LEARN. LIVE. GIVE.
Mother’s memories inspire generosity
by Debbie Rasure
ONY BENNETT MAY HAVE
specializing in folk songs and ballads of the Southern mountains. The group was directed by Alice B. Warden, whom she greatly admired.
LEFT HIS HEART IN SAN
FRANCISCO, but Bea Lockerman
Bollam (39C) left hers at Berry College. In fact, the late Mrs. Bollam’s love for Berry was so great that it inspired her son, Rich Bollam, to make a gift of $25,000 to endow a scholarship in her memory at her beloved alma mater. “She talked a lot about her years at Berry,” Bollam recalled about his mother. “Coming to Berry changed her life. It gave her opportunities to do things that she wouldn’t have had otherwise. She was very appreciative of the experience and proud to be one of the few in her family to have earned a college degree.” A HARD ROW TO HOE
Growing up on a North Carolina tobacco and cotton farm as the ninth of 10 children, Bea Lockerman, as she was known then, was famous among her siblings for disappearing when chores needed to be done. It wasn’t that she meant to shirk her duties, it’s just that she enjoyed reading, writing and singing so much more, even if it meant hiding away in a tobacco field to do it. In fact, it was during one of those hideaways
I wanted to help someone who has chosen music as their career – someone with significant need who is working his or her way through school, like my mother did.
that Bea, thumbing through a farming magazine, discovered Berry and its promise of an education in exchange for work. With high hopes, she dashed off a letter of application and, to her delight, was accepted. Her elation quickly turned to despair, however, when she learned there was no full-time work assignment available during her first semester, meaning she would need $100 to enroll. In the depths of the Great Depression, this was a sum far beyond what her family could afford, and she assumed her dream of a college education was over.
– Rich Bollam
As often happens in small towns, though, the news of her disappointment spread, finally reaching the one person most likely to help – her high school English teacher. A few months later, with her teacher’s gift securely pinned inside her blouse, the wide-eyed farm girl set out on the greatest adventure of her life. Bea majored in English at Berry, but it was music she enjoyed most. She began singing with the Girls’ Quartet her freshman year, performing at chapel and for special guests. During her senior year, she joined the Ballad Girls, a group
Seven decades later, Rich Bollam is passing on the generosity of his mother’s high school English teacher by creating a scholarship for deserving students in his mother’s memory. He has chosen to create a music scholarship. The Beatrice Lockerman Bollam (39C) Memorial Endowed Scholarship is designated for a junior or senior music major with financial need who has been a leader in a Berry choral group, preferably the concert choir, for at least two years. The recipient is selected by the director of financial aid and the music department choral director. The first recipient was named for the fall 2011 semester. “I wanted to help someone who has chosen music as their career – someone with significant need who is working his or her way through school, like my mother did,” Bollam explained. “I want this scholarship to really make a difference for the recipients.” BERRY MAGAZINE • WINTER 2011-12
Berry Magazine - Winter 2011-12