Berea College

Berea College

Infobox University
name = Berea College

motto = "God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth."
established = 1855
type = Private Undergraduate liberal arts college
president= Larry Shinn
city = Berea
endowment = $1.1 billion Tamar Levin, [ With No Frills or Tuition, a College Draws Notice] , "The New York Times", July 21, 2008]
state = KY
country = USA
undergrad = 1,514
postgrad = 0
faculty = 131
campus = Rural
free_label = Athletics
free = Mountaineers
colors = Blue and White
affiliations = Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
website= []

Berea College is a liberal arts work college in Berea, Kentucky (south of Lexington), founded in 1855. Current full-time enrollment is 1,500 students. Berea College is distinctive among post-secondary institutions for providing low-cost education to students from low-income families and for having been the first college in the Southern United States to be coeducational and racially integrated. [ About Berea] , Berea College website] Berea College charges no tuition; every admitted student is provided the equivalent of a four-year, full-tuition scholarship (currently worth more than $90,000).

Berea offers undergraduate academic programs in 28 different fields. Berea College has a full-participation work-study program. All students are required to work at least 10 hours per week in campus and service jobs in over 130 departments. Berea's primary service region is the Southern Appalachian region, but students come from all states in the United States and more than 60 other countries. Approximately one in three students represents an ethnic minority [cite web|url=| title=Berea College website] .


Founded in 1855 on the abolitionist principles of John Gregg Fee (1816-1901), Berea College admitted both black and white students in a fully integrated curriculum, making it the first nonsegregated, coeducational college in the South and one of a handful of institutions of higher learning to admit both male and female students in the mid-1800s. The College began as a one-room schoolhouse that also served as a church on Sundays. Although the school's first articles of incorporation were adopted in 1859, founder John Gregg Fee and the teachers were forced out of the area by pro-slavery supporters in that same year. Fee spent the Civil War years raising funds for the school and returned afterward to continue his work. In 1869, the first college students were admitted, and the first bachelor's degrees were awarded in 1873.

In 1904, the Kentucky state legislature's passage of the "Day Law" disrupted Berea's interracial education by prohibiting education of black and white students together. The college challenged the law in state court and further appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in "Berea College v. Kentucky". When the challenge failed, the college had to become a segregated school, but it set aside funds to help establish the Lincoln Institute near Louisville to educate black students Fact|date=April 2008. In 1950, when the law was amended to allow integration of schools at the college level, Berea promptly resumed its integrated policies.

Up until the 1960s, Berea provided pre-college education in addition to college level curriculum. In 1968, the elementary and secondary schools (Foundation School) were discontinued in favor of focusing on undergraduate college education.

Academics and student life

For the past decade, Berea College has been consistently ranked by "U.S. News & World Report" as the number one comprehensive college in the South Fact|date=April 2008. A high percentage of Berea graduates go on to graduate and professional schools, and the College is also active in international programs, with about half of Berea students studying abroad before graduation. The college provides significant funding to assist students in studying abroad. Berea students are also eligible to win the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship which provides funding for a year of study abroad following graduation. Like many private colleges, Berea does not enroll students based upon semester hours. Berea College uses a course credit system, which has the following equivalencies:

*A .25 credit course is the equivalent of 1 semester hour.

*A .50 credit course is the equivalent of 2 semester hours.

*A .75 credit course is equivalent to 3 semester hours.

*A 1.00 credit course is the equivalent to 4 semester hours.

All students are required to attend the college on a full-time basis, which is 3.00 course credits of enrollment, or 12 semester hours. Students must be enrolled in at least 4.00 course credits to be considered for the Dean's list. Enrollment in 5.00 or more course credits requires the approval of the Academic Provost, and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Part-time enrollment is not permitted except during Summer term. A cumulative GPA of 2.5 is required in all majors in order to graduate with a Bachelor's degree.

cholarships and work program

Berea College provides all students with full-tuition scholarships (valued at $23,400 per year), and many receive support for room and board as well. Admission to the College is granted only to students who need financial assistance (as determined by the FAFSA); in general, applications are accepted only from those whose family income falls within the bottom 40% of U.S. households. About 75% of the college's incoming class is drawn from the Appalachian region of the South and some adjoining areas, and about 8% are international students. Generally, no more than one student is admitted from a given country in a single year (with the exception of countries in distress such as Liberia). This policy ensures that 70 or more nationalities are usually represented in the student body of Berea College. All international students are admitted on full scholarships with the same regard for financial need as U.S. students.

In order to support its extensive scholarship program, Berea College has one of the largest financial reserves of any American college when measured on a per-student basis. The endowment stands at $1 billion. The base of Berea College's finances is dependent on substantial contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations that support the mission of the college and donations from alumni. A solid investment strategy increased the endowment from $150 million in 1985 to its current amount. [Brull, Steven. (September 2005). "Appalachian spring". "Institutional Investor", p. 35.]

As a work college, Berea has a student work program in which all students work 10 or more hours per week on campus. Employment opportunities range from busing tables at the Boone Tavern Hotel, a historic business owned by the college, to managing the hanging and focusing of lights for the productions at the Theatre Lab. Other job duties include janitorial labor, building management, resident assistance, gardening and groundskeeping, information technology, woodworking, and secretarial work. Students are currently paid an hourly wage at or above $3.00 per hour by the college. The college regularly increases student pay on a yearly basis, but it has never been equivalent to the federal minimum wage in the school's history. Students are not allowed to work off campus. Students are also not allowed to have cars on campus without a special permit, and student permits for cars are rarely granted to first- or second-year students. The college generally uses a shuttle bus system to provide students with supplemental transport.

Campus life

Technology is an important part of life at Berea College. To help students bridge the "digital divide," in 2000 Berea launched its laptop initiative as the top objective of its Sesquicentennial fundraising campaign. Since 2002, all students at Berea receive laptops that they take with them when they graduate from Berea. Students are not required to pay for the computers, though they do provide a small fee to support the technological infrastructure. There are about 5,800 data ports on campus, and the College is working to establish a campuswide wireless network, with 24 on-campus wireless hotspots currently.

Berea's sports teams are called the "Mountaineers." They compete in the NAIA's Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Berea has not had a football team since 1904.

Christian identity

Berea was founded by progressive, non-sectarian Christians, and it still maintains a Christian identity separate from any particular denomination. The college's motto, "God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth", is taken from Acts 17:26. Many General Studies courses are focused on Christian faith, and every student is required to take an Understandings of Christianity course in his/her Sophomore or Junior year. In effort to be sensitive to the diverse nature of humanity, these courses stress that Christianity is one of many paths to an understanding of God, and that its holy book, the Bible, is neither absolutely true nor authoritative. Rather, Berea College emphasizes that the Bible is a collection of stories that contain lessons for the religious pilgrim. [cite web|url=| title=The Christian Identity of Berea College| date=2002-05-11 |accessdate=2006-12-08| publisher=Berea College]

Library collections

The Hutchins Library maintains an extensive collection of books, archives, and music pertaining to the history and culture of the Southern Appalachian region. The Southern Appalachian Archives contain organizational records, personal papers, oral histories, and photographs. Included are the papers of the Council of the Southern Mountains (1912-1989) and the Appalachian Volunteers (1963-1970).

Presidents of Berea College

Notable alumni

*John B. Fenn - winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in chemistry [ [ John B. Fenn - Autobiography ] ]
*Rodney Griffin - award winning songwriter and baritone with Southern gospel group Greater Vision
*Finley Hamilton - United States Representative from Kentucky.
*Julia B. Hooks - second African-American woman in the United States to graduate from college and paternal grandmother of Benjamin Hooks
*Juanita M. Kreps - U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Jimmy Carter [ [ Juanita M. Kreps ] ]
*Keven McQueen, author of several books chronicling violent crime in pre-20th century Kentucky
*Harold "Hal" Moses, M.D. - Director Emeritus, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center; Professor of Cancer Biology
*Tharon Musser - Tony Award winning lighting designer known especially for her work on "A Chorus Line"
*Jack Roush - founder, CEO, and owner of Roush Fenway Racing, a NASCAR team
*Helen Maynor Scheirbeck - Assistant Director for Public Programs at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian
*Naomi Tutu (Nontombi Naomi Tutu) - daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu [cite web|url =| title = Nontombi Naomi Tutu|accessdate = 2008-07-21|publisher = Kent State University] and activist
*Muse Watson - American actor
*Billy Edd Wheeler - songwriter, performer and writer
*Carter G. Woodson - African-American historian, author, and journalist. Co-founder of Black History Month


External links


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