George Ella Lyon to Speak at Berea College Commencement

George Ella Lyon

(Photo: Ann W. Olson)

George Ella Lyon, Kentucky Poet Laureate for 2015-16, will speak at Berea College’s 2019 Commencement Ceremony, May 5 at 2 p.m.

An American author and poet, Lyon has published award-winning books for readers of all ages. Her teaching takes the form of workshops, conferences and author visits to as many as 40 schools a year. Aside from publishing, she also taught writing at a number of colleges, including the University of Kentucky, Centre College, Transylvania University and Radford University. She has also acted as an executive committee member for the Women’s Writers Conference.

Adults and children read Lyon’s writing, which includes novels, picture books and poetry. Her poem, “Where I’m From” has been used as a model by teachers around the world and was listed by the New York Public Library in 2000 as one of the best books for teenagers. A sampling of Lyon’s book titles include “She Let Herself Go” (poems) and picture books including “Which Side Are You On?” “The Story of a Song” and “All the Water in the World.” Her book “The Pirate of Kindergarten” received the Schneider Award from the American Library Association. Other accolades for Lyon’s work include a Jane Addams Honor, a Golden Kite and the Bluegrass Award. A series of rhyming books about transportation include “Trucks Roll!,” “Planes Fly!,” and “Boats Float!”

Lyon is a graduate of Centre College, and holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Arkansas and doctorate in English from Indiana University.

Originally from the mountains of Harlan, Kentucky, Lyon says growing up surrounded by extended family and their stories helped develop her voice as a writer. Her Appalachian roots figure prominently in much of her work. Lyon has written more than 40 books, including the poetry collection “Mountain,” which won the Lamont Hall Award in 1983, and “Catalpa,” which was named Appalachian Book of the Year in 1993.

Tickets are required for admission to the Commencement ceremony. Tickets must be obtained in advance and are required for main arena as well as overflow seating. Contact Amanda Leger (legera@berea.edu or 859-985-3775 directly for ticket requests by Friday, April 19. Please note that seating is limited and cannot be guaranteed. Watch the ceremony via livestream on May 5 at 2 p.m.

Earlier in the day, a Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony for Berea’s nursing program graduates will take place at 8:30 a.m. in Phelps Stokes Chapel.

The Baccalaureate Ceremony will follow at 10:30 a.m. in Phelps Stokes Chapel. Rev. Paul Prather, pastor of Bethesda Church in Mount Sterling, Kentucky and a contributing columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader will be the speaker. Music will be provided by the Berea College Concert Choir.  (No tickets are required for the Nurses’ Pinning or Baccalaureate ceremonies.)

70 Graduates Recognized During Mid-Year Ceremony

View full gallery of photos from the Recognition Ceremony for Mid-Year Graduates on Facebook.

Berea College’s Recognition Ceremony for Mid-Year Graduates was held Sunday, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Chapel. Alexander Gibson, executive director of Appalshop, Inc., addressed the 70 seniors who completed their degree requirements this term. The Berea College graduates represented 18 American states and 6 other countries. Continue reading 70 Graduates Recognized During Mid-Year Ceremony

Berea College Graduates Challenged by Dr. Earl Lewis Before Receiving Degrees

Close Up of Earl Lewis 2018 Commencement Speaker at Berea College

Founder of the Center for Social Solutions at the University of Michigan, Dr. Earl Lewis addressed graduates on Sunday, telling them to change the world responsibly.
(Photo: Chris Radcliffe)

Dr. Earl Lewis, founder of the Center for Social Solutions at the University of Michigan and former president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, received an honorary degree then addressed the 258 members of the 146th graduating class of Berea College on Sunday, May 6. Continue reading Berea College Graduates Challenged by Dr. Earl Lewis Before Receiving Degrees

Former Andrew W. Mellon Foundation President Earl Lewis to Speak at Berea College Commencement

Earl Lewis

Dr. Earl Lewis, former president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Dr. Earl Lewis, former president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will speak at Berea College’s 2018 Commencement Ceremony, May 6 at 2 p.m.

A noted social historian, Lewis has held faculty appointments at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Michigan. During his career he has championed the importance of diversifying the academy, enhancing graduate education, re-visioning the liberal arts, exploring the role of digital tools for learning and connecting universities to their communities. Lewis currently is the founding director of the Center for Social Solutions at the University of Michigan. Continue reading Former Andrew W. Mellon Foundation President Earl Lewis to Speak at Berea College Commencement

Congressman John Lewis Inspires Graduates at Berea College Commencement

Congressman John R. Lewis addresses the graduates, Commencement 2017

U.S. Congressman and noted Civil Rights leader John Lewis urged the 265 members of Berea’s 2017 graduating class to “find a way to get in the way” of social injustices.

Lewis, who represents Georgia’s 5th District, encouraged the graduates to honor Berea College’s heritage of equality for all people. “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you must stand up, speak up, and speak out,” Lewis stated. “You have a duty and a moral obligation given to you by the visionary founders of this college, who saw the need to build an inclusive interracial, coeducational community in 1855, before the end of slavery and the beginning of the Civil War.  We are still struggling against those same enemies of justice today.” Continue reading Congressman John Lewis Inspires Graduates at Berea College Commencement

Mid-Year Graduates Recognized in Ceremony at Berea College

Mid-year Graduation 2016M. Elizabeth Culbreth, former Director of the Office of Administrative Appeals for the United States Department of Labor, spoke at the Recognition Ceremony for Mid-Year Graduates on Sunday, December 11 at 3:00 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Chapel. Continue reading Mid-Year Graduates Recognized in Ceremony at Berea College

Alumna Elizabeth Culbreth to Speak at Berea College Mid-Year Graduation

Elizabeth CulbrethM. Elizabeth Culbreth, former Director of the Office of Administrative Appeals for the United States Department of Labor, will speak at the Recognition Ceremony for Mid-Year Graduates on Sunday, December 11 at 3:00 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Chapel. The ceremony will be streamed at: https://livestream.com/accounts/5135608/events/6654941 Continue reading Alumna Elizabeth Culbreth to Speak at Berea College Mid-Year Graduation

McCorvey Urges Berea Graduates to Pursue Impossible Dream

Dr. Everett McCorvey at Berea College

Dr. Everett McCorvey at Berea College

Dr. Everett McCorvey, director and executive producer of the Opera Theatre at UK, challenged the 2016 graduating class of Berea College to pursue their “impossible dreams” at the 144th Commencement on Sunday, May 8th. Continue reading McCorvey Urges Berea Graduates to Pursue Impossible Dream

Jinkins and McCorvey to Speak at Baccalaureate and Commencement at Berea College

Reverend Michael Jinkins and Dr. Everett McCorvey will address the 260 graduates along with their faculty and invited guests at Berea College’s 2016 Baccalaureate & Commencement ceremonies, Sunday, May 8, 2016. Baccalaureate, at which Rev. Jinkins will speak, begins at 10:30 a.m. in Phelps Stokes Chapel. No tickets required. Dr. McCorvey will speak at Commencement, which begins at 2:00 p.m., in the Seabury Center, Main Arena. Tickets must be obtained in advance and are required for main arena as well as overflow seating for Commencement. Continue reading Jinkins and McCorvey to Speak at Baccalaureate and Commencement at Berea College

68 Berea College Students Recognized at Mid-Year Graduation

On Sunday, December 13, the 68 Berea College graduates who participated in the Mid-Year Recognition Ceremony heard about achieving “Success in a Changing World” from R. Elton White, a 1965 graduate and former president of global technology company NCR Corporation. The event, held in Phelps Stokes Chapel, recognized students who are expected to complete degree requirements at the end of January 2016. Continue reading 68 Berea College Students Recognized at Mid-Year Graduation

A Graduation Unlike Any Other

Berea College and our students got a nice shout-out from EKU’s President Michael Benson who commented in a Huffington Post blog today. He shares his impressions after witnessing the moving and memorable speech by Naomi Judd, the incredibly powerful scenes of students receiving their degrees—without a mountain of debt–and the pride shown by the faculty, labor supervisors and family members cheering Berea’s graduates at this milestone of their transformative educational experience. Read the full article on the Huffington Post blog.

Baccalaureate & Commencement Speakers Inspire Berea Grads

Naomi Judd, a Kentucky-born singer, author, motivational speaker, and actress addressed 271 candidates for graduation during Berea College’s 143rd Commencement ceremonies, Sunday afternoon, May 3, 2015. Judd’s remarks were titled: “Early Hardship Makes for Strong Character as an Adult.” Judd, who has close ties to Berea, was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the College by Berea’s President Lyle D. Roelofs during the program, which was held in the Seabury Arena. Continue reading Baccalaureate & Commencement Speakers Inspire Berea Grads

Naomi Judd to Speak at 143rd Berea College Commencement

Naomi Judd Commencement SpeakerKentucky-born, Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter, author, motivational speaker, and actress Naomi Judd, will speak at Berea College’s 143rd Commencement, Sunday, May 3, 2015. Judd, who has close ties to Berea, will be presented with an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the College during the Commencement program, which will be held in the Seabury Arena. Continue reading Naomi Judd to Speak at 143rd Berea College Commencement

Alumna Vicki E. Allums Urges Berea Grads to “Do the Impossible”

Vicki E. Allums, a 1979 graduate, addressed 57 Berea College seniors who participated in the Recognition Ceremony for Mid-Year Graduates on Sunday, December 7. The event, held in Phelps Stokes Chapel, recognized students who are expected to complete degree requirements at the end of January 2015. Continue reading Alumna Vicki E. Allums Urges Berea Grads to “Do the Impossible”

Alumna Vicki E. Allums to Speak at Berea Mid-Year Graduation

Vicki E. Allums, a 1979 graduate, will address 65 Berea College seniors participating in the Recognition Ceremony for Mid-Year Graduates on Sunday, December 7. The event, scheduled for 3:00 p.m., will be held in Phelps Stokes Chapel. The Mid-Year Ceremony recognizes students who are expected to complete degree requirements at the end of January 2015. Continue reading Alumna Vicki E. Allums to Speak at Berea Mid-Year Graduation

232 Seniors Graduate from Berea College

Despite the downpour, a capacity crowd witnessed more than 230 Berea College seniors walk across the stage, receive their diplomas and graduate during Berea’s 141st commencement on May 5, 2013. This was the first commencement under the presidency of Dr. Lyle Roelofs.  Other events held throughout the day were a pinning ceremony for nursing graduates, the Baccalaureate service, and a reception for graduates, families and guests after the commencement ceremony. Continue reading 232 Seniors Graduate from Berea College

Noted Civil Rights Advocate Peter J. O’Connor to Speak at Berea’s Commencement

Peter J. O’Connor, a longtime civil rights activist, will address 232 candidates for graduation during Berea College’s 141st commencement service on May 5 at 2 p.m. in the main arena of Seabury Center. O’Connor will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. This is the first commencement ceremony under the presidency of Dr. Lyle D. Roelofs, who began serving as Berea College’s ninth president on July 1, 2012. Continue reading Noted Civil Rights Advocate Peter J. O’Connor to Speak at Berea’s Commencement

Berea College’s 140th Commencement is May 6 at 2 p.m.

Internationally renowned writer, teacher and social activist, Parker J. Palmer will address 235 candidates for graduation during Berea College’s 140th commencement service on May 6 at 2 p.m. in Seabury Center. Palmer will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

The Reverend Joseph W. Daniels, Jr., lead pastor at Emory United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., will speak at the Sunday morning baccalaureate service at 10:30 in Phelps Stokes Chapel. Continue reading Berea College’s 140th Commencement is May 6 at 2 p.m.