Cornel West, one of the leading intellectuals of our day, kicked off the 1996-97 academic year at Oberlin when he spoke September 3 to a full-house in Finney Chapel. Professor of Afro-American studies and the philosophy of religion at Harvard, West focused his comments on this year's orientation theme: Learning and Labor: Building Community through Service.
Who Are They?
West's talk not only inaugurated the new academic year, it marked the close of orientation for the members of the Class of 2000 (675 in the College of Arts & Science; 151 in the Conservatory of Music). They hail from 45 states and 36 foreign countries.
Arts & Sciences students, who boast an average GPA of 3.44 and a SAT of 1303, were chosen from a pool of applicants that was 3.6 percent larger than the previous year. Oberlin's A & S admissions admitted 64.9 percent of the applicants, 27 percent of whom enrolled. Both the 1996-97 admit rate and yield improved over the previous year's, which were 72 and 25, respectively.
Conservatory students were chosen from an applicant pool of 1044--the largest ever. The conservatory admitted 33 percent of the applicants, 45 percent of whom enrolled. The rate of admittance improved over last year's of 35 percent; the 1995 and 1996 yields were virtually the same.
The Best College Town
And as if the Class of 2000's accomplishments weren't reason enough to celebrate, the city of Oberlin was proclaimed the most livable community in Ohio by Ohio magazine. "Oberlin College and the city of Oberlin have built their relationship on the strong foundation of a shared history and a tradition of working together for the common good," noted the editors.
October 5 was proclaimed College Town Day, for which town residents and College employees planned a full day of events open to all. President Nancy S. Dye and City Council President Fran Baumann accepted the award from the magazine in a brief ceremony on Tappan Square, after which Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame and father of Christopher Yarrow '95, performed in concert.
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