Alumni Council Meeting Minutes August 12, 2005
Berry Alumni Association
Friday, August 12, 2005–10:30 A.M.
Dr. Ouida Dickey, 50C, Berry Alumni Association (BAA) President, welcomed all Alumni Council members to the first meeting of the 97th year of the BAA. She called the meeting to order at 10:35 a.m. following the completion of an orientation period for new members of the Council.
Dr. David Fite, 51H, BAA chaplain, gave the opening prayer.
Dr. Dickey introduced the following college representatives:
Dr. Scott Colley, Berry College president, commented on the opening of Berry’s 104th year. He thanked new Alumni Council members for taking on this leadership position and noted that alumni are critical to Berry because their observations and suggestions mean so much. Dr. Colley explained that things at Berry are going very well today. He then highlighted Berry students’ achievements.
Bettyann O’Neill provided an update on the Century Campaign. She explained that $96.6 million has been raised in the last six years. June 30, 2006, will be the official end of this campaign, but fundraising will continue for the Cage Athletic Center. Alumni donations are critical for national rankings and grant requirements. She encouraged Alumni Council to participate because “it’s a pride thing.”
Wes Moran, director of Berry’s Career Development Center (CDC), discussed how alumni can partner with the CDC. He explained that the CDC can offer alumni many services such as career counseling, self-assessments, alumni career network connections, on-campus interviews, career fairs and graduate/professional school coaching. He then discussed how alumni can help the CDC by participating in After Dinner Ments and on-campus recruiting of Berry students. In addition, the alumni career network continues to serve an essential role in the CDC, and alumni are encouraged to complete the appropriate form for inclusion in the network.
Faye Fron, director of alumni and constituent relations, described briefly the history of the Alumni Office and introduced her current staff. She explained the main projects of that office and thanked members of the Council for their work.
In the February 5, 2005, minutes, under Steve Tankersley’s report on alumni events, the name Bernice Holcomb was changed to the name Bernice Whaley. The minutes were then approved without opposition.
Dr. Dickey asked that those who wished a change in committee assignment let her know by the end of lunch. After that, she would consider all committee assignments accepted. She then explained a change in the meeting’s agenda: Executive Committee recommendations would be presented following committee reports.
At 11:55 a.m. the business session was adjourned for lunch. Committee meetings were held at 1 p.m..
At 2:55 p.m. the business session reconvened. New council members were introduced: David Bayne, Luci Bell, Rhea Clemmons, Phyllis Cox, Johnnie Smith Curry, Bill Gaines, Franceen Hett, Buford Jennings, Joy Neal Jones, Tracy Morgan, Robin Muritesch, Roger Sundy and Whit Whitaker.
Also welcomed were past presidents Randy Green, J.T. Parker, Ed England, Tom and Martha Bowen, and lifetime member Carolyn Thompson Smith. Mitch Elrod, also a past president, was in attendance earlier.
Two committee changes were made on the basis of earlier requests.
Committee Reports and Recommendations
Institutional Relations Committee. Luci Bell, 60C, acted as chair in Gyneth Travis’s absence. She noted that this meeting was a productive start for this committee. She explained that there is a wide diversity within different chapters, but they discussed general ideas for future improvements. Committee members will come back with two program ideas and realistic goals for this year during the November meeting. The following recommendations were made to Alumni Council and were passed without opposition:
(1) Recognize Possum Trot graduates, honorary alumni status, and associate alumni status on name tags, etc., at alumni events and in publications. (2) Ask Berry Information and Technology to consider the feasibility of alumni’s gaining Berry e-mail addresses. Progress on these recommendations will be reported in November.
Alumni Events Committee. Steve Tankersley, 56H, discussed Mountain Day. The committee seeks to identify locations that chapters can have as places to get together. Jennifer Beard will contact chapter presidents to tell them that banners will be available. Betty Whitten is leading volunteers for this event again this year. Steve then discussed Work Week and said that Stuart Fuqua has been appointed as understudy of Jim Hamrick for coordinating this event. Work Week meals were discussed and feasibility/costs with Aramark will be investigated. There is currently $19,000 in surplus funds resulting from the frugality of the food-shopping group. While no recommendations were suggested, the committee has asked Brad Roberts to head a subcommittee to determine how these funds should be handled.
Association Awards Committee. Lewis Copeland, 60C, explained updates to the awards process. The committee voted to continue accepting nominations for honorary alumni. The committee also agreed to keep award nominations on the list for three years in keeping with a change made in 2004. The committee also made guidelines for awards with more specific criteria. He recommended that the nominee form be placed online through the Berry Web site in two parts: (1) criteria and guideline procedures, and (2) nomination submission form. He also explained that proposals of additional awards are under consideration and will be further discussed in November. There were no specific recommendations for Alumni Council.
Berry Heritage Committee. Jerry Shelton, 58C, explained that this committee will take responsibility for two of the goals from Executive Committee—continued support of the Voices of the Past program and expansion of the Berry alumni volunteer corps. The committee discussed Mountain Day and Founder’s Day recommendations, and Scott Breithaupt informed the committee of the Historic Berry Preservation Fund, under which an individual’s donations might be specified for a specific location or structure.
Committee approved the concept of the preparation of two Historic Berry brochures, contingent on funding. The committee recommended the following to the Council: (1) That class groups be encouraged to have annual reunions after 40 years, and (2) that athletic teams be encouraged to hold periodic reunions. Both recommendations were approved without opposition. These ideas have now been passed to Faye Fron and the Alumni Office for consideration. (3) Rebecca Roberts explained that focusing the Voices of the Past program around historical music will be too difficult within the time frame. It was, therefore, recommended to Council that the theme be a roundtable discussion highlighting individuals who knew Martha Berry. This recommendation passed without opposition.
Financial Support Committee. Barbara McCollum, 79C, reviewed the participation numbers from fiscal year 2005: While the Council aimed at 30 percent participation, 27.9 percent was achieved, but the giving amounts were substantial. She explained the revitalization of giving clubs; the new levels are described on fundraising envelopes inside the most recent Berry magazine. The committee recommended a benchmark of 30 percent participation and a goal of 33 percent participation. This recommendation passed without opposition. The participation goal will be pursued through the Count-Me-In program at Mountain Day and 100 percent participation by Alumni Council members. The committee decided against recommending that increased giving of individuals be indicated in the honor roll report, but instead that increased giving by class year be indicated. This recommendation was left with Director Faye Fron for follow-up. The volunteer call program was tabled until November.
Dr. Dickey discussed 2005-2006 goals (see pink sheet). The Executive Committee recommended the Alumni Council’s endorsement of these goals, and they were accepted without opposition.
Dr. Dickey announced that the search firm Witt/Kieffer has been selected to aid Berry in finding a qualified candidate to assume the presidency of Berry after Dr. Scott Colley retires in 2006. She said that no selection time line had been set and that Trustee Pete Roberts, who is chairing the search committee, will make announcements periodically concerning the progress of the search.
The ad hoc Committee on the Study of Alumni Connections was scheduled to meet at four o’clock.
With no other announcements or business, the meeting closed at 3:45 P.M.
Tracy Morgan, 05C, Secretary