Daily COVID-19 Update: March 30, 2020

Dear Bereans,

This is the update for Monday, March 30, 2020.

First, a message of thanks…

Many Americans have continued to work and to serve throughout this crisis, even though doing so exposes them to greater risk.  We need to thanks all of these folks from the bottom of our hearts, the people on the medical front lines, the dedicated staff and Berea and elsewhere working to keep our spaces as clean and contagion-free as possible, the people who work in grocery stores, our Farm Store, and pharmacies so that we continue to have access to needed food and medicine, the truck drivers without whom there would be nothing on the shelves at this point, law enforcement and other responders, the farmers at Berea and elsewhere who have continued to grow food, other workers in plants and factories making other necessary items, and the list goes on and on.

An announcement from the Berea Corps program

The Berea Corps Program has 17 positions available for the 2020-21 program year.  The program is available to 2019 and May 2020 Berea graduates.  (All coursework must be completed by May 2020 in order to be eligible.)  To apply, alumni can visit the staff positions section of the Human Resources websiteA listing of available positions is attached.  For more information, contact Erica Woods, Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, at woodser@berea.edu.

An announcement from the Farm Store

The Farm Store will accept orders until midnight Monday for curbside pick-up Tuesday from 12-2.

Here is our current order form for Tuesday.

The Farm Store will then close to the public with plans to reopen April 14.  The Berea College Farm is still operating and the Farm Store team will be working with the rest of the Farm Team during this time in order to assist with planting, which is obviously critical in this season.

Re-iterating the above gratitude, we are very thankful to the staff of the Farm Store, led by Tammy Cornett, and the College Farm, led by Andrew Ferguson-Oles, and all their hardworking students.

Request for thoughts and prayers

Thankfully, although there have now been 8 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our county, the campus has been spared so far.  We do, however, have a student who is suffering from an unrelated but very serious medical condition and request your thoughts and prayers for him.

A perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic from the Theatre Department

by Deborah G. Martin, Professor and Chair of Theatre

It is the isolation that hurts the worst. Sure, we have our students reading plays, watching videos, giving them modified assignments.  However, true Theatre means simultaneous space and time and teamwork, and teamwork means togetherness.  In Theatre we learn by DOING together.  In our Acting classes we tell our students that we expect them to fail the first assignment because on the second they will fail better and on the third even better.  Audiences do not come see actors thinking onstage; they come to see them DO onstage.  Confidence is built through trust and exploration with other students in the room.  We need to hear the breath and see preparation in the body.  Rehearsals are pedagogically electric; we teach our students to apply what they learn in the classroom to their production work. Together, we learn the lines, build the sets, sew the costumes, hang and focus the lights.  When a theater “goes dark” or closes, we leave on what we call the “ghost light.”   We are keeping the ghost light on – even now.  Hopefully it’s a beacon that leads our students back to our theatrical home.  We yearn to open our doors again; to take reservations again; to rehearse again; to hear the applause again.  We yearn for the belly laughs we would have at our department meetings. The pandemic has taken the one teaching tool we never knew we needed –togetherness.


Warm regards from Berea,

Lyle Roelofs, President