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Moran Family Honored on Founder's Day

John G. Fee Moran (1893-1977), businessman, church leader, and mentor to African American students, will be honored at the annual Berea College Founders’ Day Convocation at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 28 in Phelps Stokes Chapel.

John G. Fee Moran

Moran is the 2004 recipient of the John G. Fee Award, which honors Berea alumni of 1866-1904 who gave distinguished service to their community, especially in the field of education, and whose lives reflect the ideals of Berea founder Rev. John G. Fee, as expressed in the College’s motto “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth.”

Moran was born in 1893 in Berea, where his father was employed by Berea College founder Rev. John G. Fee (who reportedly suggested the younger Moran be named after him). Fee Moran, as he came to be called, attended the Berea College Primary School but was unable to continue when Kentucky’s Day Law, enacted in 1904, suspended interracial education in the state for almost 50 years. Through the efforts of Eleanor Frost, wife of Berea College President William G. Frost, Moran was able to complete his education through the eighth grade. However, because there was no high school for black people to attend in Berea and he could not afford to go away to school, Moran’s formal education ended in 1908.

In spite of this, Fee Moran became a respected businessman, church leader, and community servant. Although cheated from a full education himself, Moran valued education throughout his life, made sure his six children were educated, and opened his home to African American students at Berea College when the school was reintegrated in 1950.

Moran’s children will receive the John G. Fee Award on his behalf, and his eldest son, Albert Moran, will share reflections about his father. Some Berea alumni who benefited from the generosity of Moran and his wife, Adelia, will also share their reflections at the event. College President Larry D. Shinn will present the award, a walnut box designed and made by Berea College Woodcraft with a medallion made by Berea artist Ken Gastineau. Inside each box is a hand-woven table runner created by students in the College’s Weaving Industry.

Berea College was established in 1855 when abolitionist Rev. John G. Fee began what would become the first school in the South to admit black and white men and women on an equal basis. The John G. Fee Award has been given to outstanding early alumni since 2001.

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