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(Senate - May 24, 2012)

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[Pages S3616-S3617]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                     TRIBUTE TO DR. LARRY D. SHINN

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to a great 
educator who has impacted the lives of thousands of Kentuckians over 
the course of his career. My good friend, Dr. Larry D. Shinn, will 
retire in a little more than a month's time after serving 18 years as 
president of Berea College in Berea, KY, and I know I speak for many 
when I say I am very sorry to see him go.
  Dr. Shinn has served as president since 1994 and is the eighth 
president of Berea College, a proud liberal-arts college which is 
dedicated to serving students of great promise and limited economic 
means. Its primary focus is on serving students from the Appalachian 
region. Berea College generously offers a full-tuition scholarship to 
each of its 1,500 students and requires all of them to work in 
positions on campus. Berea College is proud of its heritage as the 
first interracial and coeducational college in the South and proud of 
its focus on a Christian ethic of service and its historic mission to 
promote the cause of Christ.
  Dr. Shinn is a magna cum laude graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College 
and a summa cum laude graduate of Drew University Theological School. 
He received his Ph.D. in history of religions from Princeton 
University. Before coming aboard as Berea's president, he taught at 
Oberlin College for 14 years and served as dean and vice president at 
Bucknell University for 10 years. He has authored several books and 
numerous articles and book reviews.
  Then there is the remarkable progress Berea College has made under 
Dr. Shinn's leadership. During his presidency, Dr. Shinn has led the 
school's strategic-planning process and the creation of its strategic 
plan for Berea College to thrive in the 21st century. He has instituted 
a decisionmaking process that has enhanced virtually every area of 
academic life, from student retention and graduation rates to 
residential life, academic planning, development, and facilities 
renovation. He has led Berea's sustainability initiative, which is 
responsible for the creation of the Sustainability and Environmental 
Studies Program; the ecological renovations of several campus 
buildings, including the first LEED, Leadership in Energy and 
Environmental Design, building in Kentucky; and the establishment of a 
residential ``eco-village'' for student families.
  Dr. Shinn also led the ``Extending Berea's Legacy'' campaign that 
raised $162 million for endowments to fund student scholarships, 
undergraduate research, a new technology program for students, a study 
abroad program, an entrepreneurship program, and other key initiatives.
  I know that Larry and his wife Nancy are looking forward to having a 
little more time to themselves and to spend with their family, but 
their gain will certainly be Berea College's and Kentucky's loss. In 
his 18 years at the helm, Dr. Shinn has proven himself to be one of the 
finest college presidents in Kentucky and the Nation. I salute him for 
his incredible legacy of service towards improving the lives of the 
thousands of Kentuckians and other students who have passed through 
Berea College's doors. He is a great Kentuckian whom I have been 
honored to represent and to work with over his nearly two decades as 
Berea College's president. He will be missed.
  Mr. President, the Berea Spotlight, a publication of Berea College, 
published an article highlighting the many accomplishments of Dr. Larry 
Shinn around the time he announced his retirement. I ask unanimous 
consent that said article be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                [From the Berea Spotlight, Apr. 4, 2011]

         Larry Shinn, Berea College President, Plans Retirement

                            (By Tim Jordan)

       Berea College President Dr. Larry D. Shinn announced today 
     that he will be retiring from the College, effective June 30, 
     2012. Berea's 8th president, Dr. Shinn has served in this 
     capacity since 1994. In a letter to trustees, faculty, staff 
     and students, Shinn stated that, with the College emerging 
     strongly from the challenges of the Great Recession, it is a 
     good time for Berea to begin the process of a leadership 
       The combined efforts of Berea's faculty, staff, 
     administrators, trustees, and other stakeholders have, over 
     the span of the past 17 years, resulted in dramatic progress 
     at the College. Enrollment of African-American students has 
     increased from 6 percent to 18 percent, while service to the 
     Appalachian region has been expanded. Retention and 
     graduation rates have improved more than 30 percent while new 
     program initiatives have enhanced educational quality. The 
     College has successfully completed over $140 million in 
     sustainable building renovations, and in 2005 a $150-million 
     sesquicentennial campaign exceeded its goal. In response to 
     the financial crisis of 2008 09, the College has embraced a 
     bold and creative vision for carrying out its historic 
     mission in a rapidly changing world. Dr. Shinn noted that 
     Berea is a stronger and more resilient institution today that 
     has greater capacity to address future opportunities and 
       President Shinn indicated that while he and his wife, 
     Nancy, are looking forward to extended time with their 
     children and grandchildren during their pending retirement, 
     he cited a number of challenging initiatives that Berea must 
     engage over the next 15 months, including the transition from 
     academic departments to divisions, development of the 
     College's new Center for Transformative Learning, and ``deep 
     green'' science and residence hall projects.
       Dr. David E. Shelton, chair of the Berea College Board of 
     Trustees, commented: ``President Shinn's unique blend of 
     academic and leadership skills passionately applied to 
     Berea's mission, in partnership with the entire College 
     community, has produced outstanding results. Berea is well-
     positioned for the future, and we look forward to the 
     unfolding of a number of new developments and opportunities 
     during Larry's remaining tenure as president. Dr. Shinn's 
     extraordinary abilities, personal commitment, and strong work 
     ethic have set the example for the next generation of 
     presidential leadership at

[[Page S3617]]

     Berea. The Board of Trustees is grateful to Larry and Nancy 
     for their extraordinary service to the College.''