Berry College President announces plans to retire in 2025

April 2nd, 2024 – 11:45 AM

Berry College Press release –

Dr. Steve Briggs, President of Berry College, has announced his retirement effective at the end of the 2024-2025 academic year. Berry’s eighth president, Briggs has served since 2006.

Briggs describes his work as “embracing the enterprising spirit of Martha Berry and demonstrating the continuing relevance of an education of the head, heart, and hands.” He has emphasized the value of a vibrant residential campus for providing guided learning experiences so that students make the most of their college journey.

Briggs and his wife, Brenda, a constant on campus, have made Berry their home. “We have had the joy of knowing thousands of students,” he stated, “with each generation forming Berry into its own vibrant and warm-hearted community.”

According to Berry’s Board Chair, Rick Gilbert, “Dr. Briggs has radically transformed Berry while deepening its commitment to the ideals of Martha Berry. Throughout the years, he has earned the profound respect and trust of the Berry community, donors, trustees, and local leaders. We extend our heartfelt gratitude for his dedicated service and wish him and Brenda all the best in a well-earned retirement.”

Briggs has been a champion for cohort programs – cohesive groups of students with a shared commitment and sense of purpose. Various scholarship programs enable hundreds of Berry students to work their way through college or serve in community organizations, graduating with professional experience rather than debt. Berry’s LifeWorks program provides students with eight semesters of progressively responsible, paid work experiences on campus. A leadership program connects circles of students with respected mentors from the local community to consider how to live with integrity.

During his tenure, Berry has expanded its academic offerings and residential capacity. Sciences and health sciences are the largest area of study, with strong programs in the humanities and arts as well as business, education, and creative technologies. The college has opened or renovated a dozen buildings, and last week broke ground on the Morgan-Bailey Health Sciences Building. The college joined NCAA Division III, added nine new varsity sports, upgraded its athletic facilities, and became a founding member of the Southern Athletic Association.

Berry also strategically enhanced the beauty and utility of its remarkable campus. It sponsored the development of a retirement community with continuing care facilities, The Spires at Berry, and collaborated with the city of Rome to establish the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College, one of the largest facilities in the country. Berry constructed and operates an adjacent Fairfield Inn.

Briggs served in previous leadership positions at colleges in Oklahoma, Florida, and New Jersey. He has served on the boards of various national professional organizations and is active in church and community endeavors.

A personality psychologist by training, Briggs earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He and his wife, Brenda, are both graduates of Wake Forest University; they have three grown daughters and seven grandchildren.

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