who is retiring this spring after 36 years on the faculty; Martha Reynolds, who retired as associate librarian in January; and Dr. Tom Carver, who retired in 2004 as vice president for student affairs and dean of students but continues to serve Berry as an adjunct member of the psychology faculty. Also honored were two retiring members of the Board of Trustees, Pete Roberts and Terry Graham.

Alumnus Colin William (93C) recently shared his appreciation for Dr. McKenzie in a letter to the editor of the Campus Carrier.

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“It’s Collin McHugh’s world, we’re just along for the ride,” declared a tweet from Major League baseball after the former Berry pitcher electrified fans with a second consecutive dominating performance for the Houston Astros. McHugh, who was originally drafted by the New York Mets in 2008 after his junior season at Berry, notched his first major-league win in his Astros’ debut, striking out 12 to beat the Seattle Mariners. His second outing – a near shutout of the Oakland A’s – earned McHugh not one but two on-field showers from teammates (see video).

Also riding high this spring is Meghan Nolan Boenig (99C), a former member of Berry’s equestrian team who recently won her sixth national championship as the first and only head coach in the history of the University of Georgia’s highly successful equestrian program.

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Icon of EducationCollege of the Ozarks President Jerry Davis (61H) has been named a 2014 “Icon of Education” by Ingram’s, a Kansas City-based business magazine. The publication lauded Davis for his foresight in examining the dynamics of funding a college education “a full 25 years before the issue of student loan debt became a significant national concern.” The result is a model built on a concept familiar to Berry alumni – student work. At the College of the Ozarks, students work on campus to defray the cost of their education, eventually graduating debt free. Ingram’s also praised his focus on character development, as evidenced by the founding of the Keeter Center for Character Education on the College of the Ozarks’ Point Lookout, Mo., campus.

Davis has held his current post since 1988. Previously, he was president for 11 years at Alice Lloyd College in Kentucky. His own educational journey began at the Mount Berry School for Boys, where he earned his high school diploma in 1961. He later received a bachelor’s degree from Mars Hill College, a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee and his Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

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Lion's ThreadSenior Sydney Hulebak’s participation in the Clinton Global Initiative University has resulted in a $4,000 Resolution Project grant for Lion’s Thread, a business venture she launched with Brin Enterkin (12C) that is providing opportunity and assistance for the people of Uganda. Lion’s Thread markets bow ties crafted by Ugandan women, with profits providing money for salaries, entrepreneurship training and seed funding so that the women can one day start a business of their own.

Lion’s Thread grew out of Hulebak’s involvement with the African SOUP, a nonprofit started by Enterkin that is working to improve the lives of Ugandan orphans. Hulebak was looking for a way to put her lifelong interest in fashion to work for others, and the collaboration with Enterkin provided the perfect opportunity.

Hulebak will continue her work with Lion’s Thread during the coming year while also gaining valuable nonprofit experience as a fellow with the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation in Atlanta.

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Student Work Award

Mary Chambers (right) with Yvonne Williams, coordinator of student employment at Furman University and representative of the Southern Association of Student Employment Administrators.

Senior Mary Chambers has made quite a name for herself in Berry’s Work Experience Program, building a reputation for excellence as director of the award-winning student team providing accounting, marketing and project management services for the college’s growing number of on-campus student-operated enterprises. This spring, she was named regional Student Worker of the Year by the Southern Association of Student Employment Administrators, an organization stretching from Texas to Virginia. The former intern at The Broadmoor – a Five-Star, Five-Diamond resort in Colorado – is the first Berry student to be so recognized. As a regional winner, she will now be considered for national honors. Next up for the soon-to-be graduate is a position in corporate marketing at Chick-fil-A.

Chambers’ award is one of many notable distinctions earned by Berry students in recent months. These include a second-place national finish for the novice forensics team (and an individual championship for sophomore Carson Kay), two national awards for the Cabin Log yearbook and an Area 9 Outstanding Chapter Award for Berry’s Peer Educators. Representatives of the college’s Model U.N. team turned in stellar work representing Lithuania at the national conference in New York, while, closer to home, English majors Casey Cox and Jacob Collum won acclaim as finalists in Agnes Scott College’s 43rd Annual Writers’ Festival.

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Berry Softball

A second consecutive Southern Athletic Association regular-season championship in women’s softball and David Beasley’s 500th win in 17 seasons as Berry baseball coach highlighted the spring sports season. The women’s softball team surpassed its single-season record for wins with 31 and advanced to the finals of the SAA postseason tournament before falling to Birmingham-Southern College. The baseball team set a record of its own with 29 wins, a new high for NCAA Division III. Other notable achievements included a 17-2 finish in women’s tennis and a trip to western nationals for the equestrian team.

Two Berry student-athletes have been invited to compete abroad this summer. Senior volleyball standout and honorable mention All-American Stephanie Quinn will tour Brazil as part of the USA DIII Women’s Volleyball Team, while senior Andrea Cole will take her softball talents to Australia for six games sponsored by USA Athletes International.

Spring also brought news that NCAA competition will come to Berry this fall in the form of the Nov. 15 Division III South/Southeast Regional cross country meet.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Jellum.

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In the March edition of the Alumni Accent poll, we asked you to weigh in with your favorite social media source for Berry news and content. Facebook was the runaway winner with 58% of the vote. The four other choices – Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube – combined for only 24%, with 18% of respondents saying they don’t use social media.

This month’s question focuses attention back on Berry’s increasingly famous eagle nest. We’re wondering how many of you are among the throng anxiously waiting to see eaglet B3 take flight? Scroll to the blog footer to let us know. While you’re at it, don’t forget to peek in on our new blue bird cam (yes, we have birds on the brain!).

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