Looking Backward, Heading Forward

Change is inevitable, and as the adage goes, the best way to cope with it is to be part of it. Late in September, a group of Oberlin alumni did exactly that by taking part in a discussion of Oberlin's mission, past and present.

The alumni forum used the current theme of Oberlin's admissions literature, "Think One Person Can Change the World? So Do We," as a starting point of discussion. During the first hour, alumni panelists representing class years from 1948 to 1990 gave individual presentations, and in the second hour the discussion was opened to audience members.

By examining the college's institutional mission in the past--by gleaning wisdom from alumni--Oberlin is now better prepared for nine-months of long-range planning for its future. That process, which will involve students, faculty members, administrators, and alumni, began in September and is aimed at envisioning Oberlin College in the year 2020. "Oberlin 2020: Building Our Future" is the official name of the long-range planning period.

"This alumni panel was the perfect way to kick off our long-range planning efforts. By looking at the many common threads throughout Oberlin's past, we could see what has changed and what endures. That helps us look toward the future too," said Diana Roose, assistant to the president. Roose organized the event with the Alumni Council.

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