Dean's Greetings

Regular readers of this publication will already have noticed its striking new appearance, emblematic of the remarkable vitality of the Oberlin Conservatory--its faculty, staff, and students, and its extended community of alumni and friends.

That vitality is evident in the magnificent new C.B. Fisk pipe organ now receiving its finishing touches in Finney Chapel, in the plans for its dedication September 28 and 29, and in the programming opportunities it will offer.

It was also abundantly present on the 17th of October, when the Oberlin Orchestra performed with two student soloists under the direction of John Williams at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

It is evident in the important searches for new faculty in strings, winds, technology, musicology, music theory, and jazz studies (you will read about some of them in this issue), and in the record number of prospective new students inundating the Office of Admissions with inquiries and applications.

This summer, spacious new facilities for Conservatory admissions and other administrative offices will be developed on the second floor of the Oberlin Bookstore, overlooking Tappan Square. This move echoes history: it was in this very location, albeit in a different building, that the Oberlin Conservatory was founded in 1865 by two former students of the Leipzig Conservatory, which itself was established only 22 years earlier by Felix Mendelssohn. Look for news of this development in the next issue of Oberlin Conservatory.

Conservatory faculty and staff have also been busy analyzing the facility needs of the instructional program. Their findings are now being reviewed by committees of the Board of Trustees and the College in order to determine how best to serve the program in the 21st century.

We also celebrate the appointment of music educator Dr. Carolynn Lindeman '62, to the President's Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts. Aside from reflecting the importance of music education to the nation, her appointment is in keeping with Oberlin's historic and continuing commitment to the discipline it pioneered in 1921.

Exciting as life and learning are on campus, my time is increasingly spent traveling and meeting with hundreds of Oberlin's alumni and friends in support of the New Oberlin Century campaign ­ part of Oberlin's effort to secure and strengthen its offerings in music and the liberal arts. The depth of Oberlin's contribution to the world ­ through the good works, the artistic and intellectual excellence, and the influence of its graduates everywhere ­ impresses me more each day. These contributions confirm the words of a recent distinguished visitor to campus, who characterized Oberlin as a "missionary institution . . . standing like a beacon on the hill."

May it always be so.
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Robert K. Dodson