Our Stories | Marcell, Class of 2018

From business plan to music festival

You might recognize Marcell Vanarsdale ’18 from his prominent picture on the College website. He was just a bright-eyed first year then, who’d come to Antioch from Chicago. He chose Antioch because of the Co-op program – Marcell already highly valued work-experience as a high school student – but also because of the generous scholarship that allowed him, thanks to the support of alumni and friends of the College, to afford a liberal arts education.

Marcell’s trajectory during his time at Antioch is nothing but impressive: he’s been the Events Coordinator, ComCil President, and a member of the POC group. But it wasn’t until just a few months ago that he launched his most ambitious project yet when he founded the Antioch Creative Collective (ACC) on campus. The ACC started as a student media-production group, but Marcell’s vision is far-reaching: “I was working as a Miller Fellow at the Yellow Springs Community Foundation when I had the idea of creating a student-led structure that would link Antioch to other community organizations, and enhance communication both on campus and beyond,” he recalls.

This past weekend saw the culmination of the ACC’s first big project as the front lawn of the College became the site of Music on Main, a festival which took advantage of Yellow Springs’ bi-annual Street Fair to draw crowds to the Antioch campus. Marcell masterminded the project, from writing the business plan under the guidance of Professor Kevin McGruder, to managing a marketing campaign, picking the artists, and supervising the logistics. His self-driven, creative, ambitious work is a stellar example of Antiochians owning their education.

Marcell will be graduating from Antioch College in June 2018 with a self-design degree in Experiential Communications through Organizational Leadership, and is planning to grow the ACC into a creative incubator that will support developing relationships between educational institutions and their community, in Ohio and beyond. He credits Antioch for giving him the chance to put his ambition into practice: “At other colleges, everything is set in stone. Here, there’s so much room to grow, create, and take responsibility. The most important thing I learned at Antioch is to view problems as opportunities.

The support of alumni and friends allows students to think big and realize ambitious dreams. Support the inititaitve of creative students like Marcell who own their education by making a gift to the Annual Fund today.