Antioch University

McGregor is Antioch Midwest

As of July 1, Antioch University McGregor will be known by its new name, Antioch University Midwest.

The name change was announced last Saturday, June 12, at the inauguration of President Michael Fishbein.

“We live in a part of America who some claim sees its best days in the rearview. We live in a part of America whose intellect and compassion some claim are throttled by parochialism in an age of global competition. We live in a part of America that often doesn’t think of itself as a single place,” he said. “I want to stake a claim to this part of America, not simply because it is where we are, but because doing so, as we like to say here, is the way to be the difference we seek to see in the world.”

A group of dignitaries gave greetings at the inauguration, which took place in the school’s auditorium. The speakers included Phillip Parker, president of the Antioch University Midwest board of trustees and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce; Antioch University Chancellor Toni Murdock; Antioch University Board of Governors Chair Art Zucker; Yellow Springs Village Council President Judith Hempfling; SOCHE Executive Director Sean Creighton; Antioch Midwest Faculty Assembly Chair Marian Glancy; and alums Eric Patterson and Eric Combs.

In his address, Fishbein spoke of his lifelong desire to live a life of meaning.

“Not fame. Not fortune. I wanted to be needed, so that the world was a tiny bit better off because of me,” he said.

He has found that life at Antioch Midwest, he said, “Because we believe in the power of socially engaged citizenship and we work to create graduates who believe as we do. But socially engaged citizenship is inextricably bound to the requirements of critical thought. You cannot be a socially engaged citizen unless you know how to think. This is what Antioch understands in its bones. It is what draws me, sustains me, and ultimately affirms me: the feeling that I am in the company of quiet heroes.”

Soon, Fishbein said, he will ask “faculty colleagues to consider the creation of an Institute for Social Impact — to provide opportunities to teach those for whom a degree is a distant or unnecessary goal.” The school will also develop new programs in sustainability, education and health care and also “devise schedules to serve students who seek us but cannot give their evenings or weekends.”

The new name helps to align the local campus with the other four Antioch University campuses, which are all known by their geographical locations, according to a press release by Antioch University Chancellor Toni Murdock, who said the change was suggested by Fishbein to help Antioch Midwest fit more clearly with the new brand structure that the university has developed.

The Antioch Midwest faculty opposed the name change, and presented a resolution stating their opposition to the board.

The school will name its library after Douglas McGregor, the former Antioch College president for whom the school was originally named, who was known for his philosophy of participatory management.

In the region, there’s always been confusion over the McGregor name, according to Parker, the president of the Antioch Midwest board.

“This gives us the opportunity to clarify who we are and where we are,” he said. “This is something we’ve been discussing for months, and the board has been very supportive and understands the need for a larger geographical presence in the marketplace.”

About six different name possibilities were considered, but “Midwest” tested best in focus groups, Parker said. People associate the word with “good, solid hardworking people, oriented to family and community,” Parker said.

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