by: Jennie K. Leavell
In the Spring, 2012, issue of the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center’s newsletter, interim director Silas House wrote, “I have learned so much in my short time here but perhaps my most profound lesson was that Appalachia is in such good hands with a new generation of students who care about the region in a profound way....truly the greatest blessing of being a teacher is the wisdom we gain from our best students....[It is] the student leaders who are the real movers and shakers of not only the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies but are also the beating heart of the region itself.”
While Silas was writing about the students he knows through the LJAC and classes, the same can be said about many of Berea students who originate from other parts of the country and foreign nations. Whether from earthquaked Haiti, or war-torn Pakistan, or Liberia reconstructing after years of civil war, there is an honored sense among our students—many of whom have endured some of the roughest conditions—to return to the homeland and improve upon it. In just about every issue of Berea College Magazine that I have published, there is a profile or story that references a student or an alumna(us) giving back. That this seed becomes implanted in so many of our students is a testament to the nurturing culture and values that are embraced by Bereans both at home and abroad.
This issue of the magazine welcomes Lyle D. Roelofs, Ph.D. as our ninth president. Roelofs comes well prepared to lead the College in this second decade of the 21st century and onward. He not only embodies the values that come together to form Berea’s distinctive identity but also his background in academia is broad and deep.
We diligently worked to bring 10 years of Berea College Magazine to life. We have a proud tradition of learning, labor and service. It permeates our history as well as the present. Feel free to visit these pages often.
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