Dear Bereans,

We’ve taken a different approach with the President’s Report on Philanthropy this year,  deciding to focus on the impact of your support of Berea College. This Impact Report carries the same transparency of past reports, detailing our strong financial position, sound management of our endowment, and sources of fiscal support. It also includes stories that illustrate the profound effects this one-of-a-kind college has on the lives of its students and our efforts to create a better world for them to live in. 

Truly, Berea is a college like no other. The elevator pitch—that no student pays tuition and every student works—barely scratches the surface of what makes this place unique. Berea is alone in its history, its Great Commitments and its unparalleled support of each and every student. I can think of no other school with such a multifaceted mission and an entire community devoted to living out that mission. There is no other small, liberal arts institution that has the impact this one does or that is held so close to the heart of so many.

Berea changes lives. As you read, you will learn how this little college in Kentucky devotes all of itself to the cause of educating students who have academic excellence, grit and determination but little else, who come here with bright and willing spirits and leave with a college degree, ready to take on the world. You’ll find out how your gift makes a real and tangible difference in thousands of souls. 

This school “walks the walk.” If we take just one aspect of the mission, like environmental sustainability, we find, again, a college like no other. We don’t just say we are devoted to combatting global climate change; we show how it’s done through big initiatives. In this Impact Report, you will learn that the first interracial and coeducational college in the South is also the first to complete construction of a hydroelectric power plant. The Matilda Hamilton Fee Hydroelectric Station pushes Berea College one step closer to its goal of being carbon neutral and, one day, carbon negative.

People choose to support Berea College for many different reasons. It may be for our central mission of educating economically disadvantaged students, our devotion to sustainability, our efforts toward inclusivity, our motive of service to others or our love for Appalachia. Whatever your reason, we hope we can continue to count on your contributions. The cost of educating 1,600 students who otherwise could not afford college only goes up. Thanks to you, we reached our Berea Fund goal of $4.6 million last year. This year, we will need your support again. Without you, the mission of this college like no other would be unsustainable. 

I hope you enjoy our Impact Report and that you will pass it along to others so they, too, can see the immeasurable difference this college makes in the lives of its students and in the communities that surround them. They’ll see that this singular institution is worthy of their support as well.

Forever grateful,
Lyle Roelofs

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