Million Dollar March Match: Because Antioch Matters
March 1, 2018

Dear Antiochians and friends,

Like many of you, Antioch was the only college I applied to. I had decided that I did not want to go anywhere else, and that if I wasn’t admitted I would just pitch a tent in front of Admissions and convince them of why I belonged at Antioch College.

Luckily, I did not have to resort to such direct action, and on a September morning in 2006, fresh out of my flight from Paris, I rolled my giant suitcase down Xenia Avenue, looking a bit lost but full of excitement and determination. Antioch Theater Professor Louise Smith ’77 stopped her car next to me, rolled down her window and exclaimed: “You look like an Antioch student! Hop in!”

Despite my high hopes, I was not disappointed. It was true, then, what the college guides had said: Antioch was a place that would challenge me to my core, not just academically but as a human being. I would learn to question my core beliefs. I would be exposed to radical otherness and become a more ethical person. I would be taught to see opportunity in adversity; to see everything as a learning experience. I would learn that if I wanted something changed it was up to me to go and change it. Finally, I would find true community; for the first time in my life, I felt like I’d found my home.

At the end of my first year, I attended Commencement; as I watched graduating Antiochians ready to take on the world with courage and vulnerability, I thought: There is nothing in the world that can prevent me from graduating from Antioch College. That was the Summer of 2007, and just a few weeks later I learned that there was indeed something that could prevent me from graduating from Antioch College, and it was called Antioch University! The announcement of our impending closure was shattering, incomprehensible to me and to my peers.

But we weren’t Antiochians for nothing! As you well know, we fought back for our home, alongside our faculty, staff, and you: alumni and friends of the College. You know the long and tumultuous story of how we achieved the impossible and won our independence from the University and re-opened, against all odds, in 2011. Do you know how much it meant to us, the students at the time, to get the chance to fight alongside you?

I never did get my diploma from Antioch College, but while I managed to argue my way (definitely an Antiochian skill!) directly into a Master’s program, and then law school, I never lost sight that my true education happened at Antioch, in those hard years when I learned to raise my voice, write up business plans, take over trustees meetings, and keep on fighting and hoping to the sound of "Non-Stop Anti-och!".

That is why, after I passed the New York Bar exam last year, nothing made more sense to me than to move back to Yellow Springs and work for Antioch. Beyond the deep love and gratitude that we all share toward our alma mater, what the College has accomplished in the past decade is nothing short of extraordinary, and nothing seems more important than to keep supporting its success—which is our collective success—in these troubled times.

This March, Trustee Barbara Winslow ’68 has pledged to match your gift 1:1 up to $500,000 in an effort to raise $1,000,000 to support Antioch students. This will be a fun month, and we encourage you to join the festivities, and, of course to support Antioch with your gift.

Last October, I made my way to the campus South Gym to watch as the Class of 2021 arrived for their first day of Orientation. They were excited, they were scared, they were determined… they were, already, Antiochians. They deserve all of our support.

Jeanne Kay ’10
Annual Giving Manager

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