Campus News

Happy Birthday to Oberlin’s Favorite Chemist

December 6, 2013
Communications Staff
statue of Charles Martin Hall
Photo credit: Yvonne Gay

Oberlin’s largest donor ever, Charles Martin Hall, was born 150 years ago, on December 6, 1863. An 1885 graduate of the college, where he studied chemistry, Hall earned a fortune after discovering an inexpensive method for isolating pure aluminum from its compound and going on to form the company now known as the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa). A generous benefactor of the college, he made several direct gifts, and his estate left more than $10 million for the college endowment. Hall’s generosity toward his alma mater “is largely responsible for creating the college we are so proud of,” says Bill Barlow, vice president for development and alumni affairs.

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A row of seated students on a stage.

This Week in Photos: March 4

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This wood engraving, made in 1846 from a drawing by Henry Howe, depicts West College Street in Oberlin.

The Founding of Oberlin College

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"In Oberlin History" is a series dedicated to notable events in Oberlin College history. In December of 1833, 29 men and 15 women began classes as the first students of the Oberlin Collegiate Institute.
Oberlin College Varsity Football team 1892 posing together.

The Unresolved Football Dispute with Michigan

November 24, 2019
In November 1892, the Oberlin College football team, coached by John Heisman, achieved an undefeated season when they beat the University of Michigan, 24-22. However, this game’s outcome is disputed to this day.