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Berry College
Former names
Boys Industrial School
Martha Berry School for Girls (1909–1926)
MottoNot to be Ministered Unto, but to Minister
TypePrivate college
Established1902; 122 years ago (1902)
Religious affiliation
Non-denominational Christian
Endowment$1.21 billion (2021)[1]
PresidentStephen R. Briggs
Location, ,
United States

34°17′24″N 85°11′20″W / 34.290°N 85.189°W / 34.290; -85.189
CampusRural; more than 27,000 acres (110 km2)
ColorsBlue and silver[2]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division III
MascotVictor the Viking

Berry College is a private liberal arts college in the Mount Berry community adjacent to Rome, Georgia. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Berry College was founded on values based on Christian principles in 1902 by Martha Berry.


In 1902, Martha Berry, daughter of a prominent local business owner, founded the Boys Industrial School on 83 acres of land inherited from her father. In exchange for an education, students of the school would work to help build, run, and maintain the new school. In 1909, the Martha Berry School for Girls was added, and collectively with the boys school, it came to be known as the Berry Schools. The free labor provided by the students helped to keep construction and operating costs for the schools low. In 1926, the school became a junior college and several years later, a senior college, graduating its first class in 1932. During the 1930s, the school campus grew to 30,000 acres, helped by a large donation from Henry Ford. In 1957, Berry College became accredited by the SACS. During the 1960s, Berry College began paying student workers instead of crediting accounts and ended mandatory religious services for students.[3]


The "Gate of Opportunity" is the main entrance to the college campus.
The reflecting pools located in front of the Ford Dining Hall.
West Mary Hall
Mirror Lake, located on the Mountain Campus of Berry College

Berry College is situated near the city of Rome in northwestern Georgia, 59 miles (95 km) northwest of Atlanta, Georgia and 53 miles (85 km) south of Chattanooga, Tennessee.[4] The campus consists of more than 27,000 acres of land - including fields, forests, and Lavender Mountain - making it the largest contiguous college campus in the world.[5] Designated portions are open to the public for hiking, cycling, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities. The campus is also home to a large population of deer (estimates range between 1,500 and 2,500).

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources oversees about 16,000 acres of the campus, conducts managed hunts, and provides recreational opportunities. The land encompassing the academic buildings and other public spaces is a wildlife refuge in which no hunting is allowed.[citation needed] In September 2011, Travel+Leisure ranked Berry among the most beautiful college campuses in the United States, noting its numerous fountains and pools among its English Gothic-style buildings.[5][6]


A pamphlet describing Berry College
Berry's official seal

Berry College offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, and Education Specialist degrees from the four schools making up its academic program. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and is a member of the Annapolis Group, an organization of more than 120 liberal arts colleges nationwide. The student-faculty ratio at Berry College is 11:1, and the school has 58.9% of its classes with fewer than 20 students, and 99.6% of its classes with fewer than 50 students. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 83%. U.S. News & World Report in its 2021 Best Colleges ranks Berry College #4 in Regional Universities South, #3 in Best Undergraduate Teaching, and #1 in Best Value Schools.[7]

Undergraduate programs

Berry offers degrees in the following schools:

A minor degree can be obtained in 36 different courses of study throughout the four schools. Berry also offers an undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies.

Honors Program

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Berry's Honors Program is an undergraduate program designed to give qualified students a chance to learn in an intellectually challenging environment with their peers and professors. The Honors Program allows the students to take Honors-only classes, Honorized classes, and to study abroad in Honors-only programs. During their last year at Berry, Honors students must complete and defend a senior thesis. Upon graduation, they receive an Honors diploma.

Graduate programs

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Berry offers a Master of Arts in Teaching program and an Education Specialist certification in the Charter School of Education and Human Sciences that is accredited by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCATE).

The Campbell School of Business offers a Master of Business Administration program that is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).


In 2021, Berry College accepted 77% of all applicants. Admitted students have an average GPA of 3.7, a mean ACT score of 27 and a mean SAT score of 1175.[8][third-party source needed]


Berry College's tuition is $38,430 a year, before any financial aid, grants, or scholarships. In 2021, tuition increased 1.9%, from $37,720 in 2020 to the current rate of $38,430. On average, college tuition rises about 3 percent a year.[8]

Berry College has the same tuition for Georgia residents as for students from other states and international students.[9]

In addition to tuition, students at Berry can expect to pay around $13,620 a year for room and board, which covers the cost of on-campus housing and a meal plan. Students who live off campus but still want to eat on campus can pay $6,180 a year for a meal plan.[8]

Berry College Elementary and Middle School

Berry College Elementary and Middle School is a private school located on Berry College's mountain campus across from Frost Chapel. Established in 1977, the school was initially called the Berry College Academy - which held a variety of students from preschool to high school.[10] The academy was meant to follow British enfant school practices.[11] Using a Lilly Foundation Grant, the school was called the Early Learning Center in the Westcott Building and taught kindergarten and first grade students. Furthermore, the high school students were engaged in Bible study.[10]

Berry abruptly closed the academy in 1983, and all 144 students left to attend school elsewhere. In 1988, the school moved locations from the Westcott Building to Hamrick Hall, where it is now located. By this time the age range had expanded to teach children up until fifth grade. Since 2002, it has enrolled students in up to the eighth grade. A year later, the older students were moved from Hamrick Hall to the newly built Cook Building on Main Campus to form their own separate middle school.[12] A series of reunion events were held for former students, parents, teachers and directors in 2007 for the thirty year anniversary.[11] The names of the schools were merged into one, Berry College Elementary and Middle School.[13]

Currently, the school is home to 129 elementary and middle school students with a 1:12 teacher to student ratio. During the 180 days in the school year, the students attend class for seven hours compared to the normal six for other elementary schools in the area.[14] The Middle Schoolers were also known for annually producing short films, with the eight graders receiving a "Martha" award for their achievements.[15]

Student life

Berry College has a total of 1,943 undergraduate students for the 2019–2020 academic year. There are 91 graduate students. There is a 66:34 female to male ratio, and 69 percent of the students are in-state residents. Students come from 35 states and at least 18 foreign countries.[citation needed]

Outdoor recreation

Berry College has more than 80 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails, and two disc golf courses; all are open to the Berry community and to the public. The Victory Lake Campground located in the heart of Berry's campus is available to Berry student use only. Berry offers an intramural program with men, women and co-educational play for many sports.

LifeWorks program

Berry College's student work program, called LifeWorks, guarantees every student a job on campus for those interested in participating. The work program is based upon the original idea the school was formed around. The founder, Martha Berry, would educate local children for free if they would work around campus. This continues to help offset the tuition cost to this day.[16]

Film and television

Berry College has been used as a site for the filming of several movies, in addition to music videos by bands such as Casting Crowns. The most notable films are Remember the Titans and Sweet Home Alabama.[17] Disney's Perfect Harmony (1991) was filmed almost entirely on campus at buildings such as Oak Hill, Frost Chapel, the Old Mill, and the Ford Buildings. A short scene from Dutch was filmed on the Berry campus. In addition, scenes for the Fox series, The Following, starring Kevin Bacon, were filmed here. In the Constantine television series, the Ford Buildings and the Old Mill were used as the settings for Ravenscar Asylum and John Constantine's hideout, respectively.[18] The Netflix Original Stranger Things filmed parts of its fourth season at the Ford Complex.

Religious life

Berry College's mission statement espouses "values based on Christian principles."[19] The college board chose to shutter the middle and high school academy, and used that campus property to court leadership of Chick Fil-A, a Christian-run business, through its WinShape foundation programs.[20] The campus has a chaplain, four chapels, and an active religion-in-life program supporting all Christian denominations and religions outside of Christianity. The school recognizes the Student Association for an Inter-Religious Community, which is a student organization that encourages dialogue between religions represented on campus.

Campus housing

The college has housing for employees.[21]

Faculty housing on the Berry College property is zoned to Floyd County School District for public school (for dependents of college employees living on the property).[22] The zoned secondary schools for Berry College's housing are Armuchee Middle School and Armuchee High School.[23]


See also: Berry Vikings football

The Berry athletic teams are called the Vikings. The college is a member of the Division III level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), primarily competing in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) as a founding member since the 2012–13 academic year. The Vikings previously competed as an NCAA D-III Independent from 2010–11 to 2011–12; and in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC; formerly known as Georgia–Alabama–Carolina Conference (GACC) until after the 2003–04 school year) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) from 2004–05 to 2009–10. The school's mascot is the Viking.

Berry competes in 22 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, beach volleyball, cross country, equestrian, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball.


Berry has won three NAIA national championships in women's soccer (1987, 1990 and 1993), one national title in women's basketball (1976), one NAIA national crown in men's golf (1998), and three IHSA national championships in equestrian (2011, 2015, 2016). In addition, Berry student-athletes Michelle Abernathy (marathon, 1999), Caio Soares (3,000 meter race-walk, 2004), Michelle Tuggle (high jump, 1984) and Nicole Wildes (women's golf, 2004) have all won individual national championships. The Berry College women's basketball team won the AIAW Small College National Championship in 1976.[24]

In 2018 Elijah Hirsh in men's basketball broke the single-game record for blocks in Berry's NCAA DIII era with 10 blocks.[25][26] In 2019 he averaged 9.2 rebounds (leading the SAA), and was named SAA Player of the Year, SAA All-First Team, and National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District South First Team.[27][25][26][28]

Addition of football

The Berry College Board of Trustees voted to add football beginning in the fall of 2013, with a track and field athletic program to be added soon after.[29] Due to the financial expense and the traditions of the school, the decision to add football was controversial and met with opposition from a significant portion of the student body, faculty, and alumni. According to the school newspaper, The Campus Carrier, adding football will not affect issues related to equal sports opportunity under the Title IX regulations.[30]


Steven J. Cage Athletics and Recreation Center - Berry College

A new stadium, known as "Valhalla", has been built on Berry's campus. The facility is used by the college's football, track, and lacrosse programs.[31]

The stadium was originally intended to be built near the Cage Center, but in 2012 a pair of bald eagles established their nest near the site. They returned and successfully raised chicks in 2013 and 2014. The school moved the stadium site to a new location well removed from the eagles, which have become a symbol of the school.[32] Groundbreaking was held on October 17, 2014, and the stadium was completed for the 2015 football season.[33]

The Cage Center is Berry's 131,000-square-foot athletic facility that houses a performance gymnasium, a natatorium with observation seating, a fitness center, racquetball courts, an indoor track and classrooms. The Cage was named after Berry College alumnus and trustee Steven Cage, whose $10 million donation kicked off the project.

The interior of the Cage Center gymnasium



Berry College
CountryUnited States
Elevation614 ft (187 m)
 • Total1,565
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
GNIS feature ID2806017[37]

Berry College CDP is a census-designated place (CDP) and the official name for an area covering the Berry College campus, in Floyd County, Georgia, United States.

It first appeared as a CDP in the 2020 Census with a population of 1,565.[38]

Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[39]

2020 census

Berry College CDP, Georgia – Racial and Ethnic Composition
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2020[40] % 2020
White alone (NH) 1,228 78.47%
Black or African American alone (NH) 122 7.80%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 3 0.19%
Asian alone (NH) 36 2.30%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 1 0.06%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 60 3.83%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 3 0.19%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 112 7.16%
Total 1,565 100.00%

See also


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  2. ^ "Berry College Style Guide" (PDF). Berry College. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 2, 2015.
  3. ^ "History of Berry College".
  4. ^ "#121 National Liberal Arts College Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on October 19, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  5. ^ a b ""America's Most Beautiful College Campuses", Travel+Leisure (September 2011)". Archived from the original on November 17, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  6. ^ "About Berry College". Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  7. ^ "Berry College". U.S. News & World Report. No. 2021. U.S. News & World Report, L.P. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c "Berry College". College Confidential. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
  9. ^ Archibald, Robert B.; Feldman, David H. (October 13, 2010), "Federal Policy and College Tuition", Why Does College Cost So Much?, Oxford University Press, pp. 201–213, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744503.003.0013, ISBN 978-0-19-974450-3, retrieved September 20, 2021
  10. ^ a b "Berry College Academy plans registration Aug. 8". Rome News-Tribune. August 17, 1977. pp. 3A, 5A. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  11. ^ a b Freygan, Andrea (June 18, 2007). "Berry Elementary to celebrate 30 year(sic)". Rome News-Tribune. Archived from the original on January 25, 2018. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  12. ^ Staff Report (August 27, 2002). "Renovation complete of Berry's Cook Building". Rome News-Tribune. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  13. ^ "Berry College". Archived from the original on March 17, 2010.
  14. ^ "Private School Review". Archived from the original on October 18, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  15. ^ "Lights, action ... camera!". Rome News-Tribune. June 15, 2009. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  16. ^ "Our Rich History". Archived from the original on December 11, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  17. ^ "Berry College – Quick Facts". Archived from the original on October 17, 2016. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  18. ^ "Familiar Places – Berry Alumni Accent". Berry College. Archived from the original on September 13, 2015. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  19. ^ "Berry College Mission and Purpose". Archived from the original on April 3, 2013.
  20. ^ "Chick Fil-A at college" Archived 2019-07-27 at the Wayback Machine, The Wall Street Journal
  21. ^ "Campus Housing". Berry College. Retrieved July 16, 2022. - Staff housing location is on this map
  22. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Floyd County, GA" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 25, 2021. - Note Berry College's location
  23. ^ "School Distrist's(sic) Feeder Patterns". Floyd County School District. June 1, 2008. Archived from the original on June 1, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2022. - Compare to the college map and the US Census Bureau school zoning map.
  24. ^ "Pre-NCAA Statistical Leaders and AIAW Results" (PDF). NCAA. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 4, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  25. ^ a b "Elijah Hirsh Player Profile, Berry College, NCAA Stats, Events Stats, Game Logs, Bests, Awards - RealGM".
  26. ^ a b "Elijah Hirsh - 2018-19 - Men's Basketball". Berry College.
  27. ^ "2018-19 SAA Men's Basketball Player of the Year Elijah Hirsh signs with Israel's Elitzur Kiryat Ata". Southern Athletic Association. July 2, 2019.
  28. ^ "Hirsh Signs Pro Basketball Deal With Israel's Elitzur Kiryat Ata". July 2, 2019.
  29. ^ "Berry to add football in 2013, track and field soon after Read more: – Berry to add football in 2013 track and field soon after". Rome News Tribune. November 4, 2011. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2011.
  30. ^ Bridges, Zadie (December 12, 2011). "Football not serious threat to Title IX". The Campus Carrier. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2011.
  31. ^ "Berry College Announces Naming/Funding of New Stadium and Track" (Press release). Berry College. October 25, 2012. Archived from the original on June 17, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  32. ^ "Berry College Moves Stadium Location Out of Respect for Bald Eagle Nest" (Press release). Berry College. May 28, 2014. Archived from the original on October 12, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  33. ^ "A place for us". Alumni Accent. Berry College. October 28, 2014. Archived from the original on November 8, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  34. ^ "Former Berry player signs with Israel pro team". Rome News-Tribune. July 5, 2019. Berry men's basketball alumnus Elijah Hirsh signed a two-year deal with Israel's Elitzur Kiryat Ata
  35. ^ "Berry College's Josh Hughes earns all-region status". Rome News-Tribune. December 11, 2013.
  36. ^ Winton, Lauren (May 26, 2021). "Auburn Engineering alumnus, interim president of Texas A&M, tells his Auburn story". Auburn University Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. Archived from the original on April 17, 2023. Retrieved April 12, 2023.
  37. ^ a b "Berry College Census Designated Place". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  38. ^ "Berry College CDP, Georgia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 13, 2022.
  39. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  40. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Berry College CDP, Georgia". United States Census Bureau.

Further reading