Long-time Friend Supports the Nursing Program

Note: This story was originally featured in the Summer 2013 issue of Berry magazine.

Lou Brown JewellIt’s only natural that Lou Brown Jewell would care deeply about seeing Berry and its students flourish. After all, as the daughter of a former board member, the widow of another and a generous donor in her own right, she and her family have been committed to helping the college fulfill its mission for more than 50 years.

So when college officials asked Lou to help Berry start its new baccalaureate-level nursing program, approved by the Board of Trustees last spring and slated to start in January 2014, she was pleased to show her heartfelt support with a gift of $100,000. 

“I think it’s a terrific idea,” Lou enthused. “I can’t think of any group of people we need more than nurses. With all of the changes that are coming, doctors are going to have to depend on nurses even more. We need a lot more nurses in the marketplace who can take on leadership roles. I’m excited about this program and glad to be involved.”

That Lou would participate in helping launch this important program came as no surprise to Dr. Gary Waters (80C, 89G), vice president of enrollment management. Waters has worked closely with Lou on several Berry initiatives through the years and describes her as someone who personifies intentional philanthropy.  

“Lou is principled, wise and highly intelligent,” he said. “Her generosity blends the heart of a joyful giver with the wisdom of a highly discerning mind. Her support for this project is a tremendous vote of confidence, and we are grateful for her endorsement.”

Lou’s ties to Berry date back to the 1960 selection of her father, Arthur N. Morris, to serve on the Board of Trustees. He would remain involved with the institution through his 1978 appointment as trustee emeritus until his death in 1985. Early in his board tenure, Morris introduced his daughter and her first husband, the late A. Worley Brown, to Berry by inviting them to the 1964 dedication of Hermann Hall. The couple’s interest grew with subsequent visits to campus, and in 1982 Brown joined the Board of Visitors. Two years later, he was elected to the Board of Trustees. 

“We visited the campus many times while Worley was on the board,” Lou remembered. “We loved the school and the atmosphere. We became very good friends with Gloria Shatto (Berry president from 1980-1998). We loved her very much.”

One of Brown’s most notable accomplishments during his board tenure was leading “Berry Works,” the institution’s first successful capital campaign since Martha Berry’s death some 40 years earlier. In just three years (1985 to 1988), Brown and the Board of Trustees raised $17.7 million, exceeding the original goal by $3.7 million. The campaign funded the renovation and expansion of Memorial Library, among other improvements. Brown was honored as trustee emeritus in 1994 and died in 1997.

Lou’s own contributions to shaping the college’s educational program and its future have been considerable thanks to her many generous gifts for student scholarships, the Gloria Shatto Lecture Series, the Steven J. Cage Athletic and Recreation Center, and now, Berry’s nursing program.  

“When Berry presidents have come to me and shared the college’s most pressing needs, I have always tried to help,” she said. “It takes a lot of money to do things in today’s economy. Berry has done a good job of staying true to its mission. I believe the nursing program is a wonderful project, and I believe in Berry.”