Berea’s distinctive educational model has once again attracted national attention. The Atlantic published a feature on the College following a recent visit to campus by education writer Adam Harris. The article details Berea’s remarkable history and how its mission is carried out today. Harris also asks if Berea’s no-tuition model, or at least key aspects of it, could be replicated at other schools across America to address the need for affordable, high-quality education. Read the full article here.
Each year during Homecoming Bereans are recognized for their professional accomplishments, contributions to the community and commitments to the mission of Berea College. This year, Larry Allen ’78 and Jack Roush ’64 will receive Distinguished Alumnus awards. Silas House, published author and member of the College teaching faculty, will be presented an Honorary Alumnus Award. Recipients will be honored at the Alumni Awards Presentation and Reception at 6 p.m., Nov. 16 in the Boone Tavern Events Center.
Distinguished Alumnus Award – Larry Allen ’78
Larry Allen is an accomplished pottery artist whose works are increasingly sought after by collectors in the Southeast, and throughout the country. His stoneware-clay vessels are inspired largely by Native American and African art, and are authentic, beautiful and functional. Allen was introduced to the world of pottery as a student at Berea College, where he served as an apprentice potter for three years and earned a bachelor’s degree in art. Allen taught pottery classes at Jefferson State Community College for four years before opening his own studio, LA Pottery, in 2006.
After the events of September 11, 2001, Allen was stirred by the country’s collective unification. Seeing blue-collar and white-collar men and women, and even Congress on the front steps of the Capitol, standing for a common cause, Allen remembers thinking, “Now they get it—there is strength in unity.” He decided to capture that spirit in a unity motif of linked hands raised in the air, which he has worked into many of his art pieces to date.
Throughout his 35-year career, Allen’s work has received many accolades, including being showcased on the nationally televised HGTV show “That’s Clever” in 2008. He is a Guild member of the Southern Highlands in Asheville, N.C., and an Alabama Designer Craftsman. He has won numerous awards including Best In Show at many art shows, and his work is represented in several art galleries across the U.S. Allen’s work also has been given as gifts to Pulitzer Prize winner and author Harper Lee and Liberia’s first woman president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Allen and his wife, Linda Gassett Allen ’76, reside in Leeds, Ala., and have one daughter, Mahisha.
Distinguished Alumnus Award – Jack Roush ’64
One of Berea College’s most famous alumni, Jack Roush graduated with a degree in mathematics in 1964 before moving to Detroit to join the assembly and tooling operations of Ford Motor Company. While working at Ford, he joined a group of drag racing enthusiasts called “The Fastbacks.” Thus began a career that would lead Roush to becoming the winningest NASCAR owner in history.
A native of Covington, Ky., Roush earned his master’s degree in scientific mathematics, an area of study needed to advance into engine research and development. He left Ford and worked briefly for Chrysler before teaming up with driver Wayne Gapp to form the Gapp & Roush drag racing team that went on to win championships in the National, American, and International Hot Rod Associations. Roush accomplished this while teaching mathematics, physics and automotive classes at a Michigan community college.
In 1976, Roush founded Roush Performance Engineering, and his reputation in drag racing led him to building engines for race teams. In 1982, he partnered with German racing team Zakspeed, and in conjunction with Ford Aerospace, Zakspeed-Roush constructed a carbon-fiber-tubed International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Mustang that won its first outing at Road America.
In 1984, Roush formed his own racing team, Roush-Protofab, which competed in the Sports Car Club of America and the IMSA. The Roush-Protofab team claimed 24 national championships and won 119 races. Roush also captured 10 consecutive sedan class championships at the prestigious 24 Hours of Daytona.
In 2007, Roush Racing and Fenway Sports Group announced the formation of Roush Fenway Racing. Over the decades, Roush’s racing teams have amassed 325 NASCAR Points wins, the most of any, with cars and trucks helmed by iconic drivers like Mark Martin, Kyle Petty, Paul Newman and Bruce Jenner. Roush also is chairman of the board of Roush Enterprises, Inc., which employs more than 5,000 people and operates more than 50 facilities across North America, Europe and Asia. In 2019, Roush will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Honorary Alumnus Award – Silas House
Born in Lily, Ky., in 1971, Silas House is a New York Timesbestselling author of six novels, including Clay’s Quilt(2001), A Parchment of Leaves(2003), The Coal Tattoo(2005), Eli the Good(2009), Same Sun Here(2012) and, most recently, Southernmost(2018), which has been nominated for the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. House also has authored a book of creative nonfiction and three plays. He is a music journalist, environmental activist and columnist whose writing frequently appears in The New York Timesand Salonand has been published in Time, Newsday, Oxford American,Garden and Gunand many other publications. His honors include the EB White Award, Appalachian Book of the Year, the Hobson Medal for Literature and the Nautilus Award. House’s fiction is known for its attention to the natural world, working class characters and the plight of rural places and people.
House is a former commentator for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and is an invited member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers as well as the recipient of three honorary doctorates. House has been widely recognized for his social justice work—he was awarded the Intellectual Freedom Award from the National Council of English Teachers and the Helen Lewis Award for Community Service from the Appalachian Studies Association. House serves as the National Endowment for the Humanities chair of Appalachian Studies at Berea College and on the fiction faculty of the Spalding University MFA in Creative Writing program.
House has earned degrees from Sue Bennett College, Eastern Kentucky University and Spalding University and was chosen as one of the ten emerging talents in the South by the Millennial Gathering of Writers at Vanderbilt University.
House currently lives in Berea with his husband, Jason Howard, two daughters and three dogs.
The Omer Quartet will perform classical music Thursday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Chapel, at the Berea College Stephenson Memorial Concert Series.
The Omer Quartet is distinctive among today’s young string quartets. The quartet, which took first prize in the 2017 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, consists of Mason Yu and Erica Tursi (violinists), Jinsun Hong (viola) and Alex Cox (cello).
The Omer Quartet studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and completed a graduate residency at the New England Conservatory. The Quartet is currently the Doctoral Fellowship String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Maryland.
They have performed with internationally renowned artists such as Clive Greensmith, Eugene Brucker, Cho-Liang Lin, the Assad Brothers and the Borromeo String Quartet, and collaborated with composers including Sean Shephard and Perry Goldstein.
Convocation events, provided free to both the campus and public communities, are a significant part of a student’s educational experience at Berea College. View the full schedule of all convocations here.
Berea College officials will conduct a dedication ceremony of the Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building on Saturday, October 20, 2018. The new 125,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility houses the College’s science disciplines, mathematics and nursing.
Tours and demonstrations in the new facility begin at 9 a.m., continuing until 1 p.m. A dedication ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. in the building’s atrium.At 3 p.m., former NASA Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space, will speak at a convocation in Seabury Center.
Nearly 1,000 alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students raised more than $12 million to make the vision for this new facility a reality.
Partners for Education at Berea College has been awarded two Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grants worth a combined $109,177,600 to serve students in Appalachian Kentucky. The United States Department of Education grants will provide 19,496 students in 19 counties with an array of services aligned to accomplish four overarching goals: lift educational aspirations, build academic skills, connect academics to college and career, and engage parents as partners.
The grants, referred to as GEAR UP: SOAR and GEAR UP: Opportunity, will build upon successes Partners for Education has had in the past braiding different research based programs together, and will continue the work started by former GEAR UP grants at Berea College. GEAR UP: SOAR will serve Bell, Breathitt, Harlan, Perry, Knott, and Whitley counties, and GEAR UP: Opportunity will serve Clay, Estill, Garrard, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Leslie, Madison, Owsley, Powell, Pulaski, and Rockcastle counties.
Students will receive services from multiple programs designed to assess and improve academic skills. By monitoring grades, attendance, incidence of suspensions and other factors, staff will be able to assess each students’ educational needs. Mentors will then work directly with students to improve challenge areas. Students will also be assessed by college and career readiness performance targets—test scores that indicate if a student is on track to be “college ready” by the time they finish high school. After assessment, services will be tailored to address the preparation gaps. Students will also build academic skills and confidence through the National Math Science Initiative’s advanced placement training incentive program which uses the College Board’s Advanced Placement curriculum and exam as a framework to provide students with materials to study and opportunities to practice for AP tests.
Programs like the Governors Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership (GCIPL) will engage parents and caretakers in their students’ education. The programs create pathways for parents and caretakers to become more informed and involved in school, so they can be resourceful agents of change. Parents and caretakers also learn about college admission processes and how to apply for financial aid, so they can help guide their students.
Partners for Education brings a strong record of implementing GEAR UP grants to the region. “We have provided GEAR UP services in Appalachia since the program’s inception in 1999. During the past 19 years, we have invested in sustainable strategies and best practices proven to mitigate low graduation rates and college completion,” says Sara White, director of programs at Partners for Education. “This past spring, high schools in our existing service region reported higher ACT scores and college going rates for their senior classes. We are excited to continue the work we’ve been doing for almost two decades in eastern Kentucky!”
“With federal funding and district in-kind commitments to match, we have a partnered investment of over $30,000,000 each year to provide resources for families, communities and schools. Our funding is designed to increase high school graduation rates and to inspire continuing education as a life-long pursuit,” says Kristen Sutherland, associate director for GEAR UP at Partners for Education. “I’m excited to be involved with such a strong initiative that provides resources to our communities spanning southern and eastern Kentucky.”
Partners for Education at Berea College uses a place based, student focused approach to improve educational outcomes in Appalachian Kentucky. By braiding services and aligning federal, state and private funding streams, Partners for Education works to ensure all Appalachian students succeed at school.
Dr. Diane White-Clayton will speak about “Jesus, the Ultimate Rebel with a Cause,” on Thursday, Sep. 27 at 3 p.m. at the Berea College Accent of Christian Faith Lecture in Phelps Stokes Chapel.
This lecture, sponsored by the Willis D. Weatherford Jr. Campus Christian Center, will discuss the common depiction of Jesus as frail and tender-hearted, as well as the uncommon depiction of Jesus as a rebellious, defiant trouble-maker who never allowed rules to dictate his path. Berea College, whose rebellious beginnings directly defied societal norms of the time, challenges new rebels who, through faith and determination, will change the world.
White-Clayton, a native of Washington, D.C., holds master and doctoral degrees in music composition from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music with emphases in composition, voice and piano. White-Clayton began performing at age of 4 in the Baptist church where her father pastored. She began conducting choirs by age 9. She travels as a vocalist, pianist, composer, conductor, workshop clinician and speaker throughout the United States and abroad.
White-Clayton has held positions at universities and churches across the country, including as artistic director for the Washington Performing Arts Society gospel choral program; artist-in-residence with the School of Music and assistant director of African-American Student Development at Appalachian State University; choral conductor and pianist at the New Christ Memorial Church under the legendary Pastor Andraé Crouch; and currently asdDirector of choral music at Faithful Central Bible Church in Los Angeles, Calif., where she founded the acclaimed Sacred Praise Chorale.
White-Clayton, affectionately known as “Dr. Dee” is an inspirational speaker and author, who combines genuineness, eloquence and faith. She has produced recordings, published compositions and released a self-published book, Journey to the Altar. White-Clayton is founder and CEO of BYTHAX, a publishing and production company with a resident ensemble of uniquely talented performers. She teaches as a vocal clinician for Disney Performing Arts in Anaheim, Calif., and resides in Los Angeles, Calif., with her husband and best friend, accomplished R&B percussionist, Joe Clayton.
The Berea College Technology and Applied Design Department is accepting course registration for the fall 2018 Westervelt Program. The Westervelt program is offered each year to Berea townspeople as well as students, faculty and staff. The program provides excellent opportunities for individuals to develop a well-rounded educational background and pursue specific areas of interest. Continue reading Westervelt Program Open to Public at Berea College →
Lie-Nielsen Toolworks®, a U.S. manufacturer of heirloom-quality woodworking tools, is bringing its popular Hand Tool Event® to Berea, Kentucky on Sept. 28 and 29 at Berea College Crafts, located in the Mueller Building, 100 Student Crafts Court. This event, which is part of the company’s ongoing international program, provides woodworkers of all ages and skill levels exposure to the benefits of traditional hand tools and techniques. The event will take place Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is an opportunity for the public to receive first-hand instruction directly from the toolmakers. Continue reading Woodworking Hand Tool Event at Berea College Crafts →
OnStage Blog, a media site that covers theatre on an international level, ranked Berea College’s Theatre Department in the top 25 Bachelor of Arts programs in America. Each year, OnStage Blog reviews theatre programs across the country to provide a resource to prospective students and families who are researching the best academic theatre programs in the country for dance, design, tech and performing. Berea came in at No. 23, with a major highlight of its “First Theatre in Human Culture” course, which studies the first theatres and extant play scripts of selected human cultures representing Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. Continue reading Berea College Among the Top 25 B.A. Theatre Programs for 2018-19 →
The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education have named Berea College the best value institution in the United States. Continue reading Wall Street Journal Names Berea the Best Value College in U.S. →
The history of the Middletown Consolidated School in Berea was recognized with a ceremony unveiling the highway marker placed by the Kentucky Historical Society. The public event took place Saturday, August 18 at the old Middletown Consolidated School on Walnut Meadow Road in Berea.
The event included representatives from state and local governments, and officials from Berea College and Berea and Madison County School systems and numerous Middletown School alumni, faculty and staff. The occasion marked the significance of the site as a Rosenwald school for African American children during the segregation era. The unveiling ceremony was followed by building tours and a reception.
As one of more than 100 Rosenwald schools built in Kentucky, this school—officially called the Berea Consolidated School for African American children—is a local historical landmark.
The steering committee that arranged the historical marker’s placement and organized the unveiling ceremony included local residents Sharyn Mitchell, Dr. Jackie Burnside and Dr. Janice Blythe, all of whom are members of Berea College’s faculty and staff.
The Kentucky Historical Marker program allows Kentucky communities to recognize sites, events and personalities considered to be significant to local, regional, state or national history. More than 2,400 such markers exist across Kentucky, including four others in Berea.
The Middletown Consolidated School was built in 1927 for African American children in the Berea area. A key factor in developing the school was the Julius Rosenwald Fund, named for the man who built Sears, Roebuck and advanced the cause of Black education in the American South. Coincidentally, the Julius Rosenwald Fund was managed by Edwin Embree, grandson of Berea College’s founder John G. Fee. Embree was president of the Rosenwald Fund and oversaw its distribution in addressing issues of racial discrimination in the U.S.
One of the features of the Rosenwald school-building program across the South was that the Rosenwald Fund would put up about 15 percent of the cost of a school and insist the local community—both black and white—contribute an agreed-upon amount (in money, materials and/or sweat equity), and that local officials assume ownership of the school and maintenance responsibility when the structure was completed. Berea College partnered in the project by providing the land on which to build, as well as installing electrical and water lines for the building. This approach encouraged both blacks and whites to buy into the project, and prod local school boards into expanding educational opportunities for Black youth.
Built at a cost of $12,000 and based on the four-room, four-teacher design typical of Rosenwald plans, construction of this school allowed for the consolidation of several one-room schools for African American students in the southern part of Madison County. It was this collaborative partnership that from the 1920s to the 1960s served students in grades one through eight at the Middletown School. After re-integration of public schools, the building later served as a community center before languishing vacant for more than two decades. Berea College completed an eco-sensitive renovation of the structure in 2006-2007, retaining much of the original materials and features of the building. Modern amenities, such as adding indoor restrooms, replacing the original privies, installing energy-efficient new windows, and adding an elevator with an accessible, exterior entrance, equipped the building for 21stcentury use.
The building now houses the College’s Partners for Education Program, which provides regional outreach services to lift educational aspirations, build academic skills and offer college and career connections for students, families and communities.
Washington Monthly once again ranked Berea College No. 1, in two major classifications, citing Berea as the nation’s top liberal arts college and ranking Berea as the Best Bang for the Buck College in the South. Berea’s top rank in the 2018 Washington Monthly College Guide and Rankings comes from its success in educating and graduating academically-talented students who have great financial need to become service-oriented leaders in their professions and communities. Continue reading Washington Monthly Again Ranks Berea No. 1, Twice; As Best National Liberal Arts College and Best Bang for the Buck in the South →
The public is invited to join the entire Berea College community in marking the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year at the College’s Opening Convocation on Thursday, August 30, 2018, at 3 p.m. in the Seabury Center. The program is free. The theme for this year’s opening convocation will be Berea Stories. Continue reading Berea College Welcomes Public to 2018 Opening Convocation →
Berea College captured the national spotlight again for helping students graduate with little or no debt. In a newly-released report focused on student-loan debt for each state, Kentucky’s Berea College was ranked No. 1 among private colleges and universities in the state and fourth among private schools nationwide. Continue reading Berea College Highlighted for Low Student Debt, Nationally and Locally →
Berea’s student woodcraft program is featured in the latest issue of Woodworking Crafts, a British magazine by the Guild of Master Craftsmen Publications. The article includes many photos and comments by woodcraft students as well as a profile of Andy Glenn, Berea’s woodcraft supervisor. The feature provides a brief overview of Berea College’s distinctive no-tuition model to provide a high quality education for a diverse range of students who could not otherwise afford college. The article also describes the history of the woodcraft program along with explanations of the day-to-day operations that produce the beautiful and functional crafts that consumers prize. Continue reading British Magazine Features Student Woodcrafts →
Sher Sanginov ’19, a Berea College senior majoring in computer science, recently conducted a hackathon in Khujand, his home city in Tajikistan. Sanginov did not know what a hackathon was until he came to college in the United States, but during his time at Berea College he has had opportunities to participate in Major League Hackathons (MLH). A hackathon, sometimes called an invention marathon, is usually a day-long event where technology professionals and students meet; design a product, such as a web application; and develop a business plan to create a technology solution for a given issue. Continue reading Berea Student Develops Hackathon in Tajikistan →
Berea College Alumnus Jack Roush ’64 went from Mr. Fix-It in his college years to an enormously successful career in the drag-racing, road-racing and, eventually, NASCAR fields. Since 1998, Roush’s racing teams have won 325 races in the three NASCAR national touring series, more than any other car owner in history. On Feb. 1, 2019, he will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Continue reading Berea Alumnus honored with Hall of Fame induction →
The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) presented a bronze Circle of Excellence award in fundraising to Berea College. The award recognizes Berea Patrons, the College’s student philanthropy initiative, as an emerging program. Continue reading Student Philanthropy at Berea College Earns National Award →
Phi Kappa Phi (PKP), the national honor society, has awarded a Study Abroad Grant to Grace Kinner. The Berea College senior from Clermont, Ohio, is one of only 75 recipients of the Study Abroad Grants awarded nationally each year. Continue reading Berea College Student Awarded Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grant →
A Berea College student is one of the subjects featured in “The Unafraid,” a documentary film that makes its New York premier on Thursday, June 21 during the closing night of the Human Rights Watch Film Fest (HRWFF).
“The Unafraid,” is a feature-length documentary produced by Presente Films that follows the personal lives of three Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students in Georgia, a state that has banned them from attending their top state universities and disqualifies them from receiving in-state tuition at any other public college. Shot in an observational style over a period of four years, this film, by directors and co-producers Anayansi Prado and Heather Courtney, takes an intimate look at the lives of DACA students as they navigate activism, pursuing their right to education and fighting for the rights of their families and communities. Continue reading Berea Student Featured in “The Unafraid,” Making New York Premier June 21 →
Jim Branscome ’68 and Lavoyed Hudgins received the Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Honorary Alumnus Award, respectively. Continue reading Alumni Awards Presented During Berea College Summer Reunion →
The Berea College Center for International Education (CIE) announced that Berea College student Jesse Paul has received the prestigious Freeman-ASIA Award for education abroad purposes during the fall 2018 semester. Paul, a junior Asian Studies major from Boone, Kentucky, plans to study in China. Continue reading Berea College Student Receives Freeman-ASIA Scholarship for Study Abroad →
Miguel Ángel Ortega Bañales, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music at Berea College, was awarded the Audience Choice Award in the seventh Audrey Rooney Vocal Competition of the Kentucky Bach Choir. Bañales, a student of Berea College music professor Mark R. Calkins, competed against eight student singers in the recent live vocal competition in Lexington. The Mexican-born tenor also received an Encouragement Award. Continue reading Berea College Student Wins two Awards in Vocal Competition →
Diane Artist Wallace, Miriam (Mim) R. Pride and Ken Koh have been elected to the Berea College Board of Trustees. Their new terms will begin July 1, 2018.
Wallace is an independent contract editor for Kinesis-Cem, a market research company with which she has worked since 2007. Much of her career has been associated with the Social Security Administration (SSA). She also was district manager for the SSA in Montana from 2001 to 2007. Previously, Wallace served as program manager for programmatic training at the SSA’s Office of Training headquarters in Maryland, a production coordinator for the SSA’s Distance Learning Training Studio in Georgia, a systems coordinator for SSA in Alabama, and various technical and claims representative positions for the SSA in Kentucky and Alabama. Continue reading Berea College Board of Trustees Elects Three New Members →