Antioch College was legally incorporated in May 1852. The first president of the new college was Horace Mann, who had served as secretary of education in Massachusetts for twelve years and was completing his second term as a Congressional representative (successor to John Quincy Adams). The Yellow Springs campus opened in 1853 with an initial freshman class of six – four male and two female students – plus over two hundred students in English and preparatory classes. Antioch was one of the first nonsectarian educational institutions in the United States.
By the early 1960s, the college was known for its experimental approach to liberal arts education, and began to explore undergraduate and graduate off-campus programs.
1963 – 1972
Spring: Jim Dixon, president of Antioch College, meets with Morris Mitchell, director of the financially troubled Putney Graduate School of Education in Vermont. Together they conceptualize a graduate-level teacher training program that would emphasize social change.
Morris Keeton, vice president of Antioch College, and psychology professor Ben Thompson write and submit a proposal for an Antioch Graduate Teacher Education Program to be located on the grounds of the old Putney Graduate School in Vermont. The faculty accepts the proposal.
February: Ben Thompson calls Roy Fairfield, a professor at Ohio University, and asks if he’d like to interview for the position of Center Director at Antioch-Putney. Roy is offered and accepts the position.
March: Recruitment for the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program begins. This excerpt is from the first brochure:
“Antioch College is offering a one-year graduate program in Putney, Vermont, and in Yellow Springs, Ohio, leading to a degree of Master of Arts in Teaching. The aim of the program is to develop exceptionally well-qualified teachers in the social sciences at the secondary level. The program includes graduate study in the social sciences and education at Antioch College in Yellow Springs; intensive seminars conducted in a residential study-seminar facility in Putney; field observation in the eastern United States of social conditions under study; practice teaching on the secondary level; and contact with foreign students under an arrangement with the Experiment in International Living in Vermont. Two groups of eighteen students each will be admitted—one in June and the other in September 1965. THIS PROGRAM IS DESIGNED FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO HELP MEET PRESSING SOCIAL NEEDS by teaching in disadvantaged communities in this country or abroad or by working in community or other programs in rural or urban poverty areas.”
September: The first entering class consists of ten students, many of whom are former Peace Corps volunteers. The first semester of the program begins in Yellow Springs. The five-semester program includes study with faculty in Yellow Springs; teaching internships in inner-city schools; and a semester-long seminar in Putney.
January: Students arrive for a semester of reflection and assimilation at Glen Maples, an old estate near the top of Putney Mountain.
Antioch-Putney receives almost $100,000 in federal money through the Higher Education Act of 1965. The funds are used to fill teacher intern positions in Washington, DC, and Baltimore, Maryland.
Summer: Antioch awards MAT degrees to the first ten Antioch-Putney graduates.
Graduate internship programs expand to Philadelphia.
Norman Wilson becomes center director at Antioch-Putney.
Master of Education (MEd) in Elementary Education program begins.
Antioch-Putney Graduate Centers are located in Baltimore, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Putney, Washington, DC, and Yellow Springs.
Antioch Graduate School of Education
Antioch-Putney relocates to Harrisville, New Hampshire, and is renamed Antioch Graduate School of Education.
MEd in Supervision and Administration program begins. MEd in Guidance and Counseling and a Master’s in Teaching begin and gain approval by North Central Association.
Ty Minton launches the Environmental Studies Department, believed to be the first graduate program in this general discipline.
Marian C. Taylor becomes center director.
New Hampshire Board of Education approves MEd in Elementary Education.