Bettyann O’Neill Innovation Fund


Bettyann O'NeillThe Bettyann O’Neill Innovation Fund is named in honor of the woman who led a revolution in fundraising and alumni engagement at Berry. It will be used to nurture entrepreneurial thinking and action in students of all majors.

Challenged by then-President Scott Colley in 1999 to lead Berry’s advancement division into a new era, Bettyann accepted the role of vice president of advancement and enthusiastically did exactly that. She quickly won the confidence and partnership of trustees, faculty and staff colleagues, alumni leadership, and major donors as she built the team responsible for planning and implementing strategies that led to more than $235 million in gifts to Berry College across two major campaigns, including $65 million for student scholarships. Her efforts helped transform Berry’s physical campus through the addition of a new science center, theatre, animal science lab, stadium and athletic/recreation center, among other projects, while also funding programmatic advances that include Berry’s new entrepreneurship center – a major strategic priority of LifeReady: The Berry College Campaign for Opportunity.

As she prepares for retirement, it is fitting that we honor Bettyann by creating a fund in her name to encourage innovative thinking, problem-solving and the ability to transition ideas into action – all hallmarks of her Berry tenure. Falling under the umbrella of Berry’s new entrepreneurship center, the Bettyann O’Neill Innovation Fund will accomplish these goals by providing seed money or venture capital to students desiring to start or expand for-profit or nonprofit businesses/enterprises. 

Funds for these competitive grants will flow from earnings on a $100,000 endowment, which we hope to complete prior to Bettyann’s retirement in December 2017. More than $75,000 in commitments have been made in a few short weeks, speaking to the tremendous love and respect so many have for her. Join this effort online at www.berry.edu/gift or by mailing a check to Berry College Office of Advancement, P.O. Box 490069, Mount Berry, GA 30149-0069. Be sure to designate to the Bettyann O’Neill Innovation Fund. 

For more information, please contact Scott Breithaupt at 706 346-0949 or sbreithaupt@berry.edu.

Bettyann O’Neill Innovation Fund (PDF)