Tag Archives: Buster Wright

Parisa Khosravi and Buster Wright

Berry Trustee Buster Wright (73C), right, greets Parisa Khosravi, the latest speaker in the lecture series that bears his name.

Parisa Khosravi may not have literally moved mountains, but she has rerouted a commercial airline, covered the Iraq wars and Tiananmen Square, and promoted equality and acceptance as a leader at CNN. Earlier this spring, she shared her experience and insight with Berry students through the Cecil B. Wright III Integrity in Leadership Lecture.

As an immigrant who lived through the 1979 Iranian revolution, a religious minority and a woman whose first language was not English, Khosravi had to overcome doubters who didn’t believe she was good enough to be a journalist. She refused to let them limit her potential, ultimately serving as CNN’s senior vice president of international news gathering, national news gathering, global relations and the first-ever ambassador for CNN Worldwide.

“Why would we ever allow someone else to tell us what we’re capable of?” she asked.

In her remarks, Khosravi emphasized how important it is to take care of your people and to treat them all with respect. She noted that she always made sure her employees kept tabs on their physical and mental health, especially when covering stories in war zones and other serious situations.

“As a leader, people need to know you are as good as your word and you will have their back,” she said. “And they will have your back too.”

Khosravi said that anyone can become a leader, but they have to be willing to work at it.

“People are not born leaders,” she stated. “We become leaders by how we handle ourselves in the valleys of life.”

The Cecil B. Wright III Lecture Series is an initiative of the Berry Center for Integrity in Leadership, a major priority of Berry’s LifeReady Campaign.

While on campus, Khosravi sat for a brief interview focusing on integrity and other leadership-related issues. Click the video player above to view.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Alumni Awards MedallionThe ranks of Berry’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame will grow by four with the May 20 induction of this year’s alumni award winners. Honorees include:

Kelly Fite (68C), Distinguished Achievement

Cecil “Buster” Wright III (73C), Distinguished Service

Jim Johnson (85C), Entrepreneurial Spirit

Ashley Harp Sheppard (01C), Outstanding Young Alumni

The Saturday night “Awards and Golden Guard Dinner” is just one highlight of Berry’s annual Alumni Weekend celebration, slated for May 19-21. Others include reunions for the college, high school and academy classes of 1952, 1957, 1962 and 1967. Visit www.berry.edu/alumni for event details and online registration. While you’re on the website, be sure to sign up for Alumni Work Week, which will be held May 21-26. The registration deadline for both is May 12.

Click here to nominate someone for the 2018 Alumni Awards.

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Barry Griswell, left, and Rick Gilbert.

Barry Griswell, left, and Rick Gilbert

Berry’s strong history of executive leadership continued with the election of J. Barry Griswell (71C) as chair and Rick Gilbert (77c) as vice chair of the college’s Board of Trustees. They succeed Karen Holley Horrell (74C) and Cecil B. “Buster” Wright (73C), who continue active service as trustees after completing their second terms as chair and vice chair, respectively.

Griswell, a trustee since 2003, is the retired chairman and CEO of Principal Financial Group and a past winner of the Horatio Alger Distinguished American Award, among his many honors. Gilbert, who has served on the board since 2008, is an entrepreneurial investor in several businesses and co-founder of Atlanticus Holdings Corp. Both are married to Berry alumna, Griswell to the former Michele Irwin (70C) and Gilbert to the former Debra Bourne (76C).

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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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John Eadie

John Eadie (83C)

John Eadie (83C) has taken on a new leadership role for his alma mater as a member of the Berry College Board of Trustees. He was elected to the board in February after previous service on the Board of Visitors. A product of Berry’s accounting program, John has built a distinguished career as one of the nation’s top financial advisors and wealth managers. He is founder, managing director and CEO of Texas-based Covenant Multifamily Offices. He and wife Elizabeth Webb Eadie (84C) live in San Antonio.

Also in February, the trustees re-elected alumni Karen Holley Horrell (74C) and Cecil B. “Buster” Wright III (73C) to the positions of chair and vice chair, respectively.

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