Cedarville University gets $1M gift from Berry Family Foundation

ajc.com

Cedarville University will receive $1 million from the Berry Family Foundation of Dayton.

The gift by the Berry Family Foundation, Charles D. Berry, John and Shirley Berry and the Elizabeth Gray Fund will help Cedarville construct a new business center on campus and establish the Berry Center for Free Enterprise.

The Berry Center for Free Enterprise will be within the School of Business Administration. Jeff Haymond, dean of Cedarville’s School of Business Administration, said part of the donation will go toward construction for the new building and part will pay for Berry Center for Free Enterprise activities. Haymond said activities could include a speaker series or a camp for high school students promoting the benefits of a free market.

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“We are delighted to support Cedarville University and all that it represents to our community,” said John W. Berry, chairman of the Berry Foundation in a statement. “I feel that the establishment of the Berry Center for Free Enterprise is a real tribute to the founders of the Berry Company.”

The Berry Family Foundation supports free enterprise and entrepreneurism and seeks to foster initiatives that improve the quality of life for people in the Dayton area. The Berry family has also contributed to several other major capital projects on Cedarville’s campus.

The university announced the donation to campus leaders at its Jan. 22 Board of Trustees meeting. Also at that meeting, trustees approved Cedarville’s $105.2 million operating budget for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Tuition for undergraduate students will increase 2.5% next fall, the university said. Students enrolled in the university’s business, nursing, and ministry graduate programs will see no increase in tuition for the second year.

The new business center building, the Lorne C. Scharnberg Center, is one of the bigger facilities projects planned as part of Cedarville’s 10-year campus master plan. It will be named after Lorne Scharnberg, who previously served as chairman of the school’s board of trustees.

Haymond said the new building will provide more opportunities for students, like better technology and bigger class sizes and classrooms.

“We are humbled and grateful for the support of the Berry Family Foundation,” said Thomas White, president of Cedarville University, in a statement. “Through their generosity, we will continue to develop facilities and programs that transform lives through excellent education and intentional discipleship.”

The university’s School of Business Administration is Cedarville’s third largest academic unit with 441 undergraduate students enrolled in its eight undergraduate majors. The school also offers a fully online Master’s of Business Administration.

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Haymond said the school teaches business as a service to others. Haymond said the school hopes to partner with other like-minded organizations to pay for more activities through the Berry Center for Free Enterprise.

With the new center, Haymond said he hopes to educate not only students but the broader public about the benefits of free markets.