Tag Archives: Jennifer Dickey

Alumni working in Berry College Archives

PRESERVING BERRY HISTORY: From left, Tom Butler (65A), Dr. Ouida Word Dickey (50C, FFS) and Claudette West Bearden (68C) organize documents in the Berry College Archives during a previous Alumni Work Week. This spring, Dr. Dickey’s daughter, Jennifer, will lead a new effort to collect oral histories from alumni in video form.

Jennifer Dickey

Jennifer Dickey

Dr. Jennifer Dickey (77A, 80C) has spent much of her professional life studying the history of her high school and college alma mater. Now, in her role as Alumni Council vice president for Berry culture and heritage, she is spearheading a new project meant to further enrich our understanding of that history by incorporating the voices of alumni who have lived it.

Dickey, who serves as Berry’s history consultant in addition to her work as a professor of history at Kennesaw State University, will be working with the Alumni Council’s Heritage Committee to capture these memories in video form through oral histories that will be housed in the Berry College Archives and eventually could be made available online.

“There has never been a systematic, sustained effort to capture the experiences and memories of Berry alumni,” Dickey explained, noting that previous initiatives have been more narrowly focused. “We really want to try to go after everybody.”

The project will launch this May, with initial interviews taking place at Alumni Weekend and Alumni Work Week. After that, it will become an ongoing effort.

“This is not just a ‘Berry is great’ tale,” Dickey stated. “We want them to talk about all of their experiences here – the good and the bad.

“I think it’s going to be a really interesting project,” she added. “Everyone’s experience here is different, but there are a lot of commonalities too.”

Current Berry students will be helping with the project. If you’d like to be involved, email Dickey at jdickey2@kennesaw.edu.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Berry Alumni Council

LOOKING COOL: Members of the Berry Alumni Council take a break from their August meeting to grab a quick group photo in the Ford Archway. They’re sporting sunglasses purchased as part of a fundraiser for Berry women’s soccer.

Jonathan PurserThis summer brought new leadership to the Berry Alumni Association as Frances Richey (83A, 87C) completed her second term as president and handed the reigns to her elected successor, Jonathan Purser (85C). The husband, father, business owner and volunteer immediately got to work, sharing good news about Berry with fellow alumni via periodic e-blasts (look for more in the future!). He also provided leadership for the first Alumni Council meeting of the 2018-19 academic year.

Forty-four Alumni Council members – representing nearly 80 years of Berry history – gathered in August to begin working on specific projects related to alumni engagement, financial support, Berry heritage and culture, and alumni awards. Leading those teams are elected vice presidents Chris Hayes (04C), Jason McMillan (98C), Jennifer Dickey (77A, 80C) and Pat Tutterow Jackson (82C), respectively. Joining them on the Executive Committee are Richey, who now serves as past president, and appointed members Tim Howard (82C), parliamentarian, Emmett Long (98C), chaplain, and Chad Nash (13C), secretary.

Purser is excited about the work ahead, as well as the opportunity he has to serve as a voice on Berry’s behalf.

“Those of us who were privileged to attend Berry were given a precious gift,” he said. “Serving as Alumni Council president is an honor and a small way of giving back to the institution and community that have meant so much to me.”

Watch for more coverage of Alumni Council activities in the year ahead. Click here for a list of current members.

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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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Freemantown Cleanup

From left, Gary McKnight (61C), Dr. Jennifer Dickey (77A, 80C) and Dr. Susan Bandy (70C) assist with the Freemantown Cemetery cleanup during Alumni Work Week.

As a teacher at Berry Academy, Gary McKnight (61C, FFS) spent 20 summers roaming the slopes of Lavender Mountain with his bird-dog searching for the historic Freemantown Cemetery. This spring, he helped to clean up and restore the site as a participant in Alumni Work Week.

“I thought it was local lore,” said McKnight, one of approximately 150 alumni and friends who returned to Berry in late May for the annual celebration of Berry’s work heritage. Project sites ranged from the House o’ Dreams high atop Lavender Mountain to the Gunby Equine Center to the grounds of Martha Berry’s famed Oak Hill estate.

At the Freemantown site, McKnight worked alongside project lead Joe Ragsdale (65C), campus preservationist Dr. Jennifer Dickey (77A, 80C) and other alumni to clear briars and debris obscuring the cemetery from view. Freeman family descendants also were on hand to assist with the effort.

The cemetery, which few people are aware exists, marks the site of a once-thriving African-American community established by Thomas Freeman in 1871. Freeman, a blacksmith and Union Civil War veteran, acquired 300 acres of what is now Berry’s mountain campus after his emancipation. He died in 1893, and his wife, Henrietta, and 12 children eventually sold the land to Martha Berry in the years between 1916 and 1926. While the buildings and church have been lost to time, the cemetery remains.

“I never thought it would be up in these trees,” McKnight said, “They’ve grown up in the last 50 years and covered everything.”

Ironically, the trees growing between the graves prevented erosion and helped preserve the cemetery.

Archeologists from the Georgia Historic Preservation Division surveyed the cemetery earlier in the year using ground-penetrating radar. Analysis of that data will help to reveal unmarked graves and determine boundaries for the site. Read more about the survey.

Already, the perimeter fence has been adjusted to incorporate a recently discovered headstone outside the original boundary. A new entrance will be constructed later this summer. Freeman descendants will hold a reunion at the site in August.

Related News: Berry Alumni Work Week reunites roomies; Around Berry photo gallery

By student writer Lauren Higdon

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A leader in forensic drug chemistry research, a learned historian and dedicated Berry servant, an award-winning journalist, and a skilled woodworker and successful entrepreneur topped the list of award winners recognized at Alumni Weekend. The 2018 recipients of Berry’s Distinguished Alumni Awards included:

  • Dr. C. Randall Clark (67C), professor of medicinal chemistry at Auburn University, Distinguished Achievement
  • Dr. Jennifer Dickey (77A, 80C), coordinator of public history program and associate professor at Kennesaw State University, Berry campus preservationist, Distinguished Service
  • Al Christopher (61c), talented craftsman, enterprising founder of several businesses in construction and other fields, Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Aitana Vargas (03C), Spanish-language journalist and broadcaster, holds master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, Outstanding Young Alumni
Kay Williams and Tim Howard

Kay Williams, Tim Howard

Other honors presented at Alumni Weekend included the following special distinctions bestowed by the Berry Alumni Association:

  • Tim Howard (82C) – Alumni Council Lifetime Membership
  • Kay Williams – Alumni Association President’s Award

Three classes also earned recognition for reunion giving, including an impressive trifecta by the much-heralded college class of 1958:

  • 1958C – Reunion Cup (percentage attendance), Viking Cup (giving participation) and Ford Cup (dollars given)
  • 1968C –  Martha Cup (percentage increase in giving participation)
  • 1948C – Heritage Cup (increase in planned giving commitments)

Special thanks to the hundreds of alumni and friends who turned out for Alumni Weekend, and congratulations to the classes of 1968A and 1968C, this year’s inductees into Berry’s Golden Guard.

Related Links: Alumni Weekend Class Photos

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2018 Alumni Award Winners

Above: Winners of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Awards include, from left, Aitana Vargas (03C), Outstanding Young Alumni; Al  Christopher (61c), Entrepreneurial Spirit; Dr. Jennifer Dickey (77A, 80C), Service; Dr. Charles Randall Clark (67C), Achievement.

Presentation of the Distinguished Alumni Awards (winners pictured above) is one of many highlights planned for Alumni Weekend 2018. Others include dedication of the Oak Hill Pavilion, a new 5,760-square-foot event space on the grounds of Martha Berry’s famed estate, and reunions for the high school, academy and college classes of 1953, 1958, 1963 and 1968.

The fun gets under way Friday, May 18, with the annual Alumni Golf Scramble and continues through the weekend. The pavilion dedication and Alumni Awards presentation will take place Saturday, May 19, with reunion gatherings scheduled across both days. Complementing the milestone reunions will be a dinner for the class of 1961C and a breakfast gathering for the college classes of 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1953.

Alumni Weekend concludes with Sunday worship services May 20, just in time for another grand Berry tradition – Alumni Work Week – to begin.

Recipients of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards include:

  • Achievement:Dr. Charles Randall Clark (67C)
  • Service: Dr. Jennifer Dickey (77A, 80C)
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit: Al Christopher (61c)
  • Outstanding Young Alumni: Aitana Vargas (03C)

They will be honored Saturday night along with the academy and college classes of 1968, which will join the ranks of Berry’s Golden Guard.

Schedule and online registration: Alumni Weekend, Alumni Work Week

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Frances Richey

Frances Richey (83A, 87C) is beginning her second term as president of the Berry Alumni Association.

A familiar presence has assumed the mantle of leadership as president of the Berry Alumni Association, with Frances E. Richey (83A, 87C) returning to a role she previously held from 2008 to 2010. She succeeds Tim Goodwin (03C), who will continue service as immediate past president.

Also stepping into leadership positions are three new vice presidents and three appointed officers representing more than a half-century of Berry history. They include:

  • Julie Patrick Nunnelly (88C, 00G), vice president, alumni events
  • Samantha Knight Tuttle (11C), vice president, young alumni and student relations
  • The Rev. Valerie Loner (91C), vice president, Berry heritage
  • Clara Hall McRae (60C), chaplain
  • Robert Aiken (82A), parliamentarian
  • Dr. Jennifer Dickey (77A, 80C), historian

Continuing in service are Jonathan Purser (85C), vice president, financial support; Patricia Tutterow Jackson (82C), vice president, alumni awards; and Mandy Tidwell (93C), secretary.

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David Crook of Mike Crook Garden and Stone uses a mixture of clay composed of Berry sand, quicklime and sawdust to seal the walls of Roosevelt Cabin. (Photo by student Lauren Neumann.)

A preservation and restoration effort years in the making is breathing new life into Berry’s iconic Roosevelt Cabin. Built in 1902, the structure has served many purposes during the past century, but it is most famous for hosting former President Teddy Roosevelt during his 1910 visit to Berry.

The restoration process, which entered its final stages this summer, began about 10 years ago thanks to a donation from the Jarrett family and grants from the Georgia Department of Natural Resource’s Historical Preservation Division. According to Dr. Jennifer Dickey (77A, 80C), consultant for the project and former director and curator of Historic Berry, the work included rebuilding the foundation, replacing multiple logs, reconstruction of the roof frame, addition of a new roof, restoration of all the windows and doors, and application of new chinking.

Those attending Mountain Day will get a look at the restored Roosevelt Cabin during an open house scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 3.

Media coverage: Restoring the past

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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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Mountain Day 2013

Brandi Calhoun Diamond and Larry Arrington proudly display the Reunion Cup won by the class of 1993C for percentage participation in the Mega Reunion. Their class also won the tent decorating contest. Other awards went to the class of 1988C (giving total) and 1973C (giving percentage).

A gorgeous fall day on the slopes of Lavender Mountain provided the perfect setting for the approximately 7,500 alumni, students, parents and friends who turned out for the 99th celebration of Mountain Day.

Highlights this year included big crowds for all the traditional favorites – from Friday’s Alumni Golf Scramble, Mountain Day Olympics and talent show to Saturday’s 5K/fun run, convocation service, picnic lunch, Grand March, Mega Reunion and Marthapalooza carnival.

Of particular note was the huge number of high school and academy alumni who turned out for a series of events honoring the continuing legacy of the Mount Berry School for Boys, Martha Berry School for Girls and Berry Academy. Events included a reception and ribbon cutting for a new high school and academy exhibit at Oak Hill and The Martha Berry Museum, a dinner celebrating the completion of A History of the Berry Schools on the Mountain Campus, a new book by Dr. Jennifer W. Dickey (77A, 80C), and a convocation procession from Hamrick Hall to Frost Chapel to hear remarks by Angela Dickey (75A, 79C).

Experience Mountain Day 2013 for yourself by visiting the Around Berry feature on the college homepage, clicking the many photo gallery links in this article or by watching this year’s highlight video. If you’d like a memento, t-shirts are still available for online purchase.

Whether you are a Mountain Day regular or someone who usually makes it back only for reunions, you don’t want to miss next year’s centennial celebration. Mark your calendars now for Oct. 4, 2014. We promise you won’t be disappointed!

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A History of the Berry Schools on the Mountain CampusFor many years, alumni and friends of the Mount Berry School for Boys, Martha Berry School for Girls and Berry Academy have dreamed that the history of those schools – and the important role they played in the development of what is today Berry College – would someday be told. That dream has now come to fruition in the form of A History of the Berry Schools on the Mountain Campus, written by Berry Academy alumna Dr. Jennifer W. Dickey (77A, 80C).

Commissioned by current Berry President Steve Briggs with encouragement from a group of high school and academy alumni known as the Berry Breakfast Club, the new book takes readers on an 81-year journey from the founding of the Berry Schools in 1902 to the controversial closing of Berry Academy in 1983. Dickey conducted extensive research in the Berry College Archives and interviewed more than 60 alumni and former faculty/staff of Berry’s high schools, among them Dr. William Scheel, the headmaster charged with overseeing the closure.

“Writing this book was a cathartic experience for me,” Dickey said. “It gave me an opportunity to delve into the historical record and try to understand how the schools operated and the decisions that were made along the way. I felt like I got to know a lot of alumni and faculty and staff, either in person or through studying the historical record, and gained a greater appreciation for why this school mattered so much to so many people. People’s lives were transformed by their Berry experiences, especially the students who attended the early schools and the Mount Berry School for Boys. My friend and fellow alumnus Tom Butler (65A) talks about the “intangible magic” of the place. I think that term captures the spirit of the high schools on the mountain campus – they had an intangible magic.”

Read more about the new book in this feature story published in the Rome News-Tribune. Copies are available for online purchase through the Oak Hill Gift Shop. Be sure to enter the promo code BERRYALUMNI when checking out to receive a 10% discount.

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