News and Media
Oct. 28, 2009
Photo by John Seyfried
Welcome back! I hope everyone had a safe, healthy, and enjoyable break.
During the autumn recess, I visited alumni and students in London, Oxford, and Paris. Our Oberlin-in-London students are having a terrific experience in one of the world's great cities.
At our gatherings, alumni living in London and Paris expressed interest in meeting and networking with current students. You can make those connections by contacting the Oberlin Alumni Association or inquiring at the Office of Career Services.
In London alumni news, author Tracy Chevalier ’84 has a new novel, Remarkable Creatures, that has been published in the United Kingdom and has received excellent reviews. The novel will be released on January 5, 2010, in the United States.
Back in Oberlin, this past weekend brought good news for many of our student-athletes.
The football team registered its first victory of the season, knocking off Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, by a score of 19-13. Congratulations to our football players and to Head Coach Jeff Ramsey for their fine work. The team faces Wabash College this Saturday afternoon at Savage Stadium. Kudos are also due to the soccer team for their 4-1 victory over the College of Wooster, in which senior Sklyer Dum scored all four goals, and to the volleyball team—the Yeowomen continued their strong season, beating Earlham.
This past weekend I also attended a performance of Inherit the Wind at the Cleveland Playhouse. The play is based on the famous Scopes trial of 1925, which involved the prosecution of a Tennessee school teacher who taught evolution. On stage, a scientist called as a defense witness is identified as coming from Oberlin College. In reality, it turns out that the crucial defense witness-scientist actually was an Oberlin graduate. His name was Maynard Metcalf, Class of 1889. Dr. Metcalf was an invertebrate zoologist who also taught Bible classes at his Congregational church in Baltimore and after returning to head Oberlin’s zoology department in 1908. Metcalf's testimony helped demonstrate that a person could be both religious and a believer in evolution. Indeed, historical accounts tell us that combination of religion and science characterized Oberlin's faculty and students for many years, and remains relevant today in the current battles over teaching evolution in public schools. As I was researching this online, I was surprised to find one a 2009 Gallup Poll that showed only 39 percent of Americans believe in evolution.
Last but not least, Election Day is fast approaching. Elections in off-years frequently do not get the attention that they deserve. But they are important. Here in Oberlin, we will be electing a new city council and new school board members. There are also a number of significant social and agricultural initiatives on the ballot. I urge everyone to inform yourselves about the candidates and the issues and to go vote on Tuesday, November 3. Please note that Phillips Gymnasium will be a polling place in this election for four Oberlin precincts. As an Oberlin citizen, I also urge you to vote for Issue 35, a levy that will provide crucial financial support allowing our Oberlin Public Library to maintain its vitally important service to our community.