The Great Commitments of Berea College (1969)
by Dean Louis Smith
In 1969, President Willis Weatherford formally published Dean Louis Smith’s list of Berea College’s goals—including the fostering of learning, labor, and service—as the seven “Great Commitments.” President Weatherford encouraged the Faculty to affirm the Great Commitments as the guiding sentiment of the College. The Commitments had been used elsewhere before, but he framed them as the central statement of the College's mission. In 1993, Berea’s Faculty and Trustees revised the Weatherford-Smith text so as to include eight Great Commitments and a new preface. During the 2017 academic year, the Great Commitments were revised again by the Strategic Planning Committee (informed by the work of the Great Committees), presented to the faculty, and approved by the Board of Trustees.