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Antioch College Celebrates First Graduation since 2008

Recreated Liberal Arts School in Yellow Springs, Ohio Confers Degrees to 21 Students

Today, Antioch College celebrated a joyous commencement—its first since 2008. Despite heavy rain that forced festivities indoors, 21 students representing the Class of 2015 graduated at a beautiful ceremony in the South Gym of Antioch’s Wellness Center. Dr. Clarence B. Jones, a celebrated Civil Rights leader, businessman, lawyer, author, scholar, and close confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a powerful commencement address urging graduates to “not take their eyes off the North Star” in the fight against racism and oppression. Dr. Jones traveled at the last moment from the Bay Area of California to replace previously scheduled speaker Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) who was unable to attend graduation due to a family funeral. A letter from Congressman Lewis along with a resolution from Ohio Governor John Kasich are included with this release.

Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, family and Antioch alumni also heard remarks today from Antioch Trustee David Goodman ’69, brother of Andrew Goodman, who along with James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner, was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in Neshoba County, Miss. during the Freedom Summer of 1964. Local community group The World House Choir lent powerful pieces of music to the event and six student speakers outlined the ups and downs of recreating Antioch College—the only start-up, residential liberal arts college in America.

“Today, we celebrate the Class of 2015 and the diverse group of people who came together over the years to get us to where we are today,” said Antioch College President Mark Roosevelt. “This is an important and historic milestone for the College, Yellow Springs, and the greater Antioch community. Today’s commencement reminds us all that the hard work has been worth it and signals that Antioch College is officially back.”

This year, Commencement 2015 is part of a larger Reunion weekend. Hundreds of alumni have returned to Yellow Springs to reconnect, view the evolution of the College, and celebrate the Class of 2015. This weekend also represents the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commencement address to the Antioch Class of 1965. Reunion events will continue through tomorrow morning. Tonight, the College will hold a Celebration Dinner and President Mark Roosevelt will deliver his annual State of the College Address.