Record Group 10: Office of Alumni
Berry Alumni Association
Inclusive Dates: 1952-2001
Size: 7.66 Berry Academy 1979-80 cubic feet
Bulk Dates: 1990-2001
Provenance: Ouida Dickey, Berry Alumni Association
History of the Berry Alumni Association: Berry's first graduate, W. Clayton Henson (1904H), provided the impetus for the establishment of the Berry Alumni Association when he returned from the University of Georgia in 1908 and told of the need of such a society, according to Walter Johnson (1912H), alumni secretary from 1934 to 1958. Mr. Henson became the first president and served until 1915, when he was succeeded by M. Gordon Keown (1905H), who served as president until 1923. Brief articles of meetings appear periodically in the Berry Alumni Quarterly after it began publication in 1914.
Since the early terms of Clayton Henson and Gordon Keown as president, 47 additional terms of one or two years were filled by 45 alumni; only four of these were women – Eloise Taylor Smith (1943C, 1978-80), Anne Smith Johnson (1953C, 1986-1988), Martha Wyatt Bowen (1955H, 1959C, 1998-2000), and Ouida Word Dickey (1950C, 2004-2006). While the majority of these terms were for one year, Walter Johnson and Edward England (1957C) served twice. Walter Johnson served as president from 1923-1926 and 1968-1970 and Edward England from 1990-1992 and 2002-2004.
At its annual meeting in 1914, the twelfth anniversary of the School, the Association decided to publish a quarterly. The first issue of the Berry Alumni Quarterly appeared in February of that year; Percy Pentecost (1911H) was the first editor and Grady Hamrick (1912H), the business manager for the publication. Work done on the early quarterlies was voluntary. Weddings, births, social events, new personnel, school programs, letters from Martha Berry and Principal Leland Green or a faculty member, and letters from alumni are some of the subjects featured in the Berry Alumni Quarterly .
At its 1914 meeting, the Association also voted to admit girls to membership; and it revised its constitution to cover “alumni of the Berry Schools.” The first girls, a group of twelve, graduated in May 1914.
The first alumni banquet took place on May 2, 1915 , when the campus alumni held a banquet for members of the senior classes, both boys and girls, in Brewster Hall. Approximately seventy-five graduates and former graduates gathered at the Daffodil Tea Room in Atlanta in 1922 for dinner and the organization of the first Berry Alumni Club. After the Atlanta Club was started, chapters were organized that summer in Blue Ridge, Birmingham, Dalton, and Chattanooga. Subsequently, other chapters were formed in Mount Berry, Rome, Calhoun, South Georgia, Macon, Miami, Washington, New York, Chicago, Oklahoma, and California, and later in Columbus, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida. Today seventeen Alumni Clubs are active.
Excerpts from “A Brief History of the Berry Alumni Association 1908-2002 In Celebration of Berry 's Centennial” by Ouida Dickey, May 2002.
Description: This collection, acquired from a variety of sources, reflects the administrative structure of the Berry Alumni Association, Alumni Council (an advisory group made up of Berry alumni), various chapters or clubs, and the activities of all of these groups.
Specifically, this series contains letters concerning the naming of the Dining Hall for former food service directors, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wood; 1994 guidelines for the organization of an alumni chapter; two copies of guidelines for preparing and indexing an alumni scrapbook; and documents pertaining to the Carpet Capital Chapter of the Berry Alumni Association (1986-1995). This series also contains directories compiled for students attending various class reunions for Berry schools and individual financial reports of the Alumni Association for the fiscal years 1951-59. Also present is a proposal to have a portrait of Martha Berry hung at the State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia, materials concerning the meeting of individual Alumni Clubs, and the minutes of the Alumni Council from 1936-1999.
The remaining bulk of this series contains personal scrapbooks of alumni and the scrapbooks of alumni chapters or clubs. These scrapbooks document chapter activities, events, and administration, and are housed with the Berry College Archives Scrapbook Collection. Titles and location of scrapbooks are indicated in the container list which follows this description.
Additional minutes from Alumni Council Meetings and miscellaneous information regarding the council can be found in the Berry College Archives vertical file under the subject heading “Berry Alumni Association – Alumni Council”. Additional information about the Berry Alumni Association, including Alumni Work Week, Alumni Banquets, and the Berry Alumni Association Constitution and By-laws can be found in the Berry College Archives vertical file under the subject heading “Berry Alumni Association.” The Berry College Archives also houses issues of the Berry Alumni Quarterly.
Boxes 1 - 5 Walter A. Johnson Series
Box 6 – [Folders 1-2] Alumni Council
Box 6 – [Folders 3-4] Guidelines for Alumni Chapters
Box 6 – [Folder 5] Carpet Capital Chapter
Box 7 – Reunion Directories – College
Box 8 – Reunion Directories – High School/Academy
Box 9 – Report on Examination
Box 10 – Alumni Clubs – Meeting
Box 11 – Alumni Council – Minutes 1936 – 1979
Box 12 – Alumni Council – Minutes 1980 – 1999
Berry College . Alumni Association
Berry College . Alumni Chapters
Berry College . Alumni Council
Bertrand, John R.
Miscellaneous: Accessions 19951116-01, 19951116-02, 19951116-03,
Permission to publish must be obtained from the Executive Assistant to the President. Please cite: Item identification, Record Group 10 Office of Alumni - Berry Alumni Association Series, Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College.