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Determined to succeed

Lindsay TuttWhen you’re the fourth of six children, there are some things that you just know.

You just know, for example, that you’ll be wearing your older siblings’ hand-me-downs, and you just know that someone is always going to be standing at the bathroom door saying, “Hurry up.” And unless your last name is Gates, Buffett or Walton, you just know that you’re probably going to have to find a way to pay for college yourself.

That’s exactly what Lindsay Tutt did – with the help of several generous Berry donors.

“With such a big family, my parents had been able to save only a little money for me to go to college,” said Tutt, a senior biology major from Rome. “So during my senior year in high school, I worked really hard to find as many scholarships as I could so I could come to Berry.”

Tutt’s diligence paid off when she was awarded two very special scholarships – one from members of the Berry College family, the A. Milton and Jo Ann Chambers Endowed Scholarship, and one from a long-time friend of the college, the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarship.

“Their support has made a world of difference for me,” she said. “My parents helped all they could, but without those scholarships, I wouldn’t be here.”

Tutt added that knowing others were investing in her education made her even more dedicated to studying and doing well in her classes. When she graduates, Tutt will be the first person in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree. Her two younger sisters now want to follow in her footsteps and go to college.

Tutt, who describes herself as ambitious, driven and confident even before coming to Berry, said the college has molded her into a different person.

“I wasn’t shy before, but at Berry I have gained even more self-confidence,” she said, citing her student work experience as a major source of personal growth. She has participated in the Work Experience Program since she was a freshman, advancing to a student supervisor’s position. She is responsible for training and supervising 11 students in the financial aid office and overseeing a team of seven student callers in the Firsthand Foner Program (an admissions outreach initiative). She knows she has developed skills that will prove invaluable in her career.

“My student work job has taught me time management and how to communicate and work with a variety of personalities,” Tutt said. “I feel like I’ve built the skills I need to run my own company some day.”

Tutt dreams of becoming an orthodontist or pediatric dentist and is convinced that successfully navigating Berry’s challenging academic program has prepared her well for the rigors of dental school. She has worked hard for the bright future she sees ahead, and she is quick to acknowledge those who made her education possible.

“What these donors have done means the world to me,” she said. “I am eternally grateful. It takes having a big heart to share your success and to give like that. They’ve made a great investment in me, and it makes me want to succeed so I can give someone else the opportunity to get a great education.”

By Debbie Rasure
originally published in Winter 2010-11 issue of
Berry magazine 

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