Greenville-area alumni come together to support and learn more about the African American Opportunity Fund in the Upper Room in downtown Greenville, S.C. on Sept. 17, 2017. (Photo: Crystal Wylie ’05)

In September, alumni in Greenville, S.C. and Birmingham, Ala., came out to support the new African American Opportunity Fund at Berea College. The fund was created to help provide the programs that attract and support African American Bereans. Staff, faculty and administrators, including President Lyle Roelofs and First Lady Laurie Roelofs, hit the road for a two-day trip to share the news of this fund and to affirm Berea’s commitment to diversity and interracial education.

Pres. Roelofs spoke on the history of interracial education at Berea College and recognized African-American alumni in attendance who have long-served Berea in roles of senior leadership, admissions, on the Board of Trustees and alumni councils. Alumni viewed a video detailing the use of the fund and the impact our programs have on current students, who were featured in the video.

AAOF Birmingham
Stephany Hardy ’16 joins fellow Black Music Ensemble alumni to sing BME favorites during the AAOF event in
Birmingham, Ala., on Sept. 18, 2017. Also pictured is Pres. Lyle Roelofs, who often joins BME for practice. (Photo: Crystal Wylie ’05)

During the trip, alumni had the opportunity to make an on-site gift to the fund which has grown to more than $50,000.

Greenville-area alumni gathered in the Upper Room, located in downtown Greenville, where they enjoyed a performance by Black Music Ensemble alumni, directed by Calvin Campbell ’77 and accompanied by BME Director Dr. Kathy Bullock, Hon. ’17.

Chandrel Wright-Richardson ’93 welcomed fellow Bereans to Birmingham. She is the executive director of the Harbert Center, a meeting space created for civic organizations that opened in 1986. Black Music Ensemble alumni also performed, directed by Stanley Blackmon ’88 and accompanied by Bullock.

For more details about the African American Opportunity Fund, read the story by Abbie Darst ’03 and Benjamin Willhite ’18 and visit the AAOF website. Keep track of news and updates about the fund on Facebook.


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