Greetings from the President

Greetings from Berea College!

One of the wonderful delights of my first year serving as Berea’s ninth President has been to encounter and learn about our Student Crafts Program.  Here you will find both the familiar products for which the College has long been renowned and new products that we hope will serve as tangible reminders of our unique history and mission.

Berea College provides a high quality education through full-tuition scholarships for all of our 1,600 academically talented and economically deserving young men and women, primarily from the Appalachian region.  As part of the Berea College Labor Program (where all Berea students work at least 10 hours per week to further their educational experience and to enable the College to offer an affordable education), Student Crafts provides an opportunity for students to learn and work in a hands-on environment.  In fact, the Student Crafts Program is a model platform for experiential education at Berea College, providing active learning in design principles, studio techniques, and business applications.  In so doing, the Crafts Program contributes to the College’s academic mission and its Aims of General Education, which include the development of knowledge, skills, habits of mind, and experiential learning.  It also serves as a national model for integrating the arts into an active campus community and is one of the many ways we ‘give back’ to our region.

New and innovative aspects of the Crafts Program include:

  • This year, Berea College Crafts Wood Studio established a “Deep Green Furniture Team.”  A group of 15 students, under the guidance of a master craftsman, are designing and building 260 pieces of furniture for our new “deep green” residence hall currently under construction on campus.
  • The new Berea College Craft Education and Outreach Program provides an important service to schools and communities in our region as students from the program travel to underserved and rural communities to promote, preserve, and demonstrate the crafts traditions of the Appalachian region.
  • This year, each studio area will expand the use of visual graphics and upload more information online in order to better inform and educate our many campus visitors about the techniques seen when visiting each Craft area.

I hope you enjoy browsing these web pages that provide a glimpse of the unique and enduring legacy of Berea College and its Student Crafts Program.  I also encourage you to visit our beautiful campus in the near future to see the talents of our unique student population first-hand.

With my warmest regards,

Lyle D. Roelofs

President, Berea College