Martha’s Way

This May, 160 alumni participated in Alumni Work Week, an event for students of years past to return to their old stomping grounds and make a difference. 

“We had lots of fun projects for alumni to work on; from sewing curtains for Barnwell Chapel, to landscape projects at Oak Hill and House o’ Dreams, to construction projects on pieces to the new Oak Hill Pavilion, to working on the old Model T cars that belonged to Miss Berry, lots of interesting and meaningful work was completed,” said Director of Alumni Relations Jennifer Beard.

Each year, select alumni are awarded with various honors. Ashley Harp Sheppard earned the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, Kelly M. Fite received the Distinguished Achievement Award and the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award was given to Jim Johnson Jr. Cecil “Buster” Wright III received the Distinguished Service Award.

Larry Webb, class of 1963, attended this year’s Alumni Work Week with his wife, Pat. Larry has participated in Alumni Work Week for over 10 years, while Pat comes close behind at 8 or 9. This year, Larry worked in a landscaping crew at the House o’ Dreams, resizing a fire pit, re-screening the porch and doors, creating a regulation-sized horseshoe pit and transplanting irises from the historical Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.

Pat spent her week caning chairs and stools that would later be put up for auction, with proceeds going to Berry College.

“It’s always a lot of fun, and when you go, that multiplies,” Pat says. “We brought one of our neighbors with us and he had such a good time that his wife is just raring to come next year…and they’re Georgia Tech folk!”

The two hail from Powder Springs but have made a point of coming to Berry throughout their lives for lectures, groundbreakings, and the annual Scholarship Night. However, Alumni Work Week is something they look forward to all year, planning their schedules around the week to return to Berry.

“I like the history – the preservation – here,” Pat said. “When we’re here, it’s said we do thing’s Martha’s way, which is fine by me.”

For more information on Alumni Work Week and award winners, visit

Written by Public Relations Student Supervisor Abbie Smith. Photos by Student Photographer Olivia Mead and Staff Photographer Brant Sanderlin.