|Motto||Not to be Ministered Unto, but to Minister|
|Endowment||$1.059 billion (2019)|
|President||Dr. Stephen R. Briggs|
|Campus||Rural 27,000+ acres (105+ km²)|
|Colors||Blue and silver|
|Athletics||NCAA Division III|
|Mascot||Victor the Viking|
Berry College is a private liberal arts college located in the Mount Berry community adjacent to Rome, Georgia. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Berry College was founded on values based on Christian principles in 1902 by Martha Berry.
Location and campus
The Berry campus consists of more than 27,000 acres of land - including fields, forests, and Lavender Mountain - making it the largest contiguous college campus in the world. 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. The land encompassing the academic buildings and other public spaces is a wildlife refuge in which no hunting is allowed. In September 2011, Travel+Leisure ranked 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 two disc golf courses; all are open to the Berry community and to the public. The Victory Lake Campground located in the heart of Berry's campus is available to Berry student use only. Berry offers an intramural program with men, women and co-educational play for many sports.
Berry College has a total of 1,943 undergraduate students for the 2019–2020 academic year. There are 91 graduate students. There is a 66:34 female to male ratio, and 69 percent of the students are in-state residents. Students come from 35 states and at least 18 foreign countries.
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 student-faculty ratio at Berry College is 11:1, and the school has 58.9% of its classes with fewer than 20 students, and with 99.6% of its classes with fewer than 50 students. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 83%. U S News & World Report in its 2021 Best Colleges ranks Berry College #4 in Regional Universities South, #3 in Best Undergraduate Teaching, and #1 in Best Value Schools.
Berry offers degrees in the following schools:
- Campbell School of Business
- Charter School of Education and Human Sciences
- Evans School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
- School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences
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. Upon graduation, they 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 college board chose to shutter the middle and high school academy, and used that campus property to court leadership of Chick Fil-A, a Christian-run business, through its WinShape foundation programs. 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 23 intercollegiate sports including men's and women's basketball, soccer, tennis, track & field, lacrosse, swimming and diving, and golf, as well as men's baseball and football and women's volleyball, softball and equestrian team.
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 three IHSA national championships in equestrian (2011, 2015, 2016). 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 women's basketball team won the AIAW Small College National Championship in 1976.
In 2018 Elijah Hirsh in men's basketball broke the single-game record for blocks in Berry's NCAA DIII era with 10 blocks. In 2019 he averaged 9.2 rebounds (leading the Southern Athletic Association), and was named SAA Player of the Year, SAA All-First Team, and National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District South First Team.
The Berry College Board of Trustees voted to add football beginning in the fall of 2013, with a track and field athletic program to be added soon after. Due to the financial expense and the traditions of the school, the decision to add football was controversial and met with opposition from a significant portion of the student body, faculty, and alumni. According to the school newspaper, The Campus Carrier, adding football will not affect issues related to equal sports opportunity under the Title IX regulations.
A new stadium, known as "Valhalla", has been built on Berry's campus. The facility is used by the college's football, track, and lacrosse programs.
The stadium was originally intended to be built near the Cage Center (see below), but in 2012 a pair of bald eagles established their nest near the site. They returned and successfully raised chicks in 2013 and 2014. The school moved the stadium site to a new location well removed from the eagles, which have become a symbol of the school. Groundbreaking was held on October 17, 2014, and the stadium was completed for the 2015 football season.
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. The University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis were affiliate SAA football members in 2015 and 2016. They have since been replaced by Austin College in Sherman, TX and Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, starting in 2017 as affiliate SAA football members.
As of 2015[update]-16, Berry fields competitive teams in 23 intercollegiate sports, including football, men's and women's basketball, soccer, tennis, cross country, track & field, 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 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.
Elementary and middle school
Berry College Elementary and Middle School is a private school located on Berry College's mountain campus across from Frost Chapel. Berry College Elementary School, meant to follow British enfant school practices, was founded in 1977. Using a Lilly Foundation Grant, the school was called the Early Learning Center in the Westcott Building and taught kindergarten and first grade students.
Berry abruptly closed the middle school/high school Academy in 1983, and all 144 students left to attend school elsewhere. In 1988, the school moved locations from the Westcott Building to Hamrick Hall, where it is now located. By this time the age range had expanded to teach children up until fifth grade. Since 2002, it has enrolled students in up to the eighth grade. A year later, the older students were moved from Hamrick Hall to the newly built Cook Building on Main Campus to form their own separate middle school. A series of reunion events were held for former students, parents, teachers and directors in 2007 for the thirty year anniversary. The names of the schools were merged into one, Berry College Elementary and Middle School.
The Middle Schoolers were also known for annually producing short films, with the eight graders receiving a "Martha" award for their achievements. The project was led by art teacher Claire Howard and technology specialist Mark Hannah.
Currently, the school is home to 129 elementary and middle school students with a 1:12 teacher to student ratio. During the 180 days in the school year, the students attend class for seven hours compared to the normal six for other elementary schools in the area.
Berry College's student work program guarantees every student a job on campus for those interested in participating. The work program is based upon the original idea the school was formed around. The founder, Martha Berry, would educate local children for free if they would work around campus. This continues to help offset the tuition cost to this day. This program creates the opportunity for real work experience to build their resumes and apply their particular academic interests. Students are paid based on the level (1–5) at which they work. Level 1 workers are typically just starting at their jobs and are paid minimum wage. As students move up in experience and leadership, they move up in levels and are paid slightly more with each level. Students cannot work more than 20 hours a week.
Film and television
Berry College has been used as a site for the filming of several movies, in addition to music videos by bands such as Casting Crowns. The most notable films are Remember the Titans and Sweet Home Alabama. Disney's Perfect Harmony (1991) was filmed almost entirely on campus at buildings such as Oak Hill, Frost Chapel, the Old Mill, and the Ford Buildings. 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 here. In the Constantine television series, the Ford Buildings and the Old Mill were used as the settings for Ravenscar Asylum and John Constantine's hideout, respectively.
- Elijah Hirsh, American-Israeli basketball player in the Israeli Basketball Premier League
- Josh Hughes, soccer player
- Heather Willauer, chemist and inventor
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Berry men’s basketball alumnus Elijah Hirsh signed a two-year deal with Israel’s Elitzur Kiryat Ata
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- "Opportunities in Nuclear – Medical, Energy, and More". Today's Medical Developments. September 18, 2013.
Dr. Heather Willauer is a research chemist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. Willauer received her B.S in Chemistry from Berry College in 1996
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