From The President

We Are A College Known For Changing Lives.President Tom Manley

Let me come right out and say it: I’m more than delighted to be at Antioch College as president, and nothing so far has caused me to question my decision (and I trust vice versa).

As we approach the considerable work ahead of us, I have been sharing the idea of using design-build as a guiding metaphor for how we will work together and as a strategic tool for getting necessary work done. The actual practice of design-build has long been in use at Antioch through the inspirational Alumni Volunteer Work Project.

As a long-time educator, I have relished designing and building structures, tools and interventions that effectively and consistently lead to points of personal and organizational transformation. Education carries the power to release and focus our imagination, creativity and ingenuity. As such, education is perhaps our greatest and most renewable resource in a world facing complex and fierce challenges. Yet in terms of access, affordability and effectiveness, traditional resources have become systemically compromised. 

Once a healthy and vital part of a strong American higher education ecosystem, many liberal arts colleges are now endangered and failing. Finding pathways forward for those that remain is critical in mounting an effective and accelerated response to the tangle of wicked and existential problems that beset our planet. 

However, under the circumstances, I believe that a revitalized Antioch College making a mission-level commitment to address these formidable problems is a cause for celebration and optimism. Just ask members of the Great Lakes College Association (GLCA) who have supported our efforts for fast-track accreditation, or the leaders of dozens of local, national and international organizations who are working to forge partnerships with us through the remarkable set of resources only Antioch offers—cooperative education, WYSO, our farm-to-fork program, sustainability initiatives, Glen Helen and the only Coretta Scott King Center in the world. 

Certainly the way forward will be difficult, but there is good reason
for optimism.

  • We are a college with a long record of offering high-impact academics and educational experimentation (failures and successes to boot); 

  • We are a college known for changing the lives of our students by preparing them for the real world by requiring they live and work in -that world as part of their Antioch studies; 

  • We are the college of Horace Mann, Arthur and Lucy Morgan, Coretta Scott King, Rod Serling, Andrew Goodman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and so many other distinguished educators, innovators, artists, activists and leaders; 

  • We are the home of one of the oldest and most distinguished literary magazines in America; 

  • And, certainly not least, we are the college of a passionate, opinionated and very dedicated alumni, typified by the Alumni Work Project volunteers, whose persistence, work ethic and camaraderie offer genuine inspiration and design-build metaphorical power to all. 

So, wherever this finds you, I invite you to join us as we expand the prospects and possibilities for Antioch College.

Tom Manley