Dr. Gordon Carper -- Berry College

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Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:39 pm
Location: Mount Berry, GA

Dr. Gordon Carper -- Berry College

Post by BerryCollegeBowl »


On September 3, 2011, one of the brightest lights in the Academic Bowl universe ceased to shine. Dr. N. Gordon Carper, Dana Professor of History Emeritus, of Berry College passed away due to complications from multiple illnesses. For those who were not privileged enough to meet or know Dr. Carper, just a few of accomplishments are listed below.
From 1959-1970, GE College Bowl was a staple on CBS and NBC where college teams from across the country competed against each other for scholarship grants. By 1970 the program was cancelled, and the game was in danger of dropping completely from the national consciousness. That same year, Dr. Carper was one of a group of college professors, who enjoyed the game, who began with few teams and no buzzer systems what became recognized as the first modern collegiate tournament: the Southeastern Invitational. The Southeastern, now held annually at Berry, is in its 41st year.
For 33 years Dr. Carper’s Berry teams went onto win 3 College Bowl Inc/ACUI Regional championships, multiple Southeastern Invitational Championships, and were fiercely competitive on the national circuit. In 1999, the Berry team had their biggest success winning what Gordon would refer to as his “National Championship” when his team finished as the top undergraduate only squad (6th overall) at the Academic Competition Federation (ACF) National Championship tournament at the University of Chicago. The ACF also honored him with the N. Gordon Carper Lifetime Achievement Award which has been awarded annually “for meritorious services in sustaining and enriching collegiate academic competitions." ACF founders Don Windham and Carol Guthrie, both former Berry players, were honored with the Carper award in successive years. The Association of Collegiate Unions Incorporated (ACUI) named its Region VI College Bowl championship trophy in honor of Dr. Carper and his wife, Mrs. Joyce Carper.
Dr. Carper’s influence reaches far beyond the college game. Since 1974, Berry has hosted its annual Scholars’ Bowl tournament which has evolved from a Georgia high school invitational competition to a regional open tournament. Many current and former Berry players played at and were recruited from the Scholars’ Bowl competition. Many program alumni have gone on to coach at all levels of the Academic Bowl world. One hallmark of Carper’s legacy is that the Berry program boasts one of the most loyal and active alumni networks in the nation. He was also honored by the Georgia State Legislature for his "expert and unwavering guidance" which enabled his "perspicacious students" to develop and refine the "mental agility, verbal dexterity, and intellectual acumen that are necessary for continued excellence in college bowl competition.”
Even though his light now longer shines, Dr. Carper will live in the hearts of every player who sits at a table with buzzer in his/her hand. For every first time player that catches the fever in their first practice, to the seasoned veteran who still smiles when the reader says, “Tossup #1,” Dr. Carper’s indomitable spirit will shine through.

Dren Rollins
Berry College Bowl Alum
Class of 1998

Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:52 am

Re: Dr. Gordon Carper -- Berry College

Post by crimsonscholar »

Thank you, Dren. I am so sad right now. Let's keep his spirit going, let's continue to remember this wonderful man. I am so glad to have met him several years ago at a Berry tournament, I consider him the John Wooden of Southern and for that matter, national quiz bowl.
Jonathan Thompson
University of Alabama '08 and '15

Quiz bowling.