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Berea's Navy ‘alumni’ come home 65 years after training

June 4-5: Sixty-five years after the war’s end, Navy servicemen stationed at Berea College during World War II will gather for a reunion on the College campus.

The Navy's V-12 trainees in Berea

These special “alumni” have been coming back to Berea every two years for more than 30 years.

From July 1943 to October 1945, 782 men were enrolled at Berea College in the Navy V-12 Training Program, 40 of whom returned to the College after the war to complete degrees. The program was designed to give officer candidates preliminary training during the war.

Thirteen V-12 alumni are registered to attend this year’s reunion, including one from Lexington, three others from Kentucky and one from as far away as New Mexico.

A banquet is planned on Friday evening at 6:30 in the Skylight Room of Boone Tavern. Saturday events include an 11:00 a.m. memorial service in Cowan Chapel at Union Church and a luncheon from 12:30 – 2 p.m. at the home of College President Larry Shinn and his wife Nancy, followed by a group photo. The rest of the day will be devoted to fellowship and reminiscing.

The V-12 alumni coordinate a fund that annually awards a scholarship to a Berea student selected for outstanding leadership and citizenship. The fund also provides for the Navy V-12 Award, given annually to an international student for outstanding contributions to brotherhood and international understanding on campus.

For additional information, contact Jacqui Greene, coordinator of alumni events, Berea College Alumni Relations Office.

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