Tag Archives: leadership

Long before the citizens of Savannah elected him mayor, Eddie DeLoach (74C) was a Berry student honing his work-ethic and learning life lessons from the likes of faculty legends Jorge Gonzalez and Gordon Carper. Recently, he shared his recollections with student journalist Sarah O’Carroll in an interview for Viking Fusion. During their conversation, the 66th mayor of Georgia’s oldest city credited Berry with broadening his perspective, instilling leadership skills and stoking his appreciation for history.

Click here to read O’Carroll’s report on the Hometown Headlines news site.

Video courtesy of Sarah O’Carroll and Viking Fusion.

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Bill Pence

Bill Pence

The Berry College Board of Visitors has a new chair in William L. “Bill” Pence (76C), a partner specializing in environmental law with the BakerHostetler law firm in Orlando. A board member since 2010, Pence holds a Juris Doctor from the Syracuse (N.Y.) University College of Law and a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from The London School of Economics and Political Science. He was named to the “Best Lawyers in America” list in 2015 and also serves as a volunteer guardian ad litem for the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, Fla.

In addition to a new chair, the Board of Visitors has two new members: Mike Crego (92C), managing director of Benjamin F. Edwards and Co. in Rome, and Jack Allen Morgan, a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Tax Division and special assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. Morgan is the grandson of Berry benefactor and honorary alumna Audrey Morgan and her late husband, Jack.

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Barry Griswell, left, and Rick Gilbert.

Barry Griswell, left, and Rick Gilbert

Berry’s strong history of executive leadership continued with the election of J. Barry Griswell (71C) as chair and Rick Gilbert (77c) as vice chair of the college’s Board of Trustees. They succeed Karen Holley Horrell (74C) and Cecil B. “Buster” Wright (73C), who continue active service as trustees after completing their second terms as chair and vice chair, respectively.

Griswell, a trustee since 2003, is the retired chairman and CEO of Principal Financial Group and a past winner of the Horatio Alger Distinguished American Award, among his many honors. Gilbert, who has served on the board since 2008, is an entrepreneurial investor in several businesses and co-founder of Atlanticus Holdings Corp. Both are married to Berry alumna, Griswell to the former Michele Irwin (70C) and Gilbert to the former Debra Bourne (76C).

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First-class facilities, centers for integrity in leadership and entrepreneurship, enhancements to the Work Experience Program, generous scholarships, and new student mentoring initiatives are the focus of LifeReady: The Berry College Campaign for Opportunity.

Together, these campaign priorities will build on Berry’s historic mission of educating the head, heart and hands and further strengthen opportunities for students to discover their gifts and realize their potential. The result will be graduates who leave Berry even better prepared to improve their homes, workplaces and communities.

“Opportunity long has been Berry’s pledge to hardworking students,” said Barry Griswell (71C), retired chairman and CEO of Principal Financial Group and campaign co-chair with fellow college trustee Randy Berry. “The experience of a Berry education has changed my own life and others, while the character of a Berry education has changed communities for the better. We want to continue this important work.”

The campaign launch was accompanied by news that more than $73 million in gifts and pledges were already in hand. These early commitments – made during the four years preceding the May 17 kickoff event – include $24 million to support an eventual total of 130 innovative, mission-based Gate of Opportunity Scholarships. Funding also has been completed for the McAllister Hall endowment supporting science education and science-based scholarships.

Future commitments will make possible major facilities enhancements for Berry’s growing animal science program and much-needed renovations for the college’s primary performing arts venues, Ford Auditorium and Blackstone Hall. Other brick-and-mortar projects include a campus welcome center and entry enhancements; the Valhalla stadium for football, lacrosse, and track and field; and the recently completed renovation of Roy Richards Memorial Gymnasium.

Learning experiences will be enriched through centers focused on integrity in leadership and entrepreneurship, while work experiences – long a hallmark of a Berry education – will be enhanced through gifts supporting Berry Student Enterprises and other high-level student work positions. New mentoring programs will help students maximize the opportunities afforded by their Berry experience.

Details about each campaign priority can be found at www.berry.edu/lifeready. The site also includes information about giving options alumni and friends can use to help make these projects a reality. Gifts of any size through June 2020 count toward the campaign total.

“We could not be where we are today without your support, and we will not achieve the goals of this campaign without your help going forward,” President Steve Briggs said in an email message to alumni. “We have the opportunity to have a profound impact on Berry and the lives of future students.”

Campaign launch.

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