Campus News

Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison Dies

August 6, 2019

Communications Staff

Toni Morrison wearing glasses and holding a book.
Toni Morrison giving a talk at Oberlin College.
Photo credit: William Rieter

Author, Nobel Laureate, and Lorain, Ohio, native Toni Morrison died on Monday, August 5 at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. She was 88.

With her hometown just eight miles from Oberlin, Morrison had numerous ties to the college. She was awarded an honorary degree in 1980, and she presented Convocation speeches in both 2009 and 2012.

In conjunction with her 2009 Convocation speech, Morrison dedicated a bench at the corner of North Main and Lorain Streets in Oberlin as part of the Bench by the Road project created by the Toni Morrison Society to help remember the lives of Africans who were enslaved. The Oberlin location is one of 20 in this global project.

Oberlin College is also home to the Toni Morrison Society, which opened an office in the Mary Church Terrell Main Library in 2012.

Most recently, cinema studies faculty Rian Brown-Orso and Geoff Pingree directed a documentary about Toni Morrison’s artistic and intellectual vision, titled The Foreigner's Home . The feature-length film premiered in 2018, and explores the issues Morrison raised when she guest-curated an exhibition in 2006 at the Louvre.

Read Morrison’s full obituary

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