Oberlin College

Oberlin College

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Oberlin College is a private liberal arts
Liberal arts
The term liberal arts refers to those subjects which in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free citizen to study. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. In medieval times these subjects were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy...

 college in Oberlin, Ohio
Oberlin, Ohio
Oberlin is a city in Lorain County, Ohio, United States, to the south and west of Cleveland. Oberlin is perhaps best known for being the home of Oberlin College, a liberal arts college and music conservatory with approximately 3,000 students...

, noteworthy for having been the first American institution of higher learning to regularly admit female and black students. Connected to the college is the Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
The Oberlin Conservatory of Music, located on the campus of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, was founded in 1865 and is the oldest continuously operating conservatory in the United States. Students of Oberlin Conservatory enter a very broad network within the music world, as the school's alumni...

, the oldest continuously operating conservatory in the country. The college's motto is "Learning and Labor." Oberlin is known for having more alumni who earn PhDs than any other liberal arts college in the nation.

Oberlin is a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association
Great Lakes Colleges Association
The Great Lakes Colleges Association , is a consortium of 13 liberal arts colleges located in the states around the Great Lakes. The 13 schools are located in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana...

 and the Five Colleges of Ohio
Five Colleges of Ohio
The Five Colleges of Ohio is an academic consortium of five selective private liberal arts colleges in the U.S. state of Ohio. It is a nonprofit educational consortium established in 1995 to promote the broad educational and cultural objectives of its member institutions...

 consortium.

History



Both the college and the town of Oberlin were founded in 1833 by a pair of Presbyterian ministers, John Jay Shipherd
John Jay Shipherd
John Jay Shipherd was an American clergyman who co-founded Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio in 1833 with Philo Penfield Stewart...

 and Philo P. Stewart. The ministers named their project after Jean-Frédéric Oberlin, an Alsatian
Alsace
Alsace is the fifth-smallest of the 27 regions of France in land area , and the smallest in metropolitan France. It is also the seventh-most densely populated region in France and third most densely populated region in metropolitan France, with ca. 220 inhabitants per km²...

 minister whom they both admired. Oberlin attained prominence because of the influence of its second president, the evangelist Charles Finney, after whom one of the College's chapels and performance spaces is named. Asa Mahan
Asa Mahan
Asa Mahan was a U.S. Congregational clergyman and educator and the first president of Oberlin College and Adrian College.-Career:...

 (1800–1889) served as Oberlin's first president from 1835–1850.

Oberlin Collegiate Institute (as it was originally called) was built on 500 acres (2 km²) of land specifically donated by the previous owner, who lived in Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

. Shipherd and Stewart's vision was for both a religious community and school. For a more detailed history of the founding of the town and the college, see Oberlin, Ohio
Oberlin, Ohio
Oberlin is a city in Lorain County, Ohio, United States, to the south and west of Cleveland. Oberlin is perhaps best known for being the home of Oberlin College, a liberal arts college and music conservatory with approximately 3,000 students...

.

Oberlin has long been associated with progressive causes. Its founders bragged that "Oberlin is peculiar in that which is good." Oberlin was the first college in the United States to regularly admit African-American students (1835) after a casting vote by the Rev. John Keep
John Keep
Rev. John Keep was a trustee of Oberlin College from 1834 to 1870. Keep and William Dawes toured England in 1839 and 1840 gathering funds for Oberlin College in Ohio...

. It is also the oldest continuously operating coeducation
Coeducation
Mixed-sex education, also known as coeducation or co-education, is the integrated education of male and female persons in the same institution. It is the opposite of single-sex education...

al institution, since having admitted four women in 1837. These four women, who were the first to enter as full students, were Mary Kellogg (Fairchild), Mary Caroline Rudd, Mary Hosford, and Elizabeth Prall. All but Kellogg graduated. Mary Jane Patterson
Mary Jane Patterson
Mary Jane Patterson was born September 12, 1840, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She was the first African American woman to receive a B.A degree. She was the oldest of Henry Irving Patterson and Emeline Eliza Patterson's children. There is conflicting data on how many siblings she had, but most...

 graduated in 1862 to become the first black woman to earn a B.A. degree. The college was listed as a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

 on December 21, 1965, for its significance in admitting African-Americans and women. The college had some difficult beginnings, and Keep and William Dawes
William Dawes (abolitionist)
William Dawes and John Keep toured England in 1839 and 1840 gathering funds for Oberlin College in Ohio. They both attended the 1840 anti-slavery convention in London....

 were sent to England to raise funds for the college in 1839–40.

One historian called Oberlin "the town that started the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

" due to its reputation as a hotbed of abolitionism
Abolitionism
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

. Oberlin was a key stop along the Underground Railroad
Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists,...

. In 1858, both students and faculty were involved in the controversial Oberlin-Wellington Rescue
Oberlin-Wellington Rescue
The Oberlin-Wellington Rescue of 1858 in Lorain County, Ohio was a key event and cause celèbre in the history of the abolitionist movement in the United States shortly before the American Civil War. John Price, an escaped slave, was arrested in Oberlin, Ohio under the Fugitive Slave Law, and taken...

 of a fugitive slave, which received national press coverage. Two participants in this raid, Lewis Sheridan Leary
Lewis Sheridan Leary
Lewis Sheridan Leary , an African-American harnessmaker from Oberlin, Ohio, joined John Brown's unsuccessful raid on Harpers Ferry, where he was killed. He was the first husband of Mary Patterson...

 and John Anthony Copeland, along with another Oberlin resident, Shields Green
Shields Green
Shields Green , also known as "Emperor," was an ex-slave who participated in John Brown's unsuccessful raid on Harpers Ferry. Though he had a chance to escape capture, he returned to the fighting and was captured with Brown. For their parts in the raid, Green and John A. Copeland were hanged on...

, also participated in John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry
John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry
John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry was an attempt by white abolitionist John Brown to start an armed slave revolt by seizing a United States Arsenal at Harpers Ferry in Virginia in 1859...

. This heritage was commemorated on campus by the 1977 installation of sculptor Cameron Armstrong's "Underground Railroad Monument" (a railroad track rising from the ground toward the sky) and monuments to the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue and the Harper's Ferry Raid.

Oberlin's school colors are cardinal red and mikado yellow
Mikado yellow
Mikado yellow is a shade of yellow. The color is displayed at right.It is* One of the official colors of Oberlin College * A color once used for Lincoln automobiles* The name of various dyes and colorings....

, often casually referred to as "crimson and gold." Those colors were formally designated for the college by a faculty committee in 1889 and were drawn from the family coat of arms of John Frederick Oberlin. They remain in the official registry of school colors maintained by the American Council on Education
American Council on Education
The American Council on Education is a United States organization, established in 1918, comprising over 1,800 accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities and higher education-related associations, organizations, and corporations....

.

Presidents of Oberlin College

  • Asa Mahan
    Asa Mahan
    Asa Mahan was a U.S. Congregational clergyman and educator and the first president of Oberlin College and Adrian College.-Career:...

     1835-1850
  • Charles Grandison Finney
    Charles Grandison Finney
    Charles Grandison Finney was a leader in the Second Great Awakening. He has been called The Father of Modern Revivalism. Finney was best known as an innovative revivalist, an opponent of Old School Presbyterian theology, an advocate of Christian perfectionism, a pioneer in social reforms in favor...

     1851-1866
  • James Harris Fairchild 1866-1889
  • William Gay Ballantine 1891-1896
  • John Barrows 1899-1902
  • Henry Churchill King
    Henry Churchill King
    Henry Churchill King was an American theologian and educator.At Oberlin from 1884, he taught in mathematics, philosophy, and theology. From 1902 to 1927, he was president of the college...

     1902-1927
  • Ernest H. Wilkins 1927-1946
  • William Edwards Stevenson 1946-1960
  • Robert K. Carr
    Robert K. Carr
    Robert Kenneth Carr was an influential scholar in the field of government/political science. His main area of interest and expertise was in the field of civil liberties/civil rights, and he did the bulk of his writing while on the faculty of Dartmouth College...

     1960-1969
  • Robert W. Fuller
    Robert W. Fuller
    Robert W. Fuller earned his Ph.D. in physics at Princeton University in 1961, and taught at Columbia University where he co-authored the book Mathematics of Classical and Quantum Physics...

     1970-1974
  • Emil Danenberg 1975-1982
  • S. Frederick Starr
    S. Frederick Starr
    Stephen Frederick Starr is the founder and Chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute. He is also a noted musician.-Academic career:...

     1983-1994
  • Nancy Dye
    Nancy Dye
    Nancy S. Dye was the 13th president of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. She was appointed President of Oberlin after having served as Acting President of Vassar College for several months in 1992.Dye attended Vassar College as an undergraduate...

     1994-2007
  • Marvin Krislov
    Marvin Krislov
    Marvin Krislov is the 14th president of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. He was appointed President of Oberlin after nine years as the vice president and general counsel of the University of Michigan....

     2007–present

Introduction of co-ed dormitories


In 1970, Oberlin made the cover of Life
Life (magazine)
Life generally refers to three American magazines:*A humor and general interest magazine published from 1883 to 1936. Time founder Henry Luce bought the magazine in 1936 solely so that he could acquire the rights to its name....

as one of the first colleges in the country to have co-ed dormitories. The article featured two students who lived in South Hall. At first, the dorm was floor-by-floor co-ed, which was considered quite radical. Dean of Women Rose Montague and the two senior residents in the dorm at the time were guests on a Chicago TV station morning talk show soon after Lifes article came out, to talk about the "experiment". The program, "Kennedy and Company," sought to reveal the "darker" side of co-ed dorm life from parents' perspective. The male senior resident (Lloyd Blanchard) was asked on live TV if he had "ever had sex in the dorm," to which he replied, "That's really none of your business." Starting in the 2010-11 school year, except for women-only halls, Baldwin Cottage for Women, and one safe space housing option for women and transgender students, Oberlin students were allowed to room with students of any gender in any room on campus.

Historian Geoffrey Blodgett
Geoffrey Blodgett
Geoffrey Blodgett was Robert S. Danforth Professor of History at Oberlin College, located in Oberlin, Ohio. As a student at Oberlin from 1949-1953, he was a wide receiver on the Yeomen, the college's men's football team. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Oberlin in 1953, Blodgett served two...

, a professor and graduate of Oberlin, pointed out that campus dorms caused anger among students during the 1960s. Students reacted vocally against the new dorms of the 1950s and 1960s (Dascomb, East, North and South), calling them expedient "slabs" of "sleeping and feeding space," and this protest soon took on other controversies, including the Civil Rights Movement
Civil rights movement
The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement for equality before the law occurring between approximately 1950 and 1980. In many situations it took the form of campaigns of civil resistance aimed at achieving change by nonviolent forms of resistance. In some situations it was...

 and the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. Hebrew House, as it was known, was set up as winter term project to operate similar to an Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i kibbutz
Kibbutz
A kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. Today, farming has been partly supplanted by other economic branches, including industrial plants and high-tech enterprises. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism and Zionism...

. The experiment was a success, and now all but one of Oberlin College's dormitories are coed. The Baldwin Cottage is open only to women and transgender
Transgender
Transgender is a general term applied to a variety of individuals, behaviors, and groups involving tendencies to vary from culturally conventional gender roles....

 students.

Academics


Of Oberlin's nearly 3,000 students, nearly 2,400 are enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences, a little over 400 in the Conservatory of Music
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
The Oberlin Conservatory of Music, located on the campus of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, was founded in 1865 and is the oldest continuously operating conservatory in the United States. Students of Oberlin Conservatory enter a very broad network within the music world, as the school's alumni...

, and the remaining 180 or so in both College and Conservatory under the five-year Double Degree program.

College of Arts & Sciences



The College of Arts & Sciences offers over 45 majors, minors and concentrations. Based on students graduating with a given major, its most popular majors over the last ten years have been (in order) English, Biology, History, Politics and Environmental Studies. The College's science programs are considered strong for a smaller liberal arts college, especially Chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

 and Neuroscience
Neuroscience
Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. Traditionally, neuroscience has been seen as a branch of biology. However, it is currently an interdisciplinary science that collaborates with other fields such as chemistry, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics,...

.

Conservatory of Music



The Conservatory
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
The Oberlin Conservatory of Music, located on the campus of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, was founded in 1865 and is the oldest continuously operating conservatory in the United States. Students of Oberlin Conservatory enter a very broad network within the music world, as the school's alumni...

 is located on the college campus. Conservatory admission is rigorous, with over 1400 applicants worldwide auditioning for 120 seats. Students benefit from over 500 performances yearly, most free of charge, with concerts and recitals almost daily. The Conservatory was one of the recipients of the 2009 National Medal of Arts
National Medal of Arts
The National Medal of Arts is an award and title created by the United States Congress in 1984, for the purpose of honoring artists and patrons of the arts. It is the highest honor conferred to an individual artist on behalf of the people. Honorees are selected by the National Endowment for the...

.

Allen Memorial Art Museum


The Allen Memorial Art Museum
Allen Memorial Art Museum
The Allen Memorial Art Museum is located in Oberlin, Ohio and is run by Oberlin College. Founded in 1917, its collection is one of the finest of any college or university museum in the United States, consistently ranking among those of Harvard and Yale...

, with over 12,000 holdings, was the first college art museum west of the Alleghenies and is held on par with those at Princeton, Harvard, and Yale.

College Library


Oberlin College Library
Oberlin College Library
The Oberlin College Library is a library located in Oberlin, Ohio. The recipient of the ACRL in 2002, the Oberlin College Library is recognized for superior collections and services. The library system has more than 2.4 million items of print and media materials, as well as extensive online...

 system is one of the largest and finest undergraduate libraries in the nation. In addition to the main library there are branch libraries for art, music, and science, and a central storage facility. The libraries have strong collections of print and media materials and provide access to an extensive array of online databases and journals. Beyond the 2.4 million-plus items available on campus, Oberlin students have rapid access to more than 46 million volumes from over 85 Ohio institutions in through the OhioLINK
OhioLINK
The Ohio Library and Information Network, OhioLINK, is a consortium of Ohio’s college and university libraries and the State Library of Ohio. Serving more than 600,000 students, faculty, and staff at 88 institutions, OhioLINK’s membership includes 16 public universities, 23 community/technical...

 consortium. In addition to the breadth of its holdings, the Oberlin College Library is recognized for its quality: it received the Association of College and Research Libraries Excellence in Academic Libraries Award in 2002, and in 2006 Director of Libraries Ray English was named the ACRL
Association of College and Research Libraries
The Association of College and Research Libraries , a division of the American Library Association , is a professional association of academic librarians and other interested individuals...

's Academic-Research Librarian of the Year. In the summer of 2007 the main level of the main library was converted into an Academic Commons that provides integrated learning support and is a hub of both academic and social activity.

OhioLINK consortium


Oberlin students and faculty benefit by Oberlin's membership in the OhioLINK
OhioLINK
The Ohio Library and Information Network, OhioLINK, is a consortium of Ohio’s college and university libraries and the State Library of Ohio. Serving more than 600,000 students, faculty, and staff at 88 institutions, OhioLINK’s membership includes 16 public universities, 23 community/technical...

 consortium, providing access to 12,000+ commercially licensed online journals, 130 databases, 18,000+ ebooks and is rapidly growing digital media collections. The OhioLINK Central Catalog represents the library holdings of 87 libraries in the state, including the State Library of Ohio, plus the Center for Research Libraries. The collection is nearing 10 million unique records representing 27.5 million holdings in the system, and undergraduates account for the larger percentage of OhioLINK online borrowing – the process by which any enrolled student can readily request the loan of books and other items from any other library in the system.

Experimental College


The college's "Experimental College" or ExCo program, a student-run department, allows any student or interested person to teach their own class for a limited amount of college credit. ExCo classes by definition focus on material not covered by existing departments or faculty.

Many courses supplement conventional disciplines, from languages and areas of cinema
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 or literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, to musical ensembles, martial arts
Martial arts
Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development....

 and forms of dancing. Other ExCos cover an array of topics, in the past ranging from Aquariums to Wilderness Skills to Hacky Sack to philosophical discussions of Calvin and Hobbes. Due to the nature of ExCo, while some staple courses are continued for years, the overall number and selection of classes offered varies dramatically from semester to semester.

Winter Term


Another aspect of Oberlin's academics is the Winter Term during the month of January. This term was created to allow students to do something outside the regular course offerings of the college. Students may work alone or in groups, either on or off campus, and may design their own project or pick from a list of projects and internships set up by the college each year. Students must complete a winter term project three years out of their four in the College of Arts and Sciences. Projects range from serious academic research with co-authorship in scientific journals, to humanitarian projects, to making avant-garde films about historic Chicago neighborhoods, to learning how to bartend. A full-credit project is suggested to involve five to six hours per weekday.

Student Cooperative Association


The Oberlin Student Cooperative Association
Oberlin Student Cooperative Association
The Oberlin Student Cooperative Association is a $2.6 million dollar non-profit corporation that feeds 640 and houses 174 Oberlin College students. It is located in the town of Oberlin, Ohio, and is independent from but closely tied to Oberlin College. OSCA is the second-largest student...

, or OSCA, is a non-profit corporation that houses 175 students in four housing co-ops and feeds 620 students in nine dining co-ops. Its budget is more than $2 million, making it the third-largest of its kind in North America behind the Berkeley Student Cooperative and the Inter-Cooperative Council of Ann Arbor, and by far the largest relative to the size of the institution whose students it serves.

OSCA is entirely student-run, with all participating students working as cooks, buyers, administrators, and coordinators. Every member is required to do at least one hour per week of cleaning, ensuring that no one is valued above others. Most decisions within OSCA are made by modified consensus
Consensus decision-making
Consensus decision-making is a group decision making process that seeks the consent, not necessarily the agreement, of participants and the resolution of objections. Consensus is defined by Merriam-Webster as, first, general agreement, and second, group solidarity of belief or sentiment. It has its...

. Oberlin bans all fraternities and sororities, making the co-ops the largest student-organized social system at the college.

Political activism


Oberlin students have a reputation for being notably liberal or progressive. The college was ranked among the Princeton Review's list of "Colleges with a Conscience" in 2005. Recent activism among the student body has resulted in a campus-wide ban on sales of Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in stores, restaurants, and vending machines in more than 200 countries. It is produced by The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and is often referred to simply as Coke...

 products.

Oberlin is also known for its liberal attitude toward sexuality and gender expression. Oberlin was ranked among the 20 friendliest campuses for LGBT students in The Advocate
The Advocate
The Advocate is an American LGBT-interest magazine, printed monthly and available by subscription. The Advocate brand also includes a web site. Both magazine and web site have an editorial focus on news, politics, opinion, and arts and entertainment of interest to LGBT people...

's College Guide for LGBT Students
. Several different student groups exist to support the interests of LGBT students and their allies.

The school hosts a Sexual Information Center, where students may receive STI
STI
-Institutes:*Sega Technical Institute*Semantic Technology Institute International, a scientific and research network; also some of its members call themselves STI*Southern Technical Institute—a university in Marietta, Georgia, USA...

 tests, free or heavily discounted condoms and lubricant, and counseling on sexual issues. The Sexual Information Center sponsors Safer Sex
Safe sex
Safe sex is sexual activity engaged in by people who have taken precautions to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS. It is also referred to as safer sex or protected sex, while unsafe or unprotected sex is sexual activity engaged in without precautions...

 Night, originally started in the 1980s as a response to the AIDS crisis, as well as Drag
Drag (clothing)
Drag is used for any clothing carrying symbolic significance but usually referring to the clothing associated with one gender role when worn by a person of another gender. The origin of the term "drag" is unknown, but it may have originated in Polari, a gay street argot in England in the early...

 Ball, which marks Transgender Awareness week. Both these events are well-attended by students, although they have drawn criticism from conservatives.

Oberlin is a finalist in PETA
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is an American animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Virginia, and led by Ingrid Newkirk, its international president. A non-profit corporation with 300 employees and two million members and supporters, it claims to be the largest animal rights...

's "Most Vegetarian-Friendly college" contest.

A sampling of the school's past commencement speakers reflects its reputation for embracing diversity, ranging from Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Desmond Tutu
Desmond Mpilo Tutu is a South African activist and retired Anglican bishop who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid...

, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

 and Jesse L. Jackson to figures as varied as Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger
Peter "Pete" Seeger is an American folk singer and was an iconic figure in the mid-twentieth century American folk music revival. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead...

 and Robert Frost
Robert Frost
Robert Lee Frost was an American poet. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and...

; even Adlai Stevenson appeared, a month prior to his death.

Music


In addition to the Conservatory, Oberlin has myriad musical opportunities available for amateur musicians and students in the college. The Oberlin Gilbert and Sullivan Players (OGASP) perform one Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian-era theatrical partnership of the librettist W. S. Gilbert and the composer Arthur Sullivan . The two men collaborated on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H.M.S...

 operetta each semester. The entirely student-run Oberlin College Marching Band (OCMB), founded in 1998, performs at various sporting events including football games, women's rugby, and pep rallies throughout the year. There are a number of a cappella
A cappella
A cappella music is specifically solo or group singing without instrumental sound, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. It is the opposite of cantata, which is accompanied singing. A cappella was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato...

 groups, including the Obertones (all-male), the Acapelicans (all-female), Nothing But Treble (all-female), and 'Round Midnight (co-ed jazz). In addition, students in the college can form chamber groups
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

 and receive coaching through the Conservatory. Student composers also provide a demand for musicians to perform their work.

The college radio station WOBC-FM, and the party circuit (including the popular on-campus venue, The 'Sco) contribute to the campus music scene. Many alumni have pursued careers in popular and indie music, including members of the bands The Mars Volta
The Mars Volta
The Mars Volta is a Grammy award winning American progressive rock band from El Paso, Texas. Founded in 2001 by guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López and vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala, the band incorporates various influences including progressive rock, krautrock, jazz fusion, Latin American music, and...

, Rasputina
Rasputina
Rasputina is a cello-driven band based in New York that is renowned for their unconventional and quirky music style as well as their fascination with historical allegories and fashion, especially those pertaining to the Victorian era....

, Come, Deerhoof
Deerhoof
Deerhoof is a musical group consisting of Satomi Matsuzaki, John Dieterich, Ed Rodriguez and Greg Saunier.-Origins:In 1992, Greg Saunier, having recently graduated with a degree in music composition from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, joined a short-lived San Francisco quartet called Nitre Pit, on...

, Liz Phair
Liz Phair
Phair's entry into the music industry began when she met guitarist Chris Brokaw, a member of the band Come. Brokaw and Phair moved to San Francisco together, and Phair tried to become an artist there...

, Josh Ritter
Josh Ritter
Josh Ritter is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and author who performs and records with The Royal City Band. Ritter is known for his distinctive Americana style and narrative lyrics. In 2006 he was named one of the "100 Greatest Living Songwriters" by Paste magazine.- Early life :Josh...

, Songs: Ohia
Songs: Ohia
Jason Molina is an American singer-songwriter, originally from Lorain, Ohio. He first came to prominence performing and recording as Songs: Ohia, both in solo projects and with a rotating cast of musicians...

, The Sea and Cake
The Sea and Cake
The Sea and Cake is an indie rock band with a pronounced jazz influence, which formed in the mid-1990s in Chicago out of the ashes of local bands The Coctails and Shrimp Boat. The group's name came from a willful reinterpretation of "The C in Cake", a song by Gastr del Sol...

, Teengirl Fantasy
Teengirl Fantasy
Teengirl Fantasy is a pop group who released the album 7AM in 2010 on True Panther Sounds in the United States and Merok Records in the United Kingdom. Teengirl Fantasy was formed by Logan Takahashi and Nick Weiss while they were studying at Oberlin College. The duo now study at Gerrit Rietveld...

, Tortoise
Tortoise (band)
Tortoise is an American post-rock band formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1990.-Music:Tortoise's almost entirely instrumental music defies easy categorization, and the group gained significant attention from their early career. The members have roots in Chicago's fertile music scene, playing in...

, Trans Am
Trans Am (band)
Trans Am is a three-piece band which originated in Bethesda, Maryland that was one of the originators of "post-rock" in the mid 90s. Their work centers on a cerebrally robotic, usually instrumental, semi-danceable, minimalistic format, with influences including Krautrock, heavy metal, hardcore...

, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum is an American experimental rock band, formed in 1999 in Oakland, California. The band fuses classical, industrial, and art-rock themes throughout their music...

, Skeletons, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yeah Yeah Yeahs are an American indie rock band formed in New York City in 2000. The group is composed of vocalist and pianist Karen O, guitarist and keyboardist Nick Zinner, and drummer Brian Chase. They are complemented in live performances by second guitarist David Pajo, who joined as a touring...

. Due in part to both this and the school's proximity to Cleveland
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

, the college attracts touring artists with a frequency nearly unparalleled among institutions of its size.

Art rental


Oberlin's museum has a unique art rental program. At the beginning of every semester students camp out in front of the north gate of the college's Allen Memorial Art Museum
Allen Memorial Art Museum
The Allen Memorial Art Museum is located in Oberlin, Ohio and is run by Oberlin College. Founded in 1917, its collection is one of the finest of any college or university museum in the United States, consistently ranking among those of Harvard and Yale...

 to get first pick of original etchings, lithographs and paintings by artists including Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to...

, Warhol, Dalí
DALI
DALI may refer to:* Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries* The "Distance-matrix ALIgnment" algorithm used in the FSSP database on structurally similar proteins* Digital Addressable Lighting Interface* Dartmouth Assessment of Lifestyle Index...

, and Picasso. For five dollars per semester, students can hang these works on their dorm room walls. The program was started in the 1940s by Ellen Johnson, a professor of art at Oberlin, in order to "develop the aesthetic sensibilities of students and encourage ordered thinking and discrimination in other areas of their lives."

Sustainability


Oberlin College has demonstrated its commitment to the pursuit of sustainability
Sustainability
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...

 on a number of fronts. An estimated 50% of the school's electricity needs are met using sustainable energy
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

 sources. Oberlin's innovative Center For Environmental Studies
Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies
The Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies, located on the campus of Oberlin College, is one of the most advanced examples of Green building in the United States. Construction crews completed work on the building in January 2000...

, a building the Department of Energy
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material...

 labeled as one of the “milestone” buildings of the 20th century, incorporates a 4,600 square foot (425 square meter) photovoltaic array, the biggest of its kind in Ohio. The school utilizes biodiesel
Biodiesel
Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl esters. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids with an alcohol....

, hybrid
Hybrid vehicle
A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that uses two or more distinct power sources to move the vehicle. The term most commonly refers to hybrid electric vehicles , which combine an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors.-Power:...

, and electric vehicle
Electric vehicle
An electric vehicle , also referred to as an electric drive vehicle, uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion...

s for various purposes, offers financial support to a local transit company providing public transportation to the school, and has been home to the Oberlin Bike Co-op, a cooperatively run bicycle center, since 1986. Each of the residence halls also monitors and displays real time and historic power and water use. Some dorms also have orbs which display a color depending on how real time energy use compares to the average historic energy use. The school's Campus Committee on Shareholder responsibility provides students, faculty, and staff with the opportunity to make suggestions and decisions on proxy votes.
In 2007, Oberlin received a grade of “B+” from the Sustainable Endowments Institute's annual College Sustainability Report Card, and was featured among schools as a “Campus Sustainability Leader”. In 2008, Oberlin received an "A-" on the annual College Sustainability Report Card. It was also listed as the school with the greenest conscience by Plenty in their green campuses ratings. Recently, Oberlin's ranking has dropped in part because it continues to rely on coal to heat its buildings. Though the school is making efforts to change the decades old coal plant, it is likely going to be more difficult than similar schools in the east and west because of a lack of economically viable alternatives.

Additionally, according to a recently published article on The Oberlin Review
The Oberlin Review
The Oberlin Review is a student-run weekly newspaper at Oberlin College that serves as the official newspaper of record for both the College and the town of Oberlin, Ohio. It was first published in 1874, making it one of the oldest college newspapers in the nation...

, renovated dorms may use more electricity. This is the case for Noah, Kade, Harvey and Price renovated during the summer of 2008. The College architect, Steve Varelmann, has called the numbers "erratic and possibly unreliable." According to Varelmann, a possible explanation for this phenomenon is that previously non-functioning equipment started functioning again after the renovation. Students may also be at blame for their behavior: "What electronic devices are they using? Are they voluntarily reducing light usage? Are spaces experiencing increased use due to the improvements achieved from the renovation?" John Scofield, professor of physics at Oberlin concluded that "We are building more and more efficient buildings, yet we're using more energy."

Publications and media


Oberlin students publish a wide variety of periodicals. The college's largest publications are The Oberlin Review
The Oberlin Review
The Oberlin Review is a student-run weekly newspaper at Oberlin College that serves as the official newspaper of record for both the College and the town of Oberlin, Ohio. It was first published in 1874, making it one of the oldest college newspapers in the nation...

and The Grape. The Oberlin Review is a traditional weekly newspaper, focusing on current events, with a circulation of around 2,500. The Grape is Oberlin's student-run alternative newspaper. There is also a newspaper pertaining to the interests of students of color, called In Solidarity.

Magazines on campus include Drivel Magazine, a satire and humor publication, and The Plum Creek Review, a literary review
Literary Review
Literary Review is a British literary magazine founded in 1979 by Anne Smith, then head of the Department of English at Edinburgh University. Its offices are currently on Lexington Street in Soho, London, and it has a circulation of 44,750. Britain's principal literary monthly, the magazine was...

 containing student-written fiction, poetry, translations, and visual art. Spiral is a magazine focused on genre fiction
Genre fiction
Genre fiction, also known as popular fiction, is a term for fictional works written with the intent of fitting into a specific literary genre in order to appeal to readers and fans already familiar with that genre....

. The College also produces a quarterly alumni magazine, while the Conservatory publishes its own magazine once a year.

The WOBC News Corps, a news division of WOBC-FM created in February 2010, produces local news segments that air bi-hourly. WOBC, a large student organization with significant non-student membership, also maintains an online blog that focuses on music and local events.

Athletics


The school's varsity sports teams are the Yeomen and Yeowomen. The name Yeomen arose in the early 1900's as a result of blending the former team moniker with the schools official motto. Early on in the program, football players and other athletes were known simply as Oberlin Men or "O" Men. Eventually, as the athletic department became more cohesive, the Yeomen mascot was adopted, drawing on the phonetic sound of "O" Men and the schools official motto of "Learning and Labor". As women's sports became more prevalent, "Yeowomen" was adopted to describe the mascot representing women's athletics. They participate in the NCAA
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...

's Division III and the North Coast Athletic Conference
North Coast Athletic Conference
The North Coast Athletic Conference is an NCAA Division III athletic conference composed of schools located in the Midwestern United States. When founded in 1984, the NCAC was a pioneer in gender equality, offering competition in a then-unprecedented ten women's sports...

. Oberlin's football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 team was the first team coached by legendary coach John Heisman
John Heisman
John William Heisman was an American player and coach of football, basketball, and baseball. He served as the head football coach at Oberlin College , Buchtel College, now known as the University of Akron , Auburn University , Clemson University , Georgia Tech , the...

, who led the team to a 7–0 record in 1892. Oberlin is the last college in Ohio to beat Ohio State (winning 7–6 in 1921). Though in modern times the football team was more famous for losing streaks of 40 games (1992–1996) and 44 games (1997–2001), the Yeomen have enjoyed limited success in recent years.

The college also hosts several club sports teams, including the Oberlin Ultimate
Ultimate (sport)
Ultimate is a sport played with a 175 gram flying disc. The object of the game is to score points by passing the disc to a player in the opposing end zone, similar to an end zone in American football or rugby...

 team. Oberlin Ultimate was founded in 1976 and is often among the top 10 teams in its region. Recently, leaders of the Athletic Department and various club sports have spoken out in favor of increased institutional support for the teams, requesting that the College provide access to professional sports trainers and team transportation.

Football


Oberlin football plays its home game at Savage Stadium
Savage Stadium
The Oberlin College football complex, including Savage Stadium and Dill Field is a 3,000-seat outdoor, grass field football stadium which hosts primarily Oberlin's varsity football home games. It was formerly the site of Oberlin's home soccer and lacrosse matches as well as track and field meets...

.

Oberlin played its first football game in 1891, going 2 and 2 that season. In 1892, they were coached by John Heisman
John Heisman
John William Heisman was an American player and coach of football, basketball, and baseball. He served as the head football coach at Oberlin College , Buchtel College, now known as the University of Akron , Auburn University , Clemson University , Georgia Tech , the...

; Oberlin went 7 and 0, beating Ohio State twice by scores of 40–0 and 50–0. They outscored opponents 262 to 30.

Oberlin was one of the founding members of the Ohio Athletic Conference in 1902, along with Case, Kenyon College
Kenyon College
Kenyon College is a private liberal arts college in Gambier, Ohio, founded in 1824 by Bishop Philander Chase of The Episcopal Church, in parallel with the Bexley Hall seminary. It is the oldest private college in Ohio...

, Ohio State, Ohio Wesleyan University
Ohio Wesleyan University
Ohio Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college in Delaware, Ohio, United States. It was founded in 1842 by Methodist leaders and Central Ohio residents as a nonsectarian institution, and is a member of the Ohio Five — a consortium of Ohio liberal arts colleges...

 and Western Reserve. The league commonly was known as the "Big Six." Ohio State
Ohio State Buckeyes football
The Ohio State Buckeyes football team is an intercollegiate varsity sports team of The Ohio State University. The team is a member of the Big Ten Conference of the NCAA, playing at the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly Division I-A, level. The team nickname is derived from the state...

 joined the Big Ten in 1913. Ohio State's all-time highest margin of victory was a 128–0 thrashing of Oberlin in 1916. Oberlin is the last in-state school to defeat Ohio State. The Yeomen upset the Buckeyes 7–6 at Ohio Field
Ohio Field
Ohio Field, home to the football team at The Ohio State University before Ohio Stadium, was built in 1898 and dedicated ten years later. Seating capacity was approximately 5,000 until 1907, when a grandstand and bleachers were added. Another renovation in 1910 saw a second grandstand added, with...

 in Columbus
Columbus, Ohio
Columbus is the capital of and the largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio. The broader metropolitan area encompasses several counties and is the third largest in Ohio behind those of Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus is the third largest city in the American Midwest, and the fifteenth largest city...

 in 1921
1921 Ohio State Buckeyes football team
The 1921 Ohio State Buckeyes football team represented the Ohio State University in the college football season of 1921-1922. The Buckeyes compiled a 5–2 record while outscoring opponents 110-14. The 14 points allowed came in Ohio State's only losses....

.

The Oberlin teams of 1994 to 2000 have been rated the fifth worst college football team of all time by ESPN.com's Page 2. In 1994, Oberlin lost all nine games of its season scoring only ten points and giving up 358 points. In 1995, the Yeomen were outscored 469 to 72. In August 1996, Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated is an American sports media company owned by media conglomerate Time Warner. Its self titled magazine has over 3.5 million subscribers and is read by 23 million adults each week, including over 18 million men. It was the first magazine with circulation over one million to win the...

featured Oberlin in its annual College Football Preview as the worst team in Division III. After four winless seasons from 1993 to 1996, Oberlin opened its 1997 season with an 18–17 victory over Thiel College
Thiel College
Thiel College is a private, liberal arts, sciences and professional studies college related to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Thiel provides affordable high-quality college experience with dedicated faculty, numerous leadership opportunities and a wide variety of student activities and...

, sparking post-game jubilation with fans rushing the field. The victory garnered national attention as ESPN featured it on SportsCenter. Oberlin would not win again for years. Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College is a private, independent, liberal arts college in the United States with an enrollment of about 1,500 students. The college is located in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia....

 and Oberlin scheduled a 1999 matchup, with both schools nursing long losing streaks, just so one of them could end their streak. Oberlin lost 42–6 and continued a 44-game losing streak, ending it with a 53–22 victory over Kenyon College
Kenyon College
Kenyon College is a private liberal arts college in Gambier, Ohio, founded in 1824 by Bishop Philander Chase of The Episcopal Church, in parallel with the Bexley Hall seminary. It is the oldest private college in Ohio...

 at home in October 2001.

Since then the team has enjoyed modest success, staying competitive in most games and going 5–5 (with better than .500 records in conference) in 2003, 2006, and 2007.

In March 2008, Chris Schubert, a former wide receiver for Oberlin, was invited to a mini camp hosted by the Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns are a professional football team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are currently members of the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

. He did not make the roster but in November 2008, was signed by the Mahoning Valley Thunder
Mahoning Valley Thunder
The Mahoning Valley Thunder was a professional af2 arena football team from 2007-2009.Having entered af2 as an expansion team in 2007, the Thunder played its home games at Cortland Banks Field at the Covelli Centre in downtown Youngstown, Ohio....

 of the AF2
AF2
AF2 was the name of the Arena Football League's developmental league; it was founded in 1999 and played its first season in 2000. Like parent AFL, the AF2 played using the same arena football rules and style of play. League seasons ran from April through July with the postseason and ArenaCup...

. He scored a touchdown in his first game for the Thunder. In 2010, Schubert completed a season with the Richmond Raiders of the American Indoor Football Association, leading the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.

Cheerleading


In 2011, Oberlin began its most recent attempt to feature a cheerleading squad. In 2006, a cheerleader fell from atop a pyramid at a football game, initiating the demise of Oberlin’s Cheerleading Club. That injury prompted the school to restrict the club’s activities, prohibiting stunting and tumbling, after which participation fizzled out. The club’s charter, however, remained intact and was used to bring the squad back in 2011. Tryouts were held in the spring of 2011 and the the cheerleading team went active at Oberlin's first home football game that Fall, a 42-0 win over Kenyon College
Kenyon College
Kenyon College is a private liberal arts college in Gambier, Ohio, founded in 1824 by Bishop Philander Chase of The Episcopal Church, in parallel with the Bexley Hall seminary. It is the oldest private college in Ohio...

. The squad also cheers for the basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 team and participates in spirit building and service events across campus and in the community.

Rugby


Oberlin has both women's and men's rugby teams, the Rhinos and the Gruffs, respectively. The Rhinos were formed in the early 1990s and have been competing continuously since then. The Rhinos have been one of the more successful Oberlin teams, defeating The Ohio State University 14–0 in Spring 2008, and winning the Teapot Dome Tournament. Rhino colors are green and black.
The Oberlin College Men's Rugby team was founded in 1973 by Bruce Kostic Class of 1974. They won their first game defeating the Elyria Black River Rugby Club. Oberlin, formed as the Oberlin College Rugby Club (OCRC), was sponsored by the Oberlin College Rathskeller, then the campus pub. In its second season, 1974, the team complied a 3–2 record and carried a roster of 32 players, mainly football and lacrosse players. The Gruffs had their formal charter disbanded in the 1990s. It was re-formed in the fall of 2006 mainly under the supervision of Keith Yoder and David Sokoll. Since then, the Gruffs have continued to grow as a formal, chartered, club sports organization of Oberlin College.

Ultimate


Oberlin has both a men's and a women's Ultimate
Ultimate (sport)
Ultimate is a sport played with a 175 gram flying disc. The object of the game is to score points by passing the disc to a player in the opposing end zone, similar to an end zone in American football or rugby...

 team, known as the Flying Horsecows and the Preying Manti respectively. The Horsecows have made trips to College Nationals in 1992, 1995, 1997, and 1999. The Manti qualified for Nationals for the first time in 1997. Both teams qualified for DIII nationals in 2010. Both teams also maintain a tradition of emphasizing the spirit of Ultimate. Recently, the Flying Horsecows, after having an unsuccessful 2006–2007 season, hired a coach to work them into shape, and succeeded in advancing to the Regional championship tournament.

External links