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10/10/23 12:02 PM #292    

Bill Natale

I recall having seen references to the faculty's rejection of a major academic improvement program that had been championed by a past president.  Does anyone have more details on this?  We might consider that there is another aspect of the faculty-governance model which perhaps has not worked to the school's advantage, and Oberlin's decline might not be fully explained by the triumph of its coeducational example or its bad luck in being a rural college in northern Ohio when coastal cities are all the rage.

10/10/23 01:14 PM #293    


Ralph Shapira

I can partly answer Ted's question.  One of the best parts of the reunion for me was the opportunity to attend classes.  Peter Griswold and I attended three classes, two in lecture format and the third a seminar, Advanced Literary Criticism, with about 20 students.  The seminar gave us a good look at the students.  It was skillfully conducted by two students, who in turn involved the entire class in discussion about`the James Joyce story "The Dead."  All the students were prepared, thoughtful and articulate; I was very impressed with them.  I didn't directly observe their political activism but the whole atmosphere of the place made me think it highly likely that they share the values and world-views that made Oberlin so special for us.

Incidentally, we would not have been able to attend classes and get to know students had the reunion been held over Memorial Day weekend, when school is not in session, as many of our classmates wished.  For future reunions, if I'm fortunate enough to attend, I fully support doing it on the fall homecoming weekend because of the opportunity for alumni to attend classes.

10/10/23 10:51 PM #294    

Peter Griswold

I agree with Ralph that the Advanced Literature Seminar was an impressive example of student-led discussions.  Most of the students participated with thoughtful analysis.  The pedagogy in the other two classes was traditional, with the faculty member talking for 50 minutes.  The instructor invited questions, but there were a limited number of students raising their hands.  With visitors to the classroom, the instructor may have felt that a lecture was the best format for us.  Perhaps in other meetings, there would have been a greater variety of learning activities - small group discusssions, media, a writing exercise, a quick turn and talk - that would have engaged the students and helped them process the information.  It surprised me too, that Oberlin still has the 50 minute classes that we had.  In my limited experience, colleges are arranging classes meeting fewer times per week, but for longer sessions, so there is time for lectures and guided learning activities to alternate.  

10/11/23 08:31 PM #295    


Edward McKelvey


Classes that meet on Tuesdays andThursdays have 75 minutes per class.


10/12/23 07:32 AM #296    


Liz Ryan (Cole)

In spite of my serious concerns about Oberlin (yes!! to all Professor Spear's and Ted Morgan said and do check out the group,  I encourage students to consider Oberlin. During reunion I had breakfast with one of them, a young woman who grew up in Texas who is enjoying her first weeks there. Talking with her was encouraging and I got to hear about her muttiple wonderful classes, her new friends and see her energy and enthusiasm; that was a good part of going back. Unfortately for some of us it was not possible to sign up for classes. I don't know if it was a technological glitch or there simply were not enough slots for all of those of us who wanted to attend, but mostly being on campus when student were there was like being behind a thick glass window. We could see them but there was no intereaction.  If Oberlin is going to insist on keeping most reunions in the fall (and it sounds as if they are not very interested in exploring other options in spite fo the fact that the foks who are pushing fall reunions hard are the same people who livng in town or are the special people who get to stay on campus and dont' have to deal with the airport hotels, poor shuttle service, with no place to gather on campus.... I could go on), then they need to do a better job of helping alumni connect with students.  I see that yesterday an evaluation came out.  Look for it.  




10/13/23 12:56 PM #297    


Patrice Tarnoff (Goodkind)

LIz, I really appreciate your comment. I did not attend for multiple reasons this year, but having to stay off campus, etc., was a big one for me.


10/13/23 03:43 PM #298    

Judith Klavans

Yes, I didn't attend since I had family in town BUT the schlep factor was whatreally tipped the scales.  I love reunions and some of my best buddies were there so I was all prepared to go but that off-campus-figure-things-out issue really pushed me to stay away.  Too many arrangements, lots of overhead.

Thanks for your perspectives, Liz and others.


10/14/23 08:30 AM #299    


Liz Ryan (Cole)

can anyone tell me (and others) how to post photos?  not sure the photo gallery is the right place, but Daniel Miller has posted there so if you see this maybe you can let us know  thanks 


10/14/23 08:51 PM #300    

Myra Kiehle (Janus)

Over the years my husband Lincoln and I would stay overnight at the Oberlin Inn on our trips to and from the East Coast. . He was a Harvard Graduate, but loved visiting Oberlin and even talked about wanting to retire there. I was not enamored of that idea, but enjoyed our quick visits to the campus. I missed the 50th reunion because he was ill and in the hospital. I remember being told that when we reached a certain age, we too could stay at the Oberlin Inn for the reunion. I did not come this time, because I had other travel commitments and decided that to tack on the reunion and staying off campus was too much. In addition, Lincoln died two years ago and none of my college friends were attending. Covid was another consideration. Although I am fully vaccinated for everything,I was not excited about mixing with a whole new group of people. As an alumna, I am visited periodically by someone from the college and am expected to make donations, which I do periodically. I receive communications from the college telling both the good news and the bad, but I what I miss most is just visiting the campus, staying overnight and sometimes going to a musical or drama performance or the Allen Art Museum, walking around campus to see my old haunts and seeing how the college evolves. As someone who studied Biology, Sociology and Anthropology, I would enjoy learning about how those disciplines are different today. I would like to know what life is like in a co-op these days.  Maybe there is a way for alumni to do this in a time and place other than a reunion. 


10/15/23 08:45 AM #301    


Tom Thomas ('69)

Liz, the section formerly entitled Photo Gallery isn't easy to update, so today we've changed its title to Picture Collections to avoid confusion with personal Photo Galleries. Each Classmate Profile has a gallery available! And we've added a section entitled How to Post Photos to explain the process.

10/15/23 01:10 PM #302    


Robert Baker

I'm with Liz. I would also like to know how to post photos to the Picture Collections. There's no indication of how to post on that page, and the How To Post Photos page only tells how to do it on your profile page. 


10/15/23 01:18 PM #303    

Douglas Hardy


Thanks for sharing yiour memories of your trips to Oberlin.

Doug Harxy

10/15/23 05:50 PM #304    


Tom Thomas ('69)

Bob, we've now turned on the somewhat-confusing instructions embedded in the Picture Collections page, and we've used them to create a new group titled Oct. '23 Community. Hope this works!

10/16/23 12:50 PM #305    


Daniel Miller


Click the gallery images below to enter the gallery. Then click the "Create Your Own Photo Gallery Here" button at the bottom of the page to participate.

There is no "Create Your Own Photo Gallery Here" button

10/16/23 12:54 PM #306    

Judith Klavans

Yay!  The new directory is the way to go!  Thanks for making this clearer.  Now we just need more pics.


10/16/23 02:53 PM #307    


Robert Baker

Dan, It's still pretty clunky; but the button seems to be at the bottom of "October '23" gallery only  I added some of my travel photos from over the years.  Still not clear how to create a new gallery.



10/17/23 12:49 PM #308    


Christopher Keys

Hi Classmates,

Following up on Ted's query and Liz's comment, I had the good fortune to take a class during our recent reunion. It was a class on Latinx Art History. The professor was very knowledgeable about the Puerto Rican Independance Movement especially in the 60s and 70s in New York city. She focused on several photographers who took pictures of the Puerto Rican commnity during that time. One well known white pohotographer was noteworthy for the respect he showed the community in obtaining permission for including community members in his photos and sharing them with the community. However his photos mostly illustrated the cultural disadvantage rhetoric popular at the time among liberal whites. The professor compared his poverty as problamtic approach with that of photographers from within the Puerto Rican communinty who iincluded more photos of the strengths of the community and its positive cultural events. They illustrated Puerto Rico Libre and related themes. This kind of critical comparison approach really engaged the students and led to a rich experience for me.  I did not recall any course or class session as relevant during my four years at Oberlin. Relevant events were decidedly only extracurricular then. To the extent that this session was representative of today's current classes, I think Oberlin has gained rather than lost a step or three since the 60s.



10/18/23 04:29 PM #309    


Gregory Pyke

I tried to post pictures following the new scheme. Got as far as seeing my four photos on the page and writing a caption for each one. No button or other indication of how to finish so I put a check in the box left of each photo and exited out of the Collections. Later I signed in again and looked: no photos. 
I use Google Photos all the time and have posted pix on Instagram and Facebook so I am not a complete novice at posting pictures but I am stumped. I can see that a couple of people have succeeded and god bless 'em. 
Plenty of bigger problems, I know. 

10/19/23 04:27 PM #310    


Robert Baker

Greg, I saw some photos from you in the gallery, with captions. There were three photos, including one of Ted Gest and his wife with another couple. 

10/20/23 01:23 PM #311    


Gregory Pyke

Thanks Robert. I will look again. Sounds like you were able to see the pix I posted. Hope triumphs!

11/08/23 08:04 PM #312    

Paul Lawn

Thank you, Thomas Ilgen for your memorial to David Corwin. As a sportswriter and sports editor of the Review, I always admired Dave's skills and exploits on the gridiron, despite his having always to play on undermanned teams. We re-connected when I brought my beloved Kaidog (a 69-kinds of dog who adopted me through a friend and was the smartest farm dog anyone could ever wish for) for his veterinary check-ups. David was the kindlest, gentlest, most empathic vet imaginable and was always up on progressive developments in his field that made things easier for Kai, particularly as Kaidog got older and battled hip dysplasia and lyme disease. Mortality comes way too soon for dogs, and too soon for the people who care for them. Thank you, Dave, for living a good life.

11/10/23 03:29 PM #313    


Richard Zitrin

This is a wonderful and compassionate memorial statement. Thanks!

03/09/24 01:02 PM #314    


Shirley Smith (Kirsten)

Here in Berkeley CA, we are collecting petition signatures for an important Citizens Ballot initiative, FIX OUR STREETS and SIDEWALKS.. The website for further information is

This ballot initiative, if it collects 3,000 signatures will appear on the NOV. 2024 ballot. There is a competing SAFE STREETS initiative.. (both can be on the ballot and Berkeley registerred voters can sign both) but note the comparative chart at the end of my video that marks out important differences between the two. If the other only succeeds at attaining 3000 signatures, the parcel tax to property owners will be higher and imposed for an extra two years. RE: this competing SAFE STREETS measure, there is no oversight or periodic evaluations.

Here's my video --(The Chart with measure Differences appears at the end)   (this Oberlin alum site won't let me use You tube function to highlight link)

Please message me if you are a Registered Berkeley voter and want to sign our Fix the Streets and Sidewalks petition. Or you can email me at

iPhone  510-439-8567   by text

03/10/24 10:21 AM #315    

Marc Landy

Dennis Hale and I worked on the Activist together. We would sit at a table in front of Zilch Florist (the Activist office was upstairs - it had a certain reputation for non-editorial activities) and try to recruit Freshmen  by sporting a sign that said "we are the people your parents warned you about." We have been colleagues in the Boston College Political Science Department for more than forty years, where we destroy young minds.

We have spent the last five years writing a book together - Keeping the Republic: A Defense of American Constitutionalism. It is our effort to distill our thoughts and understandings of the Constitution, American Political Thought and American Political Development.

It is available from U. Kansas Press ( as well as Amazon.




03/11/24 01:05 PM #316    


Jean Poppei (Eisenberg)

This seems like a very timely book!  I'll look for it.  

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