Monday, February 23, 2009

Audrey Morgan Pledges $4 Million to Berry College Scholarships, Cage Center

Berry College officials announced February 19 that Atlanta philanthropist Audrey B. Morgan has pledged $4 million to support student scholarships and the Steven J. Cage Athletic and Recreation Center. This represents one of the largest individual gifts to scholarships in the 107-year history of the institution.

To honor Mrs. Morgan’s generosity, one of the two new dormitories being constructed on the Berry campus will bear the name Audrey B. Morgan Hall. These new dormitories, located adjacent to the Ladd Center near Hermann Hall, will house a total of 345 students when they open in the fall. More information is available at www.berry.edu/AroundBerry/july22008.

“Audrey Morgan understands the value of Berry’s distinctive educational approach, and she shares our values,” said Berry President Stephen R. Briggs. “We are grateful beyond words for her commitment and her investment in the future of deserving students.”

The bulk of Mrs. Morgan’s pledge will be used to help launch the new Gate of Opportunity scholarship program. This unique initiative targets those students who desire a Berry education, demonstrate evidence of a strong work ethic or noteworthy community involvement, and have significant financial need.

“This scholarship program is rooted in the rich history of Berry, but it is designed to meet the needs of students entering a difficult economic environment in the 21st century,” Dr. Briggs said. “Students graduate well-versed in the life lessons of determination, resourcefulness and responsibility.”

Each scholarship represents a partnership among students and their families, Berry College, and donors who have a strong belief in Berry’s core mission. All will contribute toward the total cost, with the student portion being generated through participation in the nation’s premier on-campus work experience program.

“This is a forward-looking program for students who are willing to work hard in exchange for a first-rate education without debt at graduation,” Dr. Briggs said. “The added benefit is that the recipients will graduate with four years of progressive and meaningful work experience and an impressive work history.”

In addition to the funds that have been earmarked for the Gate of Opportunity scholarship program, Mrs. Morgan’s pledge also will provide support for the Cage Center. The total amount of gifts and pledges received in support of Berry’s state-of-the-art athletic center now stands at $24.5 million.

“Audrey Morgan understands deeply the value and dream of education,” Dr. Briggs stated. “Others sacrificed to provide her with the opportunity for an education, and she is now choosing to invest in the young people who will lead our communities in years to come.”

Mrs. Morgan is a strong friend of the institution who currently serves on the Berry College Board of Visitors. Other civic affiliations past and present include the DeKalb Medical Center Foundation, the DeKalb Regional Healthcare System, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the DeKalb Historical Society, the Private Industry Council, the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, the 1996 Olympic Committee for DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties, and the Christian Children’s Home. She lives in Stone Mountain with husband Jack. The couple has two adult sons, Jack E. Morgan Jr. and Robert E. Morgan.

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