Around the Square: Your Inside Connection to Oberlin Stories, News, and Eventsis an e-newsletter produced by the Alumni Association in cooperation with the Office of Communications for alumni, emeriti, and friends of Oberlin College.
Around the Square
Tappan Square Photo
Around the Square: Your Inside Connection to Oberlin Stories, News, and Events is an e-newsletter produced by the Alumni Association in cooperation with the Office of Communications for alumni, emeriti, and friends of Oberlin College.

Feature Story

Kiese Laymon '98

Q&A with Kiese Laymon '98

Noted essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon ’98 recently returned to Oberlin to read from his forthcoming book Heavy: An American Memoir. During his time on campus, Danielle Young, Executive Director of the Oberlin Alumni Association, sat down with Kiese for an interview to discuss his writing, family, and how place plays an important role in his work. Watch the Q&A and stay tuned for more alumni interviews in the inaugural Beyond Oberlin series.

Watch Video

Videography by Mathias Reed

Alumni Updates

Wendell P. Russell, Jr. ’71

Wendell P. Russell, Jr. ’71

Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones '97

Learn more about Wendell P. Russell, Jr. ’71, Oberlin Alumni Association of African Ancestry (OA4) Representative of the Alumni Leadership Council.

Learn more.

Lauren Salazar '09

Lauren Salazar '09

Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones '97

Learn more about Lauren Salazar '09, Oberlin Latino/a Alumni Association (OLAA) Representative of the Alumni Leadership Council.

Learn more.

Wendy Uhlmann ’83

Wendy Uhlmann ’83

Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

Learn more about Wendy Uhlmann ’83, Class Officer Representative of the Alumni Leadership Council.

Learn more.

Inside the Square

The Oberlin College community's thoughts are with those affected by the appalling attack in Las Vegas. We hope that all of you, your loved ones, and friends are safe. Many of our community members have also been impacted by the devastation of hurricanes that hit Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico. If there is anything that the Alumni Office can do to assist, please let us know by calling (440) 775-8692 or emailing

President Ambar

President Carmen Twillie Ambar directs the Oberlin Orchestra during an interactive introductory concert for the college and community.

Miriam Sicherman

Watch the behind-the-scenes setup for Art Rental Fall 2017. To view photos of this special event, visit Oberlin College's Flickr account.

Photo by William Bradford

PAL Program

The Peer Advising Leaders (PAL) Program aims to create a sense of community among first-year students and help them make the most of their first-year educational experience. Learn more.

Photo by Dana Hamdan

Additional Stories

Join a Discussion with President Ambar on November 9

President Carmen Twillie Ambar, the 15th President of Oberlin College, will participate on live calls with alumni to provide insight into her vision for Oberlin College and to answer questions you may have.

Please save the date and join the conversation!

Session 1: 6:00 p.m. Central / 7:00 p.m. Eastern
Session 2: 5:30 p.m. Pacific / 6:30 p.m. Mountain

Learn more about how it works.

Legacy & Vision: President Ambar’s Introductory Tour

President Ambar begins a tour this fall to meet Oberlin alumni, parents, and friends.

Save the date to join fellow alumni, parents, and friends for an evening reception to welcome President Ambar to the Oberlin community. To learn more, visit Please direct questions or register to: or 440-775-6785.

Vice President for Finance and Administration Search

The search to find Oberlin’s next Vice President for Finance and Administration is underway following the departure of Mike Frandsen who became president of Wittenberg University. President Ambar has appointed a nine-member search committee to work along with the consulting firm Isaacson, Miller.

The search committee, chaired by Professor of Mathematics Robert Bosch, met recently with the search consultants to begin the process of developing a position description and setting a timeline for the search. The committee hopes to identify final candidates by the end of January and conclude the search by the end of February. Learn more.

Tackling Society’s Greatest Challenges in StudiOC

Launched this fall, StudiOC is centered on theme-based learning communities that pursue multidisciplinary collaboration. Each semester-long learning community consists of two to three courses from different academic departments. Faculty and students within a learning community work together at key points throughout the semester for multidisciplinary discussion, shared assignments, and programming. Learn more.

It is time to launch or grow that startup business!

  • Deadline to Apply: November 10, 2017
  • Bootcamp: January 15-26, 2018
  • Startup Pitch Competition: March 10, 2018

LaunchU is Oberlin’s signature business start-up program! During a two-week winter term bootcamp, alumni, faculty, and students learn what it takes to develop an idea from a thought-bubble to reality. Participants engage in high-impact business startup training supported by dynamic business speakers and alumni mentors. In 2017, participants competed for $45K in launch funding. Successful participants have gone on to build energy, recycling, clothing, non-profit and other exciting enterprises. APPLY NOW.

Career Development Center: New Name, New Services

As Jahkeem Wheatley entered his third year, he started to envision his career plans. A law and society and sociology double major, he was considering law school but wanted to know more about his options. He sought assistance from the Career Development Center (CDC) to find answers.

Wheatley was introduced to Wisr, a new platform that connects students with the Oberlin alumni network. Using the service, he contacted alumni who offered their perspectives on what a career in law could look like.

“After talking to different alumni and hearing their experiences, I got to understand some of the pros and cons of choosing to go straight to law school after college or taking time off and doing something else in between." Learn more.

Deej the Documentary

DJ Savarese ’17 (Deej) is a gifted, young writer and advocate for nonspeaking autistics. Once a profoundly disabled foster kid on a fast track to nowhere, DJ dreams of college and insists on standing up for his peers; people who are dismissed as incompetent because they have neurological differences. Will DJ find freedom for himself and others?

With unflinching candor, Deej reveals what it takes to make the goals of inclusion and disability rights a reality. Learn more about the film and find a screening of the film in a city near you.

Venetian Masterpieces with Curator Andaleeb Badiee Banta

Venice Sunrise

June 2-9, 2018

Discover the rich tapestry of artistic and architectural marvels that transformed Venice from a small harbor into the ‘Queen of the Adriatic.’ Explore the city’s greatest art collections, from the lauded halls of the Accademia to the tiny local churches that house magnificent paintings. Learn about the rich history of performance and operatic traditions with visits to the oldest theaters in the city. Leave the bustle of the Grand Canal behind for the quiet local neighborhoods of Cannaregio and the Old Ghetto, where Venetian history has been painstakingly preserved. Tour the best contemporary art exhibits the city has to offer and visit local galleries to get a sense of what modern Venetian artists are creating. Discover the depths of Venice beyond the Grand Canal.

Download the brochure.

Around the Square Survey

Around the Square Survey

Share your response to this brief survey.

Attend an Alumni Event

Join us for an event in your region. For a full listing of events, visit this web page.

October 14

Oberlin Luncheon in Tokyo

October 14

Meet with Alumni Professionals at October Career Event

October 14

Oberlin Heisman Club In Toronto

October 16

Cultural Diversity and the Arts in America

October 19

An Evening With President Carmen Twillie Ambar in Cleveland

October 21

Obies D.C. Family Fun Farm Day

October 21

Explore 5000 Years of Computing

October 23

An Evening With President Carmen Twillie Ambar in Philadelphia

October 24

An Evening With President Carmen Twillie Ambar in Boston

October 25

An Evening With President Carmen Twillie Ambar in New York City

October 26

An Evening With President Carmen Twillie Ambar in Washington, D.C.

January 5

Economic Department Reception in Philadelphia

Oberlin Alumni Association
phone: (440) 775-8692
65 East College Street, Suite 4
Oberlin, OH 44074