I always enjoy the magazine, and the summer 2008 issue was no exception. But I was disturbed by the cover—a generic cartoon, which is current in places like the Chronicle of Higher Education or Academe, that depicts faceless people and generic symbols of academic life in rather lifeless, hopeless poses that represent the issues and crises of education. The "Old Main" with a Greek portico floating above a generic child doesn’t represent Oberlin in any visual way. We should do better. The issue of access is important, and Oberlin has a distinctive story to tell.
Owen Cramer ’62
M.C. Gile Professor of Classics
Oberlin College is about to launch an all-new web site (www.oberlin.edu). The focus of its new home page will be first-person narratives written by students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Our goal is to define Oberlin through the stories of its people and help the world to better understand the value of an Oberlin education—what it means to be part of this culture and community. Each time a user logs on, the home page will randomly load nine different stories from a repository. Our goal? To bank 1,000 Oberlin stories within the next year. Once we publish a critical mass of stories, the view into the ethos of Oberlin will be unparalleled—but we can’t do it without you! Please consider sending us your Oberlin story. For a sense of what makes a good contribution, visit http://stories.oberlin.edu and explore what others have written. To join in, please send your story and a relevant photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks in advance for being part of the Oberlin Stories project!
Ben Jones ’96
Vice President for Communications
To celebrate our 50th reunion year, Oberlin’s Class of 1958 established two endowment funds, one for peace and conflict resolution initiatives at Oberlin and a second for support of the Graduate Teacher Education Program. The Class of 1958 is convinced that the areas of peace and conflict resolution are of strategic importance to the world, the U.S., the local community, and to Oberlin’s students and curriculum. We held a reunion symposium last May that focused on that theme and utilized the expertise of two class-mates: Bill Rugh, a former U.S. ambassador to Yemen and the United Arab Emirates, and David Smock, vice president of the U.S. Institute of Peace. Alan Carroll ’58 has also been instrumental in advocating for peace studies. Working with faculty, townspeople, and students at Oberlin, he provided the initiative for an ExCo program and for our endowment. Our class is also choosing to support Oberlin’s efforts to educate future teachers. Those of us who have taught in the public schools, both in the U.S. and abroad, know that teachers who are well-versed in the liberal arts are able to understand multiple issues and viewpoints and to incorporate and sympathize with the perspectives of others. This open-mindedness is at the heart of all efforts to foster world peace and alternatives to war and conflict. Liberal arts colleges also play a strategic role in educating prospective teachers who can in turn help students reach their full potential and contribute to a society focused on creativity and harmony. Please consider joining the Class of 1958 in bringing these two endowments to fruition. We feel that both are of sufficient long-range importance to studies at Oberlin and to the local and international scene. For more information, please visit www.oberlin.edu/giving/ or call (800) 693-3167.
Maxine Wenzler Houck ’58