Oberlin Alumni Magazine

Winter 2011-2012 Vol. 107 No. 1 OAM Home | Oberlin Online


Everybody Loves Us!

Congratulations. You have put life into Oberlin Alumni Magazine. It is handsomely designed and full of interesting articles.

Donald Oresman ’46
New York, N.Y.

I LOVE the new design of Oberlin Alumni Magazine. It’s beautiful and classy. The photos are gorgeous. And it’s so easy to read that I actually read it. I’m more and more of a digital reader these days, but it’s always good to see publications that are worth the paper they’re printed on. Great job!

Robin Sherman ’88
Montague, Mass.

Just wanted to let you know that I love the new look and content of the magazine. For the first time, I feel that someone has really captured the essence of the school I went to, and told me the things that I want to know about it. It is heartening to see the ways that Oberlin is staying true to its ’stubborn moral idealism.’

There is a huge opportunity to carry the goals and actions of the Oberlin Project through the alumni network. A lot of alums are in a position to influence their companies, employers, and clients to modify their ecological behavior. Let’s extend the project beyond the school and out into the world with the support of Oberlin’s finest.

One other point of note, when Professor Volk talked about notable alumni who have played major roles at NPR, he left out Alix Spiegel ’93. She was one of the founding producers on This American Life and has gone on to win a Peabody and Livingston journalism award amongst others. She now heads up the NPR science desk.

Ashley Alsup ’92
Boulder, Colo.

The fall 2011 alumni magazine is stunning in its radically revised format and its content, most notably the Oberlin Project. I must admit to years of relatively casual reading of the magazine before a quick trip to the recycle box. I am now a thoroughly captivated reader who can’t wait to see the next edition and all those that follow. Congratulations and thank you.

Chuck Jackson ’54
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Ok, Not Everyone

At the risk of not being politically correct ... I hate the new look of our alumni magazine. In fact, I first threw it away, thinking it was some corporate investment brochure, until I saw the words ’Class Notes’ (my favorite part), as the pages fanned out falling into my recycling bin.

David Lewis ’78
Bainbridge Island, Wash.

Endowed Chair

I ran across a copy of your fall 2011 Oberlin Alumni Magazine and was delighted to see the great cover of the ball chair with the image of earth rendered so skillfully to the outer shell of the chair.

I immediately sent the link of the school’s website to my father, Eero Aarnio, in Finland, so he could also see that ’new’ image of the ball chair he designed in 1963. He also liked the concept of the earth and ball chair combined. Referring to the information on the back cover, the official name of the chair is ball chair and not ’moon chair’ or ’womb chair.’

Rea Aarnio-Gibson
Chapel Hill, N.C.

ROTC Dialogue, Continued

As an Oberlin alumnus, I do not share Gina Perez’s lack of trust in the ’quality of mind’ of Oberlin’s students (fall 2011, ’Should Oberlin Allow ROTC on Campus?’). We Obies come from all over the world and arrive at Oberlin with an amazing maturity and breadth of life experience. Just as we choose our path of academic study, we can be trusted to determine if ROTC is something we would like to pursue while at Oberlin. This freedom is why many of us chose Oberlin in the first place.

While Perez asserts that Obies should ’deepen their intellectual capabilities’ prior to choosing ROTC or the military, the truth is that ROTC and the military provide fantastic opportunities to accomplish just this. In the Marine Corps, I work with some of the most competent, motivated, and inspiring people—from Ivy League graduates to caretakers of our wounded warriors to brave and patriotic heroes from every war since WWII. Our military, often beginning with ROTC, educates and develops lawyers, doctors, engineers, pilots, and, yes, even professors. Just as Oberlin graduated Mary Jane Patterson in 1862 as the first African American woman to earn a BA degree, the Marine Corps commissioned Vernice Armour, who in 2003 became America’s first African American female combat pilot. Armour’s barrier-breaking career began with ROTC.

Oberlin was founded on the core values of diversity and opportunity. For some, ROTC can provide both. To be true to its legacy, Oberlin should lead the way in providing unfettered diversity and opportunity, and trust its highly capable students with self-determination. If Oberlin’s history proves prescient, it will.

Christopher R. Allen ’90
Fredericksburg, Va.

The author is a special assistant for legislative affairs at Manpower and Reserve Affairs with the United States Marine Corps.

Oberlin Alumni Magazine welcomes comments from readers.
Please address your letters to:
Oberlin Alumni Magazine,
247 W. Lorain St., Suite C,
Oberlin, OH 44074-1089
Phone: 440.775.8182 or email alum.mag@oberlin.edu.

Letters may be edited for clarity and space.

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