By Ben Allee, Viking Fusion News Producer
MOUNT BERRY, Ga. — Dr. Clarice Ford, who worked at Berry College as an administrator from 2003 until 2008, died in Illinois on Sunday after a brief illness as reported by the University of Illinois Springfield.
Ford arrived at Berry in 2003 and served as the associate dean, the director of multicultural student affairs, and in a handful of other capacities.
Katherine Powell, the current director for Berry’s office of first-year experience, worked closely with Dr. Ford during her five years in Rome.
Powell remembers some of Dr. Ford’s notable accomplishments at Berry fondly. These include Ford serving as pastor at St. James A.M.E Zion Church in Rome, organizing a ceremony as part of the Martha Berry Museum’s 2006 “Erasing the Color Line” exhibition, advocating for Berry’s LGBTQ students and LISTEN, and bringing famed poet Maya Angelou to Rome in 2007.
She recounts Dr. Ford’s impact on the school:
Clarice saw potential in everyone, and that meant that she wasn’t afraid to call you out if you were falling short. She pushed herself and everyone she knew to be better. She pushed Berry to live up to its institutional principals and pushed back against our well-intentioned complacency. One of the important things she taught me was that inclusivity means more than treating everyone the same. She wanted Berry [to] be a campus where everyone felt valued and respected and knew that couldn’t happen unless we understood each other’s stories, faced our own history and acknowledged our own biases.