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Antioch College

From Academic Kids

Antioch College is a private, independent liberal arts college in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Founded in 1852 by the Christian Connexion, it began operating a year later with Horace Mann as its first president.

Antioch was later reorganized with Unitarian support as an independent nonsectarian college. In 1920, College President Arthur E. Morgan, a noted engineer concerned with community values, restructured the College to introduce for students the co-operative education or work-study plan.

Antioch College blends practical work experience with classroom learning and participatory community governance.

A separate campus of Antioch University, also located in Yellow Springs and established in 1988, offers academic programs for adults responsive to emerging societal needs.

The college had 650 students in 2000 and is one campus of the Antioch University System.

Antioch College is a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association, the Eco-League, and the North American Alliance for Green Education.

Antioch in the late 20th Century

During the 1950s, Antioch was considered an early bastion of student activism and liberal thought. Antioch faced pressure from the powerful House Unamerican Activities Committee, and became the mockery of many area newspapers, because it would not kick out its students and faculty accused of having Communist leanings. But college officials stood firm, insisting that freedom begins not in suppressing unpopular ideas but in holding all ideas up to the light. The school, including students, teachers and administrators were involved in the early stages of the civil rights movement and free speech issues.

The 1960s were considered by many to be Antioch's 20th century heyday; the school was healthy and vibrant. The student body topped out around 2,000 students, the college owned property all over Yellow Springs and beyond and the college grew throughout the decade to became one of the most respected liberal arts institutions in the country. Following on the heels of the past decade the college also became one of the primary sources of student radicalism, the New Left, the anti-Viet Nam War movement, and to a lesser extent the Black Power movement. The town of Yellow Springs also became an island of liberal and Left activism in southern Ohio as well.

The 1970s saw the college continued to be known as a source of activism and often controversial political thought. Several graduate satellite schools around the country, under the Antioch University name (with the college as its base), were growing as well, including the McGregor School, located adjacent to the original Yellow Springs campus. During the end of the decade, the University system partially collapsed, leaving Antioch College and Antioch University in financial dire straits by the beginning of the 1980s

During the 1980s, Antioch went through persistant financial troubles, with the student body shrinking to several hundred students. Several buildings on campus were either condemned or boarded up. The faculty roster also suffered under financial constraints.

Beginning in the 1990s, the college began the first of several revival pushes by the student body, alumni, faculty and third-party donors. Though financial problems remain with the college, in the early 2000s, Antioch took up the "Plan for Antioch College", a multi-million dollar renewal commission which has altered the investment and marketing strategy for the college.

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