Seal of Berry College
|Motto||"Not to be Ministered Unto, but to Minister"|
|President||Dr. Stephen R. Briggs|
|Students||2,223 (2,141 Undergraduate, 82 Graduate)|
|Location||Floyd County, Georgia, USA|
|Campus||Suburban 26,000+ acres (105+ km²)|
|Colors||Blue and Silver|
|Athletics||NCAA Division III|
|Area||5,300 acres (2,100 ha)|
|NRHP Reference #||78000981|
|Added to NRHP||July 21, 1978|
Berry College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in Mount Berry, Floyd County, Georgia, just north of Rome. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Berry was founded in 1902 by Martha Berry, and, boasting 27,000 acres (110 km2), Berry College also claims to have the largest contiguous campus in the world.
College leaders from across the country chose Berry College as the nation's number one "Up-And-Coming" liberal arts college, according to the 2014 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings released Sept. 10, 2013.
As a complement to its strong academic programs, Berry is known nationally for its premier Work Experience Program in which every student, regardless of income, has the opportunity to compete for jobs of increasing responsibility. Students select from more than 300 types of jobs on campus, as they explore their interests and strengths. Every office and program on campus - from accounting to public relations to the water treatment plant - employs students. With the world's largest campus, Berry also offers a wide range of academic and work opportunities through its farm, forestry and environmental operations.
- 1 Location and campus
- 2 History
- 3 Student demographics
- 4 Academics
- 5 Religion
- 6 Athletics
- 7 Work program
- 8 Films
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Location and campus
The Berry campus consists of more than 27,000 acres of fields, forests, and Lavender Mountain, the largest contiguous college campus in the United States. Designated portions are open to the public for hiking, cycling, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities. The campus is also home to a large population of deer (estimates range between 1,500 and 2,500). The Georgia Department of Natural Resources oversees about 16,000 acres of the campus, conducts managed hunts and provides recreational opportunities within the department of regulations. However, land encompassing the academic buildings and other public spaces is a wildlife refuge in which no hunting is allowed. In September 2011, Travel+Leisure listed Berry among the most beautiful college campuses in the United States, noting its numerous fountains and pools among its English Gothic style buildings.
Berry College has more than 80 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails and 2 disc golf courses that are open to the Berry community and to the public. The Victory Lake Campground located in the heart of Berry's campus is available for Berry student use only. Berry also offers an intramural program with men, women and co-educational play for many sports including quidditch and inner tube water polo.
Berry was founded in 1902 by Martha McChesney Berry in the Possum Trot Church as a school for rural boys. Seven years later, a girls school was added. A junior college was established in 1926, and a four-year college followed in 1930. Graduate programs outside the liberal arts were added in 1972. Funds for campus facilities and other programs have been provided by such notable contributors as Henry Ford and Truett Cathy.
The seeds of Berry College were planted in 1902, with the opening of the Boys' Industrial School, a boarding school for boys located approximately three miles north of Rome, Georgia. The school's creation was the result of the vision and devoted efforts of Martha Berry, the daughter of a prosperous local business owner, who had come to believe that education could provide a path from poverty for local children.
The early years (1902-1942)
Martha Berry first became sensitive to the impoverished condition of many of the people who lived in the area's mountains when some young boys stumbled upon the private cabin retreat where she had gone to read her Bible. Martha was shocked to learn that the children attended neither church nor school and that they were unfamiliar with basic Bible stories. Her willingness to offer them rudimentary instruction soon developed into a Sunday school that attracted numerous children from neighboring families. She then established four day schools, but after these schools appeared ineffective Martha decided in 1902 to use the 83 acres that she had inherited from her father to found the Boys' Industrial School. Eventually, her endeavor grew to include a girls' school (1909) and a junior college (1926). The junior college later expanded into a senior college, Berry College, which graduated its first class in 1932.
Martha wanted only rural children to attend her schools; she refused to admit students from urban areas, including nearby Rome. From its inception the Berry program emphasized the regenerative power of work. Diligent labor, she believed, would promote character in her students by encouraging responsibility and a sense of self-worth. Beginning in 1914, students at the schools would work each week for eight hours on two consecutive days and attend classes on four other days. The work program helped to keep operating costs low, as students constructed the campus and maintained its facilities, and allowed students to use their labor to pay all of their tuition and expenses.
The academic curriculum followed Martha's declaration that the schools should promote an education of "the head, the heart and the hands." Courses were offered in arts and sciences, but the boys' and girls' schools both emphasized training in industrial, agricultural and domestic arts. The college offered advanced courses in these fields, along with teacher and business training. In accordance with Martha's faith, students were required to take courses on religious topics and to subscribe to a strict moral code. They also attended three weekly chapels and an interdenominational service on Sundays. Though a conservative Protestantism defined Martha's beliefs, the schools' religious teachings placed greater emphasis on service than on theology, as reflected by the adoption of the biblical admonition, "Not to be ministered unto, but to minister," as their motto.
Self-help ideals and Martha's relentless fund-raising efforts made the schools an attractive cause for the nation's political and social elite. Substantial contributions — including the donation of several buildings by the automobile manufacturer Henry Ford — helped to keep the schools in operation despite tight budgets. Martha also approved land purchases in Floyd County as a way to promote the institution's long-term financial security. By the 1930s the schools owned nearly 30,000 acres and possessed the largest campus of any educational institution. Martha Berry, meanwhile, gained national renown for her schools, including recognition in 1930 from Good Housekeeping magazine as one of the nation's 12 most influential women.
Martha Berry's death in 1942 deprived the schools of their central figure as they entered their most difficult period. Without the founder's personal appeals, contributions declined. After World War II economic development and expanding public education facilities led many to believe that the schools' mission had become obsolete. Declining enrollment and high costs led to the closing of the girls' school in 1955. The college and boys' school likewise wrestled with these problems, and unstable leadership — five presidents served over a 12-year period — proved unable to satisfy alumni and supporters' concerns that changes would signify a departure from the founding vision.
Ultimately, the trustees concluded that the best hope for Berry's legacy lay in the development of the college. Under the leadership of John R. Bertrand, who was appointed president in 1956, the college continued to offer vocational training but concentrated on improving the liberal arts and professional programs to competitive levels.
After gaining accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1957, the college eliminated the existing work-study schedule in order to place greater emphasis on the academic program. Soon afterward it opened admission to qualified students from urban areas, and as more nontraditional students and commuters with off-campus jobs were admitted, the work requirement was gradually phased out. Through the 1960s and early 1970s the college enacted several other reforms, including paying student workers rather than crediting their accounts, modifying the strict code on student behavior, abandoning uniform dress and mandatory religious services, and holding national searches for faculty members. By the late 1980s several publications regularly ranked Berry College as one of the Southeast's top five regional liberal arts institutions. Meanwhile, the boys' school — renamed the Berry Academy in 1964 — became coeducational in 1971 but continued to struggle with high costs and low enrollment until it closed in 1983. Through these years the college continued to operate on tight finances, despite the sale of some of its lands for local development.
This money was invested in restricted funds that helped build the endowment to approximately 185th among educational institutions nationally by 1999. Gloria M. Shatto, who succeeded Bertrand as president in 1980, continued to work on securing the institution's financial stability. By the 1990s Berry College annually enrolled approximately 1,800 undergraduates and roughly 200 students in its business and education graduate programs.
Berry's Bonner Center for Community Service program encourages students to participate in volunteer service activities. In 1998 John Scott Colley assumed the presidency with the stated goals of improving the college's national academic reputation, increasing diversity within the faculty and student body, and improving classroom, laboratory, and student life facilities. Dr. Colley realized these goals during his tenure at Berry and retired in 2006. Stephen Briggs became Berry's eighth president in July 2006. Dr. Briggs aspires to prepare students for meaningful lives, to be entrepreneurial in spirit and have a sense of purpose.
The college continues to move forward. In 2008, two new residence halls were opened, Audrey B. Morgan and Deerfield, along with the Stephen J. Cage Athletic and Recreation Center. And July 2009 marked Berry’s move to NCAA DIII and the college became a founding member in 2010 of the Southern Athletic Association, along with seven other highly selective private higher education institutions in the region. The Gate of Opportunity Scholarship was created in 2009, enabling students who are willing to work hard in exchange for a first-rate education to graduate college debt free. Berry’s voluntary work program has grown significantly, currently employing more than 1,660 students and making it the largest college work program of its kind in the nation.
Berry College has a total of 2,141 undergraduate students with a 2013 freshman class size of 789 students. There are also 82 graduate students. There is a 66:34 female to male ratio, and 68% of the students are in-state residents. 33 states and 17 foreign countries are represented in the college's student body.
Berry College offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, and Education Specialist degrees from the four schools making up its academic program. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and is a member of the Annapolis Group, an organization of more than 120 liberal arts colleges nationwide.
The Campbell School of Business offers bachelor's degrees in accounting, economics, finance, management, and marketing. It is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
The Charter School of Education and Human Sciences offers bachelor's degrees in early childhood education, middle grade education, psychology, health and physical education, exercise science, and pre-physical therapy and is accredited by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCATE). Upper-level programs include an ESOL endorsement, master's level reading endorsement, and certifications in early childhood education, middle grades education, and secondary education.
The Evans School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences offers bachelor's degrees in art, communication, English, French, German, government, history, international studies, music, music education, music with elective studies in business, religion and philosophy, sociology and anthropology, Spanish, and theatre. The music program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Pre-law is also available as a pre-professional program. This department is home to all of the school's student publications including the Campus Carrier (campus newspaper), the Cabin Log (yearbook), Ramifications (art magazine), and Viking Fusion (multimedia news and entertainment website).
The School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences offers bachelor's degrees in animal science, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, nursing, mathematics, and physics. The chemistry program is accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Dual degree programs are available in engineering (with the Georgia Institute of Technology) and nursing (with the School of Nursing at Emory University). Pre-professional programs in pre-dentistry, pre-medicine, pre-pharmacy, and pre-veterinary medicine are also available.
A minor degree can be obtained in 36 different courses of study throughout the four schools.
Berry also offers an undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies.
Berry’s Honors Program is an undergraduate program designed to give qualified students a chance to learn in an intellectually challenging environment with their peers and professors. The Honors Program allows the students to take Honors-only classes, Honorized classes and to study abroad in Honors-only programs. During their last year at Berry, Honors students must complete and defend a senior thesis, and upon graduation, they will receive an Honors diploma.
Berry offers a Master of Arts in Teaching program and an Education Specialist certification in the Charter School of Education and Human Sciences that is accredited by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCATE).
The Campbell School of Business offers a Master of Business Administration program that is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Academic Support Center
The Academic Support Center is located in the Memorial Library at Berry and is open to all Berry students who need assistance. It provides free student tutoring services to any student who requests it and provides academic accommodations to students who have a documented disability. It also offers time management and study skills counseling in a one-on-one setting to Berry students.
Berry College's mission statement espouses "values based on Christian principles". The school is also involved with Chick Fil-A, a Christian-run business through their WinShape foundation programs, which require mandatory church attendance and adherence. The campus has a chaplain, four chapels, and an active religion-in-life program supporting all Christian denominations and religions outside of Christianity. The school recognizes the Student Association for an Inter-Religious Community which is a student organization that encourages dialogue between religions represented on campus.
The Berry College mascot is the Viking. Berry fields competitive teams in 18 intercollegiate sports including men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, tennis, running, lacrosse, swimming and diving, and golf, as well as men’s baseball and football and women’s volleyball, softball and equestrian team.
The Berry College women's basketball team won the Division II national championship in 1976.
National Championships - Berry has won three NAIA national championships in women's soccer (1987, 1990 and 1993), one national title in women's basketball (1976), one NAIA national crown in men's golf (1998), and one national championship in equestrian (2011). In addition, Berry student-athletes Michelle Abernathy (marathon, 1999), Caio Soares (3,000 meter race-walk, 2004), Michelle Tuggle (high jump, 1984) and Nicole Wildes (women's golf, 2004) have all won individual national championships.
The Berry College Board of Trustees recently voted to add football beginning in the fall of 2013, with track and field coming soon after. According to the school newspaper, The Campus Carrier, adding football will not affect the Title IX regulations. A new stadium, to be known as Valhalla, will be built on Berry's campus once fund-raising is completed - the Vikings currently play games at Darlington School and Rome's historic Barron Stadium. The new facility will be home to the school's football, track, and lacrosse programs.
Southern Athletic Association
Berry is a founding member of the Southern Athletic Association (SAA), an NCAA Division III conference that was formed in 2011 and began play in fall 2012. Other SAA members are Birmingham-Southern College, Centre College, Hendrix College, Oglethorpe University, Millsaps College, Rhodes College, and Sewanee: The University of the South.
As of 2013, Berry fields competitive teams in 21 intercollegiate sports including football, men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, tennis, cross country, outdoor track, lacrosse, swimming and diving and golf, as well as men’s baseball and women’s volleyball, softball and equestrian. Berry's inaugural football season began in the fall of 2013. The University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis are affiliate SAA football members beginning in 2015.
The Cage Center
The Cage Center is Berry’s 131,000 square foot athletic facility that houses a performance gymnasium, a natatorium with observation seating, a fitness center, racquetball courts, an indoor track and classrooms. The Cage was named after Berry College alumnus and trustee Steven Cage whose $10 million donation kicked off the project.
Berry College’s student work program guarantees every student a job on campus if they are interested in participating. The students have the opportunity to have a meaningful work experience that will build their resume and supplement their particular academic interests. Students are paid based on the Level (1-5) they work. Level 1 workers are typically just starting at their jobs and are paid minimum wage. As the students move up in experience and leadership, they move up in the Levels and are paid increasingly more.
Berry College has been used for the filming of several movies, along with music videos by bands such as Casting Crowns. The most notable films are Remember the Titans and Sweet Home Alabama. Disney's movie Perfect Harmony was filmed at buildings including the Old Mill. A short scene from Dutch was filmed on the Berry campus. In addition, scenes for the new series The Following starring Kevin Bacon were filmed on Berry's campus.
- "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2012 Market Value of Endowment Assets and Percentage Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY 2011 to FY 2012". NACUBO. February 4, 2013. p. 4. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- "Campus Maps." Berry College. Retrieved on February 5, 2011.
- "Berry Home." Berry College. Retrieved on February 5, 2011. "Berry College - 2277 Martha Berry Hwy NW • Mount Berry, GA 30149."
- "Rome city, Georgia." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on February 56, 2011.
- "About Berry".
- "#121 National Liberal Arts College Rankings". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
- "America's Most Beautiful College Campuses", Travel+Leisure (September 2011)
- "Berry College Mission and Purpose".
- "Pre-NCAA Statistical Leaders and AIAW Results". NCAA. Retrieved 31 Oct 2012.
- "Berry to add football in 2013, track and field soon after Read more: RN-T.com - Berry to add football in 2013 track and field soon after". Rome News Tribune. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
- Bridges, Zadie (12 December 2011). "Football not serious threat to Title IX". The Campus Carrier. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
- "Berry College Announces Naming/Funding of New Stadium and Track" (Press release). Berry College. October 25, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Media related to Berry College at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Official athletics website
- The Unofficial Website of Berry Academy and Mt. Berry School for Boys
- Viking Fusion, Berry College's student media website