Friendly Faces

Nearly 400 Berry alumni and their spouses were welcomed back to Berry for the 31st annual Alumni Weekend and Work Week.

During the week, participants worked on one of 16 different crews ranging from antique car remodeling to bench cleaning. No matter what crew they were on, the alumni enjoyed both the work and sharing memories with their friends and fellow crew members.

The Alumni Work Week program began in 1985. Sewing Crew Chief Rita Carter, who graduated in 1980, has been participating for eight years.

“Every year we think of what we can make to help,” Carter said. “They needed aprons this year, so we chose that as our project."

Harry Wise, who graduated from the Berry high school in 1957, briefly explained the benefit of the alumni coming back to work.

“There are so many projects that would go undone or would be more expensive otherwise,” Wise said. “We work as many hours as we need to in order to get it done.”

For Tanya Campbell, who graduated from Berry in 1965, time and patience were both required in order for her and her team to complete the quilts that they hand-stitched with painstaking care and precision.

“Our goal is to keep quilting going, because it’s a dying art formed from your mothers and grandmothers and you need to continue history,” Campbell explained.

Thomas Poe, who graduated from both Berry High school in 1948 and Berry College in 1952, expressed his wish for the next generation of alumni to continue the tradition of work week.

“I hope the other, younger alumni will start coming to work week,” Poe said.

Awards given during the weekend include the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award given to Tricia Steele (09c); Outstanding Young Alumni Award given to Chris Hayes (04c) and the Distinguished Achievement Award to Roger W. Lusby III (79c.)

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Written by Student Public Relations Assistant Victoria Mashburn. Photos by Student Photographer Sara Leimbach