Labor Day (Exploring Learning, Labor and Service)

Labor Day has been a special event in the history of Berea College since 1926. In 1921, the first awards were presented to honor special achievements in labor, and in 1926 the College began celebrating a “labor day” with invited speakers, contests, festivities, and even a labor procession. Labor Day has experienced changes throughout the years, but the College has established a longstanding tradition of taking time out to reflect upon and celebrate the work of our students.

In Feb. 2004, a strategic college initative to re-structure and re-vitalize the labor program was approved by the Board of Trustees in Feb. 2004. This initiative along with the re-structuring called for out of the scenario planning of 2009-10 was integral in the decision in 2010-11 to broaden the focus of the day to include the other two parts of our educational tirade in the day’s events: Learning(Academics) and Service. While the day still includes the celebration of student work, it now also includes the exploration of labor, service, and academic opportunities. In addition, at the same time, the Berea Academy Awards event was created where awards are presented to students to honor special achievements in labor, service and academics. The award ceremony includes invited speakers and music that is provided by the Red Foley Award winner(s) and the Berea Got Talent winner(s).