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The Dish on Mountain Day

People look on as Ben Sollee performas at Mountain Day 2010

One could say Mountain Day exploded on to the scene simultaneously; a spur of the moment decision induced by the falling leaves, sending waves of excitement and anticipation to those Bereans who came before. Shannon Wilson, head of Special Collections at Berea College, passes a story on to students to come. Mountain Day’s first appearance in 1875 sparked faculty and students to gather together and have a day specifically geared toward relaxation and communication using the Pinnacle as a neutral playing ground. Students take the day off from school to enjoy the mountainside and festivities laid out by the school. This provided a sanctioned social environment that nurtured the bond of student and teacher even more, especially as the fall colors began to skirt the ground.
Mountain Day first made an appearance in the college catalog as a regular event in 1907. From then on, the event has faced many changes throughout the years. In the beginning, wagons were provided to transport students from campus to the mountain. They have now been replaced with hayrides and public transportation. “Walking parties” were a prime example of how Berea College ushered in a more personal feel to the relationships forged between faculty and student, which forced the two to engage in more interconnected conversation. Activities included hiking, picnicking, watermelon seed contests and most recently, laser tag.
Mountain Day leaves a bigger impression on Berea’s campus than most realize because the values, traditions, and overall passion associated with this event have been passed down throughout the years to create the atmosphere we live in. It’s each generation’s job to stamp tradition by adding their own personal touch, even as we are forever changing, just to show the spirit of Mountain Day is still alive.

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