Aimee Lunde Maruyama '96
As the rest of the country gears up for the July 4 holiday, the word independence means something quite different for alumni, students, friends, former faculty, staff and supporters of Antioch College this week. On Tuesday, June 30th, at noon, the Great Lakes Colleges Association released the news that the boards of Antioch University and the Antioch College Corporation (ACC) each unanimously voted in favor of a set of definitive agreements for the creation of an independent college in Yellow Springs, Ohio, including the transfer of the campus and endowment.
The agreement is the culmination of two years of courageous effort from Antiochians and supporters of Antioch College. The news spread quickly, with over 230 press hits, including the most recent from US News & World Report which hailed “The Antioch College Comeback”.
In Yellow Springs, Winds Cafe patrons clinked their glasses in celebration upon hearing the news of a new, independent Antioch College. “People were toasting to new beginnings and a hopeful new venture for this college that’s meant so much to the town for well over 150 years,” said Sam Eckenrode ’83, newly elected member of the Antioch College Alumni Board.
Antioch parent and ardent supporter Christine Wands, was driving to Pittsburgh Tuesday and stopped to check her e-mail and see if there was news. “The truckers at the rest stop must have thought I was crazy as I started shouting for joy in my car.”
At the CRF office on Xenia Avenue. in Yellow Springs, a large banner and balloons were hung in celebration and gratitude; cars have been driving by full of cheering folks, honking their shared excitement.Jeanne Kay, a member of Antioch’s class of 2010, wrote, “I didn’t expect to feel so incredibly moved. I, like many of you, have learned to master the subtle art of roller-coaster shielding throughout these two long years, and I thought it would keep me stoic today too. Instead, I feel an immense sense of relief, as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. And, most importantly, I feel grateful.”
Small celebrations are being planned at chapters across the country and in Yellow Springs, but the real celebration is expected to be this fall when Antiochians will come home for their annual reunion, October 2 – 4, 2009.