"Receiving my scholarship has enabled me to take advantage of so many opportunities that Berry has to offer. I am so grateful."
Alex Campbell, Class of 2023
At Berry, senior Alex Campbell has gotten the chance to try on a variety of hats— from honors student to leadership and service scholar and from trainer of fellow admissions ambassadors to mentor to a group of first-year students.
"The best thing about Berry for me is that it has allowed me to figure out which hat fits, which is too big, which is too small, which is the wrong color. Through my classes, activities and jobs on campus, I've gotten to learn a lot about myself."
Those chances for growth and self-discovery have been made possible because generous alumni and friends provided the gift of opportunity through scholarships.
SCHOLARSHIPS PROVIDE CRUCIAL SUPPORT
For Alex, getting a scholarship was critical for him to be able to attend Berry. Younger siblings, Cassidy and Zach, were close on his heels as he began his college journey.
"I wouldn't be at Berry without the help of my admissions rep Alicia Gauker (now associate director of LifeWorks training and development); she met me halfway - not only by coming to Birmingham for a preview event to introduce me to Berry, but also through her work advising us through the financial aid journey.
"Receiving my scholarship has enabled me to take advantage of so many opportunities that Berry has to offer. I am so grateful. I've gotten to learn about the donors who support my scholarship. I want to meet them, to know about them as people, and really just say 'thank you.'"
Alex is also a part of a cohort scholarship program known as the Leadership and Service Fellows. Through that program, the students build their leadership skills.
"I actually created the acronym that we use. During my freshman year, we were on our annual leadership retreat, and our cohort leader, Cecily Crow (94C), was telling us about the program. I asked, 'What if you just used the acronym L.I.S.T.?' So, now we learn to 'Lead by the LIST: Lead, Inspire, Serve and Teach.'"
LEADING, INSPRING, SERVING AND TEACHING
Alex puts those principles to work on a daily basis through his on-campus jobs in the LifeWorks Program. He serves as training coordinator for the Office of Admission, giving tours, "wearing the polo," and training other student ambassadors. He also serves as a first-year mentor for physics and engineering students. This mentoring job has caused Alex to imagine the possibility of teaching at the college level.
"I want to attend graduate school, probably in applied mathematics. I've got to be a doctor so when my mom is doing her Facebook posts about me, she can put 'Dr. Campbell.' It may not be the kind of doctor she was envisioning when I was 5, but I've gotten to test the waters by being a mentor. It's allowed me to exercise my teaching muscle."
When asked if he'd like to return to Berry to teach someday, Alex smiled, explaining that could be possible - again thanks to the gift of opportunity his scholarship provides.
"I could see teaching at Berry someday; I could definitely see that. But that's the type of thing that wouldn't even be a conversation we'd be having without me getting the scholarship. Things that I've gotten to do and dream about would not have even been a possibility at all. Scholarships open all kinds of doors and possibilities."
EMBRACING OPPORTUNITY AT EVERY TURN
Always one to embrace a challenge, Alex willingly engages with Berry's rigorous coursework. He began as a creative technologies major but soon decided to pursue a major in applied physics with a math minor.
"I liked the challenge physics offered and have always been a science-y guy."
He is also part of Berry's honors program, which he says gives him the opportunity to "take a bunch of cool honors courses." This semester, his schedule includes four physics courses and an elective that surprised even him.
"I'm actually taking voice lessons. If you'd told me I would be doing that before I started at Berry, I would've thought you were lying. I've always been interested in music, and now having Miss Indra (that's Artist in Residence and internationally acclaimed soprano Indra Thomas) to help me sing better is phenomenal. She's really helping me find my voice. There are five people in the class - four music education majors taking it as part of their major and me, a physics and math person who just wants to be there."
Alex has made the most of every opportunity Berry has provided - all thanks to the gift of opportunity he has been given.