Berea College Welcomes Public to 2016 Opening Convocation

Our Berea: Speaking the Great Commitments Anew

Seabury Center – 3:00 p.m., September 1, 2016

Opening Convocation 2015The entire Berea College community will mark the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year at the College’s Opening Convocation on Thursday, September 1, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. in the Seabury Center. The program is free and open to the public.

The theme for the opening convocation will be Our Berea: Speaking the Great Commitments Anew. The Great Commitments, which outline Berea’s missional priorities, continue to guide and define the College. President Roelofs’ remarks will highlight possible updates to the expression of the Great Commitments and explore how the College community might speak them anew during another exciting year of “being and becoming” Beloved Bereans.

 In addition to the remarks by President Roelofs, representatives from the College community, including student, faculty, staff, alumni, and retiree speakers, will share brief reflections on what the Great Commitments mean to them as members of Berea’s various campus constituencies.

 The Berea College Concert Choir will perform the world premieres of two pieces, both written by recent Berea graduates who will participate in the performances. Both selections are contemporary interpretations of text from Berea’s Great Commitments, the theme of the convocation. A selection titled Pulse (for Orlando) was composed by Sam Gleaves ’14, in response to the recent shootings in Orlando, Florida. The music was arranged by Lindsay Clavere, who will be conducting the choir’s performance of this piece. The choir will be joined by Gleaves on guitar and Wade Griggs on djembe. The Concert Choir also will perform a selection titled Vincit qui patitur, composed by Myel Byrd ’16. Named after a Latin phrase on the College’s Seal, the song’s text is a combination of Berea’s motto and Seal, along with phrases from the College’s Alma Mater, Berea Beloved. Byrd dedicated the composition to Dr. Stephen Bolster, who will be conducting in this performance.

 This event opens the College’s year-long convocation series of lectures, symposia, concerts, and performing arts presentations. The series features outstanding scholars, artists and leaders whose presentations enliven the intellectual, aesthetic and religious life and contribute importantly to the student’s educational experience at Berea College.  Convocations also provide shared intellectual experiences for students, faculty, and staff thus enriching the College’s vibrant academic community. See for the schedule of all convocations this academic year. All convocations are free and open to the public. Those unable to attend on campus can watch the convocation live.

Categories: News, People, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Convocation, Dr. Lyle Roelofs, Mission

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn 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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