Campus News

Recognizing Retiring Staff Members for 2019-’20

June 30, 2020

Communications Staff

Memorial arch in Tappan Square with a blue sky in background.
Memorial Arch in Tappan Square.
Photo credit: William Bradford

We would like to recognize these retiring staff members for their valuable service and contributions to Oberlin College. Staff were asked to share a favorite memory of their time at Oberlin; read about some of their most memorable experiences. 

Head shot of Liz Clerkin.
Elizabeth Clerkin. Photo credit: Bryan Rubin '18

Elizabeth Clerkin, Office of the Registrar

“Some of my favorite memories are the ‘comings and goings.’ The comings are when we welcome the new students and parents; I’ve made lasting connections with families and students on that first day. The goings are the morning of Commencement, when our staff members get to say goodbye to the graduates one last time. For 19 years I’ve handed diplomas to the president, sometimes experiencing panic when the diploma doesn’t match the name being called (!), but also moments of joy when that last name is called and the celebration begins. It’s been a wonderful experience to see students arrive as newbies and go forth into the world as Obies and to know I had a hand in that process.”

head shot of Barbara Kirby.
Barbara Kirby. Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones  '97

Barbara Kirby, Office of the Dean of Students

Head shot of Gayle Schmitt.
Gayle Schmitt. Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones  '97

Gayle Schmitt, Student Mail Room

“It was nice to get to know a lot of the students. Good luck to all of them!”

Head shot of Rochelle Travis.
Rochelle Travis. Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones  '97

Rochelle Travis, International Programs / Study Away

“More than 25 years of working for Oberlin have given me extraordinary memories: Stellar musical and theatrical performances by Oberlin students and faculty; evenings in Finney Chapel and Hall Auditorium featuring now-famous alumni returning to the stages where they first honed their talents; and, on one unforgettable and starlit summer night in Tappan Square, an exquisite performance by the Neos Dance Theatre. That evening was made possible by funds from the college, the imagination of a dean devoted to the arts, and our wonderful facilities crew who set up the temporary platform, lights, and sound.

“My first Translation Symposium is another favorite recollection. Twenty student participants recited poetry or prose texts in a language other than their native tongue, (including Korean, Japanese, Cantonese, Hebrew, and ancient Greek) then gave English translations, rendering pitch-perfect, engaging performances that were by turns funny, romantic, or poignant. One student even composed music to accompany his poem and his performance would have made Bobby McFerrin envious. The annual symposium was the brainchild of the late, great, and beloved Professor Jed Deppman, for whom the event is now named. 

“Finally, our Office of Study Away student assistants Rebecca Davis ’20 and Olivia Goldstein ’21 made an office promotional video this spring. It is wonderful.

“These are just a few of the remarkable experiences I’ve enjoyed at Oberlin, and I wish the college a long and healthy life. It has made a difference in mine.”

Joyce Edwards, Campus Dining
(photo not available)


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