Ben Jones ’96

  • Assistant Vice President of Admissions Communications

Education

  • BA in English and environmental studies, Oberlin College, 1996

Biography

I first experienced Oberlin on a fall visit program, and knew that it was home within minutes of setting foot on campus. It was a perfect October evening and there were students hanging out everywhere—the iconic image of campus life—but it was the tangible energy of the place that I’ll remember forever, that immediate and deep sense of community and inclusion.

Soon after arriving in Oberlin, a few other prospective students and I headed over to the Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse, where a folksinger was playing that night. My host introduced me to a handful of current Obies, and word spread quickly that there were “prospies” in the house. Soon people were coming over to us, telling us stories about Oberlin, asking us questions about our interests and backgrounds. At the end of the night, I found myself surrounded by new friends, singing along as if I’d been there for years. I applied early decision and never looked back.

My four years as a student here were profound. I learned more about myself than I ever thought possible. I made some of the best friends of my life. I figured out who I was and who I wanted to become. I was encouraged to push the boundaries and limits of everything, and I did.

I was challenged more than a few times by professors who knew me well enough to know when I wasn’t giving my best (thank you!). Many of those professors are now life-long friends. Some even drove all the way to Massachusetts to attend my wedding (to another Obie—no surprise :-)).

I double-majored in English and environmental studies, and for three years I managed the Cat in the Cream (where it all started!). I sang with an a cappella group and played in a rock band that released an album and toured during breaks. I went to a gazillion concerts, theater productions, and films, and never missed an ’80s night at the ’Sco. (As a point of comparison, I lived in Boston for the decade following college and found that there was just as much to do in Oberlin on any given night—don’t let the small town fool you.)

Over the years I’ve watched all of my friends from Oberlin apply their energy and educations to things in the world that truly matter. Their collective impact across the planet is remarkable. It makes me so proud to be able to say I’m part of this community that embraces hope, promise, and possibility wherever it finds itself.

I started my higher-ed career at MIT, where I served as the communications guy in their Office of Admissions. In 2008, I returned to Oberlin to lead our communications office, a role I held for 13 years. Most recently, I moved over to the Office of Admissions in a senior communications role in order to focus exclusively on communicating with our prospective students and families.

The short version: I went to Oberlin, I work at Oberlin, I married an Obie, I live in Oberlin, and—how could I forget!—my eldest son is starting his first year here this fall. So if you have any questions about pretty much anything Oberlin-related, I’m probably your guy.

I look forward to meeting you on campus, on the road, and/or online!

 


Region

Northern California