Margaret Robert Hyatt and Maureen Kurowsky, Berry Class of '72 are having the time of their lives this week. Roommates at Berry more than 40 years ago, the pair are rooming together again during Berry's annual Alumni Work Week.
“It’s just like old times,” Kurowsky said.
Close to 150 Berry alumni from Texas to Maryland are back on campus this week participating in activities to freshen up facilities on campus.
“It’s the neatest unpaid working vacation I've ever had,” Hyatt said. She came to Berry from tiny DeFuniak Springs, Florida and has moved around a little since graduating. She currently calls Galax, Virginia home. This is her third time as a participant in Alumni Work Week.
Kurowsky is also a native Floridian, coming to Berry from West Palm Beach. She currently calls Jacksonville, Fla. home.
“I love this, I love the sense of family,” Kurowsky said. This is her sixth time coming back to the campus for the work week.
The two women were joined at Oak Hill by Mike Walker, Berry Class of '67 from Dawsonville, and James Waters, Class of 2013, from Canton. Waters was a non-traditional student, getting his degree much later in life.
“Berry is a very important place to me. It’s important for me to help continue to keep this a beautiful and special place for generations to come,” Waters said.
Walker is participating in his second Alumni Work Week.
“I just enjoy helping and seeing all these people that I went to school with. It’s fun to help restore the campus,” Walker said. He actually lived in Rome for a while as a young man and enjoys coming back to see how the community has grown and changed.
Alumni are spread out all over the campus this week. Two crews are working at the equestrian center, another crew is building a new gazebo with a fire pit at the House of Dreams, a crew is keeping antique automobiles purring at the auto shop along with other groups.
Organizers Milton Chambers and Lewis Copeland said the two most important crews are the kitchen and the snack crews. The kitchen crew cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner daily while the snack crew rides around to the work sites in between meals to deliver snacks.
Alumni Work Week has been held each summer since 1985. Chambers said projects are created during the school year and when the first notice of the dates for the event are mailed to alumni — the list of projects is included and they get to choose which projects they want to work on.