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Ford Auditorium


"Music and song are, in my opinion, so fine and necessary a part of life that without them we cannot be said really to live at all."

– Henry Ford, 1937

Henry Ford knew about more than building automobiles; he understood the importance of the arts to human existence. In many ways, he brought enjoyment of music to the Berry campus, and he can be credited fully with creation of Berry’s signature venue for music performance, Ford Auditorium.

Ford and his wife, Clara, hired the finest craftsmen to build Ford Auditorium for Berry students because they knew that exceptional facilities would inspire exceptional performances. Nearly a century later, we will revitalize this venerable space as a first-class performance and recital hall for Berry’s music program.

Scientific understanding of acoustics has improved dramatically since the auditorium was constructed, and today we know that the shape and resonance of its vaulted ceilings create auditory challenges for musicians and audiences alike. A plan developed by one of the nation’s premier sound engineering firms will enable us to address these issues acoustically and aesthetically even as we restore and preserve historic architectural elements that provide visual splendor. Plans also include an enlarged stage, new seating, a redesigned balcony, digital lighting and sound systems, new mechanical and curtain systems, climate-controlled instrument storage, and a renovated lobby. Click here for details.

A Century Campaign gift from the Ford Motor Company Fund in 2000 helped preserve the exterior of all the Ford structures. In this campaign, we will bring new life and expanded purpose to the interior of this very special space.

Berry parents Rick and Barbara Gaby have created a fund that will match new commitments to the Ford project dollar-for-dollar up to a total of $300,000, doubling the impact of donors’ gifts. For more information on the matching program and other renovation details, contact Scott Breithaupt (91C, 96G) at 706-238-5897 or sbreithaupt@berry.edu.

Hannah Ausband “The opportunities I have found at Berry are unique and varied – from writing incidental music for Shakespearean plays to assisting psychological research projects on music and the brain. I cannot put into words how thankful I am to the donors and patrons of the arts who have made my attendance here possible.”

- Hannah Ausband