Attaining a college education can be life-changing for many, and for students with great potential yet little means, it can be the opportunity of a lifetime.   

“Had it not been for the generosity of donors, I don’t know where I would be today,” said Destiny ’21, a political science major and law, ethics, and society minor from Virginia.  
“I come as a first- generation college student, and thanks to Berea College my life has changed for the better. And I am forever grateful.” 

“As a graduate of Berea, I know the life-long impact of the liberal arts education I received here,” added Amy Harmon ’99, director of planned giving.  “Berea was my only option for higher education and remains so today for so many of our students.” 

Destiny ’21; Photo by Lucila Santiago

Berea College has provided a world-class, tuition-free college education to deserving students with high potential like Destiny and Harmon since 1892. Yet, unlike other colleges where tuition revenue accounts for most of the funding, Berea depends on the endowment’s return for 74 percent of its operating costs. The College continues to fulfill its mission thanks to the many alumni and friends who have donated funds to the endowment through outright gifts or included Berea in their estate plans.   

In 1920, the Board of Trustees had the foresight to mandate that all bequests would be considered additions to the permanent endowment funds of the College, unless otherwise designated. That visionary decision has helped secure the mission of the College to this day by building resilience through its endowment. 

Throughout the past year, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of this key decision, Berea College has sought 100 newly committed bequestors during a year-long celebration of the 1920 Board of Trustees decision. This initiative, named 100 in 100, not only celebrates the 1920 Board decision, but also further supports and strengthens the College’s mission for the next 100 years. 

“The education I received included learning the value of hard work, along with the principles of love over hate, human dignity and equality, and peace with justice,” Harmon said. “It was those principles that truly made me who I am today.” 

Donors who include Berea in their estate plans become members of the Great Commitments Society.  Those who notify the College of these plans between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, will receive recognition as part of this effort.   

“As a Great Commitments Society member myself,” Harmon said, “I know my values will live on through my legacy gift at Berea.” 

Join the 100

Bequests can be made in any amount and may be made in various ways, such as including Berea College as a beneficiary of a will, trust, life insurance policy or a retirement account.

Office of Planned Giving 800-457-9846

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