President’s Report: Exploring the Commitments

Lyle RoelofsLeave a Comment

Dear Berea Friends and Alumni,

Greetings from the Office of the President! I am pleased to present the 2012-2013 President’s Report and commend it to your review.

     The Report contains information about our strong financial position and data pertaining to our sources of fiscal support. The report also lists the names of the Berea College Board of Trustees and national alumni leaders, all of whom lend their time, passion, and professional expertise to help guide this remarkable and transformative institution. In reading these pages, I am struck anew with grateful recognition of just how many people are responsible for supporting Berea College’s eight Great Commitments. Berea truly thrives because of this generosity, and it is good to be mindful of
this truth.

     Over the summer months, Laurie and I thought of that generosity as we reflected on our first year in the presidency. It is hard to believe it has already been a year since we came to Berea. We remember our eagerness to begin our lives on campus and to spend the year listening to and learning from alumni, faculty, staff, students, community members, and friends of the College.

     As we traveled around the country and met so many of you, it was fascinating to hear of the impact that Berea has had on the lives of so many people and how those stories are continually woven into the fabric of our history. While I will continue to listen and learn throughout my presidency, two key themes have emerged in my thinking about leading Berea College: community and commitments. All of us—students, staff, faculty, trustees, administrators, alumni and donors to the College—make up the special community that is Berea College. We are all contributing to that community and benefiting by being part of it.

     To emphasize our community and its origin in Berea College’s Great Commitments, we are undertaking conversations on campus this year through an initiative we are calling “Our Berea—Exploring the Commitments.” This will provide an opportunity to deepen and reenergize our self-understanding, enabling us to better embrace our unique identity. You will be hearing more about this exploration in the coming months in the Berea College Magazine as well as in other forums, and we will hope to hear from you
in return.

     The playwright Thornton Wilder, an abiding supporter of Berea College during his lifetime, once wrote, “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” You and countless friends, alumni and supporters of Berea College are our treasures. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and especially our extraordinary students, thank you for your generosity and support this
past year.

Warm regards,
Lyle D. Roelofs

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