Berry College has appointed Nathaniel Pearson as the inaugural Elvin and Fleta Patterson Sims director of the Berry Center for Integrity in Leadership.
Pearson, formerly executive director of the Nerney Leadership Institute at Cabrini University, assumed his new role June 1. He is the first person to hold the directorship, which is named in memory of Berry alumni Elvin and Fleta Patterson Sims. The position was endowed by a $2 million gift from their son, retired Union Pacific executive and Texas resident John Edward Sims.
A major priority of Berry’s LifeReady Campaign, the Center for Integrity in Leadership is dedicated to helping students develop a better understanding of ethical leadership in all aspects of life. Through classroom study, real-world mentoring, guest speakers and other programming, the Berry Center for Integrity in Leadership cultivates a deeper grounding in values and integrity while also providing practical experience in the day-to-day decision-making that integrity in leadership requires.
As director, Pearson will work to further the impact of the Center through collaboration with faculty, staff, students and community partners. Current initiatives include the innovative Gordon and Joyce Carper Mentoring Program, which recently completed its sixth year pairing Berry students with community leaders; the Cecil B. Wright III Lecture Series; and the Bowen and Barbara McCoy and Ted A. Owens faculty development grants.
In addition to his work as executive director of the Nerney Leadership Institute, Pearson has also served as assistant professor of leadership studies at Cabrini University and West Virginia University. His background is in child and family counseling, and he holds a doctorate in leadership studies from Gonzaga University. He has taught a variety of courses on leadership development and theory.
“We are enthusiastic about Nate as the BCIL’s first director,” said Berry President Steve Briggs. “His strength as a leader, experience with undergraduate students, and background as a seasoned faculty member are the qualities we need to build upon the Center’s successes. His passion work will honor the Elvia and Fleta Patterson Sims, Berry alumni who made a lasting impact as parents, educators and mentors in their home community.”