First-year student Mason Sears and his family attend the Knoxville, Tenn., event at Smokies Stadium to meet other Bereans during a game between the Tennessee Smokies and the Mobile Baybears on July 13, 2017. (Photo: Caroline Arthur ’16)

For the second year, Berea College Alumni Relations partnered with the offices of Admissions and First-Year Initiatives to welcome our newest Bereans from the regional areas of Cincinnati, Birmingham, Knoxville, Lexington and Louisville. Last summer, these events brought together students from the Class of 2021, their families, Berea staff and alumni in a casual atmosphere to meet each other and create relationships before they arrive on campus during the August Move-In Day.

In 2016, events were hosted in Lexington at Whitaker Bank ballpark and in Louisville, at the Louisville Slugger field. Prior to that, Carl Thomas ‘78, associate director of admissions, and his wife, Deborah Byrd Thomas ‘80, had been hosting send-off events in their home in Birmingham, Ala., since 1995.

Birmingham Sendoff
Birmingham-area alumni, Keyahdah Muhammad ‘16 and Kenneth McQueen ‘17, middle, get to know first-year students during a send-off cookout at the home of Carl Thomas ‘78 and Deborah Byrd Thomas ‘80 on July 20, 2017. (Photo: Deborah Byrd Thomas ’80)

This year, we invited our new Bereans and their families to enjoy a game and buffet at Smokies Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., UC Health Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, and at the Louisville Slugger Stadium. Lexington-area students were invited to an ice cream social at local favorite, Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge in the Historic Distillery District. And for the 22nd year, Carl and Deborah hosted students at their Birmingham home.

For questions about student send-off events, contact Lisa Colletti-Jones, coordinator of student, young alumni, and volunteer engagement programs in Alumni Relations at

Lexington Sendoff
Admissions Counselor Jordan Sims ‘15 chats with new students and their families at Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge, a local favorite in Lexington’s Historic Distillery District. Bereans got to know each other over some of Crank & Boom’s signature flavors, such as Bourbon & Honey and Kentucky Blackberry & Buttermilk on July 19, 2017. (Photo: Crystal Wylie ’05)
Louisville Sendoff
Louisville-area first-year students chat with representatives from Admissions during this Louisville Bats vs. Buffalo Bisons game at the Louisville Slugger Stadium on July 20, 2017. (Photo: Crystal Wylie ’05)

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