We have collected hundreds of personal narratives from students, alumni, faculty, and staff that explain the merits and strengths of Oberlin through the eyes of those who have experienced it firsthand.
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On Promoting Youth Climate Action

Harriet McSurdy ’23
‘‘Prior to attending Oberlin, I was unaware of the extent and impact of climate change. In the fall as a first-year, I was introduced to research in the environmental studies department and was...

On the Asia House dragon

Bill Heinrich ’81
“It would have been tedious work except that it was ambitious, self-directed, and had nothing to do with classes or credits. What made it something to look forward to was the enjoyment of working...

On being a member of Oberlin Student Finance and Investment Club

Jiayu Lin ’11
“All club members learn together in various forms: an ExCo, themed discussions at meetings, and, most often, the teamwork involved with putting together the stock presentations.”

On learning to choose

Chelsea de Souza ’16
“Oberlin has helped me with something that I have struggled with my entire life — the strength to make choices and believe in them despite any regrets that might follow.”

On being selected as a Cole Scholar

Tyler Robinson ’11
“Across the board, students emerge from the program feeling academically invigorated, and many have a keener sense of personal identity. I am no exception.”

On playing Ottavia

Patty Stubel ’09
“While it’s entertaining to talk about my grand expertise in lying on the floor, this experience truly did expand my abilities as a performer.”

On Oberlin family history

Julia Maier ’12
“If I stare carefully at the ceiling of the turret and employ my imagination, I can see the mural mosaic that was painted while my father lived in the room.”

On working with IWP

Cynthia Malasky ’11
“For two months, I have been in charge of the Oberlin region, working with two other student interns to teach English classes, serve as interpreters, and prepare for court cases for undocumented and...

On researching wolves in Minnesota

Aaron Kokotek ’11
“We heard howls in the distance, howled in response, and heard the wolf pack reply to our call.”

On studying the legacy of war in Nicaragua

Rachel Berkrot ’15
“I set out to learn from the village’s people by gathering oral histories of those who were living during the war and learning how it changed their lives and their country.”

On joining Women in Math and Computer Science

Lauren Wong ’16
“I found friends, a support system, connections, and something I was willing to speak up about, which is what I think Oberlin is all about.”

On the influence of an Oberlin education

Elizabeth Taylor Quilliam ’74
“Oberlin was not simply a 4-year stopping point, but has been and continues to be an essential part of my journey. It taught me to be ever vigilant in seeking social justice, curious, caring, open to...

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