This week marks the beginning of our annual All Roads Lead to Oberlin event. This is the time when admitted students and their families visit campus—the visit helps them decide if this is the place where they will spend the coming four years, or five in the case of double-degree students.
All Roads has a special resonance this year for me. During spring break, I toured a number of college campuses with my son, who is a junior in high school. The tours were well done. But they reminded me that choosing a college involves more than just facilities, programs, classes, and campus-specific traditions.
The people prospective students meet, their enthusiasm for their school, and their willingness to welcome new people to campus are important factors. And I’m not talking only about tour guides and admissions staff. I’m talking about the students, faculty, staff, and alumni prospectives encounter during their visit. It really makes a difference if the people prospective students and their families meet smile, say hello, offer directions when needed, or take a few minutes for a chat, even if it’s a random encounter.
Fortunately, Oberlin’s people shine in this area. I can’t count the times I’ve heard from parents of prospective students, as well as other visitors, about how friendly and helpful our students, faculty, and staff are. We excel at treating admitted students and their families as if they were members of our Oberlin family. That’s a huge factor in helping those trying to decide whether Oberlin is the college and/or conservatory—and the community—where they will live, study, work, play, and thrive starting this coming fall.
So I thank all of you in advance for being a welcoming, caring, and engaged community, and I look forward to meeting the students and families who will form Oberlin’s Class of 2018!
Looking ahead, I want to encourage everyone to attend a special lecture with Richard Plepler, CEO of Home Box Office Inc. (HBO), on Friday, April 4, at noon at the Apollo Theatre. His talk is titled “HBO: Culture, Strategy, and Leadership.”
Mr. Plepler is responsible for the overall management of the world’s most successful subscription TV service. Along with Michael Lombardo, president of HBO Programming, Plepler greenlit some of HBO’s most acclaimed and successful series, including True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom, and Game of Thrones.
He is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations, where he serves on the President’s Advisory Board, and the Trilateral Commission. He also serves on the board of trustees for the Asia Society and the New York Public Library, and he is on the National Advisory Board of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University.
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