Though I only came to Berea College a few months ago, I have been looking for and attempting to create a place like this for much of my life.

As a first-generation graduate myself, I know the unique challenges the transition to college can pose. Back then, I needed the support only a place like Berea can provide, support that goes beyond financial assistance and encompasses the social and spiritual dimensions of life as well.

In my professional life, I have always worked to develop the financial support needed to help lift up deserving young people, so they will have even greater opportunities to reach their fullest potential, just as I did. And, yet, over the years I’ve watched far too many dreams be deferred because personal circumstances prevented individuals from investing fully in his or her own future.

Berea changes that story. Thanks to the generosity of our friends and the willingness of our alumni to pay forward the opportunities they received, each year 1,600 students are freed to build a foundation, an educational base from which to launch extraordinary lives. And because this foundation is built in a community that fosters diversity, inclusion, and service to others, they will transform more than their own lives. They will help build better, stronger communities wherever their dreams may take them.

And so, though I am new to Berea, I am honored to be working alongside all of you to make John G. Fee’s vision a reality. I have a deep appreciation for the College’s mission and an abiding respect for the hard work and sacrifice required to provide this opportunity to our students. For these reasons, I want to offer thanks to each of the persons included in this Honor Roll of Giving. Thank you for believing in our students and allowing us to believe with you.

Best Wishes,

Bernadine Douglas

Vice President for Alumni and College Relations

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