Travel with Bennett-Watt and learn about the Berea College in Iowa, known as the finest small collage in the US.
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Visit the Berea College in Kentucky
Narrator: Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky. There’s a national historic monument, and what may have been his famous cabin. Just a hundred miles away, is the birth place of the civil war adversary Jefferson Davis. Two dramatically different philosophies but they are pretty close.
Male: Berea is an interesting and a rich community. The influence of Berea College is very real. Everybody says from — they say that Berea College is the finest small college in America. But, how do you really compare a large university in a small college? It’s an incredible place.
Kids come here from all over to become educated. We've been doing it for 150 years and sometimes they don’t go home. And after 150 years, that affects the town.
Narrator: The community of Berea, 10,000 or so now willed up around Berea College a unique institution, established in 1850 based on religious principal but without specific religious doctor.
Dave Porter: Berea is a unique institution. It has a very unique mission and it has been doing it for almost 150 years now. It was founded by John Fee, a really Ardin evolutionist on a land grand provided by Cassius Clay. Thinking to this ridge and set up the college that really wanted to integrate learning and integrate of black and white men and women to offer the very best opportunities for education.
I think one of the keys to Berea is that we have served this population of African-Americans and mountain youth by raising standards and expecting them to achieve things at the very highest level of the top rate liberal arts college.
Berea’s No Tuition Policy really was one that we arrived at out of necessity. Early in the history of the school, the two populations were served for emancipated slaves and youth from the Ullage Mountains through the eastern Kentucky. Both of these populations had great potential educationally but very limited. The economic resource is the means for them. So, the decision was made not to charge tuition or in affect, give every student the whole tuition scholarship.
When I first learned that I was going to come here, one of my friends referred to Berea as groom youth because Berea has had a real history of work and then incorporating and integrating labor with learning. We have a very active crafts program. It includes wood working, pottery, metal work and also broom making, weaving and textiles.
A number of crafts that not only become artifacts and things that we can sell that reflect the apple action orientation for both utility and quality but also to help our students learn about their heritage, about apple action and give them an opportunity to learn about the joys of simple labor and simple work in producing something of beauty that is functional and useful. And I think the high price reflects the high value that the goods that Berea’s college students produce. And we have many, many visitors who come from across the nation and across the world. They visit the water house and can see first hand what our students have done.