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Berea's Appalachian Commitment Timeline

Willis Weatherford: President 1967 - 1984


- Willis D. Weatherford, Jr., becomes President.
- The Foundation School—Berea's high school—and Knapp Hall—the College elementary school—are discontinued.


- The Students for Appalachia program begins. In 1968 the federal Office of Economic Opportunity begins providing funds through the Council of Southern Mountains to CAMP. At that time the name is changed to Students for Appalachia and the program becomes a community development program designed to help people with the problems of daily life.

- Upward Bound, a motivational and educational program for economically disadvantaged pre-college youth, begins its first summer at Berea. Berea’s first Upward Bound service region included Clinton, McCreary, Pulaski, Rockcastle, and Wayne counties.


- Berea's "Great Commitments" are formally approved by the College.

- The Puppetry Caravan is established to tour Appalachian communities during the summer, staging shows based on Appalachian folk tales and holding workshops.

- The first of three symposia on Appalachia is held, involving lectures and classroom discussions with various scholars including Thomas Ford, Harry Caudill, Jim Stokely, and Wilma Dykeman.

- People Who Care, an organization primarily benefiting the mentally handicapped, is established. The group works with several mental health organizations including Oakwood Training Center, Eastern State Hospital, School of Hope, and the Extended Care unit of Berea Hospital.


- Berea establishes the Appalachian Center.

- The Appalachian Studies curriculum is expanded.

- Berea establishes an adult literacy program, Students Taught Basic Literacy Efforts (STABLE).

- The Weatherford Award is established by a good friend of the College, Alfred H. Perrin, to honor annually the best book on Appalachia.

- Summer workshops in Appalachian Studies begin at Berea in cooperation with the University of Kentucky.

- The Faculty Appalachian tour program is established.

Student Taught Basic Literacy Efforts (STABLE) begins as a collaboration with the CSM to teach literacy skills to local adults.

1971 - The College opens the Appalachian Museum.


- The Appalachian Center begins publication of a newsletter documenting events at the Center and other regional activities.

- The Appalachian Center and the Library begin development of an Appalachian Sound Archives.

- STABLE and Students for Appalachia merge. Both programs complete their federal support in 1973 and the name STABLE is dropped in 1976.  For the next 20 or more years, SFA is funded primarily by Berea College and a few small state and federal grants.

1974 - The Traditional Music Festival begins.

1975 - The Appalachian Museum receives a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop slide/tape programs on traditional Appalachian life.


- The Berea Territory is re-defined. Twenty-one counties in West Virginia are added to Berea's mountain territory, as well as fifteen Kentucky counties.

- Berea assists in the organization of the Settlement Institutions of Appalachia (SIA), a consortium of settlement schools serving southern Appalachia.

- Rising Seniors, a program for promising students who have completed their junior year in high school, gives participants college academic credit and experience.


- Hutchins Library receives a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to organize the records of the Council of the Southern Mountains, the Appalachian Volunteers, and the Southern Appalachian Studies (1962 Regional Survey) research project, and to begin the organization of the College Archives.

- In a meeting at Berea, thirty scholars from seven Appalachian states agree to establish an annual Appalachian Studies Conference.

1978 - Berea hosts the first Appalachian Studies Conference.


- Berea territory expands to include all of Kentucky and nineteen Appalachian counties in southeastern Ohio.

- With a grant from the Mellon Foundation, the Appalachian Center and Hutchins Library establish the Appalachian Fellowships Program.

- The Appalachian Museum receives another NEH Grant to develop a second series of slide/tape programs on Appalachian life and culture.


- The library, with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities begins a two-year project to organize and microfilm the records of twelve Appalachian settlement schools.

- The Roy N. Walters. Sr. Memorial Fund is established to provide for study and research in Appalachia by faculty and students.


- A grant from the E. O. Robinson Fund is received to provide for the organization of the Fund's records and to continue work on the College Archives.

- The Appalachian Museum receives a grant from the Kentucky Humanities Council to develop a slide program on the Pine Mountain Settlement School.

1983 - Another grant from NEH allows the library to launch another two-year project to organize and copy the photographs of the settlement schools.