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 changing the world, one book at a time

Anita Fahrni ’65
“After returning, I started to collect, sort and send books. Within 10 years, over 220,000 books would find their way from my garage to libraries throughout Mongolia!”

On the Oberlin student body

Sandy Waters ’71
“My Oberlin friends came from... all over the place. All races and all faiths, they had attended both public and private high schools... they were independent, intellectually curious, intelligent,...

On learning from peers

Sarah Cheshire ’14
“My education at Oberlin has occurred not only in the classroom, but through living and constantly engaging with so many different people from so many different life contexts.”

On finding a musical community

Maya Zeemont ’16
“The music, the dancing, the performers--all components of the show emanated pure joy. I hadn’t overlooked, however, that OSteel was quite advanced musically, so it never even crossed my mind that I...

On her 4-6 a.m. show on WOBC, the student-run college radio station

Hillary Swiss ’11
“Walking to and from Wilder in the middle of the night was extremely surreal, and I remember vividly how excited I was to share music with whoever was awake during my “rite-of-passage” first-year...

On there being too much to do at Oberlin

Ben Ferber ’11
“I always thought I was good at time management, but handling five classes, three plays, two student organizations, an RA job, a radio show, and a social life as an Oberlin sophomore is a little like...

On organizing Dr. Seuss Day at the local public library

Sophie Schacht ’10
“I am one of six people on the varsity softball team who tutors in the Oberlin public schools -- my first order of business was to recruit the entire team.”

On starting a non-profit while still at Oberlin

Monica Greene ’07
“The Heart Project was intended to be a small jewelry sale, but developed into something much bigger than we ever imagined.”

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.”

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