A Changing of the Guard
photo: Dennie Eagleson ’71
Mark Roosevelt, superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools system, is the new president of Antioch College, effective January 1, 2011.
“The board voted unanimously to appoint Mr. Roosevelt to the college presidency. He has spent his career as an advocate and an agent of institutional change,” said Lee Morgan, chair of the Pro Tem Board of Trustees. “The Board is confident it has selected a strong leader who will guide the College on its road to revival.”
“I am honored to become the next president of Antioch College and inspired by its history and the many people who made the College such a remarkable place to learn and work,” Roosevelt said. “The Pro Tem Board of Trustees, Matthew Derr, the College staff and the alumni have made extraordinary progress in preparing Antioch College for a successful reopening in the fall of 2011. I am committed to working with this extraordinary group to forge a future that honors that history and also explores innovative new directions for liberal arts education.”
Roosevelt succeeds Interim President Matthew A. Derr, who was instrumental in the negotiations for the College’s independence and the work to revive the College over the past year. Derr, a 1989 graduate of the College, will continue as its chief executive officer until Roosevelt’s arrival.
“The appointment of Mark Roosevelt as the next president of Antioch College is an important moment in the history of the College. I look forward to supporting Mark as he takes on this opportunity,” Derr said.
In January, Derr will join the Great Lakes Colleges Association as its first Visiting Fellow. The appointment was made at the recommendation of the 13 presidents of the GLCA member colleges.
Roosevelt holds a law and bachelor’s degrees from Harvard. He is a graduate of the Broad Urban Superintendent’s Academy, an executive management program designed for educators and professionals from other fields to lead large city school systems. He taught political science at Brandeis, where he was also the director of the Gordon Public Policy Center, and currently teaches a course on the intersection of American history and public policy at Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz Graduate School of Public Policy.
As a Massachusetts state representative, Roosevelt chaired the Education Committee, where he guided passage of the Education Reform Act of 1993, legislation providing the equitable resources and accountability measures necessary for school improvement. Roosevelt was also the lead sponsor of the 1989 Massachusetts Gay Rights Bill. In 1994, Roosevelt was the Democratic nominee for governor of Massachusetts.
As superintendent of the Pittsburgh Schools, he pursued an aggressive reform agenda called “Excellence for All.” Four years later, the district has a comprehensive plan to maximize effective teaching that is one of only four such efforts to win support through a highly competitive $40 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
He is also the founder of The Pittsburgh Promise, an initiative that has already raised $150 million to guarantee as much as $10,000 per year in college scholarship dollars for PPS graduates who earn a GPA of 2.5 or better. The Promise now provides scholarships to over 1800 PPS graduates from the 2008 and 2009 graduating classes.
Hundreds Celebrate Honorable Past
and Look to a Hopeful Future
Matthew A. Derr ’89 and Dr. Katherine "Katy" Jako ’54
In an address to her fellow alumni at Reunion 2010, Congressional Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton ’60 spoke of the nature of rebuilding and why it was important for Antioch College.
“It now seems clear that an organic process has been under way,” Norton said during the keynote address. “As we struggled to maintain the Antioch we remembered, we failed to see that the College’s own metabolic processes had taken hold and that the school was shedding its skin and demanding a new beginning.”
Norton earned a bachelor’s from Antioch College and studied law at Yale. She was first elected to Congress in 1990.
Hardy Trolander ’47
Her appearance at the summer Reunion was not as Washington insider, she said, but as a member of the class of 1960.;
“We saw Antioch as a beloved relative who could be saved if only we could find the best doctor with the right treatment,” she said. “In our despair we failed to see that unlike a relative for whom death is final, a great institution can and, in the case of Antioch, must be reborn, not simply maintained.”
Hundreds of Antiochians from throughout the country converged upon the College in Yellow Springs to celebrate their proud history and continue on the course toward reopening the liberal arts college to students in the fall of 2011.
Norton called it a time of “commencement - for the College itself.”
Interim President Matthew A. Derr ’89 announced several milestones for the institution during his “State of the College” address. Two weeks before the end of the fiscal year, he announced, more than 20 percent of alumni who graduated from the College had supported the Annual Fund.
“This growth in participation represents a sea change in our potential relationships with major donors and foundations,” he said.
More than 1,100 alumni participated in chapter meetings across the country this last year and the College has raised approximately $17 million in the revival of Antioch College, he reported.
Derr also announced that the Yellow Springs Community Foundation was the recent recipient of a bequest of nearly $3 million from the estates of Nolan Miller and Richard Miller.
Congressional Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton ’60
Nolan Miller, professor of literature from 1946 to 1972 and fiction editor at the Antioch Review from 1965 to 1972, died in 2006. Dick Miller, Nolan’s younger brother, was a self-employed artist who taught ceramics for Yellow Springs Art Councils and painting to “any Yellow Springs youth who were interested.” He died in 2007.
The gift to the Yellow Springs Community Foundation will support Antioch College students who wish to work in nonprofit organizations in the village of Yellow Springs. “This is a truly transformational gift for the College and its programs and our relationship to the village we call home and that came to the defense of the College at a time of great need,” Derr said.
The College is also the beneficiary of a generous challenge. A friend of Antioch College, who wishes to remain anonymous, presented the College with the opportunity to match a $1.5 million gift. “We hope in the coming months to meet this challenge and to have raised the full $3 million for the cause of restoring this great institution,” Derr said.
Timothy D. Barrett ’73
Nancy Crow ’70, Arturo Bagley and Tim Eubanks ’00
Among the many tributes at Reunion was a reception at Folkmanis House for Katy Cobb Jako ’54, founder of the Antioch Independence Fund. Her work is important to the history and future of the College, as it planted seeds that ultimately came to fruition in September 2009 when the keys to Antioch College were acquired by the Antioch College Continuation Corporation.
The alumni also presented the inaugural Walter F. Anderson Award, named for the civil rights activist and music department chair. The award recognizes students, faculty and staff who promoted diversity and the breaking of racial barriers. Recipients were Edythe Scott Bagley ’47; the late William David Chappelle III ’80; and the late Jim Dunn.
“Andy left a huge legacy not just to Antioch but to the world,” said Joan Horn ’56, author of the Anderson biography Playing on All the Keys. “It is fitting indeed that we acknowledge other Antiochians who have also left their mark in a memorable way that we may continue to be inspired by the influence of this singular man.”
Comedian Dave Chappelle surprised the alumni when he arrived with his mother, sister and step-mother to accept the award on behalf of his late father.
“I’m a pretty conservative dude as an adult. I never realized why my father raised me in a hotbed of hippie and communist activity,” he joked.
He added: “I want to thank all of you for giving him a context where he could be a good dude. ’Cause being a good dude is not a comfortable thing. It’s a difficult thing to aspire to. So thanks for honoring him, ’cause sometimes it’s a very quiet road to try to transcend your own demons and be good - or whatever he was trying to do with these hippies and communists.
“The fact that you guys are honoring my father says a lot about this school, it says a lot about this community, and it says a lot about my dad. And I appreciate you. And thank you.”
The other awards presented were:
J.D. Dawson Award to Stephen A. Schwerner ’60 and Alvin L. Denman, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Law and Religion, for significant service and contributions to Antioch College.
Arthur Morgan Award to Sherry R. Hahn ’78 for contributions that exemplify the concept of “community.”
Robert Baldwin ’57, Dr. Della Laura ’60
Horace Mann Award to Edward Milton Ifft ’60 for winning some “victory for humanity.”
Rebecca Rice Award to Timothy D. Barrett ’73, a 2009 MacArthur Fellow, for high achievement in his profession.
The 2010 Reunion theme was “Race and Social Justice,” a fitting topic for Antiochians as many college faculty and alumni played key roles in the civil rights movement and beyond. Additionally, issues of race, campus diversity and social justice have historically been keystones in the development of the College from its beginning.
The Morgan Fellows opened the weekend with “The Barbershop Incident: Yellow Springs & Civil Rights,” an account of the struggle for desegregation. Panelists were Rozell W. “Prexy” Nesbitt ’67, Joni Rabinowitz ’65, Hardy Trolander ’47, and Paul Graham ’52.
College to Receive $1.5M Bequest
A $1.5 million bequest from an Antioch College alumnus will be transferred to a trust and held for the newly independent College, the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands ruled recently.
Bernard W. West
Given that Antioch College holds substantially all of the tangible and intangible properties associated with the historic campus in Yellow Springs, and its mission to revive school operations, the College is the proper recipient of the gifts Bernard W. West (pictured) made to the institution in his 1986 will, Magistrate Miguel A. Camacho said.
West left one-half of his residuary estate to Antioch College. Half of that share is to be used for research in general semantics, group dynamics and/or psychodrama and the other half will establish a scholarship fund for students who are residents of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
A student at Antioch College from 1932 to 1933, West was an associate director in the film department at a Cleveland-based company. By 1960, he was president of a communications consulting firm. Later, he worked as a real estate speculator in the Virgin Islands. He died on December 18, 1997.
Group Addresses Community
A panel of College alumni, former students of the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute, a one-time community manager and a Yellow Springs resident discussed the meaning of -community.
Antioch College welcomed former faculty, alumni and members of the Yellow Springs community to its Coretta Scott King Center for Cultural and Intellectual Freedom on Friday, Aug. 20, for a conversation about the meaning of community and the importance of community governance at the liberal arts college.
The forum, titled “Antioch College Community: What to Keep, What to Add, What to Put Out on the Curb?”, was presented by the Antioch College Task Force on Community and Community Governance. Established by Interim President Matthew A. Derr, the Task Force is charged with ensuring that a key component of the Antioch College education – community and community governance – is under development when the new class arrives in the fall of 2011.
With a panel made up of such diverse voices as alumni of the college, a former student of the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute, a former community manager and a Yellow Springs resident with experience in the evolutionary process of change, the two-hour forum covered a wide range of topics.
Participants raised questions about the definition of community and the role alumni should play; the status of former faculty who were terminated by the university when Antioch College was closed; and the significance of shared governance in the Antioch College educational experience. Al Denman, a former Antioch College professor who chairs the Task Force on Community and Community Governance, introduced the forum. Jennifer Berman, a 1984 graduate of the College, moderated the discussion.
Panelists included: Paul Graham, Antioch College class of 1952 and retired vice president for research at Vernay Laboratories; Levi B. Good (Cowperthwaite), class of 2008 and community manager at the College in 2006-2007; Rose Pelzl, who attended classes at the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute; and Raymond Kahu o te Maunga Ruka TeKorako, a Maori elder from New Zealand who lives in Clifton, Ohio, and works in Yellow Springs.
The forum was streamed live to the Web. Additionally, a discussion forum has been established on the college’s website to allow alumni and friends to further the conversation.
Visit http://antiochcollege.org/community for video.
Miller Bequest to Support Local Co-op
The Yellow Springs Community Foundation held a meeting on October 12, 2010, to announce details of its new Miller Fellowship Program, which provides funds to local nonprofit groups to hire Antioch College students for periods of full-time work.
Established earlier this year with a $3 million bequest, the program is funded by the Nolan J. and Richard D. Miller Endowment Fund. Nolan Miller (d. 2006) was associate editor of The Antioch Review, a noted writing teacher and a beloved Antioch College professor. His brother, Richard (d. 2009), was a highly regarded artist working in many different media.
The purpose of this fund is to support Fellowships for Antioch College students who engage in service for the benefit of the Yellow Springs community. The Foundation plans to award grants to local nonprofits that would then hire Antioch College students directly.
Under the terms of the bequest, some priority will be given to those nonprofits serving the needs of the elderly in Yellow Springs. Other public service institutions will also be supported, in keeping with the basic premise of the endowment that it is meant to foster mutual respect between the Antioch College community and the Village of Yellow Springs.
The Community Foundation is working closely with the College to structure the program so that it meets the goals of the donors, as well as the education goals of the new curriculum.
This program is complementary to the new Antioch College curriculum, which will stress community service, along with its historic co-op program. The Foundation anticipates that funding will be available for approximately 10 Miller Fellows in the 2011-2012 academic year.
Local nonprofits will be invited to submit proposals for one or more Fellowships. In order for students to be eligible for College credit, the nonprofit’s plan for using these Fellowships will also need to be approved by Antioch College’s director of work, who will manage co-op.
Chapters will become increasingly more important forums and a liaison between the new Antioch College and alumni. In recent years, chapters have been forming from the grassroots up – starting with few alumni coming together and wondering what they could do to help save, and later on revive and renew, Antioch College. It has been amazing to watch. Such grassroots activity could not have been organized or orchestrated from a central office. It happened almost spontaneously because Antiochians had a hard time imagining a world without their college.
As the new Antioch College grows under the new leadership of Mark Roosevelt, we alumni are going to have new opportunities to help with recruitment, welcoming co-op students, fund-raising and more.
As a member of the Antioch College Alumni Association Board of Directors, I have been asked to chair the Chapters Committee. We are building a community of chapter leaders who will have monthly conference calls, and we are considering ways that chapter leaders can learn from each others’ successes. It is our hope that in addition to sharing best practices, these leaders agree to get messages and organizing ideas out to alumni in their communities.
So far, chapter leaders have talked with Kristen Pett, special assistant to the president for enrollment, about how alumni can help with recruitment, and with Al Denman and Jennifer Berman, who lead the Task Force on Community and Community Governance. Kristen () needs our help to identify potential students. To learn more about the application process, she urges us to invite students and their families to visit www.antiochcollege.org/admission. Jennifer Berman () also hopes we will tell our stories and share our ideas about what made Antioch College community and shared governance important to us and how they helped to shape our lives. The task force is charged with collecting ideas from alumni about how we think community and CG can take shape in 2011 when the students and faculty arrive.
Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia currently have chapters today. If you live near one of these locations and want to sign up to be involved, contact Steve Duffy ’77 at and he will introduce you to the chapter leader. If there is not a chapter near you, let Duffy know and perhaps he can convince you to start one!
I urge you to check www.antiochcollege.org on a regular basis. New information is posted regularly and soon we will find materials on how to start a chapter, how to grow a chapter, when and where chapters are meeting and best practices on chapter leadership. Soon there will be page on the Antioch College website to share ideas.
When President Roosevelt begins in January 2011, he is likely to be off campus almost as much as on campus, visiting chapters and meeting with alumni around the country. He looks forward to meeting us where we live and involving us in the future of Antioch College.
—Karen (Webber) Mulhauser ’65