Tag Archives: Special Olympics International

Abby Thomas

Abby Thomas, left, has found her calling with Special Olympics International. She is seen here with colleagues Meghan Meyers, middle, and Terrel Limerick.

When Abby Thomas (14C) first stepped onto the Rome Braves Miracle Field during a field trip with her Berry kinesiology class, she knew she had to be involved with the work being done there. It was there that she found the perfect source of experience to complement her academic preparation as a public health major with a concentration in disability studies.

Her subsequent experiences as a volunteer and intern fueled a passion for helping people to participate in sporting activities – regardless of physical or intellectual ability – that continues to flourish today through her work as manager of strategic partnerships for Special Olympics International in Washington, D.C.

“The work we do is really exciting and important,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to work with and for people with disabilities, and I’ve always had a passion for sports, so Special Olympics is the perfect marriage of those two things.”

In her role, Thomas is responsible for directing corporate fundraising efforts for an organization that serves more than five million athletes worldwide. Inspiration for her work comes from the athletes she gets to work with on a daily basis – people who serve as both colleagues and friends in her office at SOI Headquarters.

Recently, she returned to Berry to share the story of Special Olympics with students in an Exceptional Child course taught by Dr. Michelle Haney. During her presentation, Thomas noted the similarities between Martha Berry and Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver – two strong-willed, innovative and determined women who left a legacy that continues to change the world and benefit others today.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Cynthia CourtPresident Steve Briggs recently announced the appointment of Cynthia Court as Berry’s new vice president of advancement. She will assume the role on a full-time basis Jan. 1, following the retirement of Bettyann O’Neill. Until that time, the two will work together on an interim basis to ensure a seamless transition in the areas of alumni relations, development and philanthropic communications.

Court’s impressive resume includes experience as chief marketing and development officer for Special Olympics International in Washington, D.C., executive vice president of development and marketing for Boys & Girls Clubs of America in Atlanta, and group vice president for personal giving for the Arthritis Foundation in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. She most recently served as managing director of the nonprofit practice of the executive search firm Harvard Group International. Read more.

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