09-29-08


A Letter from Susan J. Eklund-Leen,

Nonstop Professor and Executive Collective Administrative Coordinator

Dear Alumni,

I want to go home to our beloved campus as much as you do, but we can’t just yet. Unlike so many of you, I can visit campus everyday when I go to the Nonstop house. However, I tend not to because it is empty and my eyes tend to water every time I look at Main Building. If I may digress for a moment, I’d like to tell you about my childhood home. This past Sunday, my brother told me that the house in which we grew up is now on the market. I excitedly searched for my old address on Maple Avenue and found a realty site with 25 pictures. She looks beautiful from the outside, freshly painted in a dignified painted lady style. She’s a true Victorian. The owners have completed major renovations, removing the old screened-in porch, vaulting a ceiling into my brother’s second floor bedroom, and moving the kitchen into the room that was my twin Sara’s and my playroom. I recognized the fireplaces, our bedroom, and the living room. It’s very different and didn’t feel like it had ever been my home.

As I was contemplating writing to you this morning, I realized that while I grew up in that house I cannot call it home. It’s a house, a mere building. Home, on the other hand, is memories of the past and visions of the future. Home is created by the combined efforts of family members. Home cannot exist without place and people.

I spent the summer helping to create the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute. Like all of the faculty and staff working on this over the summer, I collected unemployment and contacted at least two employers each week, and interviewed for a couple of jobs that I did not get. I know why. I do not want to work just anywhere. No other college can compare to Antioch. I love messy shared governance. I love community meeting. I love co-op. I love the bubble. I love it all. I want our house back filled with everything we value.

That’s why Nonstop exists. We are maintaining our values and our educational model until we can go home again. In official documents, we say that Nonstop was founded by a group of former Antioch College faculty and staff and is funded by the CRF, the fundraising arm of the Antioch Alumni Association. Nonstop is the educational wing of the movement among alumni, faculty and the Yellow Springs community to keep the soul of an Antioch education alive, enriched and vibrant. Nonstop is a faculty-led, community-situated, and alumni-supported project. Nonstop is a self-governing and self-managed educational enterprise in which the faculty plays a leading role. Nonstop operates in the spirit of collaboration, community, and mutual commitment rather than strict policies. Each faculty member’s commitment to Nonstop is holistic and multi-functional, and each is expected to assume an equitable share of the responsibilities and obligations of the Nonstop Institute.

I ask for your support in keeping the spirit of Antioch alive in Nonstop. I hope that very soon, we can all go home together.

Affectionately,

Susan J. Eklund-Leen, Ph.D.
Nonstop Professor and Executive Collective Administrative Coordinator