The Report presents information about our solid financial position and data related to our sources of financial support. It also lists the names of the Berea College Board of Trustees and national alumni leaders, all of whom provide without compensation their time, their passion, their professional expertise, and their leadership to help guide this remarkable and transformative institution. In reading our report I am struck anew with amazement at just how many people help support and sustain the mission of Berea College as captured in its eight Great Commitments. Berea College could not continue that mission, could not even exist, absent the commitment of our supporters. On campus, we never forget that, not even for a moment.
It has been another rich year for Laurie and me, as we continue our work on campus and our travels to get to know this amazing extended community through its many intertwining stories. To those of you whose paths we crossed this year, we give thanks for your warm and gracious welcome and for sharing your Berea experiences. Aside from the inspiring mission of the college, the most enjoyable aspect of being involved in its leadership is hearing those stories, stories which if written down would constitute a book remarkable for its interest and its gravitas. Small wonder Berea College pays such close attention to its history! As president, I find myself both surrounded and supported by Berea’s past. Although at many institutions providing leadership means finding new directions, at Berea, I have found that the history of the institution often provides the most important leadership themes, themes embodied in the durable eight Great Commitments. While they were not written down in their approximate present form until the early 1960s, careful examination of the college’s history confirms that they were in place earlier, with some extending all the way to the founding of the college. Still today the Commitments are an active part of daily life on campus.
In last year’s report, I outlined the launch of a year-long set of conversations on campus, an initiative called “Our Berea—Exploring the Commitments.” This work has been undertaken by eight Great Committees, as we are calling them, each focusing on one of the Great Commitments. I am happy to report that the work of the committees remains on schedule and will be complete by the end of the calendar year. Thanks to the dedication of the faculty, staff, and student volunteers, we will have a better shared understanding of each Commitment, a set of goals to guide our actions, and a clear sense of the resources we need to ensure our core values are reflected in all we do. Watching this work be done over the last year, it has been truly inspiring to see the dedication and excitement with which the work of the committees is pursued—not exactly the typical state of committee work in a college environment or any other! The following pages highlight the contributions from and to our community that enable faculty and staff to continue to serve, and through serving, to pass the values of the Great Commitments on to the next generation. Wallace Nutting, the American printmaker and artisan who was so influential in our student crafts program, had a list of maxims, the last of which is, “Let nothing leave your hands until you are proud of the work.” That is how we feel about the mission of Berea College. At Berea College all hands work together—the hands of faculty, staff, students, and our supporters—to proudly carry out a unique and compelling mission, one that boils down to making it possible for every last one of our students to achieve their goals. In all of these efforts, the engagement and support of our alumni and friends remain vital. We hope you will join us and all other Life-Long Bereans in that rewarding participation in the community we call “Our Berea!”
Lyle D. Roelofs
Designation of Funds
July 1, 2013–June 30, 2014