Tag Archives: Board of Visitors

New BOV members

Clockwise from top left, Steve Wherry (80C), Jason McMillan (98C), Seth Turner (06C) and Robert Swarthout (04C) have joined the Board of Visitors along with Gretchen Corbin (not pictured). Photo by student Matthew McConnell.

The Berry College Board of Visitors welcomed five new members at its April meeting. They include:

Gretchen Corbin: President and CEO of the Georgia Lottery Corp., and former commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia.

Jason McMillan (98C): Senior vice president and regional corporate banker for the State of Georgia for BB&T.

Robert Swarthout (04C): Co-founder of ShootProof, a company established in 2010 to assist photographers with services such as online photo proofing, studio branding and gallery security.

Seth Turner (06C): Washington, D.C., real estate professional who formerly worked in Manhattan; named 2008 “Rookie of the Year” at Keller Williams Capital Properties.

Steve Wherry (80C): Senior vice president and CFO for The Goldfield Corp., a provider of electrical construction and maintenance services in the energy infrastructure industry primarily in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States and Texas.

The Board of Visitors is an advisory group consisting of alumni and other friends of Berry. Leadership is provided by Chair Wanda Riggs Mack, who represents the BOV on the Board of Trustees, and Vice Chair Brian Brodrick (97C). The group meets annually on the Berry campus.

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Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta

Eddie DeLoach (74C) joined U.S. senators, corporate CEOs and newly elected Gov. Brian Kemp on Georgia Trend magazine’s 2019 list of the 100 most influential Georgians. DeLoach has distinguished himself as mayor of Savannah, a post he has held since 2016. Soon after his election, he sat down with Viking Fusion reporter Sarah O’Carroll (17C) to discuss his time at Berry. See that interview by clicking the video above. Influential list.

The Savannah mayor was one of two Georgians with significant Berry ties recognized by Georgia Trend. Joining him was respected Atlanta business journalist and Berry Board of Visitors member Maria Saporta, one of two 2019 inductees into the magazine’s “Most Influential Hall of Fame.” Read story.

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Audrey Morgan at Sisters Theatre Dedication

Audrey Morgan stands in front of a portrait of herself and sister Bobbie Bailey in the lobby of Berry’s new theatre.

“The dedication of this theatre is nothing short of a miracle. Less than two years ago, it was only a dream.” – Audrey Morgan

Dry eyes were scarce Oct. 6 as students, faculty, alumni and friends joined Audrey Morgan and her family for the dedication of Sisters Theatre. The name of Berry’s newest fine arts facility celebrates the legacy of love and lifelong commitment to the arts shared by Morgan and her sister, the late Dr. M. Bobbie Bailey.

“For me personally, the new theatre has deep meaning,” Morgan expressed. “I was very blessed to have as my sister Bobbie Bailey. Our lives as sisters and best friends were entwined for 85 years; our names as business partners entwined for 55 years. And now with this beautiful new theatre on the Berry campus that I love so much, our names are going to be entwined for years to come. Tonight is truly a mountaintop experience for me. I could not be happier or more honored.”

Morgan, a Berry Board of Visitors member and recipient of the college’s honorary doctorate, played a critical role in the now-completed $6.7 million campaign to fund the theatre’s construction and associated improvements to Blackstone Hall. Her $1 million challenge gift initiated fundraising in 2015; a year later, a second $1 million gift was announced, this one from the foundation of her late sister.

Students and faculty were thrilled to take possession of their new 9,226 square-foot performance home, which features a black-box stage with adjustable seating for up to 276. Coupled with the improvements to Blackstone Hall, the new facility doubles the amount of functional space available to Berry’s theatre program.

The Berry College Theatre Company christened the new facility with its fall production of Crimes of the Heart. Next up is Make Merry (Or How to Survive Your Family on Holidays), scheduled for Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 1-2. Click here to order tickets.

Sisters Theatre Photo Gallery

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Bill Pence

Bill Pence

The Berry College Board of Visitors has a new chair in William L. “Bill” Pence (76C), a partner specializing in environmental law with the BakerHostetler law firm in Orlando. A board member since 2010, Pence holds a Juris Doctor from the Syracuse (N.Y.) University College of Law and a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from The London School of Economics and Political Science. He was named to the “Best Lawyers in America” list in 2015 and also serves as a volunteer guardian ad litem for the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, Fla.

In addition to a new chair, the Board of Visitors has two new members: Mike Crego (92C), managing director of Benjamin F. Edwards and Co. in Rome, and Jack Allen Morgan, a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Tax Division and special assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. Morgan is the grandson of Berry benefactor and honorary alumna Audrey Morgan and her late husband, Jack.

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Audrey Morgan

Audrey Morgan

Todd Brooks

Todd Brooks

The visionary donor who helped spur development of the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship Program and the administrator who has led Berry’s athletic program during a period of tremendous growth have been granted honorary membership in the Berry Alumni Association. Audrey Morgan and Todd Brooks join an impressive list that includes former college presidents, beloved faculty members and other close Berry friends.

Morgan has committed more than $7.5 million to programs and facilities benefiting Berry students, including $1 million in matching funds to encourage support for a new campus theatre. She is a member of the Board of Visitors and a recipient of Berry’s honorary doctorate.

Brooks, meanwhile, has served two stints as athletic director, helping guide Berry’s transition to NCAA Division III and the Southern Athletic Association and assisting in the planning process for the Cage Center and Valhalla.

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Theatre Rendering: Interior

Architectural rendering of planned Berry theatre.

Plans to build a new theatre on campus have a champion in Berry Board of Visitors member Audrey Morgan. She has made a challenge commitment to match the first $1 million in gifts to the project dollar for dollar – if the $3.3 million needed for the new theatre is raised by June 30. Her goal is to put fundraising on the fast track so that construction can begin next summer.

Audrey Morgan Portrait

Audrey Morgan

“We learn so much about who we are as individuals and as a community through the arts,” Morgan said. “I am honored to help bring facilities to Berry that will give such wonderful, talented students new opportunity to grow artistically and personally. These improvements in support of the arts are important for the students and community at Berry and need to happen soon.”

News of Morgan’s challenge was met with excitement on social media and rousing applause during Mountain Day performances of The Nerd, the first production of Berry’s 2015-16 theatre season.

The planned theatre, an addition to Blackstone Hall, will provide a comfortable setting for an audience of 312. A modified thrust stage will be supported by state-of-the-art lighting, sound and curtain systems. A $1.9 million renovation of the main floor of Blackstone Hall will follow, providing a large acting studio/classroom, updated scene shop with paint booth, costume shop with dye area, dressing areas, meeting space, and offices.

Gifts (which literally will be doubled by the match – up to the first $1 million received) can be made online or by contacting Scott Breithaupt (91C, 96G) at sbreithaupt@berry.edu. Be sure to direct your gift to the theatre/Blackstone Hall project.

Visit the LifeReady website for project details.

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John ColemanJohn Coleman (04C) knows a little something about public speaking, so it should come as no surprise that the former Berry national champion recently shared his expertise on the subject in two blog posts for the Harvard Business Review. In addition to being a regular contributor for HBR.org, Coleman serves as head of strategy for Invesco Ltd. and is a recent appointee to the Berry College Board of Visitors. The 2012 winner of Berry’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award holds both an MBA and MPA from Harvard and is the author of two books, Passion and Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders and How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. Follow him on Twitter at @Johnwcoleman. (Photo by Tony Deifel.)

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Tim Goodwin

Tim Goodwin (03C)

Fred Tharpe

Fred Tharpe (68A)

Tim Goodwin (03C) has dreamed of serving on the Berry College Board of Trustees since his student days. Now the newly installed president of the Berry Alumni Association has that opportunity. He is one of five new trustees to join the board this year, among them fellow alumnus Fred Tharpe (68A), recently appointed chairman of the Berry College Board of Visitors. Others include nonprofit leader Roxanne Spillett, banking executive Brad Dinsmore and former Board of Visitors Chairman Pete Capponi. Look for more information on each new trustee in the fall issue of Berry magazine.

Like the Board of Trustees, the Board of Visitors also welcomed new members this spring. They are David Asbury (84C), John Beck (71C), John Coleman (04C) and Anne Berry Bonnyman.

Other alumni have joined Goodwin as newly elected and appointed officers for the Alumni Council. They include Dr. David Slade (97C, FS), vice president, Berry Heritage; the Rev. Valerie Loner (91C), chaplain; Patrick Ouzts (03C), parliamentarian; Mandy Tidwell (93C), secretary; Joseph Ragsdale (65C), Work Week coordinator; Nathan Butzen (03C), historian; Mary Chambers (14C), alumni experiential director; and Michael Williams (03C), strategic advisor.

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Sheryle BoltonSally Ride became an inspiration to women everywhere when she soared into orbit as America’s first female astronaut. The pioneering explorer lost her fight with pancreatic cancer earlier this summer, but the science education company she founded – Sally Ride Science – lives on under the leadership of new CEO Sheryle Bolton (68c), a six-year member of the Berry College Board of Trustees. Bolton’s extensive business experience and passion for science and technology helped earn her the opportunity to follow in the famous astronaut’s footsteps.

“We are thrilled to have Sheryle join our team at Sally Ride Science and lead us forward,” said Tam O’Shaughnessy, co-founder, board director and COO of Sally Ride Science. “Sheryle brings a wealth of talent, brainpower and experience.”

Read more.

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