Just got the news today that my college, Antioch College, a strange tiny school that turned out to be the perfect place for strange and then-tiny me, will be closing in 2008. Supposedly it is closing to design and build a “21st century campus.” Really it’s because they ran out of money and didn’t have enough students to stay open.
I went to Antioch as an intensely shy, comfortably odd girl and came away as a more confident, passionate, focused writer. I realized who I wanted to become there. I applied to my MFA program while there, with an odd (what else?) short story based on a study-abroad trip to Japan that I went to while there. I met the love of my life there. We became inseparable there. I met some amazing friends there (you know who you are). I would not be who I am today without Antioch. It was always my fantasy to “make it” as a writer and use my earnings to fund the writing program there and endow scholarships and make some kind of difference to a place that always seemed to be on the brink of falling apart. Now it’s happened. No matter what complaints we may have had about the school—and it’s been a long time, but I seem to recall I had many—I feel truly sad about the loss of Antioch College. I don’t know if there is another place like it in the world.
Update: Some more info here.