Antioch College to Close Its Doors: Educational Institution Had a Long History of Enrolling African Americans

Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, was founded in 1852. Its first president was Horace Mann, a renowned abolitionist. African-American students were admitted to the college prior to the onset of the Civil War. In 1862 the trustees of the college approved a radical resolution which stated, “Antioch College cannot, according to the charter, reject persons on account of color.” Coretta Scott King and Eleanor Holmes Norton are among Antioch’s most noted black graduates.

Throughout its history the college has been plagued by financial difficulties. On several occasions Antioch closed its doors in order to reorganize and raise more money to continue operations. This past week the college’s board of trustees voted to close the college once again on July 1, 2008. Enrollments have dropped from a high of 2,000 to 400 this past academic year. Blacks were 3.1 percent of the total enrollment.

Buildings on the Antioch campus are run-down and in need of repair and the college’s $35 million endowment provides little investment income for major improvement projects. The college hopes to raise money so it can open again in 2012.