Tag Archives: Valhalla

This buzzer-beating 3-pointer by senior Myles Moore lifted the Berry men’s basketball team to its sixth win in seven games to start the 2018-19 season. Commentary on the shot is provided by student Noah Syverson.

Another remarkable fall for Berry athletics is now giving way to a promising winter thanks to a blistering start in men’s basketball under first-year coach Mitch Cole. In opening the season 6-1 – Berry’s best start in men’s basketball since joining NCAA Division III – Cole’s Vikings are building on the momentum created by Southern Athletic Association championships and national tournament appearances in volleyball and football, winning seasons in men’s and women’s soccer, and a pair of national qualifiers in women’s cross country.

Berry volleyball once again had the home fans roaring, finishing with a sparkling 26-4 record highlighted by a second straight sweep of the SAA regular-season and tournament crowns. Leading the way was junior Carson VanCampen, who made history as the first Berry volleyball player to be named a first-team All-American. Emily Hancock and Laura Beier joined her as honorable-mention All-Americans, while Caitlyn Moriarty (14G) was regional Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.

Berry players celebrate the courage of teammate Justus Edwards.

Berry players celebrate the courage of injured teammate Justus Edwards. Photo by student Leigh Hadaway.

In football, Berry continued its dominance of the SAA by winning its third straight conference championship. The Vikings finished 10-2 overall, including a perfect 6-0 record at Valhalla. The team now sports a 21-1 record in four seasons on the Williams Field turf, including two national playoff wins. Players this year drew strength from the courage shown by sophomore Justus Edwards after suffering a severe injury in September. Read more.

Women’s cross country also enjoyed a banner fall, advancing two runners to nationals. Junior Abby Carroll qualified for the second consecutive year, while Meredith Herman made her first appearance. Their subsequent placements at nationals were the best by Berry in the NCAA era. They also extended their team’s streak of sending at least one runner to nationals in each of the last three seasons.

Visit berryvikings.com for complete coverage of all Berry athletics.

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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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Mountain Day BannerThere’s no denying that the very best Berry experiences are those that bring us together. That’s certainly true of Mountain Day! From the Mountain Day Olympics to the Grand March to the gifts of pennies students drop in the basket at the foot of Lavender Mountain, everything about this grand Berry tradition revolves around our powerful sense of togetherness.

Here’s a quick glimpse at some of the things we have planned for this year’s celebration, which is just a few weeks away. Visit berry.edu/mountainday for a complete schedule (be sure to note special dedications honoring legendary faculty members Dr. Ouida Word Dickey (50C) and the late Dr. Peter Lawler).

As you make your plans, we hope you’ll symbolically join our students in the Mountain Day tradition of giving – it is Martha’s birthday, after all – by supporting crowdfunding projects and other special initiatives. Watch for more information as the event date draws closer.

Reunion BrunchClass Reunions and Related Activities

High School/Academy Reunion Brunch (10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, Hill Dining Hall): Classes of 1973, 1978 and 1983. Registration is $15 for individuals, $25 for couples and $5 for children 6 to 16; cost covers brunch, Mountain Day T-shirt and admission to Saturday night football game. Coffee will be served at 9:30, brunch at 10:30. Register.

College Reunion Brunch (10:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, WinShape Hub): Classes of 19731978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008. Registration details are same as above. Register.

Berry football team takes field at Valhalla. 2013C Reunion (Noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, Schroeder’s Deli on Broad St.): Dutch treat; couple and individual price packages available for Mountain Day T-shirts and football tickets. Register.

Milestone Class Reunion Tailgate (3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, Dickey Field adjacent to Valhalla stadium) and Football Game (6 p.m. kickoff vs. Sewanee): Mountain Day football is back! While all alumni are invited to the game, members of our milestone reunion classes (1978, 1993 and 2008) also have the option of attending a free pregame tailgate. Game tickets can be obtained by registering for reunion events above or purchased separately for $6 apiece at berrygameday.com. A huge crowd is expected, so get your tickets early! RSVP.

Other Notable Events

Mountain Day Golf Scramble (Noon, Friday, Oct. 5, Stonebridge Golf Club): Registration is $95 per person. Contact Brian Farrer (02C) at 706-238-5904 for details. Register.

Carl Tallent

Carl Tallent (01C)

Berry College Theatre Company Presents Neil Simons’ Rumors (showtimes all three days at Sisters Theatre): Features scenic designs by Carl Tallent (01C). Tickets are $12 for general admission, $8 for seniors and $6 for students. Call 706-236-2263 or visit berry.edu/bctc-tickets.

Examples of Al Christopher's Berry-inspired woodturnings.

Examples of Al Christopher’s Berry-inspired woodturnings.

From Tree to Treasure (10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, Oak Hill and The Martha Berry Museum): Don’t miss this exhibit showcasing the woodturning artistry of Al Christopher (61c). Admission is free.

Alumni Choir Concert (2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7, Ford Auditorium): Alumni under the direction of guest conductors Ross Magoulas (FFS) and Harry Musselwhite (FFS) will lift their voices in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Berry Singers, founded by Magoulas in 1958. A reunion lunch will be held at noon ($30 registration; $15 for each additional participant). Contact Dr. Paul Neal for more information. Register for lunch.

Special thanks to Plainville Brick Company for providing support for this year’s Mountain Day celebration. These longtime friends of Berry provided bricks for several campus buildings, so it’s only fitting that they now step forward as Mountain Day’s first community sponsor.

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Mason Kinsey prepares to catch a touchdown pass late into the fourth quarter of Berry's home opener against LaGrange.Mason Kinsey prepares to catch a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of Berry’s home opener against LaGrange. The Vikings won the game 28-14, part of a 14-game winning streak dating back to last October.

Berry volleyball players celebrate their first-ever win over Emory University.

Hannah Billiard (15) and her Berry teammates celebrate during their first-ever win over Emory University.

To say it’s been a splendid fall for Berry’s volleyball and football teams would be something of an understatement. Both have earned national rankings and kindled championship dreams by dominating their peers in the Southern Athletic Association.

The volleyball team made history Oct. 22 as the first SAA program to finish the regular season with a perfect 14-0 record in conference play. Next up is the SAA tournament, to be held Nov. 3-5 in the friendly confines of the Cage Center. A victory in that event will guarantee the Vikings and coach Caitlyn Moriarty (14G) a trip to nationals. SAA tournament website.

The football team has enjoyed similar success, soaring to a best-ever 9-0 start that includes a 7-0 mark in conference play. The Vikings have clinched a share of their second consecutive SAA championship and can win the title outright with a home victory over Trinity (Texas) on Nov. 11. Regardless of the outcome of that game, coach Tony Kunczewski’s team has already assured itself of a first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III national playoffs. Complete coverage.

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Students may find themselves spacing out on the first day of fall classes, but not because summer is over. The beginning of the 2017-18 academic year on Aug. 21 coincides with the “Great American Eclipse,” which will leave the United States in partial to full shadow as the moon passes in front of the sun. Berry is just south of the 70-mile wide path in which a total eclipse will be visible, but with up to 98 percent of the sun covered at 2:30 p.m. (the peak of the campus viewing period) the show will be spectacular nonetheless. This is the first time Berry skies have featured an eclipse of this magnitude since 1984, and it likely will be decades before it happens again.

In preparation for this stellar event, Berry Professor of Astronomy and Physics Todd Timberlake has scheduled 7:30 p.m. public lectures in the McAllister Hall auditorium for Aug. 15 and 20. Free eclipse-viewing cards will be given to all who attend a session. He’s also recorded a brief informational video in association with Rome’s Sara Hightower Regional Library and a second video with tips for viewing the event safely. The latter (accompanying this story) has been shared by WSB and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

On the afternoon of the eclipse, Dr. Timberlake will host a viewing party at Berry’s Valhalla stadium with specially equipped telescopes and solar filters offering the chance to view the event safely. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by! More details.

By student writer Katherine Edmonds

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Mamadou Soumahoro returns a fumble for a touchdown against the University of Chicago.

Mamadou Soumahoro returns a fumble for a touchdown against the University of Chicago in this photo by Russell Maddrey (17C).

Berry’s 2017 football season is beginning just as last year’s ended, with individual recognition for outstanding achievement. Linebacker Mamadou Soumahoro has been tapped as a Preseason All-American by D3football.com, while another rising senior, Michael Wenclawiak, is among 146 national nominees for the American Football Coaches Association’s Good Works Team, which honors those who dedicate themselves to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others.

The Vikings, defending Southern Athletic Association champions, begin their fifth season of competition Sept. 2 at Maryville hoping to build on last year’s 9-1 finish. The home schedule is as follows:

Saturday, Sept. 9
LaGrange College
6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 16
Rhodes College
6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 23
Centre College
6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 14
Hendrix College
2 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 11
Trinity University
2 p.m.

Ticket information: Alumni wishing to purchase $6 single-game tickets online may do so at www.berrygameday.com. Free tickets for students, faculty and staff will be available for pickup at the Krannert Center Information Desk the week preceding each home game. Students are eligible for one free ticket per game; faculty/staff receive two. Up to two additional tickets may be purchased at the time of pickup for $5 apiece.

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Sydney Weaver (17C)

Sydney Weaver (17C)

Genesis Leggett throws the shot put

Freshman Genesis Leggett throws the shot put for Berry during the SAA championships at Valhalla.

Sydney Weaver (17C) made history this spring as the first Berry student-athlete to compete in the NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Championships, finishing seventh overall. The first-team All-American has taken her last swing for Berry, but she’ll continue to serve the program as a graduate assistant.

Weaver’s success was one of many athletic highlights for Berry this spring. Others included a No. 5 national finish and All-America recognition for men’s golfer Ryan Elmore (17C); national equestrian crowns for sophomores Allie Robertson and Emily Lambert; Berry’s first All-American in men’s lacrosse; two conference championships for Southern Athletic Association Women’s Field Athlete of the Year Genesis Leggett; and numerous regional and national honors for Berry’s record-breaking softball team.

Berry facilities were also on display, with Valhalla hosting Georgia High School Association state championships and the SAA track and field championships, the newly-christened Kay Williams Field hosting an NCAA Division III softball regional, and the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College welcoming the NCAA Division I Atlantic Coast Conference championships.

Visit www.berryvikings.com for complete coverage of Berry athletics.

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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.”

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The Berry football team is making news on and off the field as it chases a conference championship in only its fourth year of existence. Players in the spotlight include receiver Trey Ciresi, who was featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after helping propel the Vikings to the best start in their history, and fellow senior Chris Lilly, whose one-handed touchdown catch against LaGrange (see video) has been nominated for GEICO National Play of the Year. The team also earned a preseason shout-out from Atlanta NBC affiliate 11 Alive News for having three sets of brothers on the roster.

The Vikings carry a 6-1 overall record into their final three regular-season games. Win all three, and the team has an opportunity to claim its first Southern Athletic Association championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III national playoffs. Two of those games will be played at Valhalla, where Berry is 3-0 this season and 7-1 since the stadium opened in 2015. Visit www.berrygameday.com for schedule and ticket information.

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Viking ChargeSingle-game tickets for the 2016 football season are now available online for alumni and friends wishing to join in the fun as coach Tony Kunczewski’s Vikings – ranked No. 21 in NCAA Division III by Lindy’s magazine – work to build on their 7-3 finish in 2015.

Tickets may be purchased for $6 apiece (including $1 online surcharge) at www.BerryGameDay.com and picked up at the will-call window on game day; no tickets will be mailed. Online purchases must be made by noon Wednesday of the week preceding each game. If you miss this cutoff or prefer to purchase your tickets in person, visit the Krannert Center Information Desk between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, or stop by the stadium ticket booth on game day. Interest is high, so get your tickets early!

This year’s home schedule is as follows:

Saturday, Sept. 3
Maryville College, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 24
Sewanee: University of the South, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 8
University of Chicago, Noon

Saturday, Oct. 29
Millsaps College, 1 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5
Birmingham-Southern College, 3 p.m.

Last year’s inaugural season at Valhalla was a winner for the team and the fans, producing a 4-1 record on the Williams Field turf and average attendance of more than 3,000 per game (ranking Berry in the top 12 percent nationally for NCAA Division III).

Note to campus community: Free tickets for students and faculty/staff are available at the Krannert Center Information Desk the week preceding each home game. Students are eligible for one free ticket per game; faculty/staff receive two. Up to two additional tickets may be purchased at the time of pickup for $5 apiece.

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Audrey Morgan

Audrey Morgan

Todd Brooks

Todd Brooks

The visionary donor who helped spur development of the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship Program and the administrator who has led Berry’s athletic program during a period of tremendous growth have been granted honorary membership in the Berry Alumni Association. Audrey Morgan and Todd Brooks join an impressive list that includes former college presidents, beloved faculty members and other close Berry friends.

Morgan has committed more than $7.5 million to programs and facilities benefiting Berry students, including $1 million in matching funds to encourage support for a new campus theatre. She is a member of the Board of Visitors and a recipient of Berry’s honorary doctorate.

Brooks, meanwhile, has served two stints as athletic director, helping guide Berry’s transition to NCAA Division III and the Southern Athletic Association and assisting in the planning process for the Cage Center and Valhalla.

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Animal Science Laboratory at Rollins

Architectural rendering of the Animal Science Laboratory at Rollins, slated for construction later this year.

Giving to LifeReady: The Berry College Campaign for Opportunity has now surpassed $91 million! This includes more than $43 million in commitments for Gate of Opportunity and general use scholarships. We are truly grateful to everyone in the Berry community who has supported the campaign to date. A special shout out goes to our alumni, whose gifts account for nearly half the campaign total. Thank you for your support!

Highlights in 2015 included the opening of two major campaign priorities – the new campus Welcome Center and Valhalla stadium for football, lacrosse, and track and field – and Audrey Morgan’s $1 million challenge commitment to fast-track fundraising for the renovation of Blackstone Hall and construction of a new campus theatre. There was also further development of initiatives within Berry’s Integrity in Leadership and Entrepreneurship centers.

Construction of two other campaign-funded projects – the Animal Science Laboratory at Rollins and an event pavilion at Oak Hill – is on tap for 2016. In addition, fundraising is underway for Ford Auditorium’s renovation as a recital hall and construction of an animal science addition for McAllister Hall.

Visit www.berry.edu/lifeready to learn more about the various priorities, and thanks again for helping to make the dream of a “life-ready” education a reality for our students!

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