Antioch College, known for social activism, will close in 2008 because of a lack of money and will try to find enough funds to reopen four years later, the school said Tuesday.
The enrollment at the college has dwindled from more than 2,000 students in the 1960s to 400 this year, and a small endowment and heavy dependence on tuition revenue combined to hurt operations, the school said.
Efforts to balance the budget over the years through faculty and staff reductions and programmatic changes have eroded the confidence students and parents have in the academic program, the college said.
"At this point in time, Antioch does not have the financial wherewithal to continue as it is," spokeswoman Linda Sirk said. She added, "You're going to see us again."
After it closes, students will be offered a chance to complete their degrees at Antioch University McGregor, an adult education school that is moving to a new facility in Yellow Springs this year.
The school in southwest Ohio counts the late Coretta Scott King, "Twilight Zone" creator Rod Serling and evolutionary scientist Stephen Jay Gould among its graduates.
Controversial commencement speech
In 2000, the school had death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, give a taped commencement address.
Hundreds protested nearby, including Faulkner's widow.
The college drew national attention in 1993 with its "Sexual Offense Prevention Policy" that required students to ask permission from one another if they wanted to have sexual contact, including holding hands.
The policy was ridiculed in a "Saturday Night Live" sketch for its strictness.