By Eva Erickson and Vanessa Query
From the 20th to the 22nd of February, the Antioch College Board Pro Tempore came together for the first time in Yellow Springs to create goals and plans for the revival of their alma mater. The four main agenda topics of the meetings were finances and fundraising efforts, evaluating the flood damage of the buildings as well as theirneed for remodeling, the Definitive Agreements for the College’s independence from Antioch University, and Nonstop’s integration into the new Antioch.
Due to the sensitive nature of the current state of negotiations with Antioch University, most of the sessions were closed to the public. In fact, only two events were open: a bird-watching hike in the GlenHelen Nature Preserve and a presentation on Nonstop’s creation, successes, and what it could offer to a new vision for Antioch College.
The bird-watching was a success, if you count seven Nonstop students waking up at 6:30 on a brisk Saturday morning in February a success. Sadly, most of the board did not share the students’ enthusiasm for bird-watching, as only one ProTem member – Nancy Crow, who is also president of the Alumni Board –arrived. Along with board consultant Matthew Derr, they all had a lovely hike in the Glen under the tutelage of bird expert Nick Boutis, Director of the Glen. We were all pleasantly surprised to find out that Derr and Crow really know and love their birds. In fact, Derr got very excited when he spotted, for the first time in his bird-watching life, a Carolina Chickadee. He remarked that he hadn’t realized there was anything other than just a regular old chickadee. Boutis replied that you could tell it was a Carolina Chickadee by its southern drawl.
“It was really nice to be able to interact with Matt and Nancy in such an interesting, informal setting,” said third-year student Jeanne Kay. “I look forward to more opportunities to develop student relationships with trustees.”
Students and the rest of the community are not the only people wishing to become more familiar with the ProTem. In fact, that weekend was the first time the Board members themselves have met face-to-face. Prior to their visit to Nonstop, they have been having teleconference meetings every Sunday and keeping in touch with each other via phone and email. “Except Lee and Matthew, I haven’t met any of the Board members before we had teleconferences, and so for me this was really a great opportunity to actually put faces with people’s voices,” says Board member Allyn Feinberg.
The Glen Helen Building Conference Room was comfortably filled during Nonstop’s presentation to the board. Eight of the twelve ProTem Board members attended the presentation: Lee Morgan ‘66, Pavel Curtis ‘81, Terry Herndon ‘57, Frances Horowitz ‘54, Barbara Winslow ‘68, Joyce Idema ‘57, Allyn Feinberg ‘70, and Nancy Crow ’70. Prexy Nesbitt ’67, had left after the closed report from the visiting team about Nonstop’s curriculum. Board members Edward Richard ’59, Jay Lorsch ’55, Atis Folkmanis ’62, honorary members Kay Drey ’39, Leo Drey ’39 and The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton ’60 did not make it to the meeting.
For a little more than an hour, community members argued the case for Nonstop to be included in the planning and implementation for a continuing Antioch. The presenters, Acting President of the College Revival Fund Ellen Borgersen, Executive Collective (ExColl) members Chris Hill, Susan Eklund-Leen, and Hassan Rahmanian, Co-Community Manager Chelsea Martens, and third-year student Shea Witzberger gave their testimonials about various aspects of Nonstop, its origins and goals, its successes in its space, the innovative use of IT within a budget, the development of COPAS, the open curriculum, and how above all, Nonstop will make a case for an invaluable resource to the rebuilding of the new Antioch College.
The session ended with Lee Morgan thanking everyone for their efforts, but explaining that at this point in the process, it is too early to speculate about the future of a potential Antioch/Nonstop synergy. He reiterated the four points that originally brought the board to Yellow Springs. He expressed gratitude, admiration, and awe for all that Nonstop has done and is trying to accomplish and assured the community of the Board’s devotion to the college. Matt Derr emphasized that there is “no ambiguity for collective passion about the college.”
After the meeting with Nonstop ended, several community members were treated to dinner at The Winds. Besides eating delectable food, the dinner gave the ProTem Board another chance to have a more personal interaction with the Nonstop community representatives. Jeanne Kay, the only student at the dinner, says “I had a great time talking to ProTem members at my table: Joyce Idema, Allyn Feinberg, and Terry Herndon. I enjoyed listening to anecdotes about their time at Antioch and sharing my experience as a student; it’s amazing how across generations there is an indomitable core of Antiochianness, it is clear to me that we share the same values and commitment to rebuilding a revived Antioch College.”