Fitting honor

Gordon CarperThe late Dr. Gordon Carper spent the better part of his life guiding Berry students, so it’s only fitting that the new mentoring program within the college’s budding Integrity in Leadership Center bear his name.

“Nothing gave Dr. Carper more pleasure than to see his students do well,” said Dr. Keith Parsons (74C), professor of philosophy at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, capturing the essence of a man who positively influenced the lives of countless students during his 38 years teaching history and political science at Berry.

The Gordon and Joyce Carper Integrity in Leadership Mentoring Program honors that legacy by providing opportunities for students to gather regularly in small groups with community mentors for in-depth discussion, case studies and other activities. In 2014-15, a total of 60 students met with 15 mentors; the eventual goal of the program – just completing its second year – is to increase those numbers to 200 and 40, respectively, with students from all Berry majors participating. More than 70 students already have been accepted for 2015-16.

“Leadership is one of the most overused words in our culture today, yet most of the living examples we see in the media represent leadership that is bad, unethical, self-serving, and at best, ineffective,” said mentor and Berry trustee Cecil “Buster” Wright (73C). “The mentor program was created to expose Berry students to intellectual and experiential learning about what ethical leadership really is.”

Wright, a retired regional president for Wells Fargo Advisors, has been a force behind the Integrity in Leadership Center, believing strongly in the college’s unique ability to foster both qualities in young people. He also has played a significant role in the development of the mentoring program, recruiting the community leaders who serve as mentors and helping to shape its curriculum and procedures.

Look for more in the summer issue of Berry magazine. Gifts to the program in memory of Dr. Carper can be made at www.berry.edu/gift.

Media coverage: Mentoring program connects students, community leaders

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