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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This Week in Photos: March 4

March 4, 2020

Alumni journalist and authors, the first black woman to stage an opera in the United States is honored, and TIMARA students who turn words of gratitude into works of audible art at a nearby hospital are just some of the features in this week’s photo series.
A row of seated students on a stage.

The Founding of Oberlin College

December 6, 2019

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