Many roads lead to Berea…

Carl Thomas ’78 – Associate Director of Admissions and Coordinator of Minority Services

Many roads lead to Berea. One was blazed by class of 1978 alumnus, Carl Thomas. His story and the stories of the students he guides to campus exemplify the value of the Berea experience. Can we count on you to support this unique experience? Walk this path, and discover how your investment in Berea makes a difference.

Since graduating from Berea 38 years ago, Carl Thomas has been a conduit through which over 850 students from Alabama alone have found their own way to Berea College. Working as the Associate Director of Admissions, Carl is committed to connecting deserving students all over the south with his alma mater. “We are a school of shared stories filled with the merits of the Berea experience. Once a student hears those merits, they see the value.”


“Here is a place where students have a chance to fulfill their dreams.”


As a guide for potential Berea students, Carl shares his story and decades of his students’ success stories. “There are many student success stories, but one, in particular, comes to mind. As a high school student, Bria Williams had the drive and passion for education. That’s what we look for in all Berea students. Students who want a challenging academic environment and don’t want to have to settle for less because their parents cannot afford school.”

Carl shows students to Berea, where he and everyone on campus supports them as they reach to achieve their dreams. “Here is a place where students have a chance to fulfill their dreams. Berea is the place for the student who comes here on a bus with one suitcase, graduates with a degree, passionately pursues their career, and lives as a model citizen. It’s a game changer. That’s why I’ve spent 38 years of my life doing this work. That kind of student needs a mentor who can see beyond where they can see for themselves. I see beyond for them, and I help them get here.”

Bria Williams ’17 – Computer Science Major

While at summer camp, Bria discovered her true passion for computer science. “I love to code, and I like to build. This summer we built a robot replicating the way a dog walks. Seeing my creation come to life was thrilling.”

Just like finding her passion for computer science, Bria found Berea by happenstance. “I was at a college fair walking past the Berea College table, which got my attention because it sounds like my name, Bria. I stopped and met Carl Thomas, the most amazing recruiting officer ever. He’s been my number one fan and is now like family.”

Carl described the opportunities available at Berea, and Bria knew it was the place for her. “Carl told me about the Tuition Promise Scholarship, study abroad, and all of the faculty and staff support. I had only traveled outside of Alabama a few times and was trying to leave the nest. Berea offered me that possibility and so much more.”

Now in her senior year, Bria is a confident computer science major ready to embark on the next phase of life. “Before Berea, I was just this poor kid, considered technically homeless by the government, since my family lives with my grandmother. Berea has helped me become a much better human being.”


“When I graduate in May, I will be the best person I can be at that moment, with unlimited potential to grow. The donors who give to Berea, really do change lives. It changed mine, and one day I could change the world.”


Your investment in Berea makes such a difference. We are only able to help deserving students with dedicated staff like Carl and alumni like you. Please make a gift today for tomorrow’s future.