Berea College Joins the Nation in Recognizing the Passing This Weekend of Julian Bond

Julian Bond

Julian Bond

Throughout his career as a legislator and activist for civil rights, Julian Bond came to Berea several times—first in the 1970s—to speak to the campus community. Julian Bond’s ties to Berea College were deep, going back three generations.

His great-grandmother had been a slave in Kentucky and his grandfather, James Bond, was an 1892 graduate who overcame many obstacles to attend Berea College and to live out Berea’s mission through his life as a minister and educational advocate and administrator. James Bond served as a Trustee of Berea College from 1896 to 1914. When Lincoln Institute opened in 1912, James Bond served as its financial officer and his children were enrolled there. His youngest son, Horace Mann Bond, earned a doctorate and was a distinguished educator who served as president of two colleges. Horace was the father of Julian Bond, who received an honorary doctorate from Berea in 2004 and gave that year’s Commencement address. He was the featured speaker when the John G. Fee award was presented in the name of James Bond to him and other grandchildren at the 2003 Founders Day Convocation.  (* See links to audio and video recordings of his addresses at Berea College below.)

Dr. Alicestyne Turley, Director of Berea College’s Carter G. Woodson Center for Interracial Education, says, “The far reaching impact of Berea’s founding mission of interracial education was evidenced in the lives of hundreds of African Americans, including the life of Berea College graduate and Bond Family patriarch, James Bond. Seeds planted by John G. Fee made education and opportunity possible for formerly enslaved Kentuckian James Bond, an educator and civil rights activist in his own right. From this fertile ground, James Bond provided an education for his son, Horace Mann Bond, an educator and activist, who then educated his son, Julian Bond. Berea’s transformative seed of education covered three generations to create the wonderful life of Julian Bond we have all benefitted from today. May Berea forever remain true to its mission.”

Numerous regional and national media outlets have published articles about Bond’s death and his many accomplishments. See links to selected articles at:

Recordings of Julian Bond at Berea College

Audio recording of Convocation address from October, 1975 – Julian Bond speaks to Berea College students

Robbins Lecture on Peace and Brotherhood at Founders Day event at Berea College, October 14, 1993. (Note: His remarks begin at 9:00)

Founders Day Convocation address, 2003 – Julian Bond speaks about his grandfather, James Bond and connections to Berea College (Note: his remarks begin at 13:22)

Berea College Commencement address 2004 – Julian Bond speaks to graduating students and their families about “Greater Efforts, Grander Victories.” (Note: His remarks begin at 8:40)