Welcome Letter

Thank you for your interest in Berea College.

My name is Lyle Roelofs and I am the ninth President of Berea College. Located in central Kentucky, about 45 minutes south of Lexington, we are a private, residential, liberal arts school with an enrollment of approximately 1600 undergraduates. (View Campus)

The story of Berea College is unique in American higher education. Founded in 1855, it was the first interracial and coeducational college in the South. Guided by an ongoing commitment to serve the traditionally underserved, Berea College offers a No Tuition Promise to all admitted students, and admits only those who cannot afford the cost of a high-quality education. We sometimes say that Berea College offers “the best education money can’t buy.” As one of eight work colleges in the nation all of Berea’s students work at least 10 hours a week in an on-campus job, which contributes to both to the efficiency of our operations and to their own preparation for future careers. Today, we continue to pursue the interracial and coeducational goals of our founding, and we are also dedicated to sustainability and wellness. These objectives are pursued throughout campus, which houses seven Centers, a 600-acre organic farm and farm store, as well as a sustainably managed forest of some 9,000 acres, very attractive to members of the community and visitors for its challenging hiking and striking vistas.

Berea is a College unlike any other. Our motto, which comes from Acts 17 of the Bible is “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” and captures our non-sectarian Christian values. We welcome people of all faiths, traditions and   backgrounds, and we emphasize human equality and service to others, while also recognizing that these values are to be found in many other faith traditions as well. Our mission, summarized by our Eight Great Commitments, continues to guide the important work that we do.

Berea College sponsors seven men’s and seven women’s intercollegiate athletics teams who compete as the “Mounties” (short for Mountaineers) in Conference USA South of Division III of the NCAA.

Berea College operates the Boone Tavern Hotel on campus, an historical hotel and restaurant, staffed by our students, that has been welcoming visitors to the town of Berea since its opening in 1909.

Berea College Women's Volleyball

I encourage your further exploration and welcome any reactions you might want to share.


President's signature

Lyle D. Roelofs

Berea College – Investing in Lives of Great Promise