Tag Archives: Honorary Doctorate

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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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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The largest graduating class in Berry history – 381 strong – welcomed longtime friend and college supporter Audrey Morgan as an honorary member at spring commencement. She joins Martha Berry among the 17 notable individuals who have been presented with an honorary doctorate from Berry since 1933.

Audrey, whose name graces one of the college’s newest residence halls, has demonstrated her commitment to Berry as a member of the Board of Visitors and through her tremendous generosity (more than $6.6 million in lifetime gifts). She helped launch the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship in 2009 and has continued her enthusiastic support of the program in subsequent years. Details of her latest “gift of opportunity” were reported in a recent Berry magazine article.

In his introduction, President Steve Briggs stated, “Audrey’s Gate of Opportunity Scholarships have already changed the lives of dozens of students – and those students, in turn, are becoming agents of improvement. Audrey’s vision is also inspiring others to participate in this remarkable program. Her own gifts will soon fund more than 35 Gate of Opportunity Scholars each year. Her commitment to this program prompted another longtime friend of the college to establish a $10 million dollar matching fund that will result in a total goal of 130 fully endowed Gate of Opportunity Scholarships in the years to come.

“The end result of her carefully targeted philanthropy is, quite simply, lives and communities that have been changed for the better. In that way, as in many others, she reminds us of our founder, who saw education as a way of transforming not just individual lives, but families and whole communities.”

Audrey took great pride in the honor, noting that “after today, not only can I say, ‘I chose Berry,’ but I can say, ‘Berry chose me!'” She also offered encouragement to the newly minted graduates, telling them, “There are so many needs or opportunities waiting for your help, and all of you, I know, have so much to offer.”

More commencement coverage.

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