Above and Beyond
Oberlin is always a busy college during the academic year. But the end of the first semester brings a special kind of frenzy as the holidays coincide with students frantically preparing for finals, writing papers, putting on performances, playing recitals and concerts, all while hoping that the weather doesn’t affect their travel arrangements.
Our faculty members, meanwhile, are busy grading, wrapping up departmental and committee business, pursuing their own research and scholarship, and hoping weather doesn’t interfere with their holiday plans. And, as always, there are many wonderful events and activities taking place on campus.
It’s a reminder that Oberlin is filled with remarkable people who go above and beyond the call of duty to make this a great college and conservatory. Learning and labor is more than our motto. It’s our way of life. Oberlin people—students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and trustees—work very hard and love to learn. The teacher-scholars on our fine faculty not only pursue their intellectual passions, they put in long hours inside the classroom and out, teaching, advising, supporting and mentoring our students. I am also impressed by the dedication of our staff—from student services to librarians to groundskeepers, coaches, and admissions and development staffers.
So as the semester rushes to a close, I want to offer many, many thanks to our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents for all they do for Oberlin.
Looking ahead to second semester, we have a terrific line-up of Convocation speakers and Artist Recital Series musicians coming to campus. They include:
Lena Dunham’08, writer, filmmaker, actress, in conversation with Professor David Walker (Saturday, February 8);
Imani Winds, featuring Oberlin alumni Toyin Spellman-Diaz ’94 on oboe and Monica Ellis ’95 on bassoon (February 9);
Master classes with Marilyn Horne, One of the world’s greatest operatic mezzo-sopranos (February 14 and 16);
Avery Brooks ’70, actor, teacher and director (Saturday, February 22);
Natasha Trethewey, poet laureate of the United States (Tuesday, March 4);
James McBride ’79, author, screenwriter, and musician whose novel The Good Lord Bird recently received the National Book Award for fiction (Wednesday, March 5).
Pianist George Li, first-prize winner in Oberlin's inaugural Cooper International Competition in 2010 (March 1); and
Punch Brothers, who return to campus after their recent three-day residency (March 9).
We’ll be announcing some other special guests soon.
I don’t think any other small college can rival the reach, acuity, and diversity of those events. They are another reminder that Oberlin is a special place where students are exposed to an incredible breadth and depth of ideas and inspiring and brilliant people.
Thank again to all of you who work so hard to build on Oberlin’s excellence. I greatly appreciate your efforts and support for Oberlin. I send everyone best wishes for the holiday season and for a wonderful new year.