Tag Archives: Cage Center

Ed Catmull in HackBerry Lab

Zane Cochran, clinical instructor of creative technologies, discusses a project with Ed Catmull during his visit to HackBerry Lab.

Berry’s 2019 Gloria Shatto Lecture took place just three days prior to the Academy Awards, so it was only fitting that the speaker was someone whose work is synonymous with Hollywood’s ultimate honor – Ed Catmull, Pixar co-founder and former president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Addressing a near-capacity crowd of students and other guests gathered in the Cage Center arena, Catmull stressed the importance of fostering an environment where creativity can flourish. Ideas are fragile, he noted, and need proper care to grow.

“Everyone has the potential to be creative,” he said. “It is our job to unlock that potential.”

Catmull related that ideas often begin badly – even at Pixar – citing as an example the 2009 blockbuster Up, the original storyline for which was completely different from what wound up on screen. In fact, the only thing that survived the first rewrite was the name.

“Failure is a necessary consequence to trying something new,” he said. “Our goal is not to prevent mistakes but to fix them when they occur.”

While on campus, Catmull also took time to interact with students in HackBerry Lab, home to the college’s innovative creative technologies program.

This was the 10th Shatto Lecture, the endowment for which was funded by gifts to Berry’s Century Campaign to celebrate the life of the first woman to hold the title of college or university president in Georgia. Dr. Shatto served Berry with distinction from 1980 to 1998.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

RELATED COVERAGE: Ed Catmull brings Pixar magic to Berry

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Mason Kinsey prepares to catch a touchdown pass late into the fourth quarter of Berry's home opener against LaGrange.Mason Kinsey prepares to catch a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of Berry’s home opener against LaGrange. The Vikings won the game 28-14, part of a 14-game winning streak dating back to last October.

Berry volleyball players celebrate their first-ever win over Emory University.

Hannah Billiard (15) and her Berry teammates celebrate during their first-ever win over Emory University.

To say it’s been a splendid fall for Berry’s volleyball and football teams would be something of an understatement. Both have earned national rankings and kindled championship dreams by dominating their peers in the Southern Athletic Association.

The volleyball team made history Oct. 22 as the first SAA program to finish the regular season with a perfect 14-0 record in conference play. Next up is the SAA tournament, to be held Nov. 3-5 in the friendly confines of the Cage Center. A victory in that event will guarantee the Vikings and coach Caitlyn Moriarty (14G) a trip to nationals. SAA tournament website.

The football team has enjoyed similar success, soaring to a best-ever 9-0 start that includes a 7-0 mark in conference play. The Vikings have clinched a share of their second consecutive SAA championship and can win the title outright with a home victory over Trinity (Texas) on Nov. 11. Regardless of the outcome of that game, coach Tony Kunczewski’s team has already assured itself of a first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III national playoffs. Complete coverage.

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Bettyann O'NeillA 23-year career highlighted by the two most successful fundraising campaigns in Berry history will come to a close Dec. 31 when Bettyann O’Neill retires from her longtime position as vice president for advancement. O’Neill, who plans to marry and relocate to Florida, has led Berry’s fundraising and alumni engagement efforts since 1999, during which time alumni and friends have committed more than $235 million to advance Martha Berry’s vision and mission, including more than $65 million for student scholarships. Her work has helped lead to such notable campus additions as the McAllister Hall science center, Cage Center, new theatre, Valhalla stadium and Kilpatrick Commons.

“In the days and weeks ahead, we will determine how we will move forward to fill the void her departure will create,” President Steve Briggs said. “Her efforts to support the college’s most critical strategic initiatives have left an indelible mark on Berry’s firsthand educational experiences and have transformed the face of the campus physically.”

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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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Todd BrooksTodd Brooks has returned to Berry as athletic director after two years at Virginia’s Christopher Newport University. He succeeds Dr. Tom Hart, who stepped down in May.

“Todd Brooks’ return to Berry is our good fortune,” said Debbie Heida, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “Todd helped build our current athletic program, and his experience at Christopher Newport enhances the work he will do in leading our program to greater heights. I am pleased to welcome Todd back to Berry and to Rome.”

Brooks’ previous tenure as Berry athletic director (1998 to 2013) was highlighted by significant growth for the program, including the addition of numerous sports, completion of the Steven J. Cage Athletic and Recreation Center, transition from NAIA to NCAA Division III, and creation of the Southern Athletic Association. Twice during that time he was named Athletic Director of the Year by the Southern States Athletic Conference. He is also a past recipient of Berry’s Martindale Award of Distinction, one of the college’s most prestigious faculty/staff honors.

Read more.

Photo by student Lauren Neumann

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The rhythmic beat of the Viking Drumline provided the perfect soundtrack as students, faculty, staff, board members, project donors and special guests celebrated the Oct. 17 groundbreaking for Valhalla, including Williams Field, Clark Track and Dickey Field.

“What a great day it is for Berry College,” said President Steve Briggs, addressing the large crowd gathered at the construction site just south of the Cage Center. “It’s an important milestone in our ongoing effort to enhance this amazing campus and to create places of opportunity for students, for our friends and for our community. And like the Cage Center behind us, Valhalla will provide a major venue for recreation, excitement, achievement, participation and just plain fun.”

Taking up shovels were Steve Cage (74C), the Berry trustee whose 2012 lead gift initiated fundraising for Valhalla; Bob (62H) and Kay Williams, whose generosity paved the way for the naming of the stadium field; alumni trustees Bert Clark (82C) and Roger Lusby (79C), who led the successful Clark Track Challenge, and Bert’s wife, Cathy; Dr. Ouida Dickey (50C, FFS), who has joined daughters Jennifer (77A, 80C) and Angela (75A, 79C) in making a challenge gift to name the track and field throws area for the late Garland M. Dickey (42C); Steve and Michelle Tart, football parents and project supporters; Randy Berry and Barry Griswell (71C), trustees and LifeReady Campaign co-chairs, and Barry’s wife Michele (70C), all major donors to the project; and Board of Trustees Chair Karen Holley Horrell (74C), another major contributor to the fundraising effort to build the stadium.

Steve CageIn his remarks, Cage (pictured) noted that Valhalla is “a collaboration of hard work, trust and leadership with the Board of Trustees, Dr. Briggs, faculty and staff, students and donors.” He offered special praise to the Berry president, dedicating the new stadium in his honor, and thanked all those who had made gifts to the project. Groundbreaking coverage.

Christened  “a place for us” by SGA President Paton Roden, Valhalla will provide a new home for Berry’s football and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams when completed in 2015. The stadium and adjacent Dickey Field will also make possible the spring 2016 resumption of full competition in men’s and women’s track and field, in addition to hosting intramural competitions and other large outdoor events. Berry’s service entrance will be closed until construction is completed.

Fundraising for Valhalla is now entering its final phase. Gifts to the project can be made online. If you’d like to double your giving power, make your commitment through the Dickey Field Challenge.

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Spring CommencementThe largest class in Berry history – 425 strong – celebrated the past and looked to the future during spring commencement exercises in the Cage Center. Roxanne Spillett, former president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and newly appointed member of the Berry College Board of Trustees, addressed the graduates and their families, who gathered indoors due to inclement weather in the area. The student speaker was Josh Hughes, a chemistry major and aspiring professional soccer player who graduated with a 4.0 GPA. The ceremony featured the presentation of two faculty honors, the Mary S. and Samuel Poe Carden Award for Outstanding Teaching, Scholarship and Service to Associate Professor of History Matthew Stanard and the Dave and Lu Garrett Award for Meritorious Teaching to Associate Professor of Bioanalytical Chemistry Alice Suroviec. Commencement video.

Among the many notable graduates was Madison Chandler, a biochemistry major who gained acceptance into five different biomedical engineering programs before choosing Auburn University, where she will have the opportunity to conduct genetics research related to breast cancer. Read story.

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Richards Gymnasium Renovation

Located on the site of the old indoor pool, the 4,200-square-foot strength and conditioning weight room in Richards Gymnasium will be open to all students. (Photo by Josh Meister).

A dramatic summer renovation has breathed new life into Roy Richards Memorial Gymnasium, allowing a structure originally built by students in the 1930s to enhance fitness opportunities on the Berry campus by complementing the exercise options available in the Cage Center. Highlights include a 4,200-square-foot strength and conditioning weight room and satellite training room built on the site of the old indoor pool, as well as locker rooms and office space for intercollegiate football, lacrosse and tennis. Other upgrades include a refurbished floor in the gymnasium, now used for intramurals and other group activities, a new floor in the dance lab, and refurbished offices for the Berry Outdoor Leadership Development (BOLD) program. Also, the intramural field closest to the building has been converted into a practice space for football and other sports. More information about this project and other campus improvements will be included in the fall issue of Berry magazine.

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