FROM THE ALUMNI BOARD
Nancy Crow ’70
President, Alumni Association
The battle to save and restore Antioch College, as we all know, hasn’t been easy, and isn’t completely over. There is still much work to do as we prepare to welcome a new first-year class this fall. But it’s worth taking a look back at the progress we have made and the steps we have taken as an extended community to restore not only its physical presence, but also its unique intellectual and academic character. If nothing else, this process shows us how deeply we all cherish our Antioch experience and recognize its importance to our lives and our world.
Just as I was about to embark on my latest Antioch adventure as president of the Antioch College Alumni Association in 2007, Antioch University announced that Antioch College was no longer financially sustainable. The University declared financial exigency and the suspension of College operations at the close of the 2007–2008 school year.
Despite the shock of the announcement, the College’s financial troubles had not sprouted overnight. In 2004, embattled College faculty valiantly struggled to implement a new curriculum dictated by Antioch University in a last-ditch effort to bring in more students and thus more tuition revenue. Campus facilities sagged under the burden of many years of neglect; some were destroyed. Still, many alumni loved our colorful campus, despite its run-down condition, and the many remarkable transformations that its community members experienced.
Of course, we know what happened after the University’s announcement. Generations of Antiochians rallied to the Horace Mann-inspired cry: “Be ashamed to let it die!” Alumni, current students, faculty, staff, the community of Yellow Springs, and the broader higher education community rolled up their collective sleeves, formed instant ad hoc committees, and set about the daunting task of keeping Antioch College alive. Through the extraordinary efforts of countless Antiochians and their many friends, Antioch College now enjoys institutional independence and the undivided attention of a board of trustees dedicated solely to the College’s future.
As part of the revival of the College, passionate, creative, engaged, and thoughtful Antiochians have attempted to crystallize the visions and values we felt were necessary and possible to instill in future Antiochians. Our colleagues from the Great Lakes Colleges Association hosted an “Invent a College” workshop at Earlham College, at which we found remarkable consensus on what an Antioch education means and why Antioch College merits a unique and continuing presence in higher education. Probably above all other factors, co-op jobs drew us to Antioch. But challenging professors, interdisciplinary learning, meaningful community participation, Glen Helen’s opportunities for observation and contemplation, and exposure to diverse global perspectives also played significant roles in preparing us for graduate or professional school, the world of work, and a rich life.
But financial models for ensuring that future generations of Antiochians can share our transformative experience differed sharply. That workshop at Earlham formed the springboard to a continuing conversation about such vital issues as how many students the college should enroll, whom it should hire and when, how much it can charge, how much money it can and must raise, and how to craft the school calendar.
The new Antioch College has been charged with the awesome responsibility of preserving what made our own Antioch educations valuable in a manner that will be educationally and financially meaningful in today’s uncertain world. Interim President Matthew Derr ’89 hired a group of former Antioch College faculty to craft a challenging curriculum. They garnered ideas from alumni at chapter meetings across the country and at Reunion, from colleagues at other colleges, and from their own Antioch experiences. Under the guidance of Antioch College’s energetic new president, Mark Roosevelt, newly hired tenure-track faculty and visiting scholars will work to sustain the best of what we prize and cherish about our alma mater.
As critical thinkers, we Antiochians display a potpourri of opinions on the direction the College should take. Many of you have come forward with imaginative and colorful pictures of the Antioch College of tomorrow. Many of you have come forward with financial contributions toward a shared vision for our beloved College. All will be woven into the eternally unfinished Antioch tapestry.
We will not always agree on such topics as whom to hire, the number of years required for a degree, how many students to accept, which languages to teach, which buildings to re-engineer when, or what majors to offer. But I trust that we can agree on this one thing: that our world needs the education that Antioch College is uniquely qualified to offer, firmly rooted in the values of Horace Mann, Arthur Morgan, and Algo Henderson, and calibrated for our current and ongoing global challenges. That, after all, is why we fought so hard to keep it alive.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Send your letters to The Antiochian, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to One Morgan Place, Yellow Springs, OH 45387.RE-PIQUED MY INTEREST
With the fall 2010 issue, you have set a high bar for yourselves. This issue is the best I have ever received over the past 62 years. It is readable cover to cover, interesting, and informative. It has re-piqued my interest in the College, something that has not been there for a long time.
Thanks. Keep it up.
Ned Orleans ’48
Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
The Antiochian is magnificent. High quality. Great photographs. Wonderful layout. I may have to apply to enter all over again in 2011.
Jim Hobart ’58
How nice to receive the new edition and format of the fall 2010 issue! It is really great to see it back in publication. I really missed it…
Hope there are still a few of us who are actively engaged in the arts and humanities, a precious combination that was instilled in us by those great professors of the ’50s. Thanks and blessings to them all.
Arnold Chanin ’57, MFA, MD
Read with interest Julian Sharp’s article in the fall issue, “Volunteers Play a Key Role in College’s Rebuilding.”
As the volunteer coordinator for the Work Project, his article covered the many projects finished or ongoing. Now for a perspective from a volunteer: In past years, I would attend the anniversary year every five years, and coming from California, the Reunion weekend seemed too short. The Work Project in the days before seemed the thing to do, giving time to enjoy the village and campus, in addition to reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones.
With the College’s closing and rebirth, many of us have been returning for Reunion Work Project each year. The Work Project is without question, hands-down, the most engaging, rewarding, and productive experience in which I have been involved. Since all class years take part, conversations are with alums from many decades. Just ask someone what their first co-op job was and you’re rewarded with a story that leads into good conversation and makes the project at hand even more rewarding. There are Work Project opportunities throughout the year, so scheduling can meet different travel plans. I am amazed that there are hearty souls who brave the winter cold (below 50° F in my mind) to pitch in on a project.
Last year, there were 65 Reunion Work Project volunteers, including children, spouses, and partners. Youngsters were accommodated with things to do, or even Glen Helen stay-overs. Volunteers prepared breakfast and lunch. Dinner, at one of the village restaurants, follows an on-campus cocktail hour. On Thursday night, we celebrated our accomplishments with an informal banquet with Tim Klass’ ’71 fresh Pacific coast salmon. Penny Storm ’65 has for years acted as the alumni project liaison and, more importantly, the award master, recognizing volunteers with original verse for the very many things that were done that week.
So, with the Reunion fast approaching in June, arrange now to arrive early and lend a hand! Whether it is just for a day or for the whole project, you won’t be disappointed.
David F. Vincent ’65
In 1946, my hall at Antioch, Anchors, had a majority of returned GIs in it. The hall had been a barrack Quonset hut. We hosted a party every Saturday night. Each guy would name three girls to invite and the ones with the most votes got the invitations.
The beverage was Anchors Punch. It was one bottle each of Ginger Ale, Club Soda, Tom Collins mix, and bourbon. It was delicious, and two cups were very relaxing. Ellin and I once used it for a party in Amherst and it had the same results. Everybody was friendly after two cups. The Amherst College faculty didn’t mind conversing with either non-faculty, faculty wives, or UMass faculty. Every guest said it was the best party they had ever been to. The girls who came to the Anchors parties said the same thing. There was little drunkenness and no sex, just relaxed tipsiness.
Herb Reichlin ’53
Raleigh, North Carolina
Kudos to all who have worked so hard to make it happen to this point. The Antiochian is truly special, but with one flaw – the great Hannah Goldberg pictured under Birenbaum. She’s not happy about that, nor are lots of us who knew both. Anyway, great work overall.
Dan Hotaling ’51
Red Bank, New Jersey
First, I am astounded and pleased by the Antiochian. Great pictures with names attached. Terrific articles of interest to alums. And slick paper, which makes all the stuff sing. However, I feel newsprint paper would certainly suffice, if money becomes a problem. The pictures would not look as great, but viewing them certainly is better than not having them at all. The new look should capture the attention of many more alums, and hopefully entice them to donate more funds to Antioch.
About Derr’s article: The significance of no supermarkets may escape many suburbanite Antiochians. No supermarkets means the local residents pay more for their food and groceries. The increase may be over twenty percent or more. Since the poor family’s food budget is much smaller than for middle-class families, the increase in food prices affects the poor families more than it would middle-class families. In terms of health, the convenience stores do not sell fresh fruits and vegetables, because it is not economic for them to do so. They must charge higher prices for their goods partly because of low volume and high cost. One of the cost suburbanites don’t realize is crime. Customers frequently “lift” small items and robbery is a constant fear, both of money loss and danger to the proprietor. The proprietors of convenience stores are not gouging their customers. They work long hours, perhaps 60 hours a week, for meager income.
A recent survey here in Washington D.C. found the almost complete lack of fresh vegetables and fruits in the poor neighborhoods, where no supermarkets existed. That lack means less healthful eating. In another city, a national chain drug store offered to carry fresh fruits and vegetables to help the poor improve their health.
P.S. I worked for many years as a city planner at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, directed by the first and perhaps the only city planner to grace a Time magazine cover. My review of the poor neighborhoods in Philadelphia revealed that only one supermarket existed in a population of more than a million people. Because no surveys existed, I had my clerks compare prices for a basket of foods between supermarkets in the suburbs and the convenience stores in the poor neighborhoods. Today, many such surveys exist, but at that time I had to prove my case that supermarkets had much lower prices for a basket of foods than convenience stores. Still, many professionals could not believe the cost differential. For reasons too many to describe here, we failed to locate any supermarkets in any of the Federal Urban Renewal projects of that period.
Sho Maruyama ’51
Falls Church, Virginia
We received more letters from readers about this photo than we did for any other image or story in the last issue of The Antiochian. Many of the letters read something like this: “I’m not sure what this says about me, but I can recognize nearly all the women in the front two rows but can’t remember any of their names” (Andy Voda ’76). What we were able to cull from the two-dozen or so letters is this: the photo was probably taken in 1980 and all of the students were pursuing the Bachelor of Fine Arts. “The largest BFA class to graduate from Antioch was the year 1980. We all gathered in the amphitheater to take a group photo in the spring of 1980.
Top Row: Lisbeth Frocunde, Sydni Moser, Dorothy Sholtis, Carolyn Comiskey, Alain Dupuy, Michelle Giguerre
Second Row: Ken Stern, Alison Barrows, Julia Blumenreich, UNKNOWN, Leigh Kimball, Margaret Jessup, Medora Ebersole
Bottom Row: Mafalda Roberts, Anne E. Baldwin, Linda Reisman, Richard Marr, Julia Seltz
– Gariot P. Louima