Issue Contents  : :  Inside Oberlin

Despite Change, We're Still the Same

Leanne Cupp Wagner '76
The Red Sox made it to the ALCS. The Cubs made it to the NLCS. Oberlin beat the College of Wooster in football. Granted, by the time you read this column, this will be old news. Still, there seems to be a fundamental shift in the universe. Midge Wood Brittingham is retiring after 27 years as director of the Alumni Association--that's definitely a shift in our universe. Some cannot imagine a Commencement/Reunion weekend without Midge, but reunions will persist and be better than ever.

We had a fabulous time at Alumni Council Weekend in September, when we celebrated Midge's tenure with a ceremony on Friday evening and an alumni recital on Saturday. Both were fitting tributes to a woman who for years has shepherded the Alumni Association through the good and the bad, all while introducing new dimensions of diversity. Midge won't be disappearing--she is an alumna after all--and we expect to see her at the next Alumni Council weekend.

As I write this message, the search committee for a new executive director is wrapping up its work. I offer grateful thanks to Clyde Owan '79, past-president of the Alumni Association; Al McQueen '52; Jan Miyake '96; and Midge herself for working with me and Vice President Ernie Iseminger (with the support of Corinna Lewis in the development office). Together, we screened applicants and worked through many interviews to present two excellent finalists to President Nancy Dye. Stay tuned to Oberlin Online for the announcement of our new executive director.

While attention may be focused on the leadership of the alumni office, the sustainability of the organization is dependent upon the active participation of its membership. Nearly 30,000 alumni have received ballots for the election of an alumni trustee--please vote! Details are on page 7. More than 800 alumni volunteers serve as admissions recruiters and do a wonderful job of representing Oberlin to high school students. Other alums--nearly 800--assist the Office of Career Services by sponsoring internships for students and serving as career mentors. Nearly 300 members of the Alumni Council volunteer as class presidents; class agents; representatives of affiliate groups; and as committee members in the areas of admissions, alumni communications, the Conservatory, career services, alumni awards, and the nomination of alumni-elected trustees and new Council members.

Our universe may be shifting, but the heart of the Alumni Association--its volunteers--unchanged. It is an extraordinary honor for me to serve as president of the Alumni Association. Oberlin alumni like to see progress, but we must also learn to accept change. The Alumni Association will have a new executive director when many of you return to campus for Commencement/Reunion next May. Please welcome our new leader, who shares your passion for Oberlin.

The universe may have shifted, but Oberlin is still Oberlin.

Leanne Cupp Wagner '76
President, Alumni Association