Tag Archives: LifeReady Campaign

ANS Lab Ribbon Cutting

Jackie Scott (fourth from left), widow of the late Dr. Allen Scott, joins college leaders, friends and project donors at the ribbon-cutting for Berry’s new animal science laboratory.

The late Dr. Allen Scott was never shy in advocating for Berry students, so it’s only fitting that the entrance to the college’s new animal science laboratory be named in his honor. Family and friends of the faculty legend joined other project supporters for an April 18 ribbon cutting celebrating the completion of the 4,600 square-foot facility, the first animal science priority funded through the LifeReady Campaign.

“There were many students that were touched by Allen Scott,” Dana Professor of Animal Science George Gallagher said of his longtime friend and colleague. “And I think that’s his biggest legacy for Berry College. This [facility] will help to build on that.”

Allen Scott PlaqueLocated near the Rollins Ruminant Research Center, the new facility includes a research laboratory with multiple workstations and equipment for preparing samples for study, a large lab with 10 stanchions and other equipment for safely working with cattle, a flexible lab where small-animal pens can be configured as needed, a large storage room, and a veterinary support room. The building also functions as an emergency treatment and surgery center, all but eliminating the need for college veterinarians to treat or perform life-saving procedures in the pasture.

Fundraising is now underway for a major new animal science building to be located adjacent to the McAllister Hall science center.

Event coverage, photo gallery

Bookmark and Share

Home Depot Vice President Bill Lennie visited Berry in late March as the fourth speaker in the Cecil B. Wright III Integrity in Leadership Lecture Series. While on campus, Lennie delivered a presentation on “Building a Values Based Culture,” met with Berry business students and visited HackBerry Lab, home to the college’s innovative creative technologies program.

Click the accompanying video to hear Lennie’s thoughts on a variety of topics related to ethical leadership, including the value of the experiences available to students through the Berry Center for Integrity in Leadership.

Bookmark and Share

Bettyann O'NeillA 23-year career highlighted by the two most successful fundraising campaigns in Berry history will come to a close Dec. 31 when Bettyann O’Neill retires from her longtime position as vice president for advancement. O’Neill, who plans to marry and relocate to Florida, has led Berry’s fundraising and alumni engagement efforts since 1999, during which time alumni and friends have committed more than $235 million to advance Martha Berry’s vision and mission, including more than $65 million for student scholarships. Her work has helped lead to such notable campus additions as the McAllister Hall science center, Cage Center, new theatre, Valhalla stadium and Kilpatrick Commons.

“In the days and weeks ahead, we will determine how we will move forward to fill the void her departure will create,” President Steve Briggs said. “Her efforts to support the college’s most critical strategic initiatives have left an indelible mark on Berry’s firsthand educational experiences and have transformed the face of the campus physically.”

Bookmark and Share


Oak Hill and The Martha Berry Museum long has been a favorite gathering spot and event location for Berry alumni, the campus community, local residents and tourists. This spring, ground was broken on a new pavilion that will make the historic estate an even more ideal location for weddings, seminars, corporate meetings and other types of events.

Planned for completion later this fall, the pavilion is a dream realized for Al Christopher (61c), a longtime crew chief for Alumni Work Week whose woodworking expertise will be reflected in the juniper beams, full-lite doors and other elegant features of the 5,760 square-foot structure. With a full catering kitchen and space for up to 300 guests, the facility is designed to be used as an open-air pavilion or a closed, air-conditioned space. Funding was provided by an anonymous $1 million gift.

“From the start, we knew this pavilion at Oak Hill would be an important and strategic addition,” said Fred Tharpe (68A), chairman of the Master Planning Committee for the Berry College Board of Trustees, while addressing the Berry family members, alumni and friends who joined college officials for the April 1 groundbreaking.

“Those involved in the project have spent countless hours in planning. Through all of these meetings, we’re always conscious of Martha Berry’s words, ‘I pray that I may leave this place more beautiful than when I found it.’ I think Miss Berry would be pleased with what we’re doing with this pavilion.”

Bookmark and Share

Williams Field Dedication

From left, softball coach Cori Thiermann, Dean of Students Debbie Heida, Board of Trustees Chair Barry Griswell (71C) and President Steve Briggs join Kay and Bob (62H) Williams at the official ribbon-cutting for Kay Williams Field.

Four straight wins over top-ranked opponents, a milestone 200th victory for head coach Cori Thiermann and a field dedication honoring one of their biggest fans highlighted a program-best 13-0 start for Berry’s softball Vikings.

The Feb. 18 dedication of Kay Williams Field coincided with a doubleheader sweep of arch-rival Emory University. A pregame ceremony honored Kay Williams’ longtime support of Berry’s student-athletes and the institution as a whole. Husband Bob Williams (62H) joined her for the dedication, along with Board of Trustees Chair Barry Griswell (71C) and other Berry leaders.

The wins over Emory – coming on the heels of a similarly impressive sweep of Texas Lutheran – propelled Berry to a top-5 national ranking. In less than a month of action, three members of the team – Brittany Tuttle, Sarah Moore and Marie Collop – have earned National Player of the Week honors from either Fastpitch News or the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

Bookmark and Share

Project champion Audrey Morgan received a well-deserved standing ovation during a Feb. 23 “topping-out” celebration marking the halfway point in construction for Berry’s new theatre.

Work on the 9,226 square-foot addition to Blackstone Hall is progressing rapidly, with completion expected as early as May 30. Students, faculty, donors and friends got a glimpse of the developing space during the luncheon, which was held inside the four walls that soon will house a black-box stage with adjustable seating for up to 276, depending on the needs of a particular production. Construction and design partners in attendance praised the cooperation and assistance of Berry’s theatre faculty and facilities staff in helping to bring the project to fruition.

It was Morgan’s $1 million challenge gift that initiated fundraising for the now-completed $6.7 million theatre campaign in fall 2015. A year later, at the project groundbreaking, she announced a second $1 million commitment, this one from the foundation of her late sister, Dr. M. Bobbie Bailey.

Morgan, an honorary alumna and member of the Board of Visitors, spoke fondly of her sister at the topping out and graciously thanked all “who had a part in making this dream a reality.” Later, President Steve Briggs proclaimed to the theatre students in attendance, “This, my friends, is for you.”

Bookmark and Share

President Steve Briggs announced last week that Berry’s LifeReady Campaign has now surpassed $100 million in gifts and pledges. Fundraising for several major campaign projects has been completed, but four strategic priorities remain. Those priorities, and the estimated remaining needs, are:

Click here to read Dr. Briggs’ message, which includes a list of accomplishments to date. Learn more about the vision for LifeReady by viewing the accompanying video. Commitments to remaining priorities can be made at www.berry.edu/gift.

Bookmark and Share

With their traditional home temporarily unavailable due to ongoing construction of Berry’s new theatre and associated work in Blackstone Hall, the Berry College Theatre Company took its show on the road in early December — spreading a little Christmas cheer in the process.

Following up on an impressive outdoor production of Peter and the Starcatcher staged at the BOLD ropes course in early fall, the troupe decked the halls of Krannert Center the first week in December for A Charlie Brown Christmas, doing one matinee for local schoolchildren and four others for the campus community and general audiences.

Student director AnnaBeth Crittenden enjoyed bringing the Charles Schulz classic to Berry, noting, “Even after watching the Christmas special upwards of 100 times, I still get chills. There is so much humanity and light in the show that I’ve loved to bring out onto the stage.”

According to Director of Theatre Dr. Anna Filippo, the students are making the most of their temporary displacement from Blackstone (the new theatre will be completed in time for fall semester). She stated, “While not having a conventional stage has posed several challenges for the students, they have gained experience in mobile set building and outdoor performance.”

The Berry troupe will continue its “road tour” April 4-9, performing Shakespeare’s The Tempest in Kilpatrick Commons.

By Katherine Edmonds, philanthropic communications student writer

Bookmark and Share

Berry parents Rick and Barbara Gaby have committed $300,000 in matching funds to encourage gifts supporting the renovation of Ford Auditorium into a first-class recital hall. These funds will provide a dollar-for-dollar match for new commitments by others, doubling the impact of such gifts. Similar matching programs have been successful in generating support for Gate of Opportunity Scholarships, Clark Track and, most recently, the new theatre under construction at Blackstone Hall.

The $4.9 million renovation of Ford Auditorium will breathe new life into Berry’s signature venue for music performance. Planned enhancements include an enlarged stage; 366 seats in an arched configuration; a redesigned balcony; high-performance acoustics; digital lighting and sound systems; climate-controlled instrument storage; a renovated foyer and lobby; and restoration of historic architectural elements.

Contact Scott Breithaupt at 706-238-5897 or sbreithaupt@berry.edu for more information on the matching program. Many naming opportunities are available. To make an online gift, click www.berry.edu/gift and select “Ford Auditorium renovation” from the “Campaign Priorities” menu.

Bookmark and Share

Santa Claus may get all the attention this time of year, but he’s not the only generous soul Berry students are thankful for this holiday season. Their gratitude extends to the many alumni and friends who have made gifts to Berry on their behalf. Students can exclaim “We’re ready!” in the accompanying video because others have chosen to invest in their success.

We’re pleased to highlight the names of all those who made a gift to Berry in 2015-16 in this year’s Online Honor Roll of Donors. Echoing the students featured in the video and so many others, thank you for your support!

Bookmark and Share

A turn of the shovel signaled a new era for Berry’s fine arts program as ground was broken Sept. 27 for a new campus theatre adjacent to Blackstone Hall. Adding to the excitement was news of a surprise $1 million gift from the foundation of project champion Audrey Morgan’s late sister, Dr. M. Bobbie Bailey.

“Over the years I’ve volunteered and supported a lot of great causes, and standing right by my side and supporting me in all of my endeavors was my sister and business partner, Bobbie Bailey,” said Morgan, an honorary Berry alumna and member of the Board of Visitors. “The Berry project was no different.”

Thanks to the Bailey Foundation gift, fundraising for the new theatre and associated improvements to Blackstone has now exceeded $6 million, leaving the project just $600,000 short of completion. Morgan played a key role in that success with her fall 2015 challenge gift of $1 million, which was contingent on construction beginning in 2016.

“This is not a ‘build it and hope they will come’ project, because they are already here,” Morgan said, praising the quality of the students, faculty and staff in the Berry College Theatre Company. “They deserve a first-class facility.”

Construction of the 250-seat theatre is expected to be completed in time for the 2017-18 academic year. Click here to help complete funding for the project.

Additional Coverage: Around Berry Photo Gallery, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Bookmark and Share

Cabaret Performance ImageMomentum is building for the dramatic arts at Berry, with fundraising surpassing $3 million for new and improved campus theatre facilities and attendance reaching new heights during the Berry College Theatre Company’s February production of Cabaret. More than 70 students worked on stage and off to bring the Tony Award-winning musical to life on the Berry stage, and their efforts did not go unrewarded. Attendance totaled nearly 1,300 for the eight shows (more than 80 percent capacity), breaking the previous record set by Little Shop of Horrors in 2014.

Audrey MorganAmong those who turned out was Audrey Morgan, the Board of Visitors member and recipient of Berry’s honorary doctorate whose $1 million challenge gift has spurred significant additional support for construction of a new theatre and renovation of Blackstone Hall. In recognition of her generosity and leadership, the stage in the new theatre will be named in her honor. If you share Mrs. Morgan’s desire to see construction on a new theatre begin in 2016 and would like to take advantage of the matching funds she has made available, click www.berry.edu/gift or contact Scott Breithaupt (91C, 96G) at sbreithaupt@berry.edu.

All gifts should be designated to “New theatre and Blackstone Hall renovation.”

Around Berry: Cabaret Photo Gallery

Bookmark and Share