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 Winter 2012

Antioch Notes

Securing Antioch’s Future

There continues to be a great deal of good news here at Antioch. That good news includes some heartening financial developments, such as the doubling of the College's endowment with the sale of the Yellow Springs Instruments Inc. stock and a 70 percent increase in Annual Fund giving compared to this time last year. Thank you—again—to all of you who are actively participating and contributing to this remarkable story.

Mark Roosevelt, President

Mark Roosevelt, President

Thank you—again—to all of you who are actively participating and contributing to this remarkable story.

In recognition of these gains, the Board of Trustees voted on January 15 to extend the Horace Mann Fellowship to all four “founding” classes of the re-created College.

This is a pivotal decision for Antioch's future. It will allow the College to continue to attract diverse students of academic and personal strength regardless of their economic circumstances in the critical early years of our re-creation.

I ask all of you to reach out to talented, bold, imaginative young people who are capable of handling a rigorous liberal arts education and who possess the desire and capacity to use their education as a tool to make changes in their communities and in the world. Ask them to give Antioch a look.

As you well know, and as they would soon find out, Antioch College is a different place. So many young people go to small liberal arts colleges to retreat from the world, to spend four relatively isolated years in “preparation” for entering the “real world” upon graduation.

Students who come to Antioch, however, seek not to retreat but to engage with the world. Through their co-op jobs; the newly designed Global Seminars on water, food, energy, health, and public policy; increasingly robust interactions with the people and institutions of Yellow Springs; their role as active participants in the life of their College; and their pursuit of language skills and eventually international work—Antioch students apply and test their learning in their local community and in the wider world. It is our clear intention that students learn to “think globally, and act locally,” as the bumper sticker says, but also when necessary to “think locally, and act globally.”

Antioch is steeped in history. And what is happening on campus today is by no means its first “re-creation.” I recently examined Arthur Morgan's 1920 Plan for a New Antioch. And while there is a good deal of outdated language (he made many references to “virility”), there is also a good deal of common sense and a clear recognition that as circumstances change so too must education. In a section on “The Aim of Education,” he writes, “As the conditions of life change, the deficiencies of human environment change, and so the content and method of education must change—always to make up for the deficiency in human environment, and in men's equipment for getting the significance of life.”

Morgan wrote these words when “American industry, and notably agriculture, is becoming increasingly mechanical,” and he called for Antioch to educate students with the capacity to maintain the growing industrial infrastructure.

In the ninety-plus years since Morgan wrote his plan, American technical prowess has grown astronomically with many resulting gains but also many attendant losses, including massive environmental damage and dramatic wealth inequality.Now we must educate students with the capacity to mitigate these losses and find ways to elevate other values above growth in production and consumerism.

So, the Antioch College of 2012 begins with a new premise: that the way we live in the U.S. today is not sustainable. But there is also the promise that the College will be a place where, thanks to your support and the Board's vision, new generations of Antiochians will join a thriving community of learners to discover new and better ways of living.

We will do this together in pursuit of an old dream—to make up for “deficiencies in human environments,” to better equip young people to improve the world they inherited from their elders, and for “getting the significance of life.”