Mudd Academic Commons Renamed in Honor of Outgoing Board Chair

John Light, Editor-In-Chief

When Oberlin College Board of Trustees Chair Robert Lemle arrived in Oberlin on March 6, his birthday, he didn’t know that the Board of Trustees and President Krislov had planned to rename a large section of Mudd in honor of Lemle and his wife, Roni Kohen-Lemle.

“I was … told that there were going to be a lot of surprises and there were,” said Lemle. “And the dedication was one of them.”

Now Oberlin College has the Robert S. Lemle ’75 and the Roni Kohen-Lemle ’76 Academic Commons on the first floor of Mudd Library.

“Robert is credited with leading the strategic planning process and doing a lot of things that created a stronger board and stronger leadership,” said Krislov.

“It’s customary to do something to honor board chairs,” he continued. “For instance: The Klutznick Commons, which is in Peters Hall, is named for Tom Klutznick [OC ’61], and the Perlik Commons in the Science Center is named after Bill Perlik [OC ’48], who was the board chair. … So it is a tradition, and Robert and Roni have been very philanthropic and very supportive of the Conservatory.”

In the evening, Lemle was served a birthday dinner on Finney Chapel’s stage. “It was really quite beautiful, what was done,” said Lemle. After the dinner, Lemle was shown a video the Board of Trustees put together. The story was that U.S. News and World Report added a new category of college ranking: Best Board Chair. Lemle won. The video featured members of the board, senior staff, the faculty and his family testifying to his accomplishments on the board of trustees.

Lemle will be replaced by Clyde McGregor, OC ’74, as chair of Oberlin’s Board of Trustees.