Antioch University Midwest Luncheon Celebrates 2013 Graduating Class

Students share stories of perseverance and transformation with family, friends, and faculty.

YELLOW SPRINGS, OH—Antioch University Midwest (AUM) hosted its annual Undergraduate Celebration luncheon to informally celebrate the 2013 graduating class on Saturday. The University began hosting the lunches in 2005 so friends and families of the graduates could gather with faculty to share and compare stories about their Antioch University Midwest experiences.

The University’s Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement will be held on Sunday, May 19.

“The Undergraduate Celebration luncheon is the culmination of much hard work of the graduating students, many of whom have had to overcome tremendous obstacles in their lives while attending school,” said Undergraduate Studies Chair Joe Cronin. “Antioch Midwest students inspire the faculty and staff who work with them, and we are grateful to be a part of their lives.”

The stories shared by students were as diverse and heartfelt as the students are, but a single theme emerged from each one—transformation. Every single student who spoke acknowledged that their AUM experience was life changing, many sharing that they are not the same person now as the one who entered the school.

There are stories of perseverance and dreams fulfilled. Goals achieved and expectations surpassed.

“I need a ‘mouth as wide as the sky and is as large as longing’ to describe my time here,” said Karn Singh quoting The Fragile Vial. “So I don’t have any words. I didn’t know a place like this existed. I didn’t know this happened. I didn’t know this was out in the world. I didn’t know this was possible. The best analogy I can think of is my brain was melted like molten lava and it was reformed in the most fantastic way. Across the board there has been a significant improvement in my life.”

For Tina Hurd her Antioch Midwest experience was about pursuing her passion.

“Everyone here has treated me like a person, not a dollar amount,” she said. “They have pushed me in a way that you know that you are the best of who you are. My passion is animals and every chance I could do a paper on my passion I took it and I was encouraged to do so. I have learned skills that not only I can take into business; there are things I’ve learned about my life—things that I can pass on to my daughter. I would not change any of my time here and couldn’t dream of going to school anywhere else.”

For Janet Fedrick her Antioch Midwest experience was a family affair.

“When I first came here my husband was in the masters program and he said ‘you should come over and get your bachelor’s’,” she said. “My journey here was less a chariot ride and more like a roller coaster. But I appreciate everything the faculty has done for me and helping me through.”

And for Management major Jessica Barry, her Antioch Midwest experience has prepared her to purchase and operate her own school.

“Four years ago I showed up here and I said ‘I just became president of the School of Advertising Art, I’m a graphic artist and I have a lot to learn and I would eventually like to purchase the college,’” Barry said. “’We need to get you a degree,’ was the response I got. That’s when I started the process and it’s been absolutely amazing. I’ve learned so much from both the faculty and students here. They have all enriched my experience here.”

For Creative Writing major Ron Maynard his Antioch Midwest experience was personal.

“This place has strengthened my ideals, ideals I never knew I had,” he said. “It’s not about where we come from, it’s about where we are now, and now I’m a force to be reckoned with.”

Antioch University Midwest will celebrate its Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement on Sunday, May 19 at the Schuster Center in Dayton, Ohio.

About Antioch University Midwest: Antioch University Midwest is one of the five campuses of Antioch University, an institution proud of serving adult learners and their specific needs. Antioch University is a not for profit 501c3 multi-campus university of more than 4,000 students who study at the Antioch Midwest campus in Yellow Springs, OH, and at campuses in Seattle, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Keene, New Hampshire, online and around the world!

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