Tag Archives: Henry 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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Ford BuildingsJessica Clay Smith (00C) is the winner of our latest Alumni Accent trivia challenge, correctly noting that the architect chosen by Henry Ford to design the iconic buildings that now bear his name was Harry Carlson of Boston, Mass. Carlson, who also designed the Berry College Chapel, produced three sets of plans for the Ford Buildings before the famed industrialist was satisfied.

For our last question of 2016, we draw inspiration from a recent newspaper profile of Dr. Peter Lawler written by Michelle Williamson Wilson (93C). Scroll to the blog footer for a question testing your knowledge of one of Berry’s most legendary faculty members. Earn a shout-out in our next issue by being the first to share your answer on social media using the hashtag #berrycollegetrivia.

 

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Edsel Ford II, right, and Berry President Steve Briggs discuss vintage photos and letters documenting Henry Ford's relationship with Berry.

Edsel Ford II, right, and Berry President Steve Briggs view vintage photos documenting Henry and Clara Ford’s relationship with Berry.

In the last edition of our Alumni Accent trivia challenge, we asked readers to name the Fortune 500 company Berry Board of Trustees Chair Barry Griswell (71C) once served as CEO. The answer: Principal Financial Group. As a bonus, we asked you what sport he played at Berry. The obvious answer, given his 6-foot-9 frame, was basketball.

This month, we take our cue from a recent campus visit by Edsel Ford II, great-grandson of famed Berry benefactor Henry Ford. On campus for a short video shoot, the younger Ford had the opportunity to tour the campus – including the iconic buildings that bear his family name – and learn more about the historic connection between his great-grandparents and Martha Berry.

Scroll to the blog footer for this month’s question about those famous English Gothic buildings. Share your answers on social media using the hashtag #berrycollegetrivia to earn a shout-out in our next issue.

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Kingmakers

Actress Kristin Bauer van Straten shared this stunning view of the Ford Buildings on Twitter.

The most recent Alumni Accent poll drew a record number of responses to the question, “Which famous Berry visitor would you most like to have met? The winner was the Rough Rider himself, Teddy Roosevelt, with 29 percent of the vote. Next, with 19 percent, was Amelia Earhart, followed closely by Maria Von Trapp of Sound of Music fame with 16 percent. Henry Ford and Helen Keller tied for fourth, each with 14 percent, followed by Ty Cobb (6 percent) and Tony Dungy (2 percent).

This month, we keep the focus on campus visitors – this time of the Hollywood variety. Taking our cue from Berry’s latest foray into show business as the setting for a new ABC/Disney television pilot, Kingmakers, we want to know which actor or actress with a Berry connection you’d most like to see make a return engagement. Scroll to the blog footer to cast your vote.

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History Mural

Guests attending Berry’s annual Scholarship Night celebration were wowed by new floor-to-ceiling murals in Krannert Center designed to bring the college’s history, beauty and mission to life visually. These displays represent a first step in telling the Berry story in public spaces across campus.

Speaker WallAmelia Earhart, Teddy Roosevelt and Henry Ford are three of the famous faces that show up on the new 26×8-foot Berry history mural, located in the lobby leading to Spruill Ballroom. That mural is complemented by a 20×8-foot display on the opposite wall demonstrating the breadth of student experiences at Berry. Nearby, another large display showcases campus speakers of national and international renown. All were designed in-house by staff member Kathy Clements.

“We live in a visual age” said Jeanne Mathews, assistant vice president of public relations and marketing. “Murals such as those in Krannert and digital displays featuring interactive maps and other content will help us to acquaint our many guests with information about Berry’s unique history and the opportunities that abound on the world’s largest campus.”

Photos by student Lauren Neumann

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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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Dining with the DaughtersStill in need of last-minute gift ideas? We’ve got the perfect thing – Dining with the Daughters, a new cookbook by the Daughters of Berry. This is the ninth cookbook published by this special group, founded in 1939 by Martha Berry herself to help preserve the traditions and heritage of her schools. The new edition, produced by the Daughters of Berry in collaboration with Morris Press Cookbooks, combines historic favorites served to such notable campus guests as Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Ford and Amelia Earhart with newer delights crafted by Berry alumni. Order your copy online through the Oak Hill Gift Shop.

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