Tag Archives: Clara Ford

Students Playing Frisbee at Ford
IN THE SHADOW OF AN ICON: The Ford Buildings have been a center of student life on the Berry campus since their construction in the 1920s. The English Gothic design of these gifts from Henry and Clara Ford have helped Berry earn wide acclaim as one of the most beautiful college campuses in America. Photo by student Alex Killingsworth.

The Ford Buildings have been drawing audible gasps from prospective students and other campus visitors since the days of Martha Berry herself, so it should come as no surprise that these breathtaking structures turned up on USA Today’s list of America’s “51 most amazing university and college buildings.” The list features one campus building from all 50 states (as well as the District of Columbia), and wouldn’t you know it, the Ford Buildings were chosen to represent Georgia.

Click here to view the entire list, which also includes buildings on the campuses of Stanford University, the U.S. Air Force Academy, Princeton, Duke and Yale, among others.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Bob and Betty Anne Rouse Bell

Betty Anne Rouse Bell (52H, 56C), pictured with husband Bob, has distinguished herself as a performer and advocate for the arts.

Betty Anne Rouse Bell’s lifelong love of music and drama was cultivated as a high school and college student at Berry in the 1950s, so it’s entirely fitting that future students find similar inspiration in a place named in her honor.

The Betty Anne Rouse Bell Recital Hall is the first major naming associated with plans to renovate and restore Ford Auditorium as a first-class venue for Berry students, faculty and the community at large. The naming of the performance space inside the historic facility was made possible by a touching act of love by Bell’s husband, Bob, who surprised his wife with a gift to Berry honoring her powerful love and appreciation for the school. Combined with the generosity of many other alumni and friends, that gift has helped push fundraising for the $6.3 million Ford project past the $4 million mark. Berry officials hope to complete funding by May 2019 so that work can begin.

Architectural Rendering of Ford RenovationPlans for the auditorium – constructed in the 1920s at the direction of Henry and Clara Ford – include the restoration of beloved historic architectural elements and significant internal renovations meant to enhance the acoustical experience for performers and audience members alike. Expertise has been provided by Kirkegaard Associates of Chicago, one of the nation’s foremost acoustics consulting firms. The project also calls for refurbishment of the music department.

The recital hall naming is fitting recognition for a “double alumna” (52H, 56C) who has distinguished herself as a performer – sharing her vocal talents with presidents, governors and foreign dignitaries, among others – and advocate for the arts. Click here to read more.

If you would like to join the Bells and so many others in supporting the Ford project, please visit berry.edu/gift.

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Martha Berry’s friendship with Henry and Clara Ford left an indelible impression on the institution that bears her name. Recently, Ford Motor Company honored the legacy of that friendship in a video featuring Edsel Ford, Henry and Clara’s great-grandson. Shot on campus last October, the video made its debut in January at a “Salute to Dealers” event honoring the philanthropic efforts of Ford dealers worldwide.

President Steve Briggs, who appears with Edsel Ford in the video, explored the history of Martha Berry’s “improbable friendship” with the Fords in his winter Berry magazine essay. Read more.

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Daphine RooksWith another season of eagle watching almost upon us, 60 members of the “B3 Buddies” (named for the most recent eagle fledgling) flocked to campus in October for an in-person look at the famous nest. Among the visitors was 94-year-old Daphine Lummus Rooks (38H, 42C). She recalled pinning violets on Henry Ford’s wife, Clara, during a visit to Berry by the famous couple and described living on campus while husband Herman (43C) was teaching here. Her son, Leland, is named for former Berry president Leland Green. 11 Alive coverage.

Eagle watchers will be happy to hear that a new camera with sound capabilities has been installed for the upcoming nesting season. The sound will be enabled once the eagles return to the nest full time (any day now). Click here to access all three views.

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