Tag Archives: John Coleman

Berry 2019 Commencement

Mahmood “Momo” Abdellatif receives his diploma from President Steve Briggs before a huge crowd on the Evans lawn.

“Live life less filtered.”

This was the advice John Coleman (04C) offered to the class of 2019 at spring commencement.

Coleman – the 2012 recipient of Berry’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award – is no stranger to the Berry podium, having spoken at his own graduation and at Mountain Day. This time, he shared his insights with 410 undergraduates and hundreds of additional guests gathered on the Evans Hall lawn (20 graduate students received their diplomas at a separate ceremony).

Repeatedly referring to today’s social media society, the Harvard MPA/MBA graduate and Invesco executive addressed the dangers of the unrealistic expectations it presents.

“We keep our relationships superficial and unreal, so concerned with putting our best foot forward that we forget to extend a hand,” Coleman said, encouraging graduates to embrace the messier aspects of life, rather than constantly polishing and filtering the version of their story that they share with the world.

After his own graduation, Coleman faced a series of struggles: unsuccessful jobs, break-ups, small apartments and couch surfing. In sharing these experiences, he also touched on the lessons he learned and how he has grown since then. Living life less filtered, he said, means embracing and being honest about the good and the bad in life. He emphasized the importance of opening up to others, asking for and giving help when it is needed.

“Today, you’re Berry College alums,” he said. “I know that you can do this.”

Based on their accomplishments so far, we heartily agree! A quarter of this year’s graduates will move on to graduate/professional school, studying everything from law and epidemiology to computer science and poultry nutrigenomics. Others are starting work right away with companies like Nike, Chick-fil-A, The Home Depot and Disney. Our charge to them is simple …

STAY IN TOUCH! And be sure to drop us a class note for Berry magazine from time to time. Come to think of it, that goes for the rest of you as well! If you haven’t sent us an update lately, click here and do so today!

By student writer Cassie LaJeunesse

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John ColemanJohn Coleman (04C) knows a little something about public speaking, so it should come as no surprise that the former Berry national champion recently shared his expertise on the subject in two blog posts for the Harvard Business Review. In addition to being a regular contributor for HBR.org, Coleman serves as head of strategy for Invesco Ltd. and is a recent appointee to the Berry College Board of Visitors. The 2012 winner of Berry’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award holds both an MBA and MPA from Harvard and is the author of two books, Passion and Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders and How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. Follow him on Twitter at @Johnwcoleman. (Photo by Tony Deifel.)

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Tim Goodwin

Tim Goodwin (03C)

Fred Tharpe

Fred Tharpe (68A)

Tim Goodwin (03C) has dreamed of serving on the Berry College Board of Trustees since his student days. Now the newly installed president of the Berry Alumni Association has that opportunity. He is one of five new trustees to join the board this year, among them fellow alumnus Fred Tharpe (68A), recently appointed chairman of the Berry College Board of Visitors. Others include nonprofit leader Roxanne Spillett, banking executive Brad Dinsmore and former Board of Visitors Chairman Pete Capponi. Look for more information on each new trustee in the fall issue of Berry magazine.

Like the Board of Trustees, the Board of Visitors also welcomed new members this spring. They are David Asbury (84C), John Beck (71C), John Coleman (04C) and Anne Berry Bonnyman.

Other alumni have joined Goodwin as newly elected and appointed officers for the Alumni Council. They include Dr. David Slade (97C, FS), vice president, Berry Heritage; the Rev. Valerie Loner (91C), chaplain; Patrick Ouzts (03C), parliamentarian; Mandy Tidwell (93C), secretary; Joseph Ragsdale (65C), Work Week coordinator; Nathan Butzen (03C), historian; Mary Chambers (14C), alumni experiential director; and Michael Williams (03C), strategic advisor.

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Alumni Weekend is a memorable experience for all involved, but as the newest inductees in Berry’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame, John W. Coleman (04C), Amy Moskovitz Williams (03C) and Thomas Ray Fewell (58C) found it truly unforgettable.

John, a published author who recently completed both his MBA and MPA from Harvard University, was honored with this year’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Amy, wife of 2010 Outstanding Young Alumnus Michael D. Williams (03C), claimed the Distinguished Service Award for her commitment to global volunteerism in the area of public health. Ray, meanwhile, took home the Distinguished Achievement Award in recognition of his considerable accomplishments as a physicist and innovator in radiation measurement. He is the seventh member of his college class to win a Distinguished Alumni Award (and the third to be honored for Distinguished Achievement). You can read more about this amazing class in the fall issue of Berry magazine.

John, Amy and Ray were recognized during a May 18 gala that also featured Golden Guard inductions for the high school and college classes of 1962. Representatives of those two classes, Bob Williams (62H) and Yoniece Miller (62C), had the special honor of presenting a combined gift of more than $3 million to Berry from the high school, academy and college classes that celebrated reunions during Alumni Weekend 2012 and Mountain Day 2011.

The Friday night gala set the stage for a full weekend of reunion activities attended by nearly 500 alumni and friends.

More coverage (including photo gallery).

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