Perspectives On The Great Commitments

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For a little more than a year, we have presented “Perspectives,” a series in which Bereans reflected on and provided their views about two of the Great Commitments and how they are connected. This issue brings the series to a close by examining our Commitments to “democratic community” and “plain living.” These topics are particularly relevant in light of events … Read More

Quentin Savage, ’16

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Winner of the Mario Savio Award for Young Activists* What does the phase “democratic community” mean to you?  I think a democratic community has to go beyond inclusivity; it mean consistent and intentional efforts that allow the most impacted folks to lead alongside their peers. How do you think Berea lives out this commitment today? I think Berea enables this … Read More

Nick Mullins, ’16

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Former Underground Coal Miner and Environmental Advocate How do you interpret the Commitment to “plain living”? I think it’s important to first define plain living. To me, plain living means living a lifestyle that is not materialistic or resource-intensive. Although the United States constitutes only about 4.4 percent of the world population, we consume 25 percent of the energy and … Read More

Gus Gerassimides, ’83

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Assistant Vice President for Student Life How does Berea live out its Commitment to “democratic community”? We do it in the classroom, and we do it outside of the classroom in a co-curricular fashion. I’ll give you an example from outside of the classroom. We welcome the dialogue and the debate even if it’s messy. There was one year when … Read More

Andy Beichler, ’91

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What does the phrase “democratic community” mean to you?  I think that a democratic community is a community that is intentional in its efforts to hear and respect as many voices as possible. I think it gives us the direction to always seek input, and, ultimately that decisions made on that input need to be revisited on a regular basis. Being … Read More

Joan Pauly

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What does the phrase “democratic community” mean to you?   To me, a democratic community means that all voices are heard and valued before decisions are made. How do you interpret the Commitment to encourage “plain living”?   The definition of “plain living” to one person is different than the definition of “plain living” to another. It’s usually discussed in the context … Read More

Dr. Beth Crachiolo

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Associate Professor of English What does the phrase “democratic community” mean to you?   I think of it as self-governing. Not necessarily everybody being a governor, but that the community has representatives and the community chooses them. I think of it as the campus governing itself. Faculty and staff vote on lots of things. We have faculty meetings once a month, … Read More

Cara Stewart, ’03

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Outstanding Young Alumnus Award “…I was completely overcome. I could almost start crying right now thinking about it ‘cause I care so much about Berea and Berea is so important to me in terms of my experience and in terms of others to be acknowledged or celebrated by the people that I respect the most. I don’t have words for … Read More

Mae Suramek, ’95

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Outstanding Young Alumnus Award “… I was definitely very honored and humbled to receive this award. It wouldn’t matter if I won any other award out there I don’t believe it would matter as much to me as this award right here.” After graduating from Berea College in 1995, Mae served in the AmeriCorps program in Harold, Kentucky, at a … Read More


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PASSAGES Faculty and Staff Alice K. Batson Ph.D., of Conway, Arkansas, passed away September 23, 2015. She was a professor of nursing at Berea College for many years and a member of Woodland Heights Baptist Church. Alice is survived by her husband of 64 years, Francis, three sons, eight grandchildren, one great-grandchild and a host of extended family and friends.   … Read More