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 her service trip to Open Ground

Hannah Gordon ’11
“Throughout the week, so many tight-knit connections were formed among people from various niches of Oberlin—people who otherwise would have probably never even met each other.”

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 the Oberlin College Dialogue Center

Kantara Souffrant ’08
“[we work] with the hopes of building an inclusive campus-climate and global community where individuals can interact with each other earnestly ... and live amongst each other with a sense of...

On coordinating alternative spring break trips

Sylvia Woodmansee ’15
“I appreciate the drive of everyone in the IYS leader group and their willingness to continue reflecting and moving forward with our ideas and work. ”

On starting the Free Store

Kym Buzdygon ’07
“I am so grateful to have been at a place where ideas like the Free Store... are so well-received and supported. Oberlin is really a great place to have initiative on any scale.”

On embracing public speaking

Ty Diringer ’14
“My tenure on the Student Union Board helped me to know with certainty that I wanted to enter a world of pivotal dialogue with a firm, clear voice, and gave me confidence that I could.”

On experiential learning

Aaron Appel ’16
“What I chose to do while at The Philadelphia Center would have been inconceivable had I not spent the last two and a half years living in this small-town Ohio community.”

On tutoring at Head Start

Leah Awkward-Rich ’17
“I witnessed the kids I spent several hours a week with mature emotionally and personally, and I was given the opportunity to participate as they learned brand new concepts.”

On writing Nicaraguan women’s history

Victoria González-Rivera ’90
“I became a feminist and started to focus on an overarching question that would absorb much of my time over the next two decades: why assume that only white women fought back against sexism before...

On the Oberlin College Dialogue Center

Amanda Medress ’09
“We handle conflict through a social justice lens, which means acknowledging that differences in power and privilege inherently affect human interaction.”

On the lasting effects of her time at Oberlin

Martha J. Tenney ’83
“Years later I have a career in public health and the things I love are the things I loved that helped create the squiggly route to NOW. ”

On the ethos of Obies

Wendell Russell, Jr. ’71
“My Oberlin was very much a time and place of social ferment and activism, and while the issues may be different today, I know that Oberlin students will always be deeply involved in cutting edge...

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