Berry Launches $100 Million LifeReady Campaign
Release Date: May 17, 2014
Berry College celebrated the public launch of an ambitious $100 million
fundraising campaign Saturday night with news that commitments of more than $70
million have already been secured.
priorities of “LifeReady: The Berry College Campaign for Opportunity” build on
the college’s historic strengths of uniting challenging academics with
character-enhancing work and service experiences, as well as Berry’s growing
stature as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges.
projects, many of which target the issues of cost, relevancy and access
surrounding higher education today, are focused in three strategic areas:
opportunities for students to invest in their own success, including
scholarships that make it possible for students to work their way to graduating
leaders and entrepreneurs with character and compassion, poised with strong
work ethics and skills
places and spaces that spur student achievement in the arts, sciences and
these projects are meant to further Berry’s ability to produce graduates who
are ready, willing and able to improve their homes, work places and
are immensely proud of the Berry that exists today, yet we envision still a
better Berry in the years ahead,” said President Steve Briggs. “It has been
said that a Berry education is timeless in approach, time-tested in results and
timely in meeting the needs of society today. The improved Berry we envision
involves not a change in course, but innovative progress in the same
the four years leading up to Saturday’s official kickoff in Atlanta, alumni and
friends jumpstarted the campaign by funding the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship
Program, an initiative that makes it possible for students to work their way to
graduating debt free. Spurred by a $10 million challenge grant from an
anonymous friend, those efforts resulted in a total of $24 million in gifts and
pledges, enough to eventually fund 130 of these special scholarships each year.
the assistance of early partners, we have already increased access to a Berry
education,” said D. Randolph Berry, co-chair of the Campaign Steering Committee
and great-nephew of college founder Martha Berry. “With additional support, we
will extend access to life-building firsthand learning experiences for all
addition to scholarships, campaign priorities include mentoring programs aimed
at helping students identify and capitalize on work, service, leadership and
other opportunities available to them on and off Berry’s campus, as well as new
centers for entrepreneurship and integrity in leadership. Capital projects
include expanded facilities for Berry’s growing number of animal science majors
and renovation of two historic structures that will provide first-class
performance venues for theatre and music.
campus welcome center is also planned, along with a previously announced
athletic stadium for football, lacrosse, and track and field.
new animal science facilities will provide much-needed teaching and research
space for a program that is now Berry’s largest major. Included is an addition
to the McAllister Hall science building and construction of field research
laboratories near the existing Rollins Ruminant Research Center and Gunby
structures will provide expanded opportunities for undergraduate student
research – a unique aspect of the Berry experience that sets graduates apart
when applying to veterinary school or other graduate programs or beginning a career.
historic structures – Blackstone Hall and Ford Auditorium – will receive major
facelifts. Blackstone Hall, the first permanent brick building on Berry’s
campus, was erected in 1915 and has served as home to the theatre program since
1982. Renovations and an addition include a new theatre, acting and
design-studio classrooms, scene and costume shops, and other
Auditorium is located in the iconic Ford Buildings – gifts from Henry and Clara
Ford in the 1920s and 1930s. This English Gothic classic will be transformed
into a modern recital hall with enlarged stage, enhanced acoustics, new seating
and new performance-quality sound and lighting.
at Saturday’s kickoff included Barry Griswell, co-chair of the Campaign Steering
Committee and retired chairman and CEO of Principal Financial Group. As an
Atlanta native and 1971 graduate, he knows well the value of a Berry education.
long has been Berry’s pledge to hardworking students,” Griswell said. “The
experience of a Berry education has changed my own life and others, while the
character of a Berry education has changed communities for the better. We want
to continue this important work.”
more information on campaign priorities, projects and objectives, visit www.berry.edu/LifeReady.