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Antioch College

From 2022: Roger Huff, class of '69, painted a newly constructed replacement porch column for Pennell House at Antioch College. The on-campus labor of Huff and others was a part of the alumni volunteer work project that precedes the whirlwind of weekend activities that make up the annual Antioch Alumni Reunion. (Photo by Reilly Dixon)

Antioch College Reunion kicks off

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By El Mele

The campus of Antioch College will soon be buzzing with over 100 alumni from across the country at the 2024 Antioch Reunion, Thursday–Sunday, June 27–30. The celebration will be filled with an array of events for alumni, including campus tours, panels, community meals and dances. The college will also host a number of events open to the wider Yellow Springs community.

Antioch invites all friends and neighbors to attend the reunion’s kick-off event: The Alumni Art Show opening reception at the Herndon Gallery, June 27, 5:30–6:30 p.m. The full exhibition, featuring 22 alumni artists, will also be on display Saturday and Sunday morning.

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Former faculty and staff members who live in Yellow Springs are especially encouraged to attend the event, and are asked to register at alumni@antiochcollege.edu for a nametag and drink tickets.

On Friday, June 28, the second annual Antioch Arts Festival: Pride Edition runs from 5–9 p.m. on the horseshoe in front of Main Hall. Antioch Arts Festival is an annual arts and entertainment market featuring live music and food. The event is coordinated by alumna Maria Ycaza, who hopes it will be a success in its second year.

This year’s event was moved to Friday evening to help kick off YS Pride Weekend. YS Pride’s Executive Director Phillip O’Rourke will give a welcome. Sam Green and Emma Woodruff, who performed at last year’s event, will return. There will be food trucks, beer from YS Brewery and lawn games. The call for vendors and musicians is still open, and there is no fee for vendors. Those interested are asked to email mpycaza24@gmail.com.

Other community events include the annual Folk Dance in Red Square outside of North Hall 8:30–9:30 p.m. June 28, and kickball Saturday, June 29, 11 a.m., on Main Lawn.

The college will also hold memorials for two beloved community members and all are welcome to attend: A celebration of life for Rachel Townsend, daughter of Professor Emeritus Peter Townsend, will be held Thursday, June 27, 3–5 p.m., in Arts and Science Building, Room 219. A memorial for longtime Antioch staffer Susan Eklund-Leen will be held Sunday, June 30, 10–11 a.m., in the South Hall Admissions office.

The week before the reunion, the Volunteer Work Project will be present on campus June 24–27. Volunteer Work Project is a group of passionate Antioch alumni who gather on campus for a work week four times a year to complete campus maintenance and administrative projects that would otherwise fall by the wayside. Projects include planting, housekeeping, painting, repairing floors, scanning, filing and other office support tasks.

Alumni events on the reunion schedule include panel discussions on artificial intelligence in education and the workplace, Antioch’s New Directions program and the impact and value of the campus Volunteer Work Project. There will also be tours of the Antioch Farm, led by Farm Manager Bruce Linebaugh; history tours of campus, by Antiochiana Archivist Scott Sanders; and a photo tour of the Glen, led by former faculty member Peter Townsend. Alumni will also have the chance to participate in Cabaret Horace, an open mic to showcase their talents; karaoke hosted by current students; screenings of alumni films; and the annual Divisional “DIV” Dance.

Throughout the weekend, representatives from a wide variety of classes will be in attendance. This year, Antioch will celebrate a few classes in particular, including the 65th Anniversary of the Class of 1959, 50th anniversary of the Class of 1974, 25th anniversary of the Class of 1999, 20th anniversary of the Class of 2004, and fifth anniversary of the Class of 2019.

The college has also hired a new director of alumni and communications manager, Shannon McCarville, a 2002 alumnus. McCarville came on board April 1 to execute the reunion on a tight timeline after having stepped in to coordinate last year’s reunion under a similar time constraint. McCarville said they were looking forward to diving into their post-reunion work with alumni soon, and are excited to work to reinvigorate Antioch’s relationship with the village. Though based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, they work hybrid and are on campus 50% of the time. Community members are encouraged to introduce themselves if they see McCarville around town — they are often working at a coffee shop or walking their dog, Potato Dopamine Jr.

Alumni interested in attending the full reunion program may register at antiochcollege.edu/alumni-friends/reunion. Panel presentations, Alumni Award plenaries and the College Address will be livestreamed on YouTube. The link to join will be posted on the reunion website a week in advance, and it will be shared on Antioch’s social media.

*The author is a student at Antioch College and a freelance reporter for the News.

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