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 his voice teacher, Kendra Colton ’83

Jeffrey Hill ’09
“She taught with a firm, guided, and encouraging hand, but always listened openly to my thoughts and ideas. She allowed me to find my own voice instead of telling me what I should be.”

On living in tiny communities

Celina Siegel ’18
“They are exhausting and overwhelming and stressful in a way that only intense familiarity can be. They are also wonderfully intimate and deeply comforting and rewarding.”

On being successful in business

Thomas Kutzen ’76
“It takes the same willingness to be involved that I discovered at Oberlin, the ability to examine the community and to be an individual therein with the right blend of independence, challenge,...

On the opportunity to study in Brazil

Noel Myers ’14
“This internship made me realize how alternative energy and clean water can improve the health of community members and that it is fundamental to their economic development.”

On his January spent underwater

Joshua Levy ’94
“Thanks to the Winter Term opportunity at Oberlin ... I’ve had the opportunity to see a manta ray in Hawaii, turtles in St. John, garden eels in Saba, docile sting rays in Cayman, and the most...

On learning to bake bread in a co-op

Connor Lee ’09
“Once I got over the fact that I could fit a few Hansels and Gretels inside the oven, it was just like any other kitchen, just larger and more awesome.”

On creating Yafo Harmony

Zach Resnick ’16
“I proposed a program that combined all my passions—social justice, music, and language learning—and with a generous CIGSIE grant, I was able to bring it to life in Yafo.”

On Oberlin’s composition students

Prof. Lewis Nielson
“It’s routine for me to be told by our guests that our students are the best they encounter anywhere in the world, not just for the quality of the works they display but also for the incisiveness of...

On coordinating the Light Bulb Brigade

Kristin Braziunas ’08
“Ten months, 10,000 light bulbs, and one bachelor’s degree later... this is something that for me has come to define Oberlin.”

On choosing Oberlin

Diane C. Yu ’73
“I had devoted countless hours in high school to efforts to better integrate the Rochester school systems and didn’t want to go to a place where diversity was an afterthought.”

On what a student co-op in Oberlin has in common with Nicaragua’s strongest union

Alice Ollstein ’10
“As we sat in my host mom Jacinta’s kitchen, I felt like a true partner, fighting alongside the UNAG because we want the same things for the same people.”

On finding an alumni mentor

Robert Palacios ’13
“What will always remain the most important aspect of the relationship are the stories we have shared, the lessons I have learned, and the friendship we have formed across the generations.”

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