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Alumni housing needed for Antioch College reunion

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Villagers who want to contribute to enhancing the relationship between Yellow Springs and the recently-revived Antioch College have an opportunity to do so by opening their homes to alumni for the upcoming Antioch College alumni reunion.

“The idea is to keep building the network between town and gown,” said Steven Duffy, the assistant director of alumni relations last week.

The reunion will take place Oct. 2–4, with most events taking place under a tent on the college campus, which has been closed for a year.

Organizers consider the reunion to be an especially significant event because it celebrates the recently successful effort to revive Antioch College as an independent liberal arts institution after having been closed for a year and part of the Antioch University system for the past three decades.

“We’re seeing this as the kick-off of the re-emergence of the college,” said -Matthew Derr, chief transition officer in the Antioch College Continuation Corporation, or ACCC, this week. “It’s a real celebration of everything that everyone has accomplished together.”

While about 100 alumni had signed up to attend by the end of last week, organizers expect considerably more to show up, according to Duffy, who said more than 700 attended the reunion that took place in 2007 shortly after university officials announced the college would close, and many showed up unexpectedly.

“I know Antiochians, and they’re going to waltz in here at the last minute,” he said.

The need for housing is acute because, as the campus has been closed since July 2008, there are few facilities there to house the returning alumni, Duffy said. About 20 alumni who are scheduled to arrive at the beginning of the reunion week to take part in a campus work project will stay in “the units,” the apartment-like housing on Livermore Street, but no other dorms are ready for use. The local housing options at the Springs Motel and Arthur Morgan House are already filled, as are some area motels.

Some of the younger alumni may choose to pitch a tent on the golf course on campus, Duffy said, adding that while there are still rooms available in some area motels, many alumni prefer to stay in Yellow Springs, especially those who are older and don’t want to drive at night.

Reunion organizers are open to a variety of housing options, ranging from providing visiting alumni their own rooms to a sofa in the living room. The alumni will most likely be busy most of their days at activities and will eat meals either with the group or in downtown restaurants.

“Basically, they just need a roof over their heads and a shower,” Duffy said.

Villagers are also invited to take part in several reunion events that are open to the community (see sidebar on front page). On Saturday, Sept. 12, more than 30 Antioch College alumni who live in the area met in Yellow Springs to consider other ways that villagers and the college could work together to maintain their collaborative relationship, Duffy said.

This year’s alumni work project is a “deep cleaning” of the Olive Kettering Library, which will house the offices of college personnel on the second floor. Work crews will also perform other tasks, such as raking and weeding, to help prepare the campus for the reunion, and villagers are invited to join in. To host alumni or help with the work project, contact Steve Duffy at 767-2341.

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