John B. Stephenson : President 1984 - 1994


• John B. Stephenson succeeds Weatherford on October 26, 1984, becoming Berea's seventh president. A noted Appalachian scholar, Stephenson's term as president saw the development of a number of programs emblematic of his interests such as the Brushy Fork Institute for leadership development; the Black Mountain Youth Development Project for serving African-American youth in Appalachia; and the New Opportunity School for Women.

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• Alex Haley (seated center), author of "Roots", is named a trustee of Berea College.

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• Jane Stephenson founds the New Opportunity School for Women.

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• The Brushy Fork Institute is created to develop strong leadership in Appalachian communities throughout Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. An outreach program of Berea College, the Institute offers leadership training, organizational development workshops and technical assistance to communities.


• Berea’s service to the Tibetan refugee community began in 1991 with an agreement developed by former College president John Stephenson and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, to enroll two Tibetan students each year. Stephenson visited Tibet in 1992, and in 1994, His Holiness made a visit to Berea’s campus. The first group of Tibetan students graduated in 1995.


• On April 24, The Great Commitments are revised and reaffirmed by the College trustees.

Celebrating 150 Years
150 Years of Learning, Labor, and Service

Larry D. Shinn John B. Stephenson Willis Weatherford Francis Hutchins William J. Hutchins William Goodell Frost William B. Stewart Edward Henry Fairchild John Gregg Fee