Former congressman Marion Berry says a new alternative fuels research center named after him is a "gem" that can help the struggling Delta region of Arkansas as it tries to grow.
Berry made a rare public appearance Friday as Mid-South Community College in West Memphis dedicated its new Marion Berry Renewable Energy Center. Berry decided not to run for re-election in 2010. Berry had surgery for a brain tumor last year, and later he was diagnosed with lymphoma.
Berry's family says his cancer has been in remission since last year.
Berry praised the center as he toured it before a dedication ceremony.
The college says the $9.5 million facility will serve students pursuing careers in transportation, agriculture and heavy construction industries. It will also support research in biofuel production.