Tag Archives: Garland Dickey

Ouida Dickey Birthday CelebrationHAPPY BIRTHDAY! Smiles were in abundance at the 90th birthday celebration for Dr. Ouida Word Dickey (50C). The Ford Living Room will be named in her honor at Mountain Day in October.

Gifts honoring the 90th birthday of Berry icon Dr. Ouida Word Dickey (50C) have propelled fundraising for the planned renovation of Ford Auditorium past the halfway mark to $3 million. The goal is to complete funding for the $5.3 million project during the next year so that work can begin in 2019.

Ford Auditorium RenderingAlumni and friends committed more than $570,000 to the “Ouida Dickey Birthday Challenge,” earning double credit for their generosity thanks to matching funds from an anonymous lead gift. Donors joined Dr. Dickey in July for a special birthday celebration in the Ford Living Room. A second ceremony is planned for Mountain Day Weekend, at which time that space – located at the heart of the Berry Alumni Center – will be named in her honor.

Dr. Dickey is beloved for her many years of distinguished service to Berry as a student, faculty member, administrator and volunteer. Her family is also deeply rooted at the institution. Late husband Garland (42C) pioneered Berry’s intercollegiate athletic program along with his brother, Ed (41C), while daughters Angela (75A, 79C) and Jennifer (77A, 80C) are “double alumna” (high school and college) who have forged exemplary careers in government and higher education, respectively.

It was fitting that gifts honoring Dr. Dickey’s birthday supported the Ford renovation, as the auditorium also turns 90 this year. Click here to learn more about plans to renew the facility as a first-class performance home for Berry music students. You can support the project at berry.edu/gift.

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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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Garland M. Dickey (42C) is a name that resonates across decades of Berry history. As the college’s first full-time athletic director, Dickey helped lead the rebirth of intercollegiate athletics at Berry in the years after World War II, forging the college’s first conference affiliation, initiating the contest that resulted in Berry’s “Viking” nickname, and at one time or another coaching every men’s sport on campus, including track and field. More than three decades after his death, he is poised to once again play a key role in the establishment of full competition in track and field – which has been limited to distance running since the 1980s – this time through the generosity of  wife Ouida (50C, FFS) and daughters Jennifer (77A, 80C) and Angela (75A, 79C). Their commitment of $100,000 has made possible the Dickey Field Challenge, which will provide a dollar-for-dollar match for all future gifts to the track and field throws area adjacent to Berry’s new Valhalla stadium. As a result, your giving power is effectively doubled! There’s no better way to honor the memory of a pioneer in Berry athletics.

Take the Dickey Field Challenge today by visiting our online giving page and selecting “Valhalla stadium – Dickey Field” in the drop-down menu under Campaign Priorities. Pledges can be fulfilled over a period of up to five years. Contact David Clark at dclark@berry.edu or 706-236-1708 for more information.

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Past and present collided (sometimes literally) at the 50th anniversary celebration of men’s soccer at Berry. More than 100 alumni and friends turned out, including a trio of former head coaches – Bob Warming, Bob Pearson and Bret Simon – who helped establish the world’s most popular sport on the world’s largest campus. Joining them was Dr. Ouida Word Dickey (50C, FFS), wife of the late Garland Dickey (42C, FFS), the athletic director under whose leadership men’s soccer was added in 1962.

As part of the two-day event, organized by current coach Richard Vardy, the alumni booters had an opportunity to test their skills (not to mention their fitness level) in a series of scrimmages against each other and the varsity players of today. To glimpse Berry’s soccer pioneers in the prime of their careers, click here to view the extended highlight video prepared by Coach Vardy that was shown at the anniversary banquet.

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