Kenyon College

Last updated
Kenyon College
Kenyon College seal.svg
MottoMagnanimiter Crucem Sustine (Latin)
Motto in English
Valiantly bear the cross
Type Private liberal arts college
Established1824
Affiliation Anglican [1]
Endowment $416 million (2018) [2]
President Sean M. Decatur
Administrative staff
182
Undergraduates 1,676 [3]
Location, ,
United States
Campus Rural, 1,000 acres (400 ha) including a 380 acres (150 ha) nature preserve
Colors Purple and White         
Nickname Lords (men's teams) and Ladies (women's teams)
Website www.kenyon.edu
Kenyon College wordmark.svg
Kenyon College
USA Ohio location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location Gambier, Ohio
Coordinates 40°22′35″N82°23′45″W / 40.37639°N 82.39583°W / 40.37639; -82.39583 Coordinates: 40°22′35″N82°23′45″W / 40.37639°N 82.39583°W / 40.37639; -82.39583
Built1824
ArchitectMultiple
Architectural styleGothic Revival, Greek Revival
NRHP reference # 75001447 [4]
Added to NRHPDecember 6, 1975

Kenyon College is a private liberal arts college in Gambier, Ohio. It was founded in 1824 by Philander Chase. [5] [6] [7] Kenyon College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. [8]

Contents

Kenyon has 1,708 undergraduates enrolled. Its 1,000-acre campus is set in a rural setting and uses a semester-based academic calendar. The campus is home to the Brown Family Environmental Center (BFEC), which has over 380 acres and hosts seven different ecosystems. The BFEC also provides academic opportunities including the Summer Science Scholars program. There are more than 120 student clubs and organizations on campus, including 12 fraternities and sororities. Kenyon athletes are called Lords and Ladies which compete in the NCAA Division III North Coast Athletic Conference. [9] According to 2018 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Kenyon had 13th best undergraduate teaching in the U.S. [10]

Despite its small size, Kenyon's alumni have gone on to make advances in their field. Notable alumni include 6 Rhodes Scholars, [11] 10 Marshall Scholarship winners, 12 Truman Scholarship winners, and numerous Watson Fellowship holders and Fulbright scholarship recipients. [12] Famous graduates include U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, Swedish prime minister Olof Palme, U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Davis, actors Paul Newman and Allison Janney, University of Texas basketball coach Shaka Smart, cartoonist Bill Watterson and writers Josh Radnor, John Green, and E. L. Doctorow.

History

Founding

Philander Chase (1775-1852) was the founder and first president of Bexley Hall and Kenyon College, and later became Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church Chase Philander-Bishop Episcopal Church USA.jpg
Philander Chase (1775-1852) 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 Episcopal 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 8,000 acres (3,200 ha) 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. [13] [14]

The Kenyon Review

Kenyon's English department gained national 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. During his 21-year tenure, Ransom published such internationally known writers as Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, William Empson, Mark Van Doren, Kenneth Burke, and Delmore Schwartz, as well as younger writers: Flannery O'Connor, Robert Lowell, and Peter Taylor, to name a few. It was perhaps the best known and most influential literary magazine in the English-speaking world during the 1940s and 1950s. [15]

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, [16] some students remained in line for as long as 13 hours to place their votes. [17] The incident received attention in mainstream national news outlets such as The New York Times . [18] [19]

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. [20] During the 2008 presidential election campaign, the events at Kenyon in the 2004 election were remembered and recounted in discussions of voting rights. [21]

Gotta Get Down to It

In 2019, the Kenyon Film department shot a feature-length film, Gotta Get Down to It, directed by a Kenyon professor, Jon Tazewell. It is one of the only feature films ever to be shot by a college as part of its yearly curriculum. The film is currently[ when? ] in post production, however a preview was screened to the college and the Gambier community in April 2019. [22]

Academics

Kenyon requires students to take classes in each of the four academic divisions: Fine Arts (encompassing the departments of Art and Art History; Dance, Drama, and Film; Music); Humanities (Classics, English, Modern Languages and Literatures, Philosophy, Religious Studies); Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology); and Social Sciences (Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Sociology). In addition, students must take the equivalent of a year's worth of courses in a foreign language, unless they place out, and undertake a comprehensive senior exercise for their major, the specifications of which vary by department.

The Gund Gallery, a 31,000 square feet (2,900 m2) visual arts center and exhibition space, was founded in 2011. It hosts lectures, public programming and temporary exhibitions that are free and open to both the campus community and the wider public. [23]

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

Admissions

Ransom Hall (1910-1912), home of the Admissions Department Ransom Hall, Kenyon College.jpg
Ransom Hall (1910-1912), home of the Admissions Department

Kenyon is considered "most selective" by U.S. News & World Report . [24]

For the Class of 2022 (enrolling fall 2018), Kenyon received 6,152 applications, accepted 2,204 (35.8%), and enrolled 539. [25] For enrolled first-year students the middle 50% range of SAT scores was 640-730 for critical reading and 640-740 for math, while the ACT Composite range was 29–33; the average GPA was 3.94. [25]

Rankings

University rankings
National
Forbes [26] 71
Times/WSJ [27] 110
Liberal arts colleges
U.S. News & World Report [28] 27
Washington Monthly [29] 47

In the 2020 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Kenyon is tied for the No. 27 liberal arts college in the United States. In the 2019 Forbes rankings, Kenyon is 30th among liberal arts colleges and 71st among 650 colleges and universities in the U.S. [30] 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. [31] It was also listed in Greene's list of Hidden Ivies in 2000.

Although Kenyon is often ranked favorably, some methods that rank colleges based on their calculated return on investment (ROI) have been critical of Kenyon's value. The 2018 Payscale College ROI Report ranked Kenyon as the 983rd best value college in the country [32] and Time's 2018-2019 "Best Colleges in America" report ranked Kenyon as the 214th best college in the country. [33] [34]

Athletics

Kenyon's sports teams, which compete in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC), are referred to as the Lords and Ladies, and their colors are purple, white, and black with gold often added as an accent.

The men's swim team is notable in NCAA Division III, for having won, from 1980 through 2010, a record 31 consecutive NCAA national championships as well as consecutive titles between 2012 and 2015. The women's swim team is also considered among the best, having won 23 non-consecutive titles of their own since 1984. Former 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. In 2013, under Head Coach Jess Book, the men's team won the national title and the women's team took second. Book was voted the 2013 NCAA Men's Coach of the Year and the 2013 NCAA Women's Coach of the Year, and Head Diving Coach Andy Scott was voted the 2013 NCAA Division III Women's Diving Coach of the Year.

In 2006, Kenyon opened the $70 million Kenyon Athletic Center (KAC), a 263,000-square-foot (24,400 m2) 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. Field hockey, football and men's lacrosse are played at McBride Field which has a seating capacity of 1,762. [35]

Traditions

As Ohio's oldest private college, Kenyon has upheld some traditions for more than 180 years. 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 "First-Year Sing." Each year, entering first-years 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 the same songs again.

Kenyon students avoid stepping on the college seal in the entrance hall of Peirce Dining Hall. Tradition holds that if someone steps on the seal, they will not graduate from the college [36] .

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-five presidents; former president S. Georgia Nugent was Kenyon's first female president, and current president Sean Decatur is Kenyon's first African-American president. [37]

Sustainability

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, as well as the creation of a dining hall composting system that diverts 6,000 pounds of waste from the landfill per week. Additionally Kenyon's cafeteria is committed to serving local food and has become a leader among college cafeterias in the country. [38] 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. Kenyon Green Alumni was founded to connect graduates "with a professional interest in the environment." The college recently received a "C" grade on the 2010 College Sustainability Report Card, compiled by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. [39]

The Kenyon Farm is a student run 10+ acre mixed crop-livestock operation providing sustainably raised produce to local markets and giving students the opportunity to gain the practical skills and knowledge for small-scale farming operations. [40]

Ivy, which once covered some buildings on the Kenyon campus, but damages stonework, has been eradicated. [41]

People

US President Rutherford B. Hayes, class of 1842 President Rutherford Hayes 1870 - 1880 Restored.jpg
US President Rutherford B. Hayes, class of 1842
Actor Paul Newman, class of 1949 Paul Newman 1954.JPG
Actor Paul Newman, class of 1949
Actress Allison Janney, class of 1982 Allison Janney4crop.jpg
Actress Allison Janney, class of 1982

Notable alumni of Kenyon College include:

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References

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  2. As of June 30, 2018. "Kenyon College Consolidated Financial Report" (PDF). Kenyon College. 2018.
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Further reading