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Antioch College Names Matthew Derr ’89 Interim President

Yellow Springs, OHIO – December 9, 2009 —The Antioch College Board Pro Tempore announced today the appointment of Matthew Allen Derr ’89 as the newly independent college’s interim president. Derr, who has played a key role in the two year effort by Antioch alumni to purchase their alma mater from Antioch University, was formerly Chief Transition Officer.  Derr will act in this position until the new president is selected.


“Matthew Derr has been vital to the transition of the College to an independent institution for the first time in 40 years,” said Lee Morgan ’66, Chair of the Board Pro Tempore.  “Now is the time to move forward with rebuilding the physical facility, articulating a vision for the future, and preparing to reopen in the fall of 2011” Morgan concluded.


In his role as interim president, Derr will oversee the beginning of the campus renovation, the expansion of the capital campaign, the hiring and organization of the administrative staff, rebuilding strong relationships with the more than 17,000 Antioch alumni and the Yellow Springs community, and, perhaps most importantly, articulating a compelling vision that will drive the design of the curriculum and the profile of faculty to be hired.


Plans are underway in the search process to secure a president for Antioch.  The effort is being led by Frances Degen Horowitz 55, president emerita, university professor, and Interim Jack F. Skirball Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the City University of New York Graduate Center, and Jay Lorsch ’57, Louis Kirstein Professor of Human Relations at the Harvard Business School. 


Most recently, Derr served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at The Boston Conservatory, a leading performing arts college in the United States. Derr was formerly acting head of school, and prior to that, associate head of school, at The Walnut Hill School, an elite independent arts boarding school where he served for many years. Derr is credited with founding the Unified Application for Conservatory Admission and co-founding the Sphinx Performance Academy for African-American and Latino musicians. A former member of the Antioch College Alumni Board, he served on its Executive Committee. Prior to his post at Walnut Hill, he was director of admissions and financial aid for the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University; associate director of admission at Connecticut College; and as associate dean of admission at Earlham College. He earned his undergraduate degree at Antioch College in history in 1989 and studied at the George Heyman Center for Philanthropy at New York University.


About Antioch College

Antioch College is a private college of the liberal arts and sciences located in the Village of Yellow Springs, Ohio. Founded in 1852, with Horace Mann as its first president it counts among its accomplished alumni Nobel Prize recipients and numerous MacArthur “Genius” Prize awardees.  The College has a historic legacy at the vanguard of progressive education through its work-study-community governance curriculum and was among the first colleges in the United States to offer equal educational opportunity to African Americans and women.  Antioch College is a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association.  For more information about the College please visit