All in This Together: Esfandiar Lohrasbpour

Abbie Darst '03Leave a Comment

Esfandiar Lohrasbpour

During his first year at a small, North Carolina college, Esfandiar Lohrasbpour ’74 found himself in the school’s library leafing through a thick college information guide. He was seeking a college to transfer to, with one criteria steering his search: minimal tuition expenses. “I had no money, so when I found a school with zero tuition, how could I ignore … Read More

Make the World a Bit Better: Dr. Steele and Betty D. Mattingly

Victoria CalvertLeave a Comment

Dr. Steele and Betty Mattingly

Steele ’50 and Betty Mattingly ’51 have remained closely connected to Berea since they graduated in the early 1950s. Even when Steele’s career as a veterinarian took them to different areas of the country, they stayed in touch by volunteering for the Berea College Alumni Association. Steele served as president when the couple lived in Indianapolis, and they both served … Read More

Honoring Ambition: Karin Larson

Jasmine Towne '16Leave a Comment

Karin Larson

Karin Larson’s mother did not graduate high school, and her father did not study past the eighth grade. As the first college graduate in her family, she has honored her parents by maximizing her own opportunities and extending opportunities to others. Karin, who spent her career with the financial services company Capital Group, rose through the ranks from secretary, to … Read More

A School Like That Has to Go On: Albert and Marian Thomas

Jason Lee MillerLeave a Comment

Albert and Marian Thomas

Albert Thomas loves to tell how his family discovered Boone Tavern in the late 1950s. He and his wife, Marian, were traveling south from Michigan along Highway 25 en route to visit family in South Carolina and Georgia. They pulled to a stop outside the Tavern, peered at the mountains that stood before them, and thought it best to settle … Read More

Rebuilding Diversity at Berea: Reverend J. Oscar McCloud

Jason Lee MillerLeave a Comment

Reverend J. Oscar McCloud

Reverend J. Oscar McCloud ’58 grew up on a Georgia plantation, a son of sharecroppers. With his parents in no position to finance his education, Oscar first found Warren Wilson, a junior college at the time, with a work program that allowed students of lesser means to attend. Then, he found Berea College, which offered him a similar opportunity to … Read More

Changing the Trajectory of Lives: Brian and Laura Reed

Abbie Darst '03Leave a Comment

Brian and Laura Reed

The son of an eastern Kentucky coal miner, Brian Reed ’99 first stepped onto Berea’s campus with his high school English teacher, a Berea alumnus who introduced him to his opportunity for a promising future. Brian first fell in love with the campus, then the cute, curly-haired girl he spotted at a convocation—Laura Lamons ’01—who would eventually become his wife. … Read More

A Special Connection: Walter Gross III

Victoria CalvertLeave a Comment

Walter Gross III

When Walter Gross III—longtime Berea friend, executive at G&J Pepsi, and amateur paleontologist—heard that a new science building on Berea’s campus would create space for studies in geology and archeology, his curiosity was piqued. After learning more about the project, he committed to supporting the new building. “I like to dig dinosaur bones and collect fossils, and I was happy … Read More

Opportunity is the Bottom Line: Meisel Family Foundation

Victoria CalvertLeave a Comment

Peter Meisel and Kim Meisel Pesses

Peter Meisel and Kim Meisel Pesses  The Meisel family has a long history of supporting education and scholarship opportunities, especially for young people in their local community. So when the family patriarch, Stanley Meisel, read about the mission of Berea College in 1995, he immediately took an interest and made his first gift. His son Peter said, “This was something … Read More

To Understand All: Richard Wiener

Abbie Darst '033 Comments

Richard Wiener

“I’ve seen the best and the worst of mankind,” Richard Wiener said, “and I have it within me to convey to others the worth of living the good life instead of a selfish life.” Growing up a Jewish boy in Wittenberg, Germany, at the onset of World War II, Richard truly identifies with the oppressed and downtrodden in society. After … Read More

Giving as Service to Berea: Janice Blythe

Abbie Darst '038 Comments

Janice Blythe

Before Janice Blythe ever stepped foot on Berea’s campus as a professor and chair of Berea’s Child and Family Studies Department in 1986, her life, teaching style and belief system were shaped by numerous Berea College alumnae. These educated, forward-thinking women added to the depth of history and appreciation Janice had developed for Berea from childhood when growing up one … Read More