Berea College: An Illustrated History by Shannon H. Wilson

By Shannon H. Wilson

The motto of Berea collage is "God has made from one blood all peoples of the earth," a word underlying Berea's 150-year dedication to egalitarian schooling. the 1st interracial and coeducational undergraduate establishment within the South, Berea collage is widely known for its project to supply scholars the chance to paintings in alternate for a tuition-free caliber schooling. The founders believed that participation in handbook exertions blurred differences of sophistication; mixed with research and rest, it helped advance autonomous, industrious, and cutting edge graduates dedicated to serving their groups. those values nonetheless carry this day as Berea maintains its mythical dedication to equality, range, and cultural protection and, whilst, expands its undertaking to incorporate twenty-first-century matters, comparable to ecological sustainability. In Berea university: An Illustrated historical past, Shannon H. Wilson unfolds the saga of 1 of Kentucky's so much extraordinary associations of upper schooling, centering his narrative at the 8 presidents who've served Berea. The college's founder, John G. rate, was once a staunch abolitionist and believer in Christian egalitarianism who sought to construct a faculty that "would be to Kentucky what Oberlin was once to Ohio, antislavery, anti-caste, anti-rum, anti-sin." certainly, the relationship to Oberlin is obvious within the college's abolitionist roots and dedication to education African American lecturers, preachers, and commercial leaders. Black and white scholars lived, labored, and studied jointly in interracial dorms and study rooms; the level of Berea's reformist dedication is most obvious in an 1872 coverage permitting interracial relationship and intermarriage between its scholar physique. even supposing the ratio of black to white scholars was once approximately equivalent within the college's first two decades, this early dedication to the schooling of African american citizens used to be shattered in 1904, whilst the Day legislations prohibited the races from attending tuition jointly. Berea fought the legislation till it misplaced within the U.S. ideal court docket in 1908 yet later back to its dedication to interracial schooling in 1950, whilst it turned the 1st undergraduate university in Kentucky to confess African americans. Berea's 3rd president, William Goodell Frost, shifted realization towards "Appalachian the United States" through the period in-between, and this venture to arrive out to Appalachians maintains this present day. Wilson additionally chronicles the production of Berea's many precise courses designed to serve women and men in Kentucky and past. a college extension software carried Berea's academic possibilities into mountain groups. Later, the recent chance college for ladies used to be manage to assist grownup ladies go back to the activity industry by means of providing them profession workshops, activity adventure on campus, and academic and cultural enrichment possibilities. extra lately, the varsity constructed the Black Mountain early life management application, designed to minimize the isolation of African american citizens in Appalachia and inspire cultural literacy, educational fulfillment, and neighborhood provider. Berea university explores the tradition and historical past of 1 of America's most unusual associations of upper studying. Complemented via greater than a hundred and eighty ancient images, Wilson's narrative records Berea's majestic and encouraging tale.

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1885. The presence of James Hathaway (top row, left) showed that Berea was serious about breaking social barriers between the races at all levels, not just among students. ”10 Members of the college faculty took their moral and religious roles seriously. Writing to the trustees in 1879, Professor LeVant Dodge rejoiced in the religious awakening of students, concluding that this “one work . . ”11 Bruce Hunting, principal of the Preparatory Department, reported that the teachers in his department were earnest Christians who were not only competent teachers but a powerful moral influence.

Jackson, whose son, John H. Jackson, was Berea’s first black college graduate. Exhaustion and ill health caused J. A. R. and Elizabeth Rogers to move to Shawano, Wisconsin, and Jackson lived in Lexington, Kentucky, but the rest of the trustees lived in and around Berea. Some trustees also served the college in other capacities. 56 Fee continued in his capacity as president of the board, a tangible witness to the founding of the school and its ideals. The localized and at times contentious nature of the board caused George Whipple of the AMA to urge the election of E.

The students themselves built a world all their own, reflecting the values of the college. Fraternities and sororities, for example, were banned because they were secretive and promoted caste by admitting some and excluding others. Instead, there were literary societies, such as the Phi Delta Literary Society, founded for men in 1866, and the Women’s Literary Society. Organized by the students under faculty supervision, the societies promoted intellectual development, and an African American student was just as likely to be elected president of the society as a white student.

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