Virgil Burnside
Virgil Burnside

Berea College has appointed Virgil Burnside to the vice president for labor and student life position at Berea College, effective July 1, 2014. Burnside had been serving as the interim vice president after the retirement of Gail Wolford in December of 2013.

“I so appreciate Virgil’s willingness to step up and take on this important role at the college—his long experience at the college, starting from his student days, and with the city have prepared him for the exceptional service he will provide,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs.

Burnside received his undergraduate degree in political science from Berea College in 1974 and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kentucky in 1992.  He completed several courses in the Higher Education Policy Studies and Evaluation program while at UK. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Society.

Burnside began work at Berea College in 1980 as an admissions counselor and served in that position for 10 years before serving as a student development counselor and a residence hall director. While at Berea, he has served as director of residential life collegium, assistant to the vice president for labor and student life, Title IX and disability services coordinator, and assistant to the president.

In his new role, Burnside will be administratively responsible for programs, finances and policies for labor and student life programs and offices, including campus life, college health services, counseling services, collegium and residential life, the labor program, and the office of public safety. These offices coordinate services, including residence halls, health and counseling services, disability accommodations, student activities, and student life programs.

In addition to his work at the college, Burnside is an active member of the community, which he currently serves as a city council member. He has also volunteered with many civic clubs and service organizations, such as the Berea Kiwanis Club (past president), the boards of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Bluegrass, United Way of Madison County, Campus Child Care, Leadership Madison County (graduate of 1995 class), the Berea Hospital Auxiliary Benefit Committee (past chair), and the City of Berea Board of Ethics.

In recognition of his contributions to the college and to the city, Burnside was awarded the Elizabeth Perry Miles Award for Community Service (2000), and the Distinguished Alumni Leadership of Madison County (2001). He is an elder and trustee of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Berea.


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