FROM THE ALUMNI BOARD
Joe Foley ’64
President, Alumni Association
“While our role as critics should and will continue, we need to recognize that the success of today’s independent Antioch College depends on alumni becoming involved. academics, but we are unafraid to do so with a purpose. ”
For the first time in nearly half a century, Antioch College is open with students and a board that is solely focused on its success as a liberal arts college valuing curriculum, co-op and community.
Thanks to the efforts of many, many people, including alumni across the generations, a seemingly improbable opening has been achieved. When it was announced that Antioch College would close, there was an outpouring of support, and there was a lot of worry that achieving an independent Antioch College would be impossible. With Antioch College open again, this certainly is a time to enjoy our success and to thank everyone involved in the independence effort for all they have done.
During my years on the Alumni Board, I have been struck by the realization that Antiochians from every era are similarly bright, conscientious, active, independent people. When I had the privilege of being in Yellow Springs for Admitted Students Day last April, I had the opportunity to begin to get to know some of the students who are part of Antioch today. They appear to be people who approach life with the same commitment to rigorous work and social justice that have always characterized Antiochians. It is exciting and inspiring to see them undertaking the Antioch journey.
Antioch is open, and it is open with a lot of energy, enthusiasm, and excitement.
As an alumni body, we find ourselves in a new situation. The Alumni Association Bylaws and Constitution call on its members to “promote the interests of Antioch College.” For many years, that usually meant pointing out the ways the Antioch leadership was doing things wrong. When Antioch College was closed, a number of us developed strong (and sometimes conflicting) commitments to particular features we believed were important for any reopened Antioch College. Not surprisingly, the actual Antioch College that is developing today does not include every feature that was deeply valued by each of its thousands of alumni. While our role as critics should and will continue, we need to recognize that the success of today’s independent Antioch College depends on alumni becoming involved and enthusiastic supporters of the many contributions Antioch College is making through its unique and timely approach to higher education and engagement.
There are many ways to be involved: working with an alumni chapter, volunteering at Work Projects, attending Reunion, supporting admissions by speaking to parents and prospective students, and contacting alumni who have drifted away over the years. This is a critical and vulnerable time for Antioch College. The successful opening was an essential step, but much remains to be done in order for Antioch College to grow into an institution whose ongoing future is assured.
Of course, financial contributions are important. Antioch College needs the support of each of us to provide the resources for its immediate future and to demonstrate a level of alumni enthusiasm that will energize other donors and foundations. We have an opportunity to become reconnected with Antioch College and with each other through the alumni community. The Alumni Board invites you to join with us in finding ways to engage alumni. That engagement will benefit Antioch College, and also it has the potential to have deep personal value to individual alumni as they become closer to others in the Antioch College community.
LETTERSHAVE YOUR SAY
Send your letters to The Antiochian, , or by mail to One Morgan Place, Yellow Springs, OH 45387.
Keep Reaching Out
I want to congratulate you and your staff on a very fine issue about new students and faculty. I also want to recount a story that may interest some Antiochians who attended the College in the 1940s. It is one of those amazing coincidences that happens every so often. I happened to be staying in an apartment in Greenwich Village three years ago. While waiting for the traffic light to change while crossing a street near Washington Square Park, I noticed a woman with a large button on her coat lapel that read, “Grannies for Peace.” I asked her to tell me about the organization. She said she was not a grandmother but her group puts on rallies for peace. Out of a sense of courtesy rather than anything else, I asked her if she lived in the neighborhood. She said her husband, an NYU professor of organic chemistry, had died and the university had allowed her to stay in their faculty apartment. I said organic chemistry was a tough course, one of those courses used to weed out pre-meds. So naturally she asked me if I was a doctor, and then she asked where I did my premedical training. I told her that I had gone to a small school in Ohio that she undoubtedly had never heard of. It turns out her husband, Dr. Robert Boyd, had taught at Antioch before joining the NYU faculty— Dr. Boyd, indeed, had been my chemistry professor in 1943. With a senior NYU colleague, Morrison, he had authored one of the most popular organic chemistry textbooks through many editions. Mrs. Boyd was Dr. Boyd’s second wife, and she told me that I was the first person she had ever met who had known her husband before he went to NYU. She also put me in touch with her son, who wrote to ask me what his father was like as a young man. There is a moral: Antiochians and their kin turn up in the most unexpected places. Keep reaching out and you may uncover one who will light up your day.
Seymour “Si” Reichlin ’45, MD, PhD
Green Valley, Arizona
In the Glen
I was moved to write when I saw that the new students would have an experience in the Glen (“Preparing for Fall Quarter,” The Independent eNews, August 25, 2011). It was one of the most (of many) formative events in my Antioch experience. As a suburban seventeen-year-old in 1961, I was awed by nature. I entered in June (A Div) and spent many afternoons and sleeping-bag nights in the Glen. Over my Antioch years, I spent many contemplative times during spring’s emerging fragrances and falls’ glowing days traipsing through the Glen as I agonized about (or avoided) academic crises or mooned over romances. I particularly remember lying in a far field on a summer day, just looking at the sky and clouds. This is only ONE of the many influences Antioch has had on me.
Linda Donnelly ’66
Spring Green, Wisconsin
On Exciting Rebirth
I graduated from Antioch College while on leave from the U.S. Navy (DDR 882) and later transferred to the Office of Naval Research in Boston through 1960. That year I returned to my hometown, Yellow Springs, and took over a struggling Yellow Springs Ford car dealership. Eighteen years later I sold it. I married Carrie Theis Cermele ’57 in 1982 and enjoyed twenty years with every day an adventure. She lost her battle with cancer in 2002. All of my three children and six grandchildren live within 3.1 miles of Yellow Springs, and I’ve lived here, just three blocks from campus, for 31 years. It was a painful thing to watch the College lose its historical focus and decline to less than 280 students when it closed in 2008. Antioch College required an exceptional visionary and pragmatic leader. Mark Roosevelt seems poised to advance Antioch College to an exciting rebirth. A new generation of Antioch College students will experience an Antioch that can give direction to their lives.
Bob Baldwin ’57
Yellow Springs, Ohio
A Debate on Naturopathy
As the spouse of an Antioch College graduate, class of ’44, I have been especially interested in the College. We were friends of Jim Dixon in his Denver phase (early 1950s) and heard about his plans for Antioch with foreboding. The Antiochian (Spring-Summer ’11) just came and is well written and encouraging about Antioch’s future until the article “The A Cappella Singer Who Lost Her Voice & Other Stories from Natural Medicine” by Amy Rothenberg, ND... During my wife’s and my medical careers, osteopaths have done their scientific homework and are now licensed by medical examining boards throughout our country—an unprecedented occurrence not likely to be repeated soon. (Acupuncture is hypnosis with theatrical props and will never make the varsity.) Amy Rothenberg’s wesite mentions naturopathic schools, chiropractic colleges, osteopathic schools, and medical schools as if they were equivalent. Please try to avoid being co-opted by any more charismatic supporters of alternative medicine even if they happen to be Antioch graduates...
John A. Frantz, MD, NASW
I credit my top-notch Antioch biology degree and the steadfast encouragement of beloved academic advisors, including the illustrious (late) Jim Howell, with opening my eyes to consideration of other paradigms in the world of medicine. Mounting scientific evidence on the safety and efficacy of many natural medicine approaches can be found by anyone interested in looking. Indeed, from the use of diet and exercise to meditation and nutritional supplementation, all manner of care providers incorporate complementary/ alternative medical (CAM) recommendations into treatment protocols, often enlightened by educated patients. Most U.S. medical schools offer at least some CAM coursework now; some offer residencies in the same. True to my Antiochian roots, I put a high premium on remaining open-minded. The best physicians of the future are those who will know when to use what with whom! The U.S. Department of Education accredits regional agencies, which in turn accredit, four-year, in-residence, full-time naturopathic medical schools where students are taught by caring, intelligent MDs, NDs, DOs and PhDs. For more on the naturopathic medicine, see www.naturopathic.org.
Amy Rothenberg ’82, ND
Dorothy Patterson and her daughter, Tracy Patterson Davis ’88, wrote to us in June to tell us about Charles J. Patterson, Dorothy’s late husband and Tracy’s father.
In Antioch, Charles Patterson found an institution built upon a set of progressive values that included a commitment to justice and diversity. “Antioch gave him the opportunity to pursue an education free of the restrictions of racism and segregation placed upon him,” they wrote.
Patterson, who died in 1994, had been general manager of the Oakland (CA) Convention Center and vice president and assistant to the president of World Airways. He was prominent in San Francisco Bay Area civic affairs. Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, he found his way to Antioch College after having seen combat in World War II.
The decorated vet had known a world where “lynchings were quite common,” he said in a 1991 interview for History of Bay Area Philanthropic Project, out of UC Berkeley’s Regional Oral History Office in the Bancroft Library. “You used to open the newspaper every weekend—the black newspaper—and every week there were pictures of lynching. In my home town ... we had to sit in the balconies of the movies. We couldn’t eat at the lunch counters or eat at the restaurants.”
Antioch, however, was a departure from that world, he said. “The important thing that Antioch College did for me was, in a real sense, to deliver me from a sense of hopelessness,” he said. “I was in a community that believed in the ethic of growth, equality, and progression. That’s what Antioch, with its values, attitudes, and academic program, was about; how to improve the world that we’re in.”
There is something wonderfully encouraging about reading the notes from Patterson’s 1991 interview and the letter from his widow and daughter. This little college in Ohio, though never cash rich, was always rich with aspiration and rich with purpose. I sometimes wonder if my newness to this community makes me feel the vibrancy of that purpose more acutely—how empowering this work of ours, to play a role in reestablishing Charles J. Patterson’s alma mater.
– Gariot P. Louima