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Our House: Vikings win inaugural game at Valhalla

This story was originally published in the Winter 2015-16 issue of Berry magazine.

A new era in Berry athletics and campus life dawned Sept. 12 with the official opening of Valhalla, the college’s stadium for football, lacrosse, and track and field. Fittingly, the first sporting event to be held in the facility – a football game pitting Berry against LaGrange College – resulted in a 16-13 come-from-behind victory for the Vikings.

The game drew a standing-room-only crowd of 4,500 students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends, many of whom arrived early for pregame festivities, the ceremonial ribbon cutting for the venue, and the “Viking Walk” of players – led by the Berry drum line – through the stadium gate.

Trustee Steve Cage (74C), whose lead gift initiated fundraising for the project in 2012, addressed the crowd at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“The students are the heart of this project,” he said. “It will be wonderful to see you utilize and enjoy this facility. Martha Berry provided us all a wonderful educational opportunity. We have great faculty and terrific leadership. Valhalla will give students great experiences, and I’m proud to be a part of that.”

Valhalla includes Williams Field, named for the generosity of Bob (62H) and Kay Williams, and Clark Track, made possible by a funding effort led by alumni trustees Bert Clark (82C) and Roger Lusby (79C) and their wives, Cathy Clark and Candy Caudill Lusby (82c). It also encompasses Dickey Field, a track-and-field throwing venue named in memory of Berry’s first athletic director, Dr. Garland M. Dickey (42C), through an effort led by his widow and daughters, Dr. Ouida Word Dickey (50C), Dr. Jennifer Dickey (77A, 80C) and Angela Dickey (75A, 79C). The Griswell-Berry scoreboard is named in honor of trustees Barry Griswell (71C) and Randy Berry and their wives, Michele Irwin Griswell (70C) and Nancy Berry, who were major project supporters.

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