Board Welcomes New Trustees

In June 2006, Oberlin welcomed the return of Bill Robinson ’63 to the Board of Trustees. Many of you know Bill, not only for his previous 18-year tenure on the Board, but also as a renowned civil rights lawyer who co-founded the District of Columbia School of Law. At Oberlin recently, Bill served as co-chair of our New Oberlin Century capital campaign, which raised $175 million for facilities, scholarships, faculty support, and more. Throughout the campaign, Bill pushed the College to a new level of fundraising success, and he never lost track of the big picture: sustaining the future of Oberlin. His homecoming to the Board is good news for the College, which sits poised to implement many of the educational and financial objectives of the Strategic Plan that we adopted last year.

The Board is also excited about the presence of four newcomers to its ranks: John Koch and Harlan Waksal, both graduates of the Class of 1975, and Edith Clowes and Diane Yu, graduates of the Class of 1973. John, a longtime banking executive in Cleveland, is the founder and CEO of ION Capital, a mortgage banking company based in the Columbus area. No stranger to high-level philanthropy, particularly in northeast Ohio, John has played a key role in the Cleveland Clinic’s $300 million drive for a new heart center. He serves on the board of the Musical Arts Association, which operates the Cleveland Orchestra, and on the advisory board of the Salvation Army of Cleveland.

Harlan is a scientist, physician, and business executive who operates a medical consulting business in Montclair, New Jersey. A leader in the field of cancer research, he spent a decade developing a noted cancer drug that received FDA approval in 2004. Harlan serves on the American Committee of the Weizmann Institute of Science, as well as on the board of the Montclair Art Museum. He is a longtime supporter of the Telluride Foundation in Colorado.

Edith, who served on the steering committee of Oberlin’s last capital campaign, is a professor of Slavic languages and literature at the University of Kansas. Edith and her family have been strong supporters of Oberlin’s Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies. An expert on Russian literature and philosophy, Edith serves on the executive committee of the Modern Language Association and is a widely published author.

Diane, who joins the Board as an alumni-elected trustee, is chief of staff and deputy to the president of New York University, where she is the highest-ranking woman. Also a lawyer with a diverse background in the corporate and public sectors, Diane is the first Asian American to chair any division of the American Bar Association.

Together, these four individuals bring a diversity of skills, backgrounds, and especially non-profit leadership and fundraising experience that will strengthen our Board of Trustees, particularly as we prepare for a new capital campaign.

Finally, I’d like to thank our three outgoing board members whose terms of service expired in June: Roberta Scheff Manaker ’57, Joseph Molder ’53, and Peter Kirsch ’79. Roberta and Peter, I am happy to note, were elected as honorary trustees by the Board in June.