To the Editors:
Although I’ve been gone from Oberlin for almost two years, its rapid growth and change keeps me checking in regularly. Oberlin continues to innovate in and outside the classroom, and one of those innovations was the recruitment of former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty to teach classes this spring and next fall with Professor Paul Dawson.
For a class devoted to understanding the relationship between politics and policy, Fenty’s experience as one of the most prominent mayors and committed reformers in America is a trove of hard-earned wisdom. While still a student at Oberlin, I was lucky enough to work with Mayor Fenty during the first year of his administration, and the lessons I learned working with him helped me better understand classroom discussions of policy and better set and achieve goals in other venues.
It was easily one of my most informative college experiences.
During the former mayor’s public lectures at Oberlin, I remember the aisles of Finney Chapel filled with students — some with predispositions for or against his administration’s policies — itching to ask questions. Now those students get to ask those questions directly, intimately and often. They can interact with an accomplished person in a rare state of unhurried self-reflection. Once again, Oberlin offers what few schools in the country can, and I wish I were still on campus to join in.
–Lucas Brown, OC ’09