Tag Archives: Chick-fil-A

Berry 2019 Commencement

Mahmood “Momo” Abdellatif receives his diploma from President Steve Briggs before a huge crowd on the Evans lawn.

“Live life less filtered.”

This was the advice John Coleman (04C) offered to the class of 2019 at spring commencement.

Coleman – the 2012 recipient of Berry’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award – is no stranger to the Berry podium, having spoken at his own graduation and at Mountain Day. This time, he shared his insights with 410 undergraduates and hundreds of additional guests gathered on the Evans Hall lawn (20 graduate students received their diplomas at a separate ceremony).

Repeatedly referring to today’s social media society, the Harvard MPA/MBA graduate and Invesco executive addressed the dangers of the unrealistic expectations it presents.

“We keep our relationships superficial and unreal, so concerned with putting our best foot forward that we forget to extend a hand,” Coleman said, encouraging graduates to embrace the messier aspects of life, rather than constantly polishing and filtering the version of their story that they share with the world.

After his own graduation, Coleman faced a series of struggles: unsuccessful jobs, break-ups, small apartments and couch surfing. In sharing these experiences, he also touched on the lessons he learned and how he has grown since then. Living life less filtered, he said, means embracing and being honest about the good and the bad in life. He emphasized the importance of opening up to others, asking for and giving help when it is needed.

“Today, you’re Berry College alums,” he said. “I know that you can do this.”

Based on their accomplishments so far, we heartily agree! A quarter of this year’s graduates will move on to graduate/professional school, studying everything from law and epidemiology to computer science and poultry nutrigenomics. Others are starting work right away with companies like Nike, Chick-fil-A, The Home Depot and Disney. Our charge to them is simple …

STAY IN TOUCH! And be sure to drop us a class note for Berry magazine from time to time. Come to think of it, that goes for the rest of you as well! If you haven’t sent us an update lately, click here and do so today!

By student writer Cassie LaJeunesse

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Viking ConnectionsStudents working toward careers in business and the humanities honed their networking chops through participation in two recent “Viking Connections” events in Atlanta.

Piloted in 2014, this program allows students to build career connections with successful professionals – many of them alumni. The impressive roster of participating employers included Chick-fil-A, Turner Broadcasting, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Invesco, Cox Communications, the Peace Corps, Jackson Spalding and AT&T.

“The primary focus of Viking Connections is helping students build relationships that will lead to jobs after graduation,” said Mark Kozera (79C), director of employer development for Berry’s Work Experience Program. “It’s also an excellent way to engage alumni, providing opportunities for them to assist students while also expanding their own career networks.”

The program has already borne fruit for students, with several securing summer internships through their participation in the 2014 pilot events.

Alumni interested in participating in future Viking Connections events or offering other types of career assistance for current students should contact Kozera at mkozera@berry.edu.

By Maxine Donnelly, philanthropic communications student assistant

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Truett Cathy

Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy (center) receives his honorary doctorate during Berry's 2008 spring commencement ceremony.

“If you wish to enrich days, plant flowers; if you wish to enrich years, plant trees; if you wish to enrich Eternity, plant ideals in the lives of others.”  – S. Truett Cathy 

The Berry community paused recently to honor the memory of Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, who passed away Sept. 8 at the age of 93. John Pierce (78C) wrote this touching tribute for Baptists Today, the publication he serves as executive editor. Others offered words of gratitude and praise on the college’s social media channels.

Cathy was a loyal friend and benefactor whose vision and leadership made possible the WinShape Foundation and its longtime partnership with Berry. Hundreds of students, scattered across three decades, have directly benefited from his generosity as recipients of the WinShape Scholarship. He was an honorary member of the Berry Alumni Association and a 2008 recipient of Berry’s honorary doctorate. His son, Dan, serves on the Berry College Board of Trustees.

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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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