American Spiritual Ensemble performing Feb. 11 at Berea College


The American Spiritual Ensemble will perform at Berea College on Feb. 11. Composed of some of the finest singers in the United States, the vocalists have thrilled audiences around the world with their dynamic renditions of classic spirituals and Broadway numbers.

The concert is scheduled for 8 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Auditorium on Berea’s campus. Part of the Stephenson Memorial Concert Series for 2010, admission to the program is free and open to the public.

The American Spiritual Ensemble was founded in 1995 by Everett McCorvey, professor of voice and director of opera at the University of Kentucky. Many of its members have performed in such venues as the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, Boston Opera and the Atlanta Civic Opera. They have also performed abroad in England, Germany, Italy, Japan, Scotland, and Spain. The mission of the American Spiritual Ensemble is to keep the American Negro spiritual alive. The Ensemble also starred in the 2006 PBS documentary “The Spirituals” recounting the history of the art form. The ensemble also has recorded four CDs, most recently a recording of holiday spirituals titled “Spirit of the Holidays.”

Ensemble founder Everett McCorvey is a Montgomery, Ala. native who received his degrees from the University of Alabama, including a Doctorate of Musical Arts. As a tenor soloist, McCorvey has performed in opera and as a recitalist at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Opera and Radio City Music Hall in New York along with many other venues U.S. and international venues. In addition to the positions he holds at the University of Kentucky, McCorvey is on the artist faculty of the American Institute of Musical Study (AIMS) in Graz, Austria.

For more information about the ensemble, visit

Story of “The Clinton 12,” black teens who were first to integrate a public school in the South in 1956, told by members Bobby Cain and Gail Epps Upton and in award-winning documentary, at Berea College Jan. 18


Cain and Upton will also be awarded Berea College President’s Medallion

Bobby Cain and Gail Epps Upton were among a group of 12 black teenagers who in the fall of 1956 integrated the first public high school in the South, in Clinton, Tennessee, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown vs. Board of Education that effectively ended legal racial segregation in the nation’s public schools. Cain and Upton will talk about the experience in conjunction with the showing of “The Clinton 12,” an award-winning documentary produced in 2007 about this dramatic and historic event that remained untold for 50 years. In 1957, Bobby Cain became the first African American male to graduate from an integrated public high school in the South, and a year later, Upton became the first female graduate of an integrated high school in Tennessee. In addition to their reflections on a segregated past, the two will also share their hopes for a reconciled future.

Berea College president Larry Shinn will honor Cain and Upton for their courageous and inspirational roles as members of the Clinton 12 by presenting them with the President’s Medallion. The award is given at the discretion of the president as a special recognition for those who have maintained a high level of commitment to Berea College and/or its educational mission.

After graduating from Clinton High School, Bobby L. Cain went on to earn a B.A. in sociology from Tennessee State University. In 2002, he retired after more than 30 years as a supervisor with the State of Tennessee Department of Human Services’ Family Assistance Program. Early in his career he served in the U.S. Army and later for many years with the Army Reserves, retiring at the rank of Captain in 1993. For his role in the desegregation of Clinton High School Cain has been recognized by three Tennessee Governors, including current Gov. Phil Bresdensen, with several proclamations from Tennessee Representatives and other state offices and by church and other organizations.

Gail Ann Epps Upton graduated as a member of the 1958 class of Clinton High School, despite the fact that the school had been blown up earlier that year and its students had to attend classes elsewhere. She went on to attend Tennessee State University and worked as a substitute teacher for a time. Now a resident of Sweetwater, Tenn., she and her husband William John Upton Sr. had four children, and are the grandparents of eight grandchildren. Of her experience at Clinton she says “it wasn’t a pleasant one. The mobs, name calling and fear of having my family or my self harmed made it that way.” She says she is proud she persevered, however. “It makes me proud to have helped make it easier for other generations to come after me. My experience has made me a strong woman also.”

The documentary was produced by the Green McAdoo Cultural Organization, named after the former African American elementary school in the vicinity of Clinton. The former school is now the Green McAdoo Cultural Center. For more about the documentary, the story and legacy of The Clinton 12, visit

The hour-long event is the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Convocation and part of Berea College 2010 MLK Jr Day activities titled “Speak Justice to Me: Civil Rights in Appalachia.” Co-sponsors are the Berea College Black Cultural Center; African and African American Studies Department, Willis D. Weatherford Jr. Campus Christian Center and the Office of the President.

Additional events on Jan. 18 include:

A Gathering of Prayer
11:30 a.m., Union Church Sanctuary
11:50 a.m., Annual March to City Hall

Come Let Us Break Bread Together Luncheon
12:30 p.m., Woods-Penniman Commons
Lunch provided, all are welcome

Carillon Concert featuring John Courter
playing “Favorite Songs of Martin Luther King Jr.”
5 p.m., Draper Quandrangle
Come and enjoy the sounds! Seating provided along with complimentary hot chocolate and hot cider

For more information, contact the Black Cultural Center at 859-985-3797.

Berea College celebrates Black History Month 2010


Berea College alumnus Carter G. Woodson, known as the “Father of Black History,” began the nation’s annual observance celebrating African Americans and their achievements as Black History Week in 1926. Woodson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in literature from Berea in 1903.

The Berea College Black Cultural Center, in conjunction with other departments and programs on campus, is sponsoring events in celebration of Black History Month during Feb. 2010. The events are open to the public and free of charge unless otherwise noted. For more information, contact the center at (859)985-3797.

Tuesday, Feb. 9,
Intercultural/Interracial Community Dialogue Dinner
4-6 p.m., Black Cultural Center, Alumni Building
The I.I.C. dinners are designed to bring members of the community together to discuss race and other experiences relating to diversity. Dinner is provided (vegetarian option available). Limited to 20 participants, for reservations, contact the Black Cultural Center at (859)985-3797.

Thursday, Feb. 18
Carter G. Woodson Memorial Convocation
Dr. Robert Bullard, speaker
Environmental Justice: Strategies for Creating Healthy and Sustainable Communities
3 p.m., Phelps Stokes Auditorium
As one of the pioneering scholars and activists in the global environmental justice movement, Dr. Bullard has assisted groups for more than two decades in organizing, mobilizing, and empowering themselves to take charge of their lives and surroundings. The author of 15 books, he is the Director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center and the Ware Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Clark Atlanta University.
Co-sponsored with African and African American Studies, and the Campus Christian Center.

Saturday, Feb. 20
Annual Unity Banquet
5:30 p.m., Upper Seabury Gymnasium in Seabury Center

The Annual Carter G. Woodson Unity Banquet shines a spotlight on Black history and the legacy of Dr. Woodson, through speakers and awards for student achievement. Tickets are $12.00 for non- Berea students.

Thursday, Feb. 25
Dr. John Fleming “Museums and the African American Experience”
3 p.m., Phelps Stokes auditorium
A 1966 Berea College graduate who earned his Ph.D. from Howard University, Dr. Fleming was the founding director of the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center and director of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Currently he is the executive director for the national travelling exhibition, “America I Am: African American Imprint on America.” Co-sponsored with Campus Christian Center and African and African American Studies.

COMING UP: Saturday, March 6
Hip-Hop Symposium
10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Woods-Penniman Building Commons

The Symposium will include discussion, interactive presentations and a small concert at the end. All are welcome for this educational and fun event.

Press contact:
Tashia Bradley, director
Berea College Black Cultural Center

Eboo Patel, award-winning young leader of the global interfaith youth movement, speaking at Berea College March 18


Eboo Patel, founder and executive director of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago-based organization building the global interfaith youth movement, and named by “U.S. News and World Report” as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, will speak at Berea College Thursday, March 18 on the College’s Convocation Series.

The 3 p.m. program in Phelps Stokes Auditorium is free and open to the Public. The event is the annual Robbins Peace Lecture sponsored by the Willis D. Weatherford Jr. Campus Christian Center.

Patel’s organization works to build mutual respect among young people of different religious traditions, building bridges by focusing on shared values and working together to serve others. Patel, a 34 year old American Muslim, founded Interfaith Youth Core in 1998. IFYC is now active on 75 college campuses.

Patel is the author of the award-winning autobiography “Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation,” in which he describes his story as an Indian-born Muslim raised in America. It was his own sometimes frustrating experience that prompted him to eventually found Interfaith Youth Core.

He is a regular contributor to the “Washington Post,” National Public Radio and CNN. He also is a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship.

Patel and the work of the IFYC have steadily gained attention and numerous awards. Patel won the 2010 Grawemeyer Prize in Religion for his book “Acts of Faith.” Awarded jointly by the University of Louisville and Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, the Prize includes a $200,000 cash award. In 2009 he won the Roosevelt Institute’s Freedom of Worship Medal. He has been named by Islamica Magazine as “one of 10 young Muslim visionaries shaping Islam in America,” and was chosen by Harvard’s Kennedy School Review as one of “five future policy leaders to watch.” He has spoken at the Clinton Global Initiative, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and universities around the world, and has written for the “Chicago Tribune,” the “Review of Faith and International Affairs” and the “Sunday Times of India.” He is a Young Global Leader in the World Economic Forum and an Ashoka Fellow, a select group of social entrepreneurs who are implementing ideas with the potential to change the pattern of our society. For more information, visit

Berea College began partnering with Interfaith Youth Core several years ago as it developed interfaith programs through the Willis D. Weatherford Jr. Campus Christian Center (CCC) on campus. Recently, Berea’s IDEA Project, (IDEA stands for Interfaith Dialogue, Education and Action) received the IFYC’s 2009 Bridge-Builder’s Award for Best Campus Program nation-wide, for “engaging religious diversity positively and exemplifying interfaith leadership.” The program is directed by Katie Basham, coordinator of interfaith programming for the CCC. Interfaith programs at Berea grow out of the College’s unique commitment to an inclusive Christianity expressed in its motto “God Has Made of One Blood All Peoples of the Earth” (Acts 17:26).

Soprano Noemi Lugo and guitarist Dieter Hennings from UK’s School of Music, performing recital at Berea College Friday evening, Feb. 19



Two members of the music faculty at the University of Kentucky, Noemi Lugo, soprano, and Dieter Hennings, guitarist, will present a recital in Gray Auditorium at Berea College Friday, Feb. 19 beginning at 8 p.m.

Their program titled “An Evening of Latin American Music” will feature ”Four Works for Voice and Guitar”by Puerto Rican composer Ernesto Cordero, “Partita for Solo Guitar”by Mexican composer Juan Trigo, “Three Brazilian Songs”arranged by Laurindo Almeida, and “Four Venezuelan Songs”by Antonio Lauro.

The concert is sponsored by the Berea College Music Department. Admission is free and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Noemi Lugo, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, has performed with major orchestras, choral organizations, and in opera, as well as soloing extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Venezuela over her career. She has been a member of the voice faculty at University of Kentucky since 1991 where she is a professor. The vocal music of Spain and Latin America is one of her specialties, giving her a special insight into her vocal interpretations of the songs of these regions. In January 2003, Dr. Lugo traveled to South East Asia for concerts in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Hong Kong. The summer of 2003 took her to Bolivia where she participated as a performer and scholar in the first “Songs Across The Americas Festival.”

Dieter Hennings’ musical endeavors span from new music on guitar to early music for lute, baroque guitar, and theorbo. He has been a soloist with a number of ensembles in Canada, the United States and Mexico and has won a number of prestigious guitar competitions both in the U.S. and Spain. Recent engagements include concerts with pop-singer Natalie Merchant and baroque violinist Monica Huggett and other appearances. He also collaborated in a recording project with Natalie Merchant which featured musicians like Winton Marsalis, Medeski, Martin and Wood, and producer Anders Levin. Hennings also performs regularly with the Eastman Broad Band Ensemble. He joined the UK School of Music faculty in 2009, where he is an instructor of classical guitar.

For more information about the performers, visit

“Museums and the African American Experience” with expert Dr. John Fleming at Berea College Feb. 25


Dr. John Fleming, who has directed major museums interpreting the experience of black Americans, will speak at Berea College Thursday, Feb. 25. The 3 p.m. program in Phelps Stokes Auditorium is free and open to the public.

Fleming, a 1966 Berea College graduate who earned his PhD. from Howard University, was the founding director of the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Cincinnati and director of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Wilberforce, Ohio. He is the executive producer for “America I Am: The African American Imprint,” a nationally touring museum exhibition celebrating nearly 500 years of African American contributions to the nation through artifacts, documents, multimedia, photos and music. The exhibition opened a year ago in Philadelphia and will travel to 10 metropolitan locations over four years.

Among the exhibition’s more than 250 artifacts from every period of history is a 19th century wood plane from the Appalachian Artifact Collection at Berea College. The plane belonged to John Henry Jackson, an early black student at Berea. Jackson used the tool to plane the floors of Fairchild Hall during its construction between 1871 and 1873. Fairchild was the first permanent building on Berea’s campus and the earliest brick building constructed in Madison County. John Jackson graduated from Berea in 1874 and later became the first president of Kentucky State University.

Dr. Fleming also is the author of three books which highlight the African American Experience: A Summer Remembered: A Memoir, The Case for Affirmative Action for Blacks in Higher Education, (co-authored with Gerald Gill and David Swinton), and The Lengthening Shadow of Slavery: Historical Justification for Affirmative Action for Blacks in Higher Education.

Fleming is a past president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and a former president of the Ohio Museums Association and the Association of African American Museums. He has received public service and lifetime achievement awards from Berea College, the Ohio Library Association, the Association of African American Museums and the Peace Corps. Fleming was elected a trustee of Berea College in 2007.

The event is part of Berea College’s Black History Month celebration and is co-sponsored by the Black Cultural Center and the Association of African American Students of Berea College. For more information, contact the Berea College Black Cultural Center at 859-985-3797.

Press contact:
Julie Sowell, News and Information Manager

Phelps Stokes Auditorium at Berea College temporarily closed for repairs.


Phelps Stokes Auditorium at Berea College will be closed for needed structural repairs for at least four to six weeks beginning immediately. Steve Karcher, vice president for business and administration at Berea, announced the decision to suspend large public gatherings in the auditorium, which has a seating capacity of approximately 1100 and is the venue for most of the College’s weekly Convocation events.

Events previously scheduled in the auditorium during this time are being scheduled in other facilities on campus and in Berea.

Beginning with tomorrow’s (Feb. 25) program with speaker Dr. John Fleming, afternoon Convocations and evening Stephenson Memorial Concerts for the next few weeks will take place in Union Church in Berea at their scheduled times (3 p.m. or 8 p.m. The exception is the performance by Dancing Wheels at 8 p.m. on April 8, which will be held in Seabury Center gym. For additional information, visit

The auditorium is the only area of Phelps Stokes which will be closed. Other areas of the building, which include classrooms, office and common spaces, are not affected, and will continue to operate normally. Phelps Stokes Chapel, as the building is known, is a College landmark constructed in 1905.

The needed repairs to the auditorium were determined after an inspection and assessment by structural engineers after some wall cracks were discovered in preparation for painting.

Press contact:
Julie Sowell, news and information manager

Boone Tavern Hotel in Berea and TourSEKY participating in European travel show to attract WEG visitors

Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant of Berea College and TourSEKY will be participating in the UTAZAS an international travel show in Budapest, Hungary in March 2010. The show will showcase Berea, Berea College and the 47 counties of Southeastern Kentucky to Tour and Travel Operators worldwide in preparation for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games taking place in Lexington Sept. 24 – Oct. 11, 2010.

More than 20 boxes of information – brochures, dvds, giveaways and even admissions information for Berea College, have been sent to organizers of UTAZAS 2010 in Budapest, Hungary (“utazas” is the Hungarian word for “travel”), the country’s largest travel and tourism show and the leading tourism fair in central Europe. The event scheduled March 4-7 presents all the regions of Hungary as well as almost 50 other countries to 42,000 visitors as well as 3,900 tour and travel operators.

Kirsten van Haaren, director of sales and marketing for Boone Tavern, initiated the international promotion project. Berea College students LeShea ­Dickerson and Nmadiuto Uche have been contacting U.S. Embassies worldwide to request their assistance in promoting Berea and the southeastern Kentucky region as a destination for travelers. Their first success has been the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, which made the contact with UTAZAS 2010.

Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant, owned by Berea College and staffed with students, is a popular Berea, Ky. landmark. Newly-renovated as the first LEED Gold Level certified “green” hotel in Kentucky, this century-old hotel tastefully blends historic charm with modern amenities. The Restaurant menu offers creative southern cuisine along with traditional favorites, such as “spoonbread.” Boone Tavern is a member of both the Green Hotel Association and Historic Hotels of America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more visit

TourSEKY (Tour Southeast Kentucky) is a program of the Southern and Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association (SEKTDA), based in Somerset, Ky.

Press contact:
Julie Sowell, News and Information Manager

Lori Wallach, founder and director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, speaking on globalization and the public interest at Berea College March 4


Lori Wallach, founder of the Citizens Trade Campaign, a diverse national coalition established in opposition of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), will be speaking at Union Church in Berea on March 4 at 3 p.m. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

Wallach is well recognized for her knowledge of NAFTA, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). She has testified for over 20 U.S. Congressional committees on matters concerning trade and globalization. Her numerous television appearances include segments on CNN, ABC, CNBC, C-SPAN, Fox, and PBS. In a profile focusing on Wallach, the Wall Street Journal called her, “Ralph Nader with a sense of humor.”

“Whose Trade Organization? A Comprehensive Guide to the WTO,” Wallach’s most recent book, was published in 2004. She also has contributed to anthologies such as “Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World is Possible.” Wallach is a graduate of Wellesley College and Harvard Law School.

To find more information about The Public Citizen or the Citizen’s Trade Campaign visit at

Wallach’s lecture is co-sponsored with the Women Studies department.

To view a complete listing of the convocations for the 2009-2010 season visit

Press contact:
Julie Sowell, News and Information Manager

Berea College’s Mikah Turner leads the nation in scoring average

Berea College’s senior forward Mikah Turner, from Maysville, Ky., has the highest scoring average in the nation. His
average of 27.7 points per game is the highest in all divisions of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics). Turner’s scoring average would top the NCAA statistics as well, but Berea College competes in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) at the NAIA Division II level.

The 6’3” small forward has scored 2,061 career points. Turner surpassed the 2,000 point mark by scoring 35 against Indiana University East on February 12. He has scored in double digits in every game this season and has scored at least 30 points in 14 games this season. His highest career scoring output was 45 points against OSU-Mansfield this season. Turner, a four-time KIAC player of the week and one-time national NAIA player of the week this season, has led the Mountaineers (18-9) to a third place regular-season standing in the KIAC.

“I’m not sure that it has fully hit me yet, but it is an achievement knowing that I am number one in the nation out of a list of many other tremendous athletes in any category,” says Turner, an industrial technology management major. “It is surprising seeing my name beside such a statistic because my role has completely changed on the basketball court from what it was several years ago when I was in high school.” At Mason County High School, Turner was an inside presence who played alongside sharp-shooter Chris Lofton, who played at the University of Tennessee, and Darius Miller, a sophomore guard who plays for the University of Kentucky.

Turner shoots 55 percent from the field, 41 percent from beyond the three-point line, and 66 percent from the free-throw line. Turner also leads the team in rebounding, averaging more than eight per game.

“He was an interior player in high school, so I told him specific things he needed to improve on before he got to campus because I was moving him to the perimeter,” says Coach John Mills. “Mikah is the team leader. He sets the tone for practice and game preparation for the rest of the team.”

The Mountaineers have two conference games remaining this season. On February 16, Berea travels to Asbury College. On February 18, Berea hosts conference-leader and defending conference tournament champion Indiana University Southeast at 7:30 p.m. in the Seabury Center. Berea will host a first-round KIAC Conference game on February 23. The remainder of the tournament will be held in Frankfort, February 26-27. The winner advances to the national tournament at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri, March 10-16.

Berea, the South’s first interracial and coeducational college, focuses on learning, labor and service. Berea charges no tuition and admits only academically promising students, primarily from Appalachia, who have limited economic resources. All students must work 10 hours weekly, earning money for their books, room and board. Graduates from Berea distinguish themselves and the college in many fields, including science, arts, education, government and social services.