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Messages from the President | New Students, New Energy

9-8-22 New Students, New Energy

Something I have often heard since arriving at Antioch is that there has been a renewal of energy on campus in the last year. The maintenance and facilities teams have been doing a wonderful job in making the spaces and buildings welcoming. The faculty and staff, those that have been here for many years and those that have arrived more recently, have been finding ways to engage the students and each other creatively and thoughtfully with fresh and renewed perspectives. The students themselves consistently bring energetic enthusiasm to the shaping of this community.

While I have certainly experienced a sense of this renewed energy during my time here, there is something uniquely remarkable about welcoming a new class of students. It elevates the feeling of excitement beyond what few other events on campus can. We are here for the students. Seeing a new cohort arrive brings hope for the future and a sustaining reminder of why we continue on.

On Wednesday, August 24th, the Class of 2026 arrived in Yellow Springs for new student orientation week. Along with anticipation and dorm room supplies, they brought with them a palpable positive energy that everyone on campus could feel. The Orientation Team took great care in crafting a welcoming and informative schedule, built to help the incoming class understand where they had arrived and the community that they were choosing to be a part of. The team reinforced that we are active participants in the students’ educational journey. My hope is they recognize us as supporting mentors, deeply invested in their success.

I was particularly encouraged to see so many families on campus, helping to steward this new class through the first steps of their own Antioch adventures. It was a great opportunity to connect with them during a welcoming message in the South Gym.

The positive energy continued through to the first week of classes, highlighted by the first Community Meeting of the term. The seats and physical spaces of McGregor 113 were nearly filled, but the room was fully filled with a sense of the namesake gathering. It was a joy to witness all members of campus – students, faculty, staff – participating and engaging with each other. Many thanks to our Community Manager, Austin Korner, for facilitating and leading us.

As we move through this term, I know the energy levels will fluctuate. There will be moments of calm, stress, excitement, and elation. My hope for the Class of 2026 – and all of our currently attending Antiochians – is that they find a way to use these experiences to inform their ways of being and find methods to channel these energies into the contributions they will undoubtedly make in our world.

Take good care,
Jane Fernandes