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 playing Carnegie Hall

Hannah Levinson ’09
“I never truly understood the relationship between a conductor and an orchestra until I played under Robert Spano ’83.”

On Oberlin’s Contemporary Music Ensemble

Avery Waite ’10
“In this new music, I heard nothing, only an ugly idiom that my ear could not, would not grasp... Then something happened that I’ll never forget.”

On the Multicultural Resource Center

Sien Rivera ’13
“The MRC serves as my springboard; as a timid first-year, it gave me the strength to go out into the frightening unfamiliarity of campus and thrive, because I knew I had a home to go back to.”

On an interdisciplinary education

Miranda Fisher ’12
“Learning isn’t just about memorizing static content for a specific class; it’s about shattering the boundaries of a subject and seeing how you can apply its content in different contexts.”

On opportunities and the people who help you grab them

Jane Clark ’16
“The people I have met at Oberlin have recognized potential in me that I did not know existed and held me together when I felt that I might crack.”

On being one of the first female runners

Carla White Freyvogel ’79
“Running became a political statement for me... while other women made statements in class, delivering heart-pounding lectures, papers, and demonstrations, I put on my shoes and ran with the men.”

On studying in London with David Walker

Sze Foong ’99
“Threading it all together were the conversations gently led by David about and around these plays, supplemented by talk of poems, novels, museum visits, and films, and from these emerged the...

On discovering hip-hip culture at Oberlin

Niels Bantilan ’09
“As I accumulated more knowledge about the music, art, and history of hip-hop through my independent research, I started to think outside the dance.”

On Kosher Co-op

Josh Shuman ’86
“There I learned to cook--my first meal of macaroni and cheese lathered with rum extract was not a hit, but later my Thanksgiving turkeys basted with beer and oranges were!”

On academic passions

Claire Jenson ’12
“I’m fortunate to go to Oberlin, to live in this world of thrilling academic inquiry and discovery, because the community keeps my mind constantly ticking, asking, and considering.”

On succeeding through adversity

Yolanda Walker ’09
“Oberlin takes those with ambition and provides them with a world of opportunities. I entered Oberlin as a housekeeper and graduated four years later with a degree in economics.”

On requiring students to write memos

Prof. Ben Schiff
“For many students, writing short is harder than writing long - but I believe it to be a valuable skill to add to the arsenal of writing styles that we promote here at Oberlin.”

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