Celebrating 40 Years of Antioch University in Santa Barbara
With more than 4,500 distinguished alumni, Antioch University Santa Barbara (AUSB) has been honored to serve the diverse communities of Santa Barbara and the central coast of California since 1977. In 2017, join AUSB as we celebrate our 40 year anniversary of bringing the Antioch tradition to Santa Barbara.
Originally a satellite campus of Los Angeles-based Antioch University Southern California, AUSB opened its doors in 1977 in downtown Santa Barbara. In 2007, Antioch University Santa Barbara was established as an independent campus. With tremendous community support, AUSB relocated in 2011 to its current location at 602 Anacapa Street – a space that serves our students, staff, and faculty well and provides a beautiful gathering place for classes, workshops, and residencies.
The University remains the legacy of Horace Mann’s original vision more than 160 years ago, and an example of the success of educational experimentation, innovation, and diversity of thought. Antioch University continues to break down educational barriers and rebuild them as educational opportunities – providing students with the tools to explore, empower, and transform the world around them.
Antioch University’s historic roots emerge from Antioch College, which first opened its doors in 1852 in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The College’s first president, Horace Mann, was a Congressman from Massachusetts, a well-known abolitionist and social reformer. He is considered the founder of public education in the United States. The words of Horace Mann’s graduation speech to the first graduating College class, “be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity” remains throughout our shared history a beacon of our values and an underlying commitment to an Antioch education.
Nonsectarian and co-educational from the outset, the College was a beacon of progressive thought and innovation. Antioch College was the first college in the country to have a woman faculty member as equal to her male counterpart. Antioch College’s curriculum was the same for men and women and the College admitted black and white students together. In the early 1860s, Antioch College adopted a policy that no applicant could be rejected due to their race. The modern Antioch College really took shape in the 1920s under the leadership of President Arthur Morgan. It was at this time that Antioch established the first co-op program at a liberal arts college in the United States.
During World War II, Antioch participated in a program that allowed Japanese citizens interned in relocation camps to enroll in the College and move to Yellow Springs, Ohio. Also in the 1940s and beyond, the College put intention into racial inclusion on the campus by offering more scholarships to students of color. A number of prominent African Americans graduated from the College, including Coretta Scott King. Her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave the College commencement speech in 1965. PDF: King’s 1965 Commencement Speech
The current Antioch University began to take shape in the 1960s. As Antioch College’s reputation for academic relevance, social activism and experiential learning continued to grow, so did its campuses. As part of the ‘university without walls’ movement of the 1960s and 70s, Antioch College expanded to sites across the country. The strong values-based nature of developing these campuses is important to recognize. The vision inspiring the expansion in the mid- to late 1960s and early 1970s was to serve adult learners and especially women and minorities, an approach to ‘taking the ivory tower’ out to the people. This was a very distinctive call for higher education at the time.
The first of the adult campuses, today’s Antioch University New England, was established in 1964, and the last established was today’s Antioch University Santa Barbara in 1977. In addition, in 1988, another campus in Yellow Springs, Ohio, currently known as Antioch University Midwest, was established by joining together several programs with the Weekend College and the Individualized Master’s program and creating them as a separate campus.
Between those years, over 30 “satellite” campuses were founded across the country, from locations in inner cities, on reservations, in international locations, as well as the renowned law school focusing on providing legal services to poor and undeserved communities. Due to its expansion of programs, graduate degrees, and campuses, in 1978 the name was changed from the Antioch College Network to Antioch University, encompassing all the Antioch campuses.
We are proud that Antioch University’s network of campuses has had significant influence on higher education — in fact, the precursor to the national organization, the Council of Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), was founded by Morris Keeton when he was Antioch College’s Vice President of Academic Affairs of the “Network.” CAEL’s influence was instrumental in facilitating other colleges and universities recruiting and supporting adult learners, especially as the cohort of younger students was decreasing in the 1980s.
We are also proud of the many innovations in academic programming offered by the campuses in promoting undergraduate degree completion programs and graduate degrees responsive to the needs of adult learners. As examples, our New England campus offered Antioch’s first doctoral program in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) followed by a PhD in Environmental Studies, one of the first in the country. In 2001, Antioch University established its first university-wide program, the PhD Program in Leadership and Change, now part of the Graduate School of Leadership & Change, which is a distinctive outcomes-based doctoral program focused on the study, research and practice of leading positive change in workplaces and communities worldwide.
In 2008, Antioch College was closed by the University’s governing Board due to significant enrollment and financial challenges. The College has subsequently reopened as a separate institution. Those shared roots and commitment to ‘winning victories for humanity’ remain at our core. Today’s Antioch University is composed of Antioch University New England, Antioch University Midwest, Antioch University Los Angeles, Antioch University Santa Barbara, Antioch University Seattle, Antioch University Online, and the University’s Graduate School of Leadership & Change.