Kenyon College: Wikis


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Kenyon College
KCshield 3CU.png
The Kenyon College Coat of Arms
Motto Magnanimiter Crucem Sustine ("Valiantly bear the cross")
Established 1824
Type Liberal arts college
Endowment $152 million[1] (2009)
President S. Georgia Nugent
Staff 182
Undergraduates 1,640
Location Gambier, OH, US
Campus Rural, 1,000 acres (4 km²) including a 380 acre (1.5 km²) nature preserve
Athletics 22 varsity teams, 54 national championships (30 Men's Swimming, 23 Women's Swimming, 3 Women's Tennis)
Colors Purple and White          
Mascot Lords (men's teams) and Ladies (women's teams)

Kenyon College is a private liberal arts college in Gambier, Ohio, founded in 1824 by Bishop Philander Chase of the The Episcopal Church, in parallel with the Bexley Hall seminary. It is the oldest private institution of higher education in Ohio.[2] The campus is noted for its Collegiate Gothic architecture and rustic setting, and it was named one of the most beautiful college campuses in the world by Forbes in 2010.[3] Old Kenyon Hall, built in 1827, is believed to be the oldest Gothic revival building in the Americas, though it has burnt twice and been rebuilt. The 2005 Princeton Review and Fiske Guide to Colleges 2005 awarded the college top academic ratings. In addition, in 2006 Newsweek selected Kenyon College as one of twenty-five "New Ivies" on the basis of admissions statistics as well as interviews with administrators, students, faculty and alumni.[4] In 2009, Forbes Magazine ranked Kenyon #22 out of the top 600 colleges and universities on its list of America's Best Colleges 2009.[5] Kenyon College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.[6]


Founding of the College

Philander Chase was the founder and first president of Bexley Hall and Kenyon College, and later became Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church

After becoming the first Bishop of Ohio in 1818, Philander Chase found a severe lack of trained clergy on the Ohio frontier. He planned to create a seminary to rectify this problem, but could find little support. Undeterred, he sailed to England and solicited donations from Lord Kenyon, Lord Gambier, and the writer and philanthropist Hannah More, and the College was incorporated in December, 1824. Dissatisfied with the original location of the College in Worthington, Chase purchased eight thousand acres (32 km²) of land in Knox County (with the Mount Vernon lawyer Henry Curtis), and reached what he would name Gambier Hill on July 24, 1825. There is a legend that Bishop Chase exclaimed, "Well, this will do" upon reaching the crest of the hill. [7][8]


Kenyon's English department first gained recognition with the arrival of the poet and critic John Crowe Ransom in 1937 as Professor of Poetry and first editor of The Kenyon Review, a literary journal.[citation needed]

Aside from English, other majors Kenyon offers are: Art (Studio), Art History, Dance and Drama, Music, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Classics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Physics, Psychology, Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Sociology, American Studies, International Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies.

Kenyon does offer concentrations, which are interdisciplinary minors. They are: African and African-American Studies, Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, Integrated Program in Humane Studies, Law and Society, Neuroscience, Public Policy, and Scientific Computing. Kenyon also offers opportunities for synoptic majors based on a process of academic approval by the College administration.

Kenyon requires students to take classes in each of the four academic divisions: Fine Arts (encompassing the departments of Art, Dance and Drama, and Music); Humanities (Classics, English, Modern Languages and Literatures, Philosophy, Religious Studies); Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology); and Social Sciences (Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Sociology).[9] In addition, students must undertake a comprehensive senior exercise for their major during their senior year.[10]

Kenyon is also home to the Beta of Ohio Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.


Kenyon's sports teams, which compete in the North Coast Athletic Conference, are referred to as the Lords and Ladies, and their colors are purple, white, and black with gold often added as an accent. The college's men's swimming team is considered the best in NCAA Division III, for winning, from 1980 through 2009, an NCAA record 30 consecutive national championships. The women's swimming team is also considered among the best, winning 23 titles of its own (not consecutively) since 1984. Swim Coach Jim Steen has coached the most conference titles in any sport in NCAA history. During the 1980s and 90s, Diving Coach Fletcher Gilders led his athletes to fourteen consecutive North Coast Athletic Conference championships and eight individual NCAA Division III titles; Gilders would also earn NCAA D3 Coach of the Year honors on three separate occasions.[11]

In 2006, Kenyon opened the $70 million Kenyon Athletic Center (KAC), a 263,000 square foot (24,434 m², 6 acre) building that houses an Olympic-sized swimming pool, two basketball courts, eight squash courts, a weight room, a 200m track, four tennis courts and other facilities.


Old Kenyon, a dormitory known for its Gothic revival architecture.

As Ohio's oldest private college,[2] Kenyon has upheld some traditions for more than 180 years.[12] All students in each entering class are expected to take the Matriculation Oath and sign a Matriculation Book that dates back at least a century.

Another tradition is the "Freshman Sing." Each year, entering freshmen gather on the steps of Rosse Hall to sing Kenyon songs before they are officially part of the Kenyon community. On the day before Commencement, seniors gather on the steps of Rosse Hall to sing Kenyon songs again.

Whenever a new president begins a term at the college, candles are lit in every window of Old Kenyon, as a sign of welcome. Kenyon has had twenty-four presidents, and currently has its first female president, S. Georgia Nugent.

Student organizations



  • Hika, Kenyon's oldest student-run literary journal. Contributors have included Robert Lowell, 1940; James Wright, 1952; Allison Joseph, 1988; Saskia Hamilton, 1989; and Laura Hillenbrand. Founded in 1925, it preceded The Kenyon Review.
  • The Kenyon Observer (political magazine)
  • The Voice (social and political magazine)
  • The Kenyon Daily Jolt (student life website)[1]
  • Kenyon Collegian (student newspaper)[2]
  • Ascension Films (student filmmaking society)
  • WKCO Records (student record label)
  • WKCO Kenyon's entirely student-run radio station, serving the greater Gambier area at 91.9 FM during the calendar year.[3]
  • 56% (Kenyon's Women's Interest magazine), published by the Crozier Center for Women

Non-Varsity Sports

  • Kenyon College Ice Hockey
  • Kenyon College Men's Rugby
  • Kenyon College Women's Rugby
  • Kenyon College Ultimate Frisbee (founded in 1976)
  • Kenyon College Squash


  • The Chamber Singers, under the direction of Professor Benjamin Locke, is a select mixed choir consisting each year of approximately fifty undergraduate musicians who regard singing as an integral part of a liberal arts education. The group rehearses daily in order to prepare programs of a cappella music for Kenyon concerts as well as their annual Spring Tour.
  • The Kokosingers are Kenyon's all-male a cappella group. Founded in 1965 by four freshmen, the Kokosingers are the second-oldest student-run singing group on campus, and the oldest original a cappella group on campus. The group performs a wide range of music from various artists. They also tour New England for two weeks in the wintertime, singing at high schools, colleges, and various kenyon-affiliated events.
  • The Chasers are Kenyon's co-ed collegiate a cappella group. Founded in 1964, the group is the oldest student singing group at the college, and the second oldest a cappella group on campus. Originally a folk-oriented vocal group accompanied by guitars, the Chasers switched to an a cappella-only format in the late 1960s, and continue this tradition today. They have recorded several albums over the course of the last 40 years, perform several times per year on campus, and tour throughout the country during January.
  • Take Five is Kenyon's jazz a cappella group, formed in 2002. In addition to bi-annual concerts, Take Five performs regularly at campus events and, as of 2007, tours nationally during winter break.
  • The Owl Creek Singers are Kenyon's all female a cappella group. Founded in 1975, the Owl Creeks perform regularly throughout campus, and tour over winter break.
  • The Cornerstones are Kenyon's only Christian a cappella group. Since organizing in 1998, they have supplied the campus with contemporary, classical, gospel, and Christian-inspired pop songs on a bi-yearly basis. In addition, they have participated in several tours across various parts of the nation, and have performed at numerous churches and events around the Ohio area.
  • Renegade Theatre, founded in 2002, is a theatre company designed for the promotion of first-year students in the theatre community at Kenyon. Students are able to write, act in leading roles, direct and design, as well as serve as a production board designing an entire season of shows.
  • The Stairwells are Kenyon College's only folk group, made up of a variety of musicians and vocalists. Originally a smaller ensemble of four to five people with one guitar, the group has expanded to include as many as ten members, playing a variety of instruments.
  • Kenyon College Dance and Drama Club Student-run organization producing theatrical productions with the direct support of the dance and drama departments. Former members include the founders of the Cripple Creek Theatre Company in New Orleans, LA.[4]
  • Beyond Therapy is a student-run sketch comedy group. Founded in 1994, the group puts up two shows each year.[5]
  • Fools on the Hill is a student-run long form improv comedy group founded in 1984.[13]
  • Two Drink Minimum is a student-run stand-up comedy group.[14]

Greek Life

Kenyon is home to thirteen Greek organizations, consisting of seven international/national Fraternities, four local sororities and two local societies (co-ed groups). The Fraternities are: Lambda Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon (Dekes); Alpha Delta Phi (AD's); Chi of Delta Tau Delta (Delts); Iota of Psi Upsilon (Psi U's); Beta Alpha of Beta Theta Pi (Betas); Phi of Delta Phi (DPhi's); and Theta of Phi Kappa Sigma (Phi Kaps). The Sororities are: Theta Delta Phi (Thetas); Nu Iota Alpha (NIA); Zeta Alpha Pi (Zetas); Epsilon Delta Mu (EDMs). The Societies are: Archon Society (Archons); Peeps O'Kenyon (Peeps).

2004 presidential election

Kenyon college attracted national attention after the 2004 presidential election during which, because of a shortage of voting machines and possibly a large number of new voter registrations,[15] some students remained in line for as long as 13 hours to place their votes.[16] The incident received attention in mainstream national news outlets such as The New York Times.[17][18]

In spring 2006, John Kerry delivered the commencement address at Kenyon College, stating that he was "honored" by the students who waited in line during the election.[19] During the 2008 presidential election campaign, the events at Kenyon in the 2004 election were remembered and recounted in discussions of voting policy[20] and predictions the outcome of the 2008 race.[21]


Kenyon College has undertaken a number of sustainability initiatives, including a recycling system upgrade, a biodiesel project, a computer lab conversion to double-sided printing, the distribution of green living guides,[22] as well as the creation of a dining hall composting system that diverts 6,000 pounds of waste from the landfill per week.[23] Students partnered with administrators and/or professors to complete a campus energy audit for the past three years, as well as a carbon footprint calculation.[24] Kenyon Green Alumni was founded to connect graduates "with a professional interest in the environment."[23] The college recently received a "C" grade on the 2010 College Sustainability Report Card, compiled by the Sustainable Endowments Institute.[25]


College presidents

  1. Philander Chase (1825-1831)
  2. Charles Pettit McIlvaine (1832-1840)
  3. David Bates Douglass (1840-1844)
  4. Samuel Fuller (acting, 1844-1845)
  5. Sherlock A. Bronson (1845-1850)
  6. Thomas M. Smith (1850-1854)
  7. Lorin Andrews (1854-1861)
  8. Benjamin L. Lang (acting, 1861-1863)
  9. Charles Short (1863-1867)
  10. James Kent Stone (1867-1868)
  11. Eli Todd Tappan (1868-1875)
  12. Edward C. Benson (acting, 1875-1876)
  13. William B. Bodine (1876-1891)
  14. Theodore Sterling (1891-1896)
  15. William Foster Peirce (1896-1937)
  16. Gordon Keith Chalmers (1937-1956)
  17. Frank E. Bailey (acting, 1956-1957)
  18. F. Edward Lund (1957-1968)
  19. William G. Caples (1968-1975)
  20. Philip H. Jordan Jr. (1975-1995)
  21. Reed S. Browning (acting, 1989)
  22. Robert A. Oden Jr. (1995-2002)
  23. Ronald A. Sharp (acting, 2002-2003)
  24. S. Georgia Nugent (2003-present)

Notable faculty members

Visiting Faculty

Notable alumni


Kenyon College
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. Historic District
Kenyon College is located in Ohio
Location: Gambier, Ohio
Coordinates: 40°22′29″N 82°23′50″W / 40.37472°N 82.39722°W / 40.37472; -82.39722Coordinates: 40°22′29″N 82°23′50″W / 40.37472°N 82.39722°W / 40.37472; -82.39722
Built/Founded: 1829
Architect: Multiple
Architectural style(s): Greek Revival, Gothic Revival
Governing body: Private
Added to NRHP: December 6, 1975
NRHP Reference#: 75001447


Kenyon College was one of a number of liberal arts colleges to drop from the US News and World Report college rankings in June 2007. Kenyon College President Georgia S. Nugent likened the Report's self-evaluation materials as similar to a customer satisfaction survey from "a Howard Johnson's restaurant." [27][28]

The city of Kenyon, MN was named in honor of Kenyon College.[29]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b, URL accessed 2008-08-29.
  3. ^ le Draoulec, Pascale (1 March 2010). "The World's Most Beautiful College Campuses". Forbes]]. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "America's 25 New Elite 'Ivies'". Newsweek. 2006-08-26. Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  5. ^ "America's Best Colleges". Forbes. 2009-08-05. Retrieved 2009-08-22. 
  6. ^, URL retrieved 2008-11-12.
  7. ^ Well, this will do! explained
  8. ^ A Biography of Philander Chase
  9. ^ "Requirements for the degree". Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  10. ^ "Requirements for the degree". Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  11. ^
  12. ^, URL accessed 2008-08-20.
  13. ^ Comedy, Dance, and Drama. Kenyon College. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
  14. ^ Comedy, Dance, and Drama. Kenyon College. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
  15. ^ Powell, Michael (2004-12-15). "Several Factors Contributed to 'Lost' Voters in Ohio". The Washington Post ( Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  16. ^ Wang, Tova Andrea (2005-01-01). "Election 2004: A Report Card". The Century Foundation. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  17. ^ Fessenden, Ford (2004-11-03). "Rain, Lines, and Litigation Slow Smooth Effort in Ohio". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  18. ^ Lombardi, Kate Stone (2004-11-14). "She Cast a Ballot, and Won a Vote from her Mother". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  19. ^ "John Kerry Commencement Address, Kenyon College". Educated Nation higher education blog. 2006-05-20. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  20. ^ Cohen, Adam (2008-08-25). "No One Should Have to Stand in Line for 10 Hours to Vote". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  21. ^ Kaufman, Ari J. (2008-07-07). "Is Ohio McCain Country?". Pajamas Media. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  22. ^ "Projects and Initiatives". Kenyon College. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  23. ^ a b "Sustainability Initiative". Kenyon College. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  24. ^ "Managing Resources". Kenyon College. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  27. ^ Finder, Alan (2007-06-20). "Some Colleges to Drop Out of U.S. News Rankings". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  28. ^ "Presidents' Letter". The Education Conservancy. 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  29. ^ City of Kenyon - Welcome to the City of Kenyon...A Great Place to Grow - History

External links


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