News & Stories

June 9, 2020

LifeReady

Progress on final capital projects signals end of LifeReady Campaign

 

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Although the newly renovated Betty Anne Rouse Bell Recital Hall at Ford fell silent this spring when a planned dedication concert and other events were put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic, the generosity of more than 500 alumni and friends ensures that the beautifully renewed structure will “sing” for many years to come.

Completion of the $6.3 million renovation, coupled with significant fundraising progress and the beginning of construction for Berry’s new $15.7 million animal science building, provided a remarkable climax for LifeReady: The Berry College Campaign for Opportunity. At press time, giving to the comprehensive multiyear campaign exceeded $134 million for student scholarships, facility enhancements and programmatic advances – all rooted firmly in Berry’s history and mission.

"The Bell Recital Hall is now the centerpiece of our pursuit to make Berry College an unmatched destination for serious music study."


Watch for more information on the campaign’s overall impact in our next issue.

Many donors to the Ford project gave in recognition of the difference Berry made in the lives of women like Betty Anne Rouse Bell (52H, 56C), whose name now graces the college’s signature venue for music performance. Their generosity funded a renovation that is as pleasing to the ear as it is to the eye.

“The Bell Recital Hall is now the centerpiece of our pursuit to make Berry College an unmatched destination for serious music study,” said Dr. Adam Hayes, associate professor of music and chair of fine arts. “Our students are elated by the much-improved acoustics, expanded stage, and state-of-the-art lighting and sound. And our faculty have made great use of the new technology including the adjustable acoustical banners and the ability to record rehearsals on the spot.”

Sophomore Julia Lester was thrilled to become part of Berry history as a member of the Berry Singers, one of the first ensembles to showcase their talents in the new recital hall.

“Because of our fabulous donors, I now get to perform in one of the most beautiful spaces I have ever seen,” she stated. “It really is a unique gem that Berry has been able to create for us, for our community and for Georgia. It’s very special to be part of something that will have such an impact on the next generation of music students.”

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Rendering of the new animal science building
provided by Cooper Carry.

The new animal science building offers similar promise to students in Berry’s largest major. The 23,000-square-foot classroom and laboratory facility will rise adjacent to McAllister Hall, a location that will encourage collaboration across the science disciplines.

Fundraising for the project moved briskly in recent months, reaching 96% of goal by early May. Momentum was fueled by significant gifts from longtime partners who supported the project anonymously.

Berry board members also gave generously with leadership and encouragement from Randy Berry – Martha Berry’s great-nephew – and his wife, Nancy. Randy, a longtime trustee, has been tireless in his support of the LifeReady Campaign, providing leadership alongside fellow board member J. Barry Griswell (71C), trustee chair.

Completion of the new building is anticipated in 2021.

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