Berry to add football, men’s and women’s track and field OPPORTUNITIES FOR BERRY STUDENTS TO STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE on the playing fields of
Above left: History majors Bobby Tuttle and Jessica Cantrell view the TOW missile exhibit that they helped create at the National Infantry Museum.
history major. The partnership with INERGI is an example of a new community industry work model being developed through Berry’s Work Experience Program. Rufus Massey, dean of student work, is confident that this initiative will complement on-campus opportunities already available through the nation’s largest work program of its type. “While the work program will continue to focus on providing on-campus employment oppor tunities whenever possible,” he explained, “these partnerships will open an avenue for students to gain new types of experience not available through on-campus positions.”
NCAA Division III continue to expand with the strategic decision to add football and men’s and women’s track and field to Berry’s roster of intercollegiate sports. The proposal to add these new sports received the unanimous endorsement of the Berry College Board of Trustees at its fall meeting. Football will begin play in 2013, with track and field to follow soon after. The decision to add football and track and field coincides with the formation of the Southern Athletic Association, of which Berry is a founding member. This new conference consists of eight highly regarded, academically focused liberal arts colleges, as well as two recently announced affiliates for football only, the University of Chicago and Washington University at St. Louis. As members of NCAA Division III, these schools are prohibited from offering athletic scholarships, though athletes are eligible for merit and needbased financial aid. At Berry, they may also participate in the Work Experience Program. “Berry’s involvement with the new Southern Athletic Association promotes the active engagement of athletes in all college activities and is a model for the true scholar-athlete,” said Board of Trustees Chair Karen Holley Horrell (74C). “We are proud to offer our students additional opportunities through the addition of football and men’s and women’s track and field.” The vote of confidence by the trustees followed a multi-year evaluation process that included indepth analyses by outside consultants; wideranging discussions involving students, faculty, staff and alumni; and extensive research into the benefits these sports will bring to the campus. These benefits include increased interest among prospective students, an improved social climate through a more balanced male-female ratio, increased visibility for Berry in the company of likeminded liberal arts schools,
and more weekend social activities for students, alumni and friends. Operating funds for the new sports will be generated through the tuition paid by the additional students those sports attract. This income will also cover the cost of any new faculty members required to maintain Berry’s 12:1 student-faculty ratio. The 2013 debut of football will bring to 21 the total number of varsity sports sponsored by Berry, including 20 that compete in NCAA Division III. Since 2003, Berry has added women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, women’s softball, and men’s and women’s lacrosse. The women’s equestrian team (which competes in the International Horse Show Association) has also been elevated to varsity status, winning the IHSA Western Nationals in 2011. The process of identifying Berry’s first football coach is already under way. Plans are also being developed for an on-campus facility (to be funded through private donations), which will be located between the Cage Center and Martha Berry Highway. The plan calls for permanent seating on the west side of the field, with the east side consisting of a terraced, grassy berm that provides space for additional spectators while also shielding the facility from the highway. Editor’s Note: See Dr. Briggs’ essay (Page 8) for more on the strategic importance of adding football at Berry.
Berry’s involvement with the new Southern Athletic Association promotes the active engagement of athletes in all college activities and is a model for the true scholar-athlete.
– Karen Holley Horrell
BERRY MAGAZINE • WINTER 2011-12