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Oberlin College

The meaning of «oberlin college»

Oberlin College is a private liberal arts college and conservatory of music in Oberlin, Ohio. It is the oldest coeducational liberal arts college in the United States and the second oldest continuously operating coeducational institute of higher learning in the world.[5] The Oberlin Conservatory of Music is the oldest continuously operating conservatory in the United States.[6] In 1835 Oberlin became one of the first colleges in the United States to admit African Americans, and in 1837 the first to admit women[7] (other than Franklin College's brief experiment in the 1780s[8]). It has been known since its founding for progressive student activism.[9]

The College of Arts & Sciences offers more than 50 majors, minors, and concentrations. Oberlin is a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association and the Five Colleges of Ohio consortium. Since its founding, Oberlin has graduated 16 Rhodes Scholars, 20 Truman Scholars, three Nobel laureates, seven Pulitzer Prize winners, and 12 MacArthur fellows, and 4 Rome Prize winners.[10][citation needed]

The history of Oberlin is better known than that of most American colleges. Oberlin's founders wrote voluminously and were featured prominently in the press (especially in the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, in which the name Oberlin occurs 352 times by 1865). Original documents and correspondence survive and are readily available; there is a "wealth of primary documents and scholarly works".[11]:346 Robert Samuel Fletcher '20 published in 1943 a history that is a landmark and the point of departure of all subsequent studies of Oberlin's history.[12]:20–21 His disciple Geoffrey Blodgett '53 has continued Fletcher's work.

"'Oberlin' was an idea before it was a place." It began in revelation and dreams: Yankees' motives to emigrate west, attempting to be perfect in God's eyes, "educating a missionary army of Christian soldiers to save the world and inaugurate God's government on earth, and the radical notion that slavery was America's most horrendous sin that should be instantly repented of and immediately brought to an end."[13]:12 Its immediate background was the great wave of Christian revivals in western New York State, in which Charles Finney was very much involved. "Oberlin was the offspring of the revivals of 1830 '31 and '32."[14]:12 Oberlin founder John Jay Shipherd was an admirer of Finney, and when en route to Ohio for the first time, visited him in Rochester, New York. Finney tried to get Shipherd to stay with him as an assistant, but Shipherd "felt that he had his own important part to play in bringing on the millennium, God's triumphant reign on Earth. Finney's desires were one thing, but Shipherd believed that the Lord's work for him lay farther west." Shipherd tried to get Finney to accompany him west, which he did, but not until 1835.[15]:13–14

Oberlin was to be a pious, simple-living community, a colony in a lightly-inhabited area, in which the school, training ministers and missionaries, would be the centerpiece. The Oberlin Collegiate Institute was founded in 1833 by Shipherd and another Presbyterian minister, Philo Stewart,[16] "formerly a missionary among the Cherokees in Mississippi, and at that time residing in Mr. Shipherd's family,"[17]:Int. 37 who was studying Divinity with Shipherd.[18]:281 The Institute was built on 500 acres (2.0 km2) of land specifically donated by its owners, Titus Street, founder of Streetsboro, Ohio, and Samuel Hughes,[19]:91, 94 who lived in Connecticut. Shipherd and Stewert named their project after Alsatian minister Jean-Frédéric Oberlin, on whom a book had just been published,[20] from which Stewart was reading to Shipherd.[18]:281 Oberlin brought social Christianity to an isolated region of France, just as they hoped to bring it to the then-remote Western Reserve region of northeastern Ohio.

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