One year after making one of the largest individual gifts to student scholarships in the history of Berry College, Atlanta philanthropist and Berry Board of Visitors member Audrey B. Morgan has pledged an additional $1 million in support of Berry students.
The new commitment increases Morgan’s initial pledge to $5 million, the bulk of which supports the Audrey B. Morgan Gate of Opportunity Scholarship. Thanks to her generosity, the fund has the eventual capacity to support 20 Gate of Opportunity Scholars each year.
“Audrey’s investment in Berry and its mission will have a profound impact on the lives of numerous students – those here now and students of the future,” said Dr. Steve Briggs, college president. “We are deeply grateful for her belief in the character and value of Berry’s distinctive educational approach. Berry College and Berry students could not have a better friend.”
Morgan’s commitment to Berry students was recognized in 2009 when one of the college’s newest residence halls was named in her honor. During the dedication ceremony for Audrey B. Morgan Hall, the Stone Mountain resident reflected on the events in her life that provided inspiration for her generosity on behalf of Berry students.
“When I was a young girl of 17, someone had faith in me, and I was awarded a working scholarship at a small Methodist college in Kentucky,” Morgan explained. “My college experience made a profound impact on my life, and because of what the scholarship meant to me, I vowed that if ever we were able, we’d help others experience their dream.”
The Gate of Opportunity Scholarship accomplishes that goal by offering highly motivated students who might not otherwise be able to afford a college education the chance to work their way through Berry with the opportunity to graduate debt free.
Through participation in the innovative four-year program, students and their families enter into a partnership with Berry College and, in many instances, a benefactor like Morgan who possesses a deep belief in Berry’s mission and a desire to help deserving students.
Parents, Berry and the benefactor all contribute to the cost of the student’s education, with the student portion generated through participation in Berry’s Work Experience Program.
“This is a forward-looking scholarship program for students who are willing to work hard in exchange for a first-rate education with the opportunity to graduate debt free,” Dr. Briggs said. “The added benefit is that the recipients will graduate with four years of progressive and meaningful work experience and an impressive work history.”
Information about the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship and other financial aid programs available to Berry students can be found online at http://www.berry.edu/aid/.