LOTW 76: Foundation of Servitude

By: Camille Hanner

In a letter addressed to Martha Berry, a representative from State Normal School in Athens, Ga, D. L. Earnest, contacts Martha in hopes of finding support of a poor girl that has come into his association. He writes telling Martha of an eighteen year old girl who has sadly come into a rough patch of her life, finding herself in jail because her very own brother brought her there for vagrancy, or homelessness. It seemed that she had been ill for a while, and on her discovery in prison, Earnest and his workers took her to the hospital where she was able to be administered the care she needed. On her recovery, she spoke to her new friends of her desire to become a teacher and made a respectable situation for herself in life. It is here that Earnest is encouraged to reach out to Martha on the hope that she may be able to assist in this.

Earnest describes this young woman as a girl of a “bright face, really pretty and attractive” with also the “making of a fine woman.” He speaks of her high words of respect upon meeting graduates of Martha Berry’s school for woman, and her respect for how refined and proper these women were in this poor girl’s eyes.

It is with good reason that Earnest trusts in Martha Berry’s goodwill and the fact that her generosity with find good reason to take in this girl and support her. He points out her destitution, but almost unnecessarily so, for Martha Berry is known for her generous soul and willingness to befriend and adopt those in need.

This foundation of servitude is the establishing base of Berry’s fundamental goals and hopes for its students and their impending futures on leaving Berry. Through Berry’s self-maintenance through the work program and rigorous curriculum, future employers see the true value of a Berry student and the strength of character that Berry produces, all because of Martha Berry and the fine example she set for all of her students: past, present, and future. These upright codes of morale that Martha built into her institution has continued to effect each and every student and inspired these young adults to hold true to their best possible self and encouraged each individual to answer their own personal life calling no matter the difficulty or arduous journey involved.

Every student on entering Berry’s program is faced with the difficulty of the rigor that Martha Berry established into her work, but also the reward that such hard work will yield if one is dedicated to the process and finds success after completing their four remarkable years at Berry College.

As a freshman at Berry, I am too faced with the hard toil that Berry requires and the difficult adjustment to such a lifestyle, but it is easy to see the value that these experiences will be bring myself and my classmates through the experiences we will have these next few years, and the skills and networks that will development out of our dedication to the program.

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