For decades, Loyal Jones has been a foundation to Berea College, the Appalachian Center, and the surrounding community. After a lifetime of support and kindness, we had the bittersweet opportunity to wish Loyal good luck onto his next adventure. After his dedication to Berea, he is moving to North Carolina to dedicate himself to his family.
On June 22nd, over 100 people crowded into the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center for a farewell party in Loyal’s honor. Folks from all walks of life joined us in telling jokes, stories, and sharing the ways that Loyal has impacted all of us. Previous students, longtime friends, and church family all came with something to share. The crowd laughed, reminisced, and cried together as a family — all connected by the shared impact that Loyal has had on their life.
Loyal paved the path for Appalachian Studies at Berea College and our work at the Appalachian Center. Because of his years of dedication to our region and community, I –and other students– am able to follow in his steps. We seek out the answers to questions raised about the mystery these mountains hold, forge deep connections with folks from all valleys and ridges, and make our community a place where all can feel welcome.
Here at the Appalachian Center, we will miss Loyal dearly. We know this only “until we meet again”, but that day cannot come too soon. Best of luck with your adventures in North Carolina!
See you soon, Loyal.
Article written by Morgan Hudson-Mecham