Brinson Askew Berry partner Robert L. Berry, a 1964 Darlington School Rome graduate, was named 2014 Distinguished Alumnus during the school's alumni weekend festivities Sept. 26.
Berry's classmate William C. Gordon (’64) also received a 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Berry's medical malpractice, professional and insurance defense enjoys a strong reputation throughout the state. He has been recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyer, a joint project of Law & Politics Magazine and Atlanta Magazine.
As a boarding student at Darlington Ga, Berry was a member of the Honor Council and served as president his senior year. He was also junior class president; dorm proctor; acolyte for chapel; chairman of the Dance Committee; secretary of the D-Club; and a member of the “Y” Cabinet, Pep Committee, Glee Club, the basketball and track teams, and the Jabberwokk and Darlingtonian staffs. As a senior, Berry earned the Faculty Medal for General Excellence. He went on to earn his B.A. from Emory University and taught briefly at Darlington School Rome before earning his J.D. from University of Georgia School of Law.
“It’s hard to really describe how you feel about an honor like this, but I amhonored,” said Berry, who came to Darlington in the ninth grade from Villa Rica, Ga., where the population was only about 2,000 at the time. “It’s the second highest honor I’ve gotten from Darlington. The first was my diploma, which was in doubt in the months leading up to it,” he joked.
A member and former president of the Rome Bar Association, Berry served on the Executive Committee of the State Bar of Georgia from 1994-96 and as a trustee of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education from 1992-1994. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association and the Defense Research Institute; a master of the Joseph Henry Lumpkin American Inn of Court; and a fellow of the Georgia Academy of Healthcare Attorneys, the American Academy of Healthcare Attorneys and the American College of Trial Lawyers.
A former president of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce, Berry has been extensively involved in industrial and business development, and in promoting a regional emphasis for recruitment and an awareness of industrial, business and educational concerns throughout the area. He is a graduate of Leadership Rome and Leadership Georgia.
Active in many local organizations, Berry is founding director and chairman of Greater Rome Bank, past president and Board member for the Exchange Club of Rome, and Board member for Redmond Regional Medical Center. He has served as past chairman of the Georgia Northwestern Technical College Board of Directors and the NAIA Football National Championship Host Committee; past president of the Open Door Home; and past director of Coosa Country Club. He has also been on the Board of Visitors at Emory University and the Boards of Directors of the Rebecca Blaylock Child Development Center and the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority. Berry is an Eagle Scout and an active member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, where he has served as vestryman and senior warden.
Berry also remains active in the Darlington Community. He is a former trustee, visitor emeritus and a member of the J.J. Darlington Society. He also volunteered with Darlington’s varsity basketball program and as a football announcer for many years. He and his wife, Bambi, also former member of Darlington’s faculty, have two children, Lowry (Berry) Harrington (’91) of Nashville, Tenn., and Natalie (Berry) Murphy (’94) of Rome, and three grandchildren.