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The Best It Can Be


Cynthia Frantz, Associate Professor of Psychology reflects on why she believes in giving back to Oberlin.


I am lucky to work at an institution that I can feel good about. I wanted to be at a small liberal arts college, but I had issues with the elitist history of many of the other excellent schools. So the fact that I share Oberlin’s values is a bonus. I have been here 12 years and I have been very happy.

This past year was the first year that I gave to Oberlin. There were several reasons why: one reason is that at Oberlin we do more with less. My son is applying to colleges this year. He is a senior in high school and we have been touring a lot of small liberal arts colleges. I kept being struck over and over again by the fact that we deliver an excellent education with fewer resources. We have a much smaller endowment than our peer institutions and yet we still match them in quality. That to me is really inspiring. 

The other piece is that I know that the institution has great values and when we are not living up to those values, the reason is not lack of commitment or lack of desire, but lack of funds. I chair the Committee on Environmental Sustainability, so I am well aware of the tensions we struggle with to live up to our values while remaining financially solvent. I give to Oberlin because I want to help the institution live up to its values. It will be able to do that better if it has a larger endowment. 

I want this community to be the best that it can be. It is important that each of us give, even if it is a small amount. By itself, my little donation doesn’t contribute much, but as a community of givers, small amounts add up.

It is such a pleasure and privilege to be able to teach Oberlin students. This is not just a job, it’s a calling. The institution has supported me and allowed me to change and grow professionally. I couldn’t possibly have better students to teach. It does not get any better than this.