Tag Archives: student philanthropy

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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School spirit, friendly competition and gratitude toward alumni were all components of Berry’s third-annual celebration of student philanthropy, Firsthand4You Week. Planned and executed by student leaders in Berry’s Firsthand4You program, the weeklong event is meant to help students better understand the critical need for alumni support and how that support supplements the cost of their Berry education. Highlights included the “Silver Wars” competition won by the junior class, a “Philanthropy 101” course taught by Randy Tibbals (79C) and John Zellars, a basketball tailgate, a Koffee House concert and – capping the week – the annual Founder’s Dinner for students and alumni. Watch the video to learn more.

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