News & Stories

July 6, 2021

Gifts of Opportunity

Alumni and friends continue to inspire us with their generous support of Berry students. Below, we call attention to some notable giving milestones that caught our eye in recent months.

 

Happy 55th (and 56th!)

Joe Ragsdale (65C) has been giving to Berry annually since 1966, and he’s not even the most consistent giver in his own house. That title belongs to wife Nelda Parrish Ragsdale (64C), who finished school the year before he did, giving her a lead that continues to this day – 
56 years later! Almost as impressive is the road they’ve traveled as consecutive givers, moving from Maine to Oklahoma to Alabama before coming home to Georgia, never having missed a year. “Berry became part of us while we were students, so we wanted to become part of Berry,” Joe said. They most certainly are.



image_Giving_Cammon.jpgGenerosity has no age limit

Berry’s newest alumni got a head start on giving this spring by supporting a new Save a Student Scholarship named for the Class of 2021. Senior Class President Bryce Nethery (21C) helped to lead the effort, motivated by thoughts of his own Berry community and “how devastated I would be if I had to leave them.” On the other end of the spectrum, Hildred Bell Cammon (36H) continues to give regularly at 103! Asked why, she explained, “My father was a farmer in rural Heard County, Ga., and he and my mother wanted me to have a better education than they felt the rural schools could offer in the early 1930s. The well-rounded education I received at Berry allowed this ‘country girl’ and her husband to own and operate a successful business for 35-plus years.”

image_Clayton-Farnham.jpgLegacy of support

Clayton Henson Farnham never attended Berry, but as the grandson of the school’s first graduate, Wylie Clayton Henson (1904H), he saw himself as a beneficiary of Martha Berry’s gift of opportunity. During a 2012 visit to campus with wife Kitty (pictured above), he reflected on how Martha Berry’s vision helped broaden the horizons of an entire family, noting, “the rest of us got started with this kind of platform behind us of standards and knowledge to be able to do well. You could certainly call it a starting point in a very real sense.” A successful attorney like his grand-father, Farnham died last fall at 82, 
but his family’s unique Berry legacy endures thanks to a $20,000 estate 
gift that will support opportunities for future students.

image_LucyMiranda.jpgAnswering the call

When COVID-19 was wreaking havoc in the lives of Berry students, alumni and friends stepped up with gifts to the Save a Student Scholarship:

• $606,000 in gifts between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021
• 3,103 supporters (including outright gifts, merchandise purchases and event registrations)

Many gave in response to an appeal by the late Barry Griswell (71C) in one of his final public acts as Board of Trustees chair before his unexpected death in June 2020. One alumna, reduced to tears by memories of her own Berry experience, wrote: “This check is not much. But maybe a lot of little checks will help those students with present needs.” That’s exactly what happened, and Save a Student recipients like Lucy Miranda (21C), pictured above, couldn’t be more grateful. Thanks to everyone in the Berry family who extended a helping hand!

 

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