Celebration Weekend

Attendees of the celebration of 50 years of women at Kenyon, held on campus Sept. 13-15, enjoyed thought-provoking and insightful panel discussions, incredible performances and many opportunities to meet and reconnect with Kenyon alumnae and alumni.

To continue this year’s celebration of Kenyon women, at Saturday’s dinner, Kenyon trustee Donna Bertolet Poseidon ’75 announced the launch of our new Women and Philanthropy initiative, designed to celebrate and elevate women who are giving back to Kenyon. We look forward to sharing more about this initiative — and ways to support Kenyon women today — soon. Please contact Nicole Pagano-Percy if you are interested in learning more.

We invite you to join the Kenyon Professional Women’s Network to continue the connection online and in select cities. The goal of the KPWN, as mentioned at a Saturday reception, is to provide Kenyon female students and alumnae with professional connections and role models.

Please enjoy this photo gallery with free downloads. You can also watch videos from several of the weekend's panel discussions: "Building a Meaningful Life," "Women as Transformational Leaders" and "Kenyon Generations."

President Sean Decatur shared his reflections on the weekend on his blog, which we invite you to visit here.

The weekend included a luncheon celebrating the early classes of Kenyon women — read remarks from the luncheon — and the dedication of the Harlene Marley Theater. Read speeches from the dedication.

Thank you to the organizing committee for making this weekend a truly memorable one in the history — and future — of Kenyon women.

Celebration Weekend Schedule

Friday, September 13, 2019

2:10 p.m.
Alumni College Session: "Women in Political Leadership — Decades of progress but decades to go?" Community Foundation Theater, Gund Gallery

Do women leaders lead differently or champion different causes than men? What does research show about voters' biases when candidates are women? Why are some democracies so far ahead of the U.S. when it comes to gender equity in political leadership? We kick off the weekend with this round table discussion among three Kenyon political science professors — and audience questions. 

Nancy Powers ‘83, assistant director of the Center for the Study of American Democracy is our moderator. Participants also include Abbie Erler, associate professor and chair in the Department of Political Science, and Gilda Rodriguez, visiting instructor of women and gender studies and political science. The event is sponsored by the Center for the Study of American Democracy (CSAD).

3:10 p.m.
Alumnae artists reception. Horvitz Hall

The Department of Studio Art welcomes all to a display of reproductions from "A Celebration of Fifty Years of Women Artists at Kenyon College." The exhibition features one work by each of the 64 alumnae artists included in the book, representing five decades of graduates, working in a wide range of media such as sculpture, painting, printmaking, photography, video and performance. The book includes essays on the artists by alumni writers and will be available for viewing at the reception. Artists present will include: Mary Defer '14, Kathy Halbower '74, Mia Halton '73, Bonnie Levinson '73, Carol Mitchell '77, Kathleen Elyse Stumbaugh '11, Sonja Thomsen '00 and Emily Zeller '08.

4:10 p.m.
Alumni College Session: "The Intersection of Race and Gender in American Higher Education," Community Foundation Theater, Gund Gallery

What do we mean when we talk about intersectionality and multidimensionality of women of color in American higher education? What is required to recruit, support, retain, and graduate a diverse student population?  Panelists will examine these issues and discuss the invisible work they incur in these efforts.

Panelists include Jacky Neri Arias ‘13, associate director of diversity, equity and inclusion; Blossom Barrett ‘08, associate director of data and evaluation at I Know I Can; Sylvie Coulibaly, associate professor of history; and Jodi Ann Wang ‘20. Panel moderated by Marla Kohlman, professor of sociology, and sponsored by the Office of Diversity of Equity and Inclusion.

5 p.m.
Welcome reception for alumnae hosted by Kenyon President Sean Decatur. Cromwell Cottage

6 - 8 p.m.
Join students for a casual dinner in the Great Hall. Look for reserved tables. Servery meals may be purchased at the door. Peirce Hall

7 p.m.
StageFemmes presents "Scenes from Plays Written by Kenyon Women and Performed by Kenyon Women." The Harlene Marley Theater 

Staged readings by Kenyon playwrights including Belinda Bremner '71, Caroline Nesbitt '73, Kathryn Long '77, Ann Marie Healy '97, Kate Dakota Kremer '13, Gracie Gardner '13 and Natalie Margolin '14.  

8-10 p.m.
Dessert reception hosted by the Crozier Center for Women. Alumnae are invited to attend a mixer with the center's current co-managers and hear about how campus has evolved and recent events and programs that the center has been leading for the Kenyon community. Crozier Center for Women

Saturday, September 14, 2019

8 a.m.
Women in Sports breakfast with student athletes, co-sponsored by the Department of Athletics, Fitness, and Recreation. Registration is required for this event. Alumni Dining Room, Dempsey Hall

Join today's student-athletes, current coaches and guests for a special buffet breakfast and a fun discussion about the history, experience and impact of women's athletics at Kenyon. We will also recognize the donors who made the new field at Benson Bowl possible. 

9:30 a.m.
Panel Discussion: "Building a Meaningful Life," Community Foundation Theater, Gund Gallery

How has their Kenyon education prepared these alumnae to build a satisfying life that is full of purpose? Success is self defined and can take many forms; civic engagement, career/professional achievement; the pursuit of life-long learning, artistic endeavors or even intentional self care. Where do things like mentors, mistakes and plain old luck factor in? Human connection is so important: as we are on our own journey shouldn’t we reach back and help other women who are forging their own paths?

Panelists include Larae Bush Schraeder '97, Hope Harrod '98 and Lydia Winkler '13, and the panel will be moderated by Meredith Harper Bonham ’92, vice president for student affairs. Watch a video of the discussion.

11 a.m.
Dedication of the Harlene Marley Theater. Harlene Marley Theater

The flexible black box theater will be named for Kenyon's legendary Harlene Marley H'05. As the first woman hired into a tenure-track position in 1969 until her retirement in 2005, Marley impacted generations of students and future actors. The event will honor her legacy with remarks from President Sean Decatur, Belinda Bremner '71, Kenyon's first female graduate, Professor of Drama Wendy MacLeod '81 and Nina Samaan '20 and Talia Light Rake '20, co-artistic directors of the Kenyon College Players, which will also perform. The theater will be open at 10:30 a.m. to tour.

12 p.m.
Kenyon Women's Field Hockey vs. Oberlin College. Benson Bowl

12 p.m.
Luncheon celebrating Kenyon’s early classes of women. Registration is required for this event. Alumni Dining Room, Dempsey Hall

Join us as we celebrate the early classes of women who lit the flame for future generations, and as we pay tribute to the many women who broke barriers. The luncheon is hosted by Lisa Schott '80 and will include remarks by Jan Guifarro '73, Barbara Johnson '73 P'99,'07, Kay Koeninger '73, Susan McGannon '72 and Buffy Hallinan '76 H'91.
1 p.m.
Kenyon Women's Soccer vs. Otterbein University, Mavec Field

1:30 p.m.
Panel discussion: "Women as Transformational Leaders," Community Foundation Theater, Gund Gallery 

How are women shaping the future of our society in the context of changing demographics, the "Me Too" movement and social/economic challenges? Panelists will discuss how the work they are doing is critical at this important moment of change for women. What advice can they offer to current Kenyon students about feeling empowered to make a positive impact on society?

Panelists include Congresswoman Lizzie Pannill Fletcher '97, Sonya Pryor Jones '94, Ruby Schiff '21 (co-executive producer of the 2019 Academy Award winning documentary "Period. End of Sentence," currently available on Netflix) and Katie Young '03.  The panel will be moderated by Kenyon's 18th president S. Georgia Nugent H'13. Watch a video of the discussion.

2 p.m.
StageFemmes presents "Scenes from Plays Written by Kenyon Women and Performed by Kenyon Women." The Harlene Marley Theater 

Staged readings by Kenyon playwrights including Belinda Bremner '71, Caroline Nesbitt '73, Kathryn Long '77, Ann Marie Healy '97, Kate Dakota Kremer '13, Gracie Gardner '13 and Natalie Margolin '14.

3 p.m.
Panel discussion: "Kenyon Generations," Community Foundation TheaterGund Gallery

Colleges are frequently microcosms for society more broadly and Kenyon was famously not entirely prepared for the first coeducational class when they arrived in 1969. Cultural shifts from the moment of coeducation took time to achieve any sort of equilibrium. Stories from the late ’60s and early ’70s are worth reporting. Future generations are largely unaware of the hardships faced by early classes of women, however every decade of women faced struggles and challenged norms that shaped both their education and character.

The panel will be moderated by Laurie Finke, professor of women's and gender studies, and the panelists include Julie Miller Vick '73 P'12 H'97, Tamara Parson '93 and Jessie Menzel '07. Watch a video of the discussion.

4 p.m.
Open house for "The Culture of Coeducation: An Exhibition," Colburn Hall (adjacent to Bexley Hall)

Thank you to all of the alumnae/i who have donated material for the exhibition! Join Pegi Goodman '73 P'09 18, Samuel Leeds '09, Hanna Feuer '21, Hannah Aronson-Paxton '21, Maddie Johnson '22, Liz Forman '73,  and Prof. Wendy Singer P'14, the Roy T. Wortman Distinguished Professor of History, to celebrate.

5:30 p.m.
Alumnae reception hosted by the Kenyon Professional Women’s Network. Gund Gallery lobby

Grab a drink and mingle with a cross-generational group of alumni and students. Julia Tidona '14 will be giving remarks on the Kenyon Professional Women's Network (KPWN) — touching on the group's mission, grassroots origin, current endeavors, and ways to get involved. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about the group and meet key KPWN members including alumnae Jen Hoeffler '11 and Tenaya Britton '04 and students Delaney Corrigan '20 and Julia Moran '21.
6:30 p.m.
Women at Kenyon: 50th Anniversary Celebration and Dinner. Registration is required for this event. Gund Commons Ballroom

Join us for a celebratory dinner hosted by President Sean Decatur. The evening's presentation will include a keynote address from Congresswoman Lizzie Pannill Fletcher '97, recognition of key moments from the weekend's activities, a chance to learn about the "Dinners with Neighbors" conversations and a moment to celebrate the philanthropic support Kenyon has received from alumnae over the years. 

8:30 p.m.
Colla Voce 10th reunion concert, Brandi Recital Hall, Storer Hall

Sunday, September 15, 2019

9:30 a.m.
Tree planting and a moment of gratitude, North church lawn — rain site is the Norton Room, Ransom Hall

Join us for coffee and light breakfast items as we mark the 50th anniversary of women at Kenyon with the planting of a new weeping beech tree (AKA an "upside down" tree). Poetry will be shared by the Kenyon Review along with an opportunity to send notes of gratitude to our mentors off campus.      

10:30 a.m.
Casual brunch available at Peirce Hall (servery meal may be purchased at the door)

10:30 a.m.    
Holy Eucharist with Rachel Kessler '04, priest-in-charge of Harcourt Parish, and College chaplain. All are welcome. Church of the Holy Spirit

2 - 4 p.m.
Reception for "Within This Place: A Senior Photography Show. Horn Gallery

Work by Kenyon senior women photographers Eryn Powell, Cameron Peters, Natalie Berger and Emma Raible will be displayed in the Horn Gallery Sept. 13 - 25.

Additional Exhibits and Offerings

Exhibitions at the Gund Gallery
Meg Cranston ’82: "Hue, Saturation, Value – The Archer Paintings," August 30 - December 15, 2019 

Mia Halton '73, August 30 - September 27, 2019   

Additional alumnae exhibits will be hosted throughout the academic year.

"The Culture of Coeducation: An Exhibition"
Not only was Kenyon’s population changed by coeducation, but the material culture, fashion, and use of physical space were equally transformed. This exhibition focuses on the changing nature of academic, social, and cultural life at Kenyon in the era of coeducation.  It will display fashion, notebooks, photographs, and other artifacts of student life, from 1969 to 2019, all with the background of the music of those times. Focusing primarily on the experiences of women, this exhibition will demonstrate the evolution of women’s experiences as Kenyon students. Colburn Hall (adjacent to Bexley Hall)   

Exhibition of books by alumnae authors
The bookstore has many alumnae books on a breadth of topics including novels, literature for children and teens, plays, handbooks, bibliographies, biographies, cookbooks, memoirs, reference books and, of course, scholarly books that expand specific areas of research. These books and authors will be highlighted during the Celebration Weekend and the academic year with exhibits in various parts of the campus organized by the Kenyon Bookstore, a Kenyon mainstay since 1825. The Kenyon College Bookstore is reported to be the nation's longest continuously operating college bookstore, and the third-oldest bookstore of any kind in America.

Kenyon Stories Initiative
Oral history video project available by appointment in the registration center.