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When Alice Lloyd first set foot on the banks of Caney Creek, she came prepared to do a lot of hard work. There were not many modern conveniences for her to enjoy and the problems she sought to solve seemed insurmountable. However, Mrs. Lloyd was a woman with a mission, and she was someone that knew the value of a strong work ethic. It was hard work that built Alice Lloyd College, and it is a continued commitment to hard work that allows this college to continually be ranked as one of the top colleges in the nation.

Hard work, Ruth Bernau says, is something to be rewarded. “We like to support organizations that help people, help themselves. Nothing in life is free; you have to work for what you get. Alice Lloyd College teaches that in everything they do. We love the idea that students have a chance to earn a quality education regardless of their financial situation.  They don’t even take any direct government funding. That’s not something you see often.”

Ted and Ruth Bernau, of the Bernau Family Foundation, have been friends of Alice Lloyd College since 2004.  The Foundation board is composed of Ruth and Ted along with other immediate family members.  Their daughter, Wendi Bernau, is officially in charge of running the organization, which supports groups that promote the Biblical world view in education, apprenticeship, and politics in a fiscally responsible way.

For the past 15 years, the Foundation has proudly supported our mission by helping us guarantee tuition to students in the Appalachian region, supporting K-12 students at the June Buchanan School, as well as donating to the Caney Scholars Program, which helps graduates from Alice Lloyd College attend graduate or professional school. Did you know we are the only college to financially support our graduates as they go on to further their education?

In addition to the strong work ethic that ALC instills in its students, Ted and Ruth wholly support the Judeo-Christian principles upon which the College was founded.

“We were impressed with how Alice Lloyd College endorses Christian values, and how the institution is not afraid to stand up for those values, especially in today’s world. We try to live by God’s word every day and are glad to see a place where that is encouraged.”

Originally from New Jersey, Ruth and Ted now reside in Virginia.  They have four children and a host of grandchildren scattered throughout the country. A large family and a network of friends means lots of travel throughout the year, which the couple enjoys almost like a hobby. During their travels last year, the couple had a chance to visit Pippa Passes and were impressed with the realistic world view of our students, as well as the beautiful campus grounds and new campus projects. They plan to return in the next year for another visit, as the work continues.

“The entrepreneurial spirit is what will ultimately get rid of social problems like poverty and the lack of education. One of the biggest problems in our society is that we just give people stuff without making them work for it and think that will make a difference. You have to allow people to work for what they want or you haven’t changed anything.”

The mission of Alice Lloyd College is rooted in the dignity and life-changing effects of developing a strong work ethic. The Purpose Road Philosophy teaches students the principles needed to become independent adults and leaders in their community while giving them the tools to succeed in their personal lives and the workplace. The college itself stands as a testament to what can happen when people come together with a powerful work ethic, a Biblical world view, and a commitment to a common purpose.

“When students leave Alice Lloyd College, they are prepared for the real world. That’s what’s so impressive about them. Those kids don’t need a handout, they just need an opportunity.”