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Antioch College to Receive $1.5M Bequest

Bernard West YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio – July 19, 2010 – A $1.5 million bequest from an Antioch College alumnus will be transferred to a trust and held for the newly independent College, the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands ruled recently.

Given the Antioch College Corporation holds substantially all of the tangible and intangible properties associated with the historic campus in Yellow Springs, and its mission to revive school operations, the Corporation is the proper recipient of the gifts Bernard W. West (pictured) made to the institution in his 1986 will, Magistrate Miguel A. Camacho said.

“We are privileged to be able to honor the wishes of our alumnus Bernard West and we look forward to welcoming students from the Virgin Islands to Antioch College,” Interim President Matthew A. Derr said.

West left one-half of his residuary estate to Antioch College. Half of that share is to be used for research in general semantics, group dynamics and/or psychodrama and the other half will establish a scholarship fund for students who are residents of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A student at Antioch College from 1932-33, West was an associate director in the film department at a Cleveland-based company. By 1960, he was president of a communications consulting firm. Later, he worked as a real estate speculator in the Virgin Islands. He died on December 18, 1997.

The court was asked to declare West’s gift to Antioch College lapsed after operations were suspended, but instead ordered the executor of West’s estate to submit a trust instrument that will hold the funds until the college reopens to students.

Antioch College is an independent liberal arts college that began operating in 1853 with scholar Horace Mann as its first president. The College redefined liberal arts education by initiating an entrepreneurial and experiential curriculum through the development of its hallmark cooperative work program. Many of the now-common elements of today’s liberal arts education – self-designed majors, study abroad, and interdisciplinary study – had an early start at Antioch College. Many distinguished leaders in government, community and enterprise are graduates of Antioch College, including Congressional Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton ’60; Nobel Prize winner Mario Capecchi ’61; and U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. John P. DeJongh Jr. ’81.

Gariot P. Louima 

Chief Communications Officer
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