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Berry College welcomed 286 graduates as official alums at the Spring 2012 Commencement May 5.

“It’s a day to applaud and to cheer the hard work and the academic accomplishments of this class of graduates,” said Berry College President Steve Briggs. “Remember these words from Martha Berry: “The pursuit of easy things makes us weak, the pursuit of hard things, difficult things, makes us strong.”

Featured speaker Berry College Board of Trustees member and alumnus Bert Clark said Berry’s newest graduates should “be bright, be brave and be bold.” Clark, an estate and business planning advisor for Estate Strategies Group in Atlanta, is a 1982 graduate of Berry. As a student, he majored in history and served as Student Government Association vice president, competed on the Berry College Quiz Bowl team and worked at the Campus Carrier newspaper. After graduating from Berry, Clark earned his law degree from the University of Georgia.

“Think about the brightness that you can bring into the world starting with the relationships. Consider the power of relationships in your life,” Clark said. “Be brave. You should never be afraid to dream big for yourself. Life will not always go your way or the way you think it will or you want it to. Be bold. It’s really important that you create a bold road map for your own future. You’re much more likely to accomplish something if you write it down.”

Student speaker Mandi Kyle, of Birmingham, Ala., graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree. She will begin the pharmacy program at the University of Georgia in the fall. Her speech included funny observations about being in the Berry community.

“You know you’re a Berry graduate when…your standards for getting thrilled by wildlife have forever changed. Deer are boring and it takes not one but two bald eagles to get your attention.”

“You know you’re a Berry graduate when … you have either personally lived or had a friend who has lived in a castle."

“You know you’re a Berry graduate when … you have had many, many opportunities to purchase fresh cheese via email.”

To watch the graduation ceremonies, go to the Berry website http://videos.berry.edu/. For a complete list of the graduates: http://romenews-tribune.com/view/full_story/18469770/article-Berry-College-Spring-2012-graduates?instance=home_news_lead_story

Photos by Student Photographer Blake Childers. 

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