20 Years of Service


On a bright, sunny Saturday after the first week of classes, more than 600 new Berry College students spent their morning serving the community in the 20th annual First-Year Service Day. 

Paired up with local service organizations, students worked alongside their classmates, mentors and professors on more than 30 volunteer projects. Students helped with mural paintings, gardening and even  washing dogs at the Floyd County Animal Shelter. No matter their duties, First-Year Service Day allows students to bond and put into action the motto of college founder Martha Berry, "Not to be ministered unto, but to minister."

Freshman Alex Bolling from Dacula, Ga., worked at the YMCA cleaning up their learning garden and putting new weed barrier down. 

“It was a great experience to give back to the Rome community and to get to know my fellow classmates better,” Bolling said. 

Seniors Jake Hager from Leesburg, Ga. and Olivia Vasquez from Grovetown, Ga. helped Katherine Powell, director of the Office of First-Year Experience, put this whole event together.

“First Year Service Day is such a special moment!” Vasquez said. “It’s a day where everyone is reminded that the world is bigger than us, that even just around our small town of Rome there is important work to be done. There are always ways you can impact lives you may have never even thought about before.”

Written by Public Relations Assistant Alexi Bell. Photos by student photographers Jacob Bushey, Kathryn Lanyon, Lindsey Campbell and staff photographer Brant Sanderlin.