Berea President Lyle Roelofs announces retirement

Pres. Lyle Roelofs with First Lady Laurie Roelofs and First Dog

Berea College President Lyle Roelofs and First Lady Laurie Roelofs pose for a photo in front of the President’s Home with the First Dog.
Photo by Crystal Wylie ’05 / Berea College

College’s ninth leader will serve through June 2023

President Lyle Roelofs

Photo by Chris Radcliffe

Berea College President Lyle Roelofs has announced his decision to retire, effective June 30, 2023. Roelofs arrived in Berea with his wife, Laurie, in 2012 to serve as the institution’s ninth president. From the very beginning, the Board of Trustees has been consistently impressed and pleased with their adoption of all things Berea and their broad success. The Berea College community is thankful to have worked side by side with Lyle and Laurie for what will be 11 years.

“It has been an honor and so very satisfying to have served Berea College as its ninth president,” President Roelofs said. “Everything about this school, from its transformative mission to the wonderful students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends, have made this such a privilege for Laurie and me.”

“The Board of Trustees and I are truly grateful for Lyle and First Lady Laurie Roelofs’ tremendous service to Berea College, and we are thankful for their longevity of service,” said Board Chair Stephanie Zeigler. “Their timing was remarkably fortuitous, and given their steady and thoughtful leadership throughout the unimaginable challenges brought on by COVID-19, Berea College is in a place of strength. Lyle’s early announcement regarding his retirement allows us ample time and a competitive edge for our search.”

Throughout his tenure, Roelofs has stayed true to the remarkable and unique mission of Berea College, leading in significant ways that have transformed the campus and elevated the college’s national profile.

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Categories: News, People
Tags: Board of Trustees, Dr. Lyle Roelofs, President, retirement

Berea Named One of the Best 387 Colleges in the Princeton Review’s 2022 Guide

Berea College has again been named one of the nation’s “best institutions for undergraduates to earn their college degree” in The Princeton Review’s book, The Best 387 Colleges: 2022 Edition.”

Berea is nationally recognized for its high-quality education and its distinctive labor program, which hires every admitted student to help operate the school. Berea is also known for its Tuition Promise Scholarship that covers the annual tuition cost for every student.

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Categories: News, Places
Tags: Accolade, Princeton Review, ranking, Tuition-free

Berea College Listed as Top Kentucky College in The Wall Street Journal/THE 2022 Rankings

Berea College sign on campus in the spring

Photo by Tyler Rocquemore ’22 / Berea College

Berea College is ranked No. 148 – the highest-ranked Kentucky college – in The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (THE) 2022 College Rankings. Berea also ranked No. 3 on the publication’s list of “Best Value Colleges” in the nation.

“We are thrilled to be the top-ranking Kentucky college in both The Wall Street Journal/THE overall list and their ‘Best Value Colleges’ list for 2022,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “One of our Great Commitments is to extend educational opportunity to all students – regardless of race or economic resources. Our no-tuition policy allows us to provide a high-quality college education to talented students who would not otherwise be able to afford it. Rankings like these put Berea on the map as students look for an affordable and transformative college experience.”

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Categories: News, Places
Tags: Accolade, ranking, Times Higher Education, Wall Street Journal

48th Celebration of Traditional Music at Berea College: October 14-17, 2021

Written by Liza DiSavino

The 48th annual Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music (CTM) will take place Oct. 15-17 and will feature, due to COVID, a mixture of both in-person and live-streamed events.

The CTM seeks to represent homemade music passed on from person to person in the Appalachian Region, and the musicians who play it. It is supported by a generous grant by the L. Allen Smith Memorial Fund and is presented by the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, the Music Department, the Celebration of Traditional Music Committee, and the members of the Berea College Folk-Roots Ensemble.

A pre-CTM Stephenson Memorial convocation concert performance by John McCutcheon will take place Thursday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. at Phelps-Stokes Chapel. This is the only evening concert open to the public. The event is free, and masks and COVID-19 vaccination are required.

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Categories: News, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Celebration of Traditional Music, Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Music Department

Berea College First Higher Education Institution to Bring Hydroelectric Power to Region

RAVENNA, Ky. – Berea College is the first higher education institution in the nation to complete construction of a hydroelectric generating plant, located at Lock and Dam 12 on the Kentucky River near Ravenna, Ky. The small-scale demonstration project produces on average about half of the electricity the College uses on an annual basis, further reducing the school’s carbon footprint.

“The hydroelectric generating plant shows that local green initiatives like this one can be financially feasible and create reliable sources of income and acceptable rates of return on investment,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “At the same time, it displays to our students and everyone else both the College’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the viability of state-of-the-art renewable energy technologies.”

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Categories: News, Places
Tags: Community, First Lady, Matilda Fee, Matilda Hamilton Fee Hydroelectric Station, sustainability

Berea College, City Officials Dedicate Boone Trace Trail at Brushy Fork

Mayor Fraley, Dr. John fox, Berea College President Lyle Roelofs and First Lady Laurie Roelofs

Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley, Dr. John Fox, Berea College President Lyle Roelofs and First Lady Laurie Roelofs cut a ribbon celebrating the opening of Boone Trace Trail at Berea College’s Brushy Fork Park. The new trail is open to college students and the public, and follows the trail made in 1775 by Daniel Boone. – Photo by Gaston Jarju / Berea College

Visitors to Berea College’s Brushy Fork can now walk along the path blazed through Kentucky by Daniel Boone and his axemen, thanks to a collaboration between Berea College and the city of Berea.

Boone Trace Trail is open to Berea residents, students and visitors, with a rock-paved ¾-mile trail that lines up almost exactly with the path Boone and his team took in 1775 from North Carolina through the Cumberland Gap and on to Boonesborough.

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Categories: News, Places, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Bruce Fraley, Brushy Fork, Dr. Lyle Roelofs, Trail

Berea College Again Named No. 1 Best Bang for the Buck in the South in the Washington Monthly 2021 College Guide and Rankings

Washington Monthly has again ranked Berea College the No. 1 Best Bang for the Buck College in the South in their 2021 College Guide and Rankings.

Berea College placed No. 13 in the publication’s 2021 overall ranking of liberal arts colleges.

Washington Monthly rankings are based on “the degree to which they recruit and graduate students of modest means, produce the scholarship and scholars that drive economic growth and human flourishing and encourage students to be active citizens and serve their country.”

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Categories: News, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Accolade, best bang for the buck, Washington Monthly

Brushy Fork Leadership Institute to Host 2021 Leadership Summit

By: Jacqueline Corum

Central Appalachian leaders will address the inequities exposed by the pandemic and other social issues

The annual Brushy Fork Leadership Summit, a strategic initiative of Berea College, will be conducted online Sept. 13 to 24. This year’s “Adaptive Leadership in Uncertain Times” summit will bring together nonprofit and grassroots leaders  to explore questions about how to design, fund and deliver programming in uncertain times; develop skills for adaptive leadership; and make connections to strengthen their organizations and their work.

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Categories: News, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Brushy Fork Leadership Institute, Community, leadership

Donna J. Dean and Charles Crowe Elected as Berea College Trustees

Donna J. Dean, Ph.D. and Charles Crowe were elected to serve on the Berea College Board of Trustees for six-year terms beginning immediately through June 30, 2027. Crowe previously served a six year term as alumni trustee from 2014-2020.

Donna Dean, Berea College Trustee

Donna J. Dean, Ph.D.

Dean’s career has included various positions in scientific research and administration. Most recently, she was an executive consultant to the Association for Women in Science in Washington, D.C. Previously, Dean was senior science advisor for Lewis-Burke Associates LLC and senior scholar in residence for the National Academy of Engineering. She served in various capacities for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Bethesda, Md., including senior advisor for engineering in the office of the director; acting (and founding) director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; senior scientific advisor to the director; and several positions for the Center for Scientific Review/Division of Research Grants, NIH. Dean also was a consumer safety officer for the Division of Food Additives and Veterinary Drugs for the United States Food and Drug Administration, DHHS, Washington, D.C. She also has held laboratory and faculty-based positions as a research chemist for the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolic Diseases and Diabetes NIH and as a visiting research fellow in the department of biology at Princeton University.

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Categories: News, People
Tags: Board of Trustees, trustees

Eleven Berea College Students Awarded U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to Study Abroad

Gilman Scholarship LogoBerea College has 11 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship recipients to study or intern abroad. They are among other American undergraduate students at 467 U.S. colleges from all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This cohort of Gilman Scholars will study or intern in 96 countries through the end of 2022.

Berea College’s Gilman scholarship recipients include Bertrina Iransi, junior computer science major from Jefferson County, Ky.; Cora Allison, junior peace and social justice major from Washington County, Tenn.; Hannah Rapien, junior communications and Asian studies major from Blount County, Tenn.; Isabella Ray, junior communications major from Carroll County, Ky.; Kshitiz Dhungyel, sophomore business administration major from Jefferson County, Ky.; Lona Cobb, senior history and anthropological archaeology major from Bell County, Ky.; Maria Martinez, junior biology and child and family studies major from Whitfield County, Ga.; Megan McEahern, junior art history major from Roane County, Tenn.; Victoria Jackson, junior communications major from Pulaski County, Ky.; Yennifer Coca Izquierdo, junior political science major from Jefferson County, Ky.; and Zoe Medeiros, junior English major from Sumner County, Tenn.

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Categories: News, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, Gilman International Scholarship, Study abroad

Nurturing Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities, and a Healthier Future

Garden kits in crates

Garden kits packed for distribution to families.

Written by: Elora Overbey, Grow Appalachia

Cigna Foundation Grant Furthers Berea Wellness Hub in Partnership with Berea Kids Eat

Grow Appalachia, a Strategic Initiative of Berea College, has received a $30,000 grant from the Cigna Foundation to work in partnership with school systems and the surrounding communities to supplement existing programming for children to help close nutrition gaps both within and outside of the school environment. The gift is part of the grant program, Healthier Kids For Our Future®, a five-year, $25 million global initiative focused on improving the health and well-being of children made possible by Cigna and the Cigna Foundation.

Grow Appalachia’s Berea Kids Eat Program has worked directly in Berea since 2016 to fight childhood hunger, increase healthy food access and support community food resiliency. To date, the program has served more than 400,000 meals to youth while supporting health and wellness initiatives and food security programming for low-income communities.

Bags of food in crates

Cooking kits prepared for distribution to families.

“We’re really excited that Cigna has helped to fully braid together all the goals of Berea Kids Eat, which is not just about reducing food insecurity but also increasing healthy food access by building food skills at the household level for the future,” said Martina Leforce, coordinator of Berea Kids Eat.

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Categories: News, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Berea Kids Eat, Cigna Foundation, Community, Grow Appalachia, Nutrition, wellness

A Statement from Pres. Roelofs on the Verdict in the Derek Chauvin Trial

Students gathered in the Carter G. Woodson Center to watch George Floyd murder trial verdict

Students gathered in the Carter G. Woodson Center with Kristina Gamble, Director of the Black Cultural Center, to watch the live verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, who was found guilty in the death of George Floyd.
(Photo: Gaston Jarju ’23)

Dear Bereans,

During the past year, the Berea College community has held a number of peaceful demonstrations focused on racial justice in the wake of the police-involved deaths of Breonna Taylor in Louisville and George Floyd in Minneapolis. Today, a jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three counts in the death of Mr. Floyd. For many members of our community, this verdict brings a sigh of relief. It shows that the legal system worked as it is designed to work, and that there can—and should—be accountability when members of law enforcement break the law.

In the preamble to our Great Commitments, Bereans call for peace with justice. In my view, today’s verdict represents a measure of justice for the family of Mr. Floyd and for those communities that have been denied justice for so long.

Even though we are still far from the ideal of full justice from which true peace can follow, it seems right to honor peace as we respond to this outcome.  It is the Berea way to be peaceful in our interactions with others. Justice prevailed today, and let us resolve to continue the struggle to ensure that everyone—regardless of their race, gender identity, faith or political perspective—is treated fairly and justly.  Let us show impartial love and a real commitment to peace at this important moment.

Lyle Roelofs, President
Berea College

Categories: News, People
Tags: black lives matter, George Floyd, racial Justice

Berea College Student Autumn Harvey Named a Newman Civic Fellow

2021 Civic Newman Fellow Autumn Harvey sitting at a table, wearing a maskAutumn Harvey, a junior majoring in history at Berea College, has been selected as a Newman Civic Fellow for 2021-2022 by Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization advancing the public purposes of higher education. Harvey joins 212 students from 39 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico, to form the 2021 Newman Civic Fellow cohort.

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Categories: News, People
Tags: Bonner Scholar, Campus Compact, CELTS, Community Service, Newman civic fellowship, Students

William L. Robbins Elected as Berea College Trustee

William L. RobbinsWilliam L. Robbins was elected to serve on the Berea College Board of Trustees for a six-year term beginning immediately through June 30, 2027.

For 26 years Robbins has been with Capital Group, an American financial services company, where he serves as a partner and equity portfolio manager. He is the principal investment officer of Capital Group Private Client Services, the American Mutual Fund and the Global Insights Fund. He also serves on the portfolio coordinating group for Capital International Investors and the Capital Solutions Group. He is a director of the American Mutual Fund, Investment Company of America, AMCAP Fund and Global Balanced Fund and previously served on the Board of the Capital Group Companies. Earlier in his career at Capital, Robbins was an equity investment analyst. Before joining Capital, Robbins was a part of the investment team at Tiger Management Corp. in New York and a financial analyst with Morgan Stanley.

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Categories: News, People
Tags: Board of Trustees, trustee

Silas House Receives Governors’ Award

Silas House

The following article was originally posted on artscouncil.ky.gov.

Silas House is the recipient of the 2020 Artist Award from Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear as part of the annual Governor’s Award in the Arts.

The Commonwealth’s most prestigious arts awards honor Kentucky individuals, businesses and organizations that make significant contributions to the arts in the state. Governor’s Awards in the Arts recipients exemplify a diversity of accomplishments in all areas of the arts as well as the irreplaceable value of those contributions to the state’s communities, educational environment and economy. The combined achievements and contributions of this year’s esteemed group of recipients demonstrate the many ways that citizens of Kentucky uphold the tradition of creating a rich cultural legacy.

The ceremony will be held on January 26 at 11 a.m. EST and is available to watch on YouTube.

Born in Corbin, Silas House, who was hailed by fellow Kentucky writer Barbara Kingsolver as one of her “favorite writers and human beings,” is a multiple award-winning, New York Times and nationally best-selling novelist.

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Categories: News, People
Tags: Appalachian Studies, Artist Award, faculty, Governor's Award, Silas House

Neil Mecham interviewed for WalletHub’s “2021’s Best and Worst States to Raise a Family”

The following was from an article titled, 2021’s Best and Worse States to Raise a Family, from WalletHub, and features commentary from Neil Mecham, Associate Professor of Child and Family Studies and Chair of the Child and Family Studies Department 

Ask the Experts

Not all states are created equal. Some are more conducive to pleasant family life than others. With those differences in mind, we asked a panel of experts to share their thoughts on the following key questions:

  1. What should families consider when choosing a place to set down roots?
  2. To what degree is a child’s development and a family’s quality of life influenced by the state they live in? How?
  3. How can authorities make their states more attractive to young families?
  4. How might Joe Biden’s proposals related to child care and paid family leave affect child and family well-being?
  5. In evaluating the best states for families, what are the top five indicators?
  6. How do different states compare when it comes to the support offered to single-parent families torn between struggling to find work and taking care of their children?
Neil Mecham

Neil Mecham

Ph.D. – Associate Professor of Child and Family Studies; Chair of the Child and Family Studies Department – Berea College

What should families consider when choosing a place to set down roots?

It might sound selfish, but parents should consider what an area holds for them – what they would like to do with their children. Developing strong supportive relationships with children is generally done while spending quality time with them, and parents are more likely to spend time with their children if they are doing things they, the parents, enjoy. So if you like to ride bikes, then selecting a city with established bike routes would allow being helpful. If attending cultural events brings you joy, then cities with venues for children would be important.

To what degree is a child’s development and a family’s quality of life influenced by the state they live in? How?

Quality of life can be measured in multiple ways. Taxes, education systems, industry, and wages all influence the financial aspect of the quality of life, but access to leisure activities and natural setting also has great influence. I know many families, not considered financially well off, who would rate their quality of life very high because they enjoy the opportunities their environment provides them.

How can authorities make their states more attractive to young families?

Local authorities should prioritize providing access to nature-scape areas. Sports fields are good, and so are plastic playgrounds, but nature-scape parks and playgrounds provide the most variety and invitation for families to use them year-round.

How might Biden’s proposals related to child care and paid family leave affect child and family well-being?

When parents need to work, they need to feel that their children are not just warehoused and kept safe. They want to feel that their children are growing; being challenged and enjoying their time. Supporting the childcare systems that can provide this level of quality care takes leaders who make it a priority, not an afterthought or lip service campaign promise.

In evaluating the best states for families, what are the top five indicators?

  • Access to activities that the parents would regularly enjoy doing with their children.
  • Support of and access to quality early childcare and early childhood education providers.
  • Access to nature-scape environments.
  • Policies that support parents’ efforts to spend time with their children.
  • Salaries and wages are sufficient; hence parents do not need to work two jobs or overtime.
Categories: News, People
Tags: Child and Family Studies Department, WalletHub

Ultimate Guide to Paying Down Student Loan Debt

The following article was originally posted on moneygeek.com and features commentary from Theresa Lowder, Director of Student Financial Aid at Berea College.

By: Ingrid Cruz

Collectively, Americans owe nearly $1.51 trillion in outstanding student loans. Owing over a trillion dollars can affect millennials and, most recently, Generation Z. In addition, people over the age of 60 are also struggling with student loan debt, according to a 2020 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The average student loan borrower can expect payments from $200 to $300 per month. The coronavirus relief bill allowed for student loan repayment suspensions until September 30, but this was extended until December 31, 2020.

Understandably, people may be wondering what to do about repayment, particularly during uncertain economic times. The financial advice and expert insight in this guide have been compiled to help you formulate a plan to pay off your student loan debt.

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Categories: News, People
Tags: Student debt, Student Financial Aid, Student Loan Debt, Theresa Lowder

Colleges That Give You The Biggest Bang For Your Buck In 2021

 

Drone photo over campus with a rainbow in the background

(Photo: Mark Huguely)

Originally posted on Forbes.com
By: Andrew DePietro

Finding schools that are both affordable and offer a quality education is something all college-seekers want, especially these days. College tuition costs have been on a seemingly unending, inexorable rise for the last 30 years. Looking at tuition costs, even after adjusting to inflation, the year-after-year increase since the 1980s is incredible. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost of tuition at a four-year institution rose from $12,551 in the 1985-86 academic year ($5,504 in 1985 dollars) to $27,357 in 2017-2018. This means college tuition costs today are more than double what they were in the mid-1980s. And yet incomes, when you adjust to inflation, have simply not kept apace with rising tuition costs. The Covid-19 pandemic has added an entirely new and disruptive layer on top of these financial issues. Many more Americans are now strapped financially and thus the cost of college is a central concern.

Both public college and private college tuition costs have increased constantly over the last three decades and at similar rates. In the face of such inevitability, the best strategy is to find schools that gives you a bargain. A recent study conducted by BrokeScholar analyzed nearly 400 of the best colleges in the United States and evaluated them all in terms of their affordability and academic quality. The study found a variety of colleges, both public and private, that offer cheap tuition without skimping on high-quality education. Geographically, the colleges that made the final list in the study are a good mix, with several from the South, Midwest, Mountain and West Coast states as well as a cluster in the Middle Atlantic states, like New York and New Jersey.

Read on to find out the colleges that give you top-quality education at affordable rates.

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Categories: News, Places
Tags: affordable, best bang for the buck, Student debt, tuition, Tuition-free

‘Berea Kids Eat’ program feeds thousands of families for free

Martina Leforce distributing food in crates

Berea Kids Eat coordinator Martina Leforce ’07 preparing meals for children in the local community. Taken March 25, 2020.
(Photo: Crystal Wylie ’05)

By Jacqueline Nie
Originally posted on LEX18.com

When the pandemic hit Kentucky in March and schools were suddenly closed, children that relied on the USDA’s school lunch program were in turmoil after losing access to nutritious food.

The “Berea Kids Eat” program at Berea College responded and rallied together, serving up meals from local restaurants.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, there is a long line of cars, picking up breakfast and lunch for free.

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Categories: News, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Berea Kids Eat, Grow Appalachia, Martina Leforce, Strategic Initiatives

When your students are your workforce, what happens in a pandemic?

 

Edgar Ortiz weaving

Edgar Ortiz, a senior studying chemistry, works a loom at the weaving studio at Berea College, in Berea, Kentucky, Nov. 6, 2020. The college sells artisanal goods to the public, such as the placemat Mr. Ortiz is weaving, as well as other home goods made by students.
(Photo: Nick Roll/The Christian Science Monitor)

Originally posted by The Christian Science Monitor
By: Nick Roll, staff writer

Edgar Ortiz pauses as he operates a wooden loom several times larger than he is, reflecting on his college job as he fashions a place mat.

“Who comes to college and learns how to weave?” he asks.

For Mr. Ortiz, a chemistry major set to graduate this spring, weaving place mats wasn’t how he originally imagined he’d be spending his time outside the lab. But Mr. Ortiz attends Berea College, where every student is assigned a job on campus, ranging from farm work to artisanal craft skills – such as weaving or woodworking – to more routine posts such as cleaning or being a teaching assistant.

This past semester, though, Mr. Ortiz was missing more than half of his co-workers. Social distancing rules had limited the capacity of the weaving studio and the number of students able to work there. On a recent afternoon, he was joined by only one other student employee and their supervisor, who is overseeing seven students this year instead of her usual 16 to 18.

Students at work colleges like Berea – there are eight others in the United States – are employed by the school in an effort to keep costs down for both students and the administration. Working through the pandemic has meant adjusting to new health standards and working in smaller, socially distanced crews – if students are able to work at all. And for the colleges, disruptions to the student work programs lead directly to disruptions to day-to-day operations.

“We had to shift to a work program where we were covering the essential jobs first,” says Berea President Lyle Roelofs. This was especially true in agriculture, where the college’s crops and livestock needed diligent care, but there were fewer students on campus to provide it. “It was sort of amusing,” he says, recalling one student who was originally planning on working in the fundraising office but wound up “being asked to explore the dignity of labor by feeding the hogs.”

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Categories: News, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Labor Program, Weaving, Work College, Work Colleges Consortium

Virtual Learning Challenges in Rural Appalachia

Draper Building

By Matt Stewart and Phillip Logsdon
Originally posted in College Services Magazine

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor, and service. The college admits only academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of eight federally-recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, housing, and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.

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Categories: News, Places
Tags: covid-19, information technology, pandemic, virtual learning

Registration Now Open for Woodworking Classes at Berea’s Pine Croft

Aspen Golann carving wood

Aspen Golann, artist and 17th & 18th century-style furniture maker, will lead an introductory class on carving from April 16-18.

Berea College invites woodworkers to register for four classes with prominent instructors at the Woodworking School at Pine Croft.

The Woodworking School at Pine Croft is offering the following classes

  • April 10 & 11 – Wooden Carrier ($375) with instructor Andy Glenn
  • April 16, 17, 18 – Introduction to Carving – Traditional Techniques & Contemporary Applications ($625) with instructor Aspen Golann
  • April 30, May 1, 2 – Greenwood Stool ($550) with instructor Andy Glenn
  • May 14, 15, 16 – Dutch Tool Chest ($875) with instructor Megan Fitzpatrick

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Categories: News, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Pine Croft, Woodcraft, Woodworking School at Pine Croft

Berea College and Lehigh University Break Boundaries with Win-Win Educational Pact

Berea College sign on campus

(Photo: Crystal Wylie ’05)

New Berea-Lehigh Partnership Agreement Enhances Student Access to Graduate Management Education

Berea College, a federally recognized Work College, and Lehigh University’s College of Business jointly announced this week a new 4+1 partnership agreement.  This unique “4+1” joint partnership calls for a five-year program (four years of undergraduate studies at Berea College plus one year of graduate management education at Lehigh University). Students from Berea College in Liberal Arts or STEM field majors can enter Lehigh University’s MS in Management (M2) program to earn the Master’s level degree in just 10 months. The combination of Liberal Arts or STEM as well as skills learned in Berea’s Labor Program, coupled with business training further positions Berea graduates to be workforce ready as they pursue careers in a variety of industries ranging from consulting to banking to finance to brand marketing to pharma, just to name a few.

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Categories: News, Places, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Lehigh University, Liberal Arts, STEM

PBS Features Berea College in Craft in America: DEMOCRACY Episode

Student in Broomcraft Shop

A new episode of Craft in America: DEMOCRACY is available to stream now on the PBS Video AppPBS.org/craftinamerica, and craftinamerica.org in advance of the PBS broadcast premiere on Dec. 11, 2020.

Craft in America: DEMOCRACYexplores how craft intertwines with our nation’s defining principles, providing inspiring examples of artists and organizations working together to embody democratic ideals. The program highlights the historic and contemporary crafts Berea College students produce through the College’s distinctive Labor program. It features interviews with students and staff in Berea’s crafts program—which includes weaving, broom making, ceramics and woodworking—and Stephen Burks, an industrial designer and educator who headed Berea’s Crafting Diversity project. Burks worked with students to design products for the Student Craft program, ensuring the inclusive diversity of Berea’s student body was represented in the craft they created.

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Categories: News, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: broomcraft, Ceramics, Crafts, PBS, student crafts, Weaving, Woodworking Crafts

Smithsonian Features 100 Years of Berea College Brooms

Student braiding a broom

The Berea College Broomcraft Program—which marks its centennial anniversary this year—is highlighted in an online feature article in the Smithsonian Magazine

While Berea is a liberal arts college—not a craft or art school—it is home to the country’s longest continuously operating broomcraft workshop and carries on an American craft tradition that’s rarely practiced today. In the article, Chris Robbins, director of Berea College’s broomcraft program, estimates there likely are less than 200 people worldwide who make brooms by hand for a living. Yet brooms seem to be having a renaissance, he said, perhaps due to a market trend for handmade items or to the popularity of the Harry Potter book series (Berea has a “rocket broom” in its product line). More than 60 brooms were ordered on the morning the article appeared.

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Categories: News, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: broomcraft, Labor Program, Smithsonian, student crafts