Tag Archives: Scholarship Night

Julie Bumpus and Alexi Bell

PEOPLE WHO MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Above, student Alexi Bell interviews Associate Dean of Students Emeritus Julie Bumpus during this year’s Scholarship Night program. Below, senior Danielle Bowling, left, poses with her mentor, Director of Student Activities Cecily Crow (94C), during Always Berry Week. Photos by students Matthew McConnell and Bailey Albertson.

Always Berry Week

What does it mean to be “Always Berry?”

That question inspired a series of videos produced this spring in which alumni of all ages (and President Briggs!) have reflected on the things that make Berry special. Hopefully, you’ve seen and enjoyed these videos in your inbox or on social media. If not, click here to see what we’re talking about.

Earlier this month, students joined the conversation as part of a week-long campus celebration known as “Always Berry Week.” The alumni engagement office hosted the event in partnership with Athletes Bettering the Community, the Student Government Association, Krannert Center Activities Board, Berry resident assistants and the Student Philanthropy team. Together, they provided students with the opportunity to honor their Berry mentors while simultaneously supporting the Save a Student Scholarship. More than 400 students, faculty and staff took part, filling a display in Krannert Center with Polaroid selfies honoring the people at Berry who have made a difference in their lives.

The week concluded with Berry’s annual Scholarship Night celebration pairing donors with their scholarship recipients in the Cage Center. More than 100 student volunteers welcomed participants by lining the drive as candleholders, honoring a tradition that dates back to the “Berry Pilgrims” of Martha Berry’s day. Students Mahmood Abdellatif and Alexi Bell acted as hosts for the program, which was planned by students and featured remarks by a number of donors and scholarship recipients in attendance.

Always Berry Week is over now, but there is more fun yet to come. Click here to learn more about what it means to be “Always Berry,” and keep an eye out later this week for a new video featuring an unforgettable rendition of Berry’s Alma Mater that you don’t want to miss.

By Jennifer Wright

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Sophia Veser Portrait

Sophia Veser

No one has to tell Sophia Veser (16C) about the power of giving. She has experienced it firsthand as a beneficiary of Berry’s Save a Student Scholarship, a lifeline funded by students that provides vital assistance for classmates in financial distress. Sophia shared her powerful story during Be Berry Week, a special celebration of gratitude and giving capped by the largest Scholarship Night dinner in Berry history.

Sophia spoke at a “thank you” event for students, faculty and staff who have made a gift to Berry over the past year, relating how her student-funded scholarship made all the difference when family issues threatened to derail her Berry dreams.

Accounting Major Allison Bernstein shows off her cup-stacking prowess at the senior pep rally.

Accounting major Allison Bernstein shows off her cup-stacking prowess at the senior pep rally.

“It’s very humbling to know my success in life is a direct result of getting the scholarship,” she stated. “It’s like the butterfly effect. Because students gave, they changed my life’s path.”

Other events held during Be Berry Week included a senior pep rally kicking off a weeklong giving challenge between Berry’s four schools. As part of this challenge, students were encouraged to buy Berry socks (available NOW to alumni!), with proceeds supporting the Save a Student Scholarship. The Evans School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences won the competition thanks to a 49-percent giving rate among seniors so far this fiscal year.

Scholarship Night provided the perfect climax to the week, bringing together approximately 470 donors and scholarship recipients for a night of fellowship in the Cage Center. Photo gallery.

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Be BerryA tidal wave of gratitude swept through the Cage Center on March 31 as more than 400 students, donors, alumni and friends gathered for one of the largest Scholarship Night celebrations in Berry history. Speaking for his fellow students, sophomore Aaron Morrison captured the spirit of the evening perfectly with his message of thanks to the many scholarship donors in attendance.

“In 10 years,” Morrison said, “when we are doctors, lawyers, businessmen and women, presidents of universities and presidents of the United States, we will look back and say to ourselves, ‘We are who we are, we have accomplished what we have accomplished, because of you.’”

Scholarship Night brought a fitting conclusion to a week-long salute to what it means to “Be Berry” led by the college’s student philanthropy team.

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Remarks from Trustee Bert Clark (82C) and a musical tribute performed by Kyler Post (10C) and Kali McMillian (12C) highlighted Berry’s 12th annual Scholarship Night celebration. This special event honors the donors who keep the dream of a Berry education burning brightly for so many students. This year’s gathering drew a crowd of more than 300 alumni and friends, faculty/staff members and students to Krannert Center’s Spruill Ballroom. Those in attendance were treated to a thank you video produced by Berry’s Firsthand4You program and student presentations by Julia Kolodziej and Dana Wenger, both of whom enjoyed life-changing experiences abroad thanks to the Bert and Cathy Clark Endowed Study Abroad Scholarship. You can read about Dana’s journey to Italy in the Spring 2013 issue of Berry magazine.

Scholarship Night coverage.

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Lyndsay Ricketson

Lyndsay Ricketson (left) performs at the Alliance Theatre. Photo by Greg Mooney (courtesy of the Alliance Theatre).

Lyndsay Ricketson (09C) is quickly making a name for herself in Atlanta’s theatrical community, earning critical praise for her performance in the Alliance Theatre’s Next to Normal, a contemporary drama about a family’s struggle with the mother’s mental illness. She is currently appearing as Beth in the musical version of Little Women at Fabrefaction Theatre.

Describing herself as an “actress, singer and writer,” Lyndsay stays busy with rehearsals and guest vocal performances. She also teaches voice and musical theatre classes. Donors and scholarship students at Berry will remember her riveting performance of “For Good,” a song from the musical Wicked, at the 2012 Scholarship Night dinner.

Full story.

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Scholarship Night has always been an emotional celebration bringing together students and the donors who fund their scholarships, but this year’s event took on added significance thanks to the tremendous generosity of a longtime Berry friend and the incredible opportunities that will result.

On a night when Berry annually expresses its sincere appreciation to all scholarship donors, a new act of generosity was announced that has resulted in the formation of a $10 million Donor Opportunity Fund designed to help speed the creation of 80 additional Gate of Opportunity Scholarships. The fund provides matching support – at a rate of $1.25 for each dollar given – to individuals or groups who endow new Gate of Opportunity Scholarships. Once established, these new scholarships will benefit Berry students for generations to come.

Each four-year Gate of Opportunity Scholarship represents a partnership among a donor, a student and his or her family, and Berry, with each partner contributing approximately one-third of the cost of the student’s education. The student’s portion comes largely through extensive participation in the Work Experience Program.

Twenty-eight students currently are working their way through Berry with the prospect of graduating debt-free thanks to Gate of Opportunity donors. One student whose life has already been changed by this mission-focused program is Naing Oo. Watch the video to learn more about his inspiring story.

Read more.

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