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Oberlin College and Kendal: An Enriching Relationship

At a recent gathering in Heiser Auditorium, a couple hundred Kendal residents and staff gave Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov a warm welcome, and a heartfelt send-off.

After a decade at the helm, Krislov is leaving his post at the liberal arts college this summer. It was recently announced that he has been named president of Pace University in New York City.

“I really mean it when I say I can’t imagine this community without Kendal. We are all enriched by it,” Krislov told the crowd, adding that the Kendal founders were “geniuses.”

Oberlin College and the 24-year-old Kendal community have forged many partnerships over the years. Almost 40 percent of residents have some affiliation with the college – alumni, former faculty or staff – and many of them remain involved in campus activities, including taking trips offered through the alumni association.

But all residents benefit from have Oberlin College as its neighbor. The college is located just a mile away and a key reason it was named one of the “best small towns” to visit by Smithsonian Magazine.

Oberlin College Welcomes Kendal Residents to Numerous Programs

Krislov highlighted several of the opportunities:

  • the college’s Conservatory of Music, which offers nearly 500 concerts each year, many free;
  • renovation of the historic Apollo Theatre, which features the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts popular with Kendal residents;
  • Allen Memorial Art Museum, which is celebrating its centennial this summer;
  • Oberlin Summer Theater Festival, which offers free productions of classics;
  • and Tappan Square, owned by the college but enjoyed by the public for walks, picnics, musical events and other activities.

Also, residents can sit in on a college class with permission of the professor, and borrow books from any of the college’s four libraries.

There are initiatives taken during Marvin Krislov’s tenure, where his leadership made a profound mark.  Ever the environmentalist, he ushered in a time of environmental action and sustainability, which continues to benefit the college, the city and, of course, Kendal.

Environmental stewardship is a responsibility that Kendal also takes seriously, engaging in practices that sustain and improve the environment and the planet.

Both the college and Kendal are advocates of collaboration and consensus building through careful listening and decision making.  These shared values have helped to bond this seemingly unlikely liberal arts college and conservatory of music with a continuing care retirement community.

The engagement between Oberlin College and Kendal at Oberlin reflects the spirit of community and respect they share.