Berry College welcomed approximately 200 alumni and their spouses recently for the 30th annual Alumni Work Week.

During the week that honors Martha Berry’s mission, participants worked on one of different 18 project crews, ranging from chair caning, kitchen and dining hall service and quilting. The alumni were not only excited about the work, but also the opportunity to reunite with friends and relive favorite memories.

The Alumni Work Week program began in 1985. Dorothy Sundy, who graduated in 1959, has worked on the caning crew during for 23 years.

“The best part is seeing all my Berry friends and seeing the campus,” Sundy said. “We are giving back to Berry some of what Berry gave to us.”

Johnnie Curry, who graduated from both Berry High School in 1952 and Berry College 1955, and has attended work week for 19 consecutive years. As a member of the kitchen and dining crew, she is always happy to see friends who are able to come back each year.

“It’s great that we get to come back, and in our own way, contribute to the school with what we do here,” said Curry. “It’s our pleasure to see the newer generations and how they carry on the Berry work ethic.”

For Gladys Shutters Andrews, who graduated in 1971, this was her third year attending Alumni Work Week. She enjoys the memories that come flooding back even after all the years she has been away.

“For me, it’s about learning more about what is going on at Berry and what needs to be done, and what the students now are producing and participating in to carry on Martha Berry’s dream,” said Andrews. “And of course, giving back in whatever small way that I can, even if it isn’t money.”

Andrews also stressed the importance of the relationships that are built during college and how they are still cultivated long after graduation, especially during work week.

“There comes to be a bond between the crew members, and you come to look for it year after year,” she said, “If one or two people are unable to come, you really do miss them.”

Berry College is more than just an alma mater, for many - it is a second family.

Article by Student Public Relations Assistant Nicolas Diaz and photos by Public Relations student photographers Jason Huynh and Lauren Neumann