Brenda Williams Guy, ‘79 

Alumni Loyalty Award

Brenda Williams Guy was the oldest of three children born to Mrs. Bobbie Jean Williams and the late, Mr. Elque Williams, Jr. She has one sister (Wendy Williams Burton) and one brother (Alex Williams). She is also the proud mother of Geri Alexandria Guy (Cx ’08). Upon receiving her degree in Psychology from Berea in 1979, she was employed by the Greenville Hospital System for approximately twenty years as a Pediatric Social Worker and later worked in the OB/Gyn Clinic. Brenda provided advocacy and support services to high risk pregnant women and handled agency and private adoptions. She has been in her current position with the Governor’s Office/Continuum of Care Program, for twelve years. This program procures treatment services for children with severe emotional disturbances. Brenda’s training and education from Berea also prepared her to serve in a number of volunteer and community endeavors: Board Member with the Rape Crisis Council; AHEC Minority Affairs Advisory Council/Greenville Hospital System; Health Services Co-Chair and certified HIV/AIDS Instructor/American Red Cross; Pre-College Enrollment &Talent Search Advisory Board member/Greenville Urban League; Volunteer Tutor/Greenville Literacy Association; Leadership Development Program Graduate/Phillis Wheatley Association; and Developing The Christian Family Seminar Committee/Hope Urban Ministries; Youth Director/North Enoree Youth Association and Zion Hill Baptist Church. She has also served as a youth counselor/chaperone on a mission trip to the British West Indies (Trinidad & Tobago). Brenda is very passionate about working with young people. Therefore, it was very easy to accept the offer to serve as an ambassador for Berea College in 1986, initially as an Admissions Associate, and now as a volunteer recruiter. It has been an honor for her to serve in this capacity. She will always be indebted to Berea College for the quality education she received. Berea instills in each family member, the drive to make the world a better place.

*recognized on Nov. 9, 2012, at Homecoming

Katherine Silver Kelly, ‘91

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

Katherine Silver Kelly is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of Academic Support at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. After graduating from Berea with a B.A. in History, she attended the University of Kentucky, Converse College, and the University of Akron School of Law, where she graduated cum laude. She earned her M.A. in education from the University of Kentucky and certification in Special Education from Converse College.  Before attending law school, Katherine was an award-winning economics and government teacher. In law school she was a Dean’s Scholar, awarded the ALI/ABA Leadership Award and Arthur Goldberg Prize in Constitutional Law, and was a founding member of the Moot Court Honor Society.  Following law school graduation, Katherine served as a judicial attorney and then as the director of Academic Success Programs at the University of Akron School of Law. Katherine has been active in many service activities. She has been a volunteer swim coach with Ohio Special Olympics for over 6 years, volunteered with Appalachian Service Project summer service trips for 4 years, serves as mentor in the Ohio Supreme Court Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program, coached the 2010 and 2011 national champion Child Welfare & Adoption Law moot court teams, and has presented at several conferences regarding early intervention programs, teaching to different learning styles, and improving bar exam preparation.

*recognized on Nov. 9, 2012, at Homecoming

Dr. Stephen C. Bolster
Sandra Spearen Bolster

Honorary Alumnus Award

Dr. Stephen Bolster is the Mary W. McGaw Endowed Chair of Music at Berea College, where he has taught for 32 years. Professor of Music and Program Coordinator, he conducts the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, and teaches voice, vocal methods, conducting, and music literature.  He holds music degrees from Dartmouth College (A.B. Music, 1973), the University of North Carolina (M.M. Choral Arts, 1977), and the University of Colorado (D.M.A. Literature and Performance of Choral Music, 1980) and conducted major choral organizations at each school before joining the Berea faculty in 1980.    Under his direction the Berea College Concert Choir and Chamber Singers have toured annually in the eastern United States, and have performed in several cities in China in 2007, in Italy and Switzerland in 2002, and in central and eastern Europe in 1994. The choirs have been featured in several Christmas specials for educational television, have performed multiple times for the Kentucky Music Educators Association State Conference, and have twice performed at the American Negro Spiritual Competition in Cincinnati’s famous Music Hall. A recipient of many honors and awards, Bolster was chosen as the 1999-2000 College-University Teacher of the Year by the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA).  In July, 2002, Bolster received Kentucky ACDA’s highest honor, the Robert K. Baar Choral Excellence Award, for his active service to the organization and dedication to choral music education in the State.   He has also received numerous awards from Berea College, including the Seabury Award for Excellence in Teaching (1988), the Presidential Award for Excellence (1995), and the Man of the Year Award (1995).  In 1997, he was named Phi Kappa Phi Professor of the Year. Dr. Bolster frequently serves as lecturer, clinician, and adjudicator in Kentucky and Tennessee. An expert on acoustical phonetics, Bolster presents lectures on this topic to professional music organizations and at colleges and universities in surrounding states.     

Sandy Bolster has dedicated her life to teaching mathematics, grades 4 through college.  She has been involved with developmental math and/or computing at Berea College for over 30 years.  Sandy recognizes that developmental math students often require support with study skills, time management, and math anxiety.   As Director of Developmental Math, Sandy has coordinated support, including individual tutoring, to assist students in the program.  Sandy was Instructional Computing Coordinator at Berea College for 20 years; in this position, she supported faculty with implementing technology in the curriculum, oversaw technology training, served on the committee that originated the Teaching, Learning, and Technology (TLT) lunches, and implemented the Office-Based Consultant program.  Sandy also served on the Committee for Mathematics Achievement (Kentucky State Department of Education), Postsecondary Mathematics Workgroup (response to Kentucky Senate Bill 1), and the Appalachian College Association Technology Summit Planning Committee (multiple years). Sandy holds degrees from the University of Maine, Orono (BA in Mathematics, 1970) and the University of Colorado, Boulder (MA in Secondary Mathematics Education, 1980). She was named the Phi Kappa Phi Professor of the Year at Berea College, 2011 and received “A Teacher Who Made a Difference” award from the University of Kentucky, 2011. Sandy has volunteered in local schools by chairing the Curriculum & Instructional Program Committee at Berea Elementary School, serving as president of the Berea Community Elementary School PTA and the Foley Middle School PIE (Parents in Education) and by consulting with the Berea Community School and Foley Middle School Technology Committees.  Other volunteer experiences consisted of being on the executive board for the New Opportunity School, being an officer for the Berea Towne Ladies investment group and the American Association of University Women (AAUW), and volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity Restore.

*recognized on Nov. 9, 2012, at Homecoming

Mae Suramek, ‘95  

Rodney C. Bussey Award of Special Merit

Born in Chicago, IL to first-generation immigrants from Thailand, Mae first came to Berea, 21 years ago to attend Berea College.  Mae credits her Berea experience with shaping her world view and always inspiring her to speak up and speak out.   Upon graduation, Mae served in the AmeriCorps program in Eastern Kentucky, at a domestic violence shelter in Lexington, KY, and at a refugee resettlement center in Raleigh, NC.  She spent the bulk of her professional career working in the field of human rights enforcement and advocacy.  In 2004, she followed her heart back to Berea, where she served as Alumni Director for the next nine years.  During her tenure, she paid extra time and attention to efforts that helped build community and that helped bridge differences.  Mae greatly valued the spirit of consensus, and was guided deeply by Fee’s vision of impartial love.  She served on a multitude of committees, with the most recent being the Presidential Search Committee for Berea’s Ninth President.  This past summer, inspired by the words of commencement speaker, Parker Palmer, who challenged the graduating class to “find that place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep needs”, Mae left Berea to become Executive Director of the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center, a non-profit service and advocacy agency whose mission is to eliminate sexual violence in 17 counties in central Kentucky.  Mae also chairs Berea’s local Human Rights Commission.  Mae continues to call Berea her home, and enjoys multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-faith family dwelling at its best - she shares a residence with her husband, Adam, their  5-year old son, Jack, and her parents, Matty and Guy, who live in an attached apartment.  Mae has a B.A. in Psychology from Berea and an M.A. in Counseling from Eastern Kentucky University.

*recognized on Nov. 9, 2012, at Homecoming

Dr. Charlotte Beason, '70

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Dr. Charlotte Beason, Executive Director of the Kentucky Board of Nursing (KBN) is a long time advocate of health care and education.  At KBN, she directs consumer protection programs that regulate education programs and the practice of over 75,000 nurses.  Charlotte returned to Kentucky following a career with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  As Program Director, Office of Nursing Services, in VA’s Washington, DC headquarters she initiated programs guiding the practice of healthcare providers nationwide.  While with VA she was a member of the Clinton Administration’s Health Care Reform Task Force, completed a LEGIS Fellowship on Capitol Hill.   A native Kentuckian, she chairs the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky a non-profit, philanthropic organization working to address the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians by improving access to care, reducing health risks/disparities and promoting health equity. She is secretary of the Board of Governors of the Kentucky Institute of Medicine and a member of the Friedell Committee for Health System Transformation.  Charlotte is a member of Boards of Trustees of Berea College and Central Pennsylvania College; she is Chair of the Board of Trustees of Strayer University.  She was elected a founding member of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), an independent agency accrediting baccalaureate and higher programs of nursing education.  During her two terms with CCNE she served as Chair and Co-chair of the Commission as well as Co-Chair of the Accreditation Review Committee. She has numerous publishing and speaker credits at the national level and has received a wide range of honors from organizations that include Berea College Department of Nursing, the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (Adele Herwitz Scholar) and National 4-H Clubs of America (Outstanding Alumni).   Charlotte completed a master’s of science degree in psychiatric nursing from Boston University and earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology and Public Practice from Harvard University.  She is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute and holds a certificate in Mediation and Conflict Resolution from the Justice Center of Atlanta, Georgia.  A proud graduate of Berea College, she credits Berea with instilling a profound appreciation for lifelong learning and a commitment to professional nursing. With a smile, she credits her first student labor assignment as janitor in the basement of Berea hospital with providing motivation to identify and gain skills needed for career change and advancement—skills she has used throughout her professional career.  

*recognized on June 8, 2012, at Summer Reunion

Elizabeth Culbreth, '64
Alumni Loyalty Award

The Alumni Loyalty Award is given to alumni who have rendered outstanding service to, and demonstrated loyal interest in, Berea College.  Elizabeth “Libby” Culbreth has been whole-heartedly dedicating herself to serve the mission of Berea College since she first stepped foot on campus in 1960.  While a student at Berea, Libby earned the Student Labor Prize (1962) and the Alley Award for contributions by a female student to campus life (1964).  She was a choir member, orchestra and band member, secretary and president of the band, varsity debate team member, Pi Gamma Mu member, Tau Kappa Alpha member, and a Student Senate parliamentarian.  After graduation, she served as presidents of both the Knoxville, Tennessee and Washington, D.C. Alumni Chapters.  She served on the Alumni Executive Council from 1970-1976, serving as President in 1975.  She also served on the President’s Council from 1975 -1976.  Libby has been a valuable and influential member of the Berea College Board of Trustees since 1978, and served as chair from 2002 – 2008.  She has provided leadership for the last three presidential searches, leading the search committees of President John Stephenson, President Larry Shinn, and President-elect, Lyle Roelofs.  She coordinated a Knoxville phonathon and served as a guest speaker for a convocation.  She and her husband, John Vanderstar, have hosted students involved in off-campus internships in their home.  In 1984, Libby received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for her achieved distinction in public service, and for her application of principles fostered at Berea to enrich the lives of others.  In the midst of her incredible volunteer contributions to Berea College and to others, Libby has managed also to have a celebrated and remarkable career of public service.  She has served as legal counsel for the Federal Trade Commission, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the United States Senate.  She has also served as executive director for the Office of Administrative Appeals, US Department of Labor.  She is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the Knoxville Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, the United States Supreme Court Bar Association, and the Washington, D.C. Bar Association.  She is also a member of the American Association of University Women, the Episcopal Women’s Caucus, and Phi Kappa Phi.  Hailing from Waynesville, NC, Libby received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Berea College in 1964 and her Bachelor of Laws degree from Vanderbilt University in 1967.  She also completed post-graduate studies at the J.F.K. School of Government in 1988.

*recognized on June 8, 2012, at Summer Reunion

Office Information

Office of Alumni Relations
CPO 2203
Berea, KY 40404

Telephone: 859-985-3104
Toll-free: 866-804-0591