Tag Archives: Mountain Day Olympics

Friends Reunite at College Reunion Brunch.

Friends from the class of 1978 reunite during the college reunion brunch, held this year at the WinShape HUB on the mountain campus.

What do class reunions, carnival rides, cupcakes, football and soaring voices have in common? All were indispensable ingredients adding flavor to Mountain Day 2018!

Thousands of alumni, students, parents, faculty/staff and friends took this year’s theme of “Better Together” to heart by packing the world’s largest campus for the 104th edition of Berry’s one-of-a-kind homecoming celebration. Those who couldn’t make it back in person joined in the fun via social media thanks to a new tradition rooted in Mountain Day’s origins as a birthday celebration for Martha Berry herself.

Highlights included the Mountain Day Olympics – Friendship and Morgan/Deerfield claimed victory, for those keeping score at home – a glorious fall picnic and the Grand March of Students. Adding to the fun was the return of Mountain Day football, which drew a record crowd of more than 4,600 to Valhalla for another win by Berry’s nationally-ranked Vikings, and the annual Marthapalooza carnival. Campus visitors also got to enjoy two home volleyball matches (both wins!) and daily performances of Neil Simon’s Rumors by Berry’s student theatre company.

Sydney Adams (18C) and Lauren Richardson (18C) shared this Mountain Day selfie from Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. "Cupcake for Martha" during Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

Sydney Adams (18C), left, and Lauren Richardson (18C) shared this Mountain Day selfie from Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

Reunion events included a brunch at the WinShape HUB, a pregame tailgate for the “milestone” classes of 1978, 1993 and 2008, and an inspiring 60th anniversary concert by the Berry Singers at Ford Auditorium. There were also alumni games for returning student-athletes and special events honoring beloved faculty members, past and present.

New this year was “Cupcakes for Martha,” a tasty way to toast Martha’s birthday. Alumni and friends made short work of the 1,000 free cupcakes available on campus, while those checking in from the road were more than happy to provide their own sweet treats while sharing selfies from as far away as London and Munich. Search #cupcakesformartha on Instagram and Facebook to view some of the photos.

We’re grateful to everyone who took part in this year’s celebration, as well as Mountain Day sponsor Plainville Brick Company and other community partners for their role in helping to make the event a success. If you missed out, don’t worry – we’re already making plans for Mountain Day 2019!

Related: Photo gallery; Berry Singers concert coverage (with audio); choir photos; reunion photos

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Another Mountain Day has come and gone, creating memories to last a lifetime for the many alumni, students, parents, faculty/staff and friends who once again gathered on the slopes of Lavender Mountain to celebrate Martha Berry’s birthday. Traditional favorites such as the Grand March of Students, Mountain Day Olympics and Marthapalooza carnival were complemented by special events such as the Sisters Theatre dedication and the induction ceremony for the Berry High School/Academy Sports Hall of Fame, a new addition to the Dickey Hall of Sports History in the Cage Center. The latter drew guests from as far away as California to honor the proud athletic tradition of Berry’s former high schools.

Photo Galleries: High School/Academy Sports Hall of Fame, College Class Reunion Brunch

 

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Say the words “Mountain Day” to any Berry alum, and you immediately call to mind such longstanding traditions as the Mountain Day Olympics, plates of barbecue (and ice cream cups!), the Grand March of Students, and, of course, that iconic penny basket. The memories are different, depending on your “vintage” – older alums recall the annual tackle football game between rival literary societies, while the youngest among us smile at the thought of Marthapalooza – but the annual celebration of Martha Berry’s birthday remains a touchstone for all.

With this year’s celebration – to be held on Martha’s actual birthday of Oct. 7! – now just two weeks away, it’s high time you made plans to be here. Registration is underway for many events, including reunion brunches for the academy classes of 1972, 1977 and 1982 and the college classes of 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012. There’s also a milestone reunion reception at Oak Hill for the classes of 1977A, 1977C, 1992C and 2007C.

Peter Lawler

Dr. Peter Lawler

Other alumni highlights include the Mountain Day Golf Scramble benefiting the Berry Vikings Booster Club on Friday afternoon, Oct. 6, and a special induction ceremony and dinner for the new Berry High School and Academy Sports Hall of Fame to be held the following evening. Click the corresponding links to register.

A complete schedule is available here. Of particular note is the Friday evening reception and Saturday afternoon picnic for students and alumni of Berry’s government and international studies program. The picnic will feature a remembrance of legendary professor Dr. Peter Lawler, and you can bet many memories will be shared at the reception as well. Email Dr. Kirsten Rafferty Taylor at ktaylor@berry.edu for more details.

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A year after torrential rain forced some of Berry’s most beloved traditions to be moved indoors or cancelled all together, Mountain Day returned in all of its glory in 2016. Sunny skies and beautiful fall weather were the order of the day as 6,000 students, alumni, parents, faculty/staff members and friends turned out for the annual celebration of Martha Berry’s birthday. While students enjoyed the revelry of Friday afternoon’s Mountain Day Olympics and Saturday night’s Marthapalooza carnival, alumni swapped stories and renewed friendships during the annual picnic and other events, among them a special “milestone” reception at Oak Hill for classes marking their 10th, 25th and 40th reunion years.

Other highlights included convocation remarks by Michael Maney (98C), senior director of communications for Target, and the birth of a new giving tradition rooted in a shared Mountain Day experience, Pennies for Martha. Click the links for coverage of each.

Additional coverage: Around Berry Photo Gallery

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What do you get when you mix a gorgeous fall weekend, a steady diet of tradition-rich events, a fantastic finish on the football field and a fireworks display worthy of July 4th? Why, it’s the perfect Mountain Day!

The 100th anniversary of Berry’s one-of-a-kind homecoming celebration exceeded expectations in every way. A stormy forecast threatened to force Friday’s Mountain Day Olympics indoors, but then the skies cleared and a glorious weekend dawned. Saturday got off to an early start with a convocation speech by Board of Visitors member Billy Blanchard (93C) and the new reunion brunch, which drew 330 to the Ford Reflecting Pools. From there, it was on to the Mountain Campus, where 7,500 students, alumni, parents and friends gathered for the annual picnic and Grand March, which this year took place to the strains of a new Mountain Day March composed by longtime faculty member Dr. Stan Pethel.

Victory ScoreboardLater that evening, 4,200 fans at Rome’s Barron Stadium celebrated as Berry’s second-year football team claimed its first-ever varsity win. Students and other Viking supporters poured onto the field after Dale Jackson’s 25-yard pass to Josh Bullock won the overtime thriller. The victory was followed by a spectacular fireworks display. The night ended with a festive crowd of approximately 2,500 filling the Clara Bowl for the 10th annual Marthapalooza student carnival.

Bonny Harper (13C) captured the spirit of Mountain Day in her column for the Barrow County News. As she expressed, “it is truly a pleasure to return and watch the current students taking part in such a time-honored tradition and experiencing the same joy I did.” To that, we can only say amen!

Special thanks to all those who made a gift to the 1914 Challenge in honor of Martha’s birthday. The students set a goal of 1,914 gifts to commemorate the very first Mountain Day; we wound up with 2,014. Great job everybody!

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Ford SpireIn the September issue of the Alumni Accent, we decided to have a little fun by asking, “What was your favorite part of the Mountain Day Olympics?” In a result that should come as a surprise to no one familiar with this grand Berry tradition, 41% of all respondents answered “seeing who had the best t-shirts.” Coming in second – with 30 percent of the vote – was Egg Toss (retired Dean of Students Tom Carver should be proud!). Dizzy Lizzy (14%), Tug ‘o War (8%), Pyramid Building (5%) and Water Relay (2%) split the remaining votes.

This month we turn our attention to Halloween. Everyone has heard whispers about the Green Ghost and other supposed campus specters. Here’s your chance to let us know the place at Berry you would be LEAST surprised to see a ghost. Scroll to the bottom of the page to participate.

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