Debunking the Kenyon connection to Harry Potter and other myths. See page 32.
vo l u m e 3 2 n u m b e r 1 fa l l 2 0 0 9
Vo l u m e 3 2
On the cover: “If the Great Hall were Hogwarts,” photographed in Peirce by Ron Crofoot.
F E AT U R E S
Kindling Kenyon alumni and professors ponder the future of the printed book.
Editor: Shawn Presley
by Amy Blumenthal, John Green, Sarah J. Heidt, Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky, and Traci Vogel
Deputy editors: Amy Blumenthal Dan Laskin
The days of Kenyon men in their flying machines are gone but not forgotten.
Designers: Aldrich Design
by Mike Harden
Assistants: Deborah Blundell
Personal Best Undaunted by degenerative illness, Beth Newsom ’95 conquers the challenges of ski slopes and daily life.
Patty Burns Martin Fuller Rebecca Mazur Hays Stone ’99
Rural Legends The definitive word on some of Kenyon’s half-plausible stories.
by Molly Willow ’00 Howard Korn
Visit the Bulletin on the Web at Bulletin.Kenyon.edu Printed by Bolger Vision Beyond Print in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Exact Opaque 30% post consumer recycled paper.
by Traci Vogel
Net worth=life, when it’s a net protecting African children from malaria-bearing mosquitoes.
“Goldengrove unleaving:” what’s fall without a crunchy romp in the south campus leaves?
Gambier Is Talking About
Lady in Red by Shawn Presley
Letters to the Editor
Along Middle Path
Test Your KQ Try a question from the world of Kenyon trivia Kenyon in Season
Henry Toutain Named Dean of Students
In & Out at Kenyon Saving Children
Musings Loving Lexica by Adam Serfass
Kenyon in the News
Not in My Job Description
The Hot Sheet Parking, Potter, Pie, and six other things we love about Kenyon
Changing Lives with Discipline and Imagination
Doing Philander Proud
Class Notes In Memoriam
Burning Question With the election of Obama, are we living in post-race America?
Jolly Good Fellows
Best in the Nation
Flight of fancy: remembering “Port Kenyon” and its masters of the cockpit.
The Last Page Suburban Legends by Wendy MacLeod ’81
No Mauckery, please: Kenyon salutes this year’s top teachers, including Robert Mauck.
T H E E D I T O R ’ S PA G E
Lady in Red by Shawn Presley
hen she smiled, she looked like she belonged in a glossy magazine ad for tequila, a stylish thirty-something in the center of a cocktail-sipping crowd. It wouldn’t matter if the ad was for the lowly salt-and-lime-required José Cuervo or super-premium Chinaco Blanco; she was versatile enough to blend in with any crowd. And she did. Her friends were from all walks of life. Everyone was drawn to her. She had the magnetic qualities of a good politician. And she was bipartisan. As we celebrate Kenyon’s homegrown rural legends (see page 32), I can’t help thinking of the handful of friends who have taken on mythical proportions in my mind. Unlike urban legends, these people are real, but I’ve probably romanticized them to such a degree that they’ve taken on an almost fictional quality. They whirled through life, radiant, creating fodder for tales that grow taller as the years go by. Her trail still gleams the brightest. It’s been twenty years since I’ve seen her. It’s hard to say how much of what I remember is accurate, but here’s what I recall. She lived in a rented house in a bad part of a small midwestern college town that was home to a huge university. The decorating was modest, but it didn’t take long to realize she could afford better. The leather sofa didn’t look fancy, but when you sat down, you realized only Italian leather could be that soft. With her, there was always that opposition between the inside and the outside. Her car, for example, was red and shiny, but the interior was full of shredded upholstery thanks to
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her crazy dog, who once jumped through her living room window, which she was in no hurry to replace. She worked with an earnest fervor as an editor at a daily newspaper. Her home was a late-night social center for stressed reporters who needed coffee or a cigarette at the end of a shift. She made java in an old-fashioned percolator she swore by. The house was also open for revelers who wanted to sustain the fun after the bars closed. She eventually tired of her role as the queen of party central and shut down the house of fun. It became invitation-only. When I threw a holiday party one year, she wore a red dress from a funky boutique that catered to women who look good in a form-fitting size two. You would think red was the obvious choice for Christmas. Not so much. She was the only lady in red.
Her beauty was unconventional. Her smile was electric. And she really did drink tequila, mostly the kind that involved necks, licking, salt, and limes. When she got a couple of shots in her, she loved to do “the bump” on the dance floor. Her greatest talent? Timing. Always hesitant to commit to any social engagement, her typical reply to most invitations was “I’ll try to make it.” There were many times when she didn’t. That was the key, because when she did show, you felt lucky. The planets were aligned. You could almost hear the collective sigh of guests whispering under their breath, “She’s here.” She didn’t stay long. One day she stored her expensive leather sofa and the rest of her belongings and left the country to roam around and write (or something like that). Rumor has it that sofa is still with a friend. Thanks to Facebook, I now have more than memories. I found her recently living in California with a husband and a child. It was nice to reconnect, but kind of a shame, too. The legend was much more satisfying. —As the director of public affairs at Kenyon, Shawn Presley is surrounded by a cast of characters who are creating future fodder for legendary tales. He looks forward to romancing the trails they are leaving in Gambier.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
A proud salute
Just a brief note to let you know how proud you make all us alums with the recognition you recently received from CASE [the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education] for the continuing magical quality of the Bulletin. It is a pleasure to see, receive, and devour every edition (notwithstanding the weird feeling of finding one’s class notes nearer and nearer to the beginning of the book!) and you contribute mightily with your editorial skill to the pride and connection of the alumni body. A salute from all of us. Keep up the outstanding work . . . —Todd Leavitt ’73 P’10
Like my 1967 classmate Bill Brown, I too washed dishes at Peirce [see “Letters,” Spring/Summer 2009]. It was Martin McKerrow who recruited us both (to refresh Bill’s memory). —Robert C. Martin ’67
A treasured photograph
My wife, daughter, and I were happy to visit Paul Newman when Mr. and Mrs. Bridge was being filmed in Kansas City, Missouri. Paul and I were among the ninety-odd Kenyon graduates in the Class of 1949. By invitation, we visited the set and watched the making of the tornado scene. Paul was good enough to come and talk to us during a pause from his shooting assignment; he posed for several pictures with us. Needless to say, my wife, Aiko, and daughter Terry were thrilled to have this opportunity. He is dressed as the prim and proper Mr. Bridge. The year was 1989, forty years after our graduation. —Edwin Uyeki ’49
Little Women transformed by time
Jesse Matz’s article, “Transformed by Time” (Spring/Summer 2009), is so on the mark! To share my experience with a children’s book seen from adulthood: a few years ago, my Columbus, Ohio, book group chose to re-read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, that classic of pubescent sentimentality. We varied in age from thirty to fifty-five, but each had fond memories of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—and of course the Marmee who held the family together while the father was off at war. I had even thought of naming a child Meg! When seen through the lens of adulthood and the social perspective of the late twentieth century, the book was anything but a sentimental story of adolescence. Rather, it appeared to be about women’s submission and the compliant attitudes foisted on the “weaker” sex. The father was lionized for leaving the family in penury and running off to the war even though he was essentially an unsuccessful provider, a failed preacher/idealist. Meanwhile the family was left at home to live in threadbare gentility with no “respectable” financial options. Even the “scribbles” that daughter Jo writes must be lurid romantic fiction to be considered acceptable—and they had to be sold under a pseudonym. It’s a good thing I had a boy or Meg would have had a name change when she was about ten! —Tricia Herban P’96 More on “Girls?!” and “Turf War”
Dan Laskin’s “Family Squabbles” article highlighted for me how much time has passed since the two squabbles in which I participated: “Girls?!” and “Turf War.” I was one of the youngest alumni at the Quo Vadimus meeting which overwhelmingly
backed admitting women. Provost Bruce Haywood framed the issues perfectly. The faculty had to expand if Kenyon was to remain a first-class liberal arts college; we needed more teachers to cover the explosion of knowledge in the sciences, non-European languages, sociology, etc. Those teachers needed good students to teach, and attracting more qualified men was becoming harder. It appeared to us that women would alleviate the increasing social stresses, would maintain and perhaps increase the quality we sought, and might gravitate to and strengthen some of the fine arts courses. The decision to admit women seemed obviously correct. To avoid dictating to the women how that should be done, the decision left the choice between a coordinate college and an integrated college to them. There were later squabbles about implementation but really none at the decisive meeting with the alumni. That was not the case with Turf War, because it was a clash of two rights. Kenyon must have the right to say who should live in its dorms and how, even if the reasons given in the [Commission on Student Life] report were unsupported by the studies cited in its bibliography. Conversely, AD had bought and paid for the right to occupy its entire division. The compromise offered by Bruce Bell ’49, Ray Grebey ’49, and me was flatly rejected by President Jordan, which led to the unfortunate lawsuit. After Judge Eyster’s decision, President Oden graciously accepted the original offer, with minor changes, which settled the matter to our mutual satisfaction. We are again one happy family. —Robert S. Price ’58 Forty years of women at Kenyon
Forty years ago this summer, 150 new high school graduates were anticipating college. What made these young women different from most of their high school classmates was that they were heading off to a college that had been all male for nearly 150 years. Little did they know that their experience at Kenyon College would be quite different from that of many of their friends but not
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
so different from other first-year female students at Princeton, Yale, and many other previously all-male colleges that opened their doors to women in the fall of 1969. In a time when there were still only four stations on television and people got most of their news from morning and evening newspapers, the summer of 1969 was a particularly newsworthy one. Many things happened which these women experienced—for a few, directly, and for the rest, through the media. Perhaps the two major events were men walking on the surface of the moon on July 20 and the music festival, Woodstock, August 15-18, but the ongoing Vietnam War, the riots at the Stonewall Bar, and the Charles Manson murders were also part of that summer. So much was happening that it felt surreal. And then in early September we arrived in Gambier to find that our dorm wasn’t completed and we spent the first six weeks living with community members. (I, and three others, had the good fortune to live with Miss Kate Allen, a lively retiree and daughter of a former Kenyon professor.) Once the upperclassmen returned, some of them as well as some faculty made it clear that we weren’t
wanted, and we learned we weren’t considered full-fledged Kenyon students but rather students of the Coordinate College. For the most part, we weren’t really aware that the lack of dorms, female professors, health services for women, and athletic opportunities for women, as well as lack of respect by some of the community for us and our dean, Doris Crozier, could be seen as a statement. We simply did what new students do: signed up for classes, met our professors, got involved in theater, the Collegian, and other activities, and made the College ours. That first year was intense at Kenyon as well as nationally, with the school year ending shortly after the Kent State massacre and the subsequent protest in Washington in which many of us participated. Only about seventy-five of us graduated from Kenyon in 1973, although most who left graduated from other institutions. Those of us who stayed are pretty devoted to Kenyon but, in some ways, we’re still processing our experience as the first class of women. So to all 150 of us who started in the fall of 1969, I couldn’t let this fortieth anniversary pass without a remembrance of that singular season on the Hill. —Julie Miller Vick ’73 Spirited, provocative, informative
TO OUR LETTER WRITERS The Bulletin welcomes letters of 300 or fewer words. Letters to the editor may be used for publication unless the author states the letter is not to be published. Letters may be edited for style, length, clarity, grammar, and relevance to Kenyon issues. Please address submission to: Editor, Kenyon College Alumni Bulletin, Office of Public Affairs, Gambier, Ohio 43022. Letters may also be submitted to alumni@ kenyon.edu.
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
I was immensely proud to read that the Alumni Bulletin had received the Robert Sibley Magazine of the Year Award from CASE. Of course, it came as no surprise. Kenyon’s magazine is wonderfully spirited, sometimes provocative, and always informative. It also never fails to exemplify good writing, while somehow conveying the essence of Kenyon in every story. As someone who sees a lot of college magazines (I work for the president of another highly-regarded small liberal arts college), it was good to learn that I am not alone in my esteem for the Alumni Bulletin. From the issue that included the story on the Old Kenyon fire (which made
me weep) to the recent one highlighting “Family Squabbles” (which made me laugh out loud), I have loved reading every magazine, cover to cover. Congratulations on a well-deserved achievement. I look forward to many more fine issues to come. —Meredith Harper Bonham ’92 Best by far
I just read in the Kenyon News Digest that the Alumni Bulletin was named best college magazine in the country. I’m not surprised. My son, Sam, is a sophomore at Kenyon, so I’ve been receiving the Bulletin for about a year. I’ve been impressed from the start. The story selection, writing, photography, and design are all first-rate. Before starting Bethesda Magazine five years ago, I was a senior executive at the company that publishes the Atlantic Monthly. During my career I’ve seen many college magazines. The Bulletin is the best by far. Congratulations and keep up the great work. —Steve Hull P’12 Lasting brotherhood
My sincere thank you for sending me the extra copies of the Kenyon Alumni Bulletin. The article involving me [“Out of the Ashes”] was very enlightening and gave me names and information about some of those I cared for the night of the tragic fire sixty years ago—certainly one of the saddest events of my life. My children received the copies of the Bulletin and were surprised to know their parents were part of such a sad event. I am still working in nursing, doing health teaching for our local hospital. Our daughter Gretchen (a Kenyon grad) just went into nursing two years ago, so we now have much to share. Kenyon is a very unique school in that it gives its students a wonderful education and a feeling of lasting brotherhood unknown to most colleges. My husband, Bob,
A L O N G M I D D L E PAT H
Dan Laskin’s article, “Family Squabbles,” in the Bulletin’s Spring/Summer issue, comes close to expressing what we feel for Kenyon—and why—in the following sentence: “We love the place so much, and so personally—love, most of all, the idea that it isn’t the real world.” The love one feels for Kenyon is more complex than just plain nostalgia, and all but impossible to communicate to anyone who did not go to Kenyon. No Big Ten behemoth can possibly inspire anything like this feeling: It belongs, uniquely and exclusively, to us. The squabbles Mr. Laskin reports on reminded me of Robert Frost’s explanation of why his poems often seemed negative. He said his writing engaged him in “a lover’s quarrel with the world.” That is, he hoped that calling attention to the world’s imperfections might help to make the place even more deserving of affection. —Norman Hane ’61 Outstanding issue
The Kenyon Bulletin of Spring/Summer was an outstanding issue. Congratulations to the editor and staff. —Robert D. Hudson ’35
Henry Toutain named dean of students
enry P. Toutain, the longtime dean of students at Gustavus Adolphus College and a student-life professional with more than thirty years of experience, has become the new dean of students at Kenyon. Toutain assumed his duties on July 15. He replaces Tammy Gocial, who left for a post at Maryville University in Saint Louis, Missouri. Toutain served as vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Gustavus Adolphus, in Saint Peter, Minnesota, since 1990. Like Kenyon, Gustavus is a private liberal arts college that prides itself on a strong sense of community along with academic rigor and close faculty-student relationships. Toutain, who was chosen in a national search that drew eighty-nine applications, said that he was impressed by the “distinctive depth and breadth of community at Kenyon.” Prior to becoming the dean at Gustavus, Toutain served for two years as the dean of students at Fordham University in New York City. From 1983 to 1988, he held student-life positions at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, including associate dean of student life and director of residential life. Earlier, he served as as-
is now in a skilled nursing facility but all his “Delt” brothers still keep in touch with me. Wonderful! —Jacquie McLain P’75 (Mrs. Robert Wales McLain ’50)
sociate director of student housing at the University of Chicago. In addition to a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Chicago, he holds a certificate in educational management from Harvard University. He received a B.A. in English from Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. Toutain (pronounced too-TANE) and his wife, Bev, a speech pathologist, have two children: a son who is pursuing graduate work and a daughter who recently started her sophomore year at college.
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
sound bites “It is a complex power dynamic, when these mainstream white male writers are in need of the famous African-American woman’s promotion.” —Theresa A. Kulbaga, an English professor at Miami University, in a campus lecture titled “The Oprah-fication of Memoir”
“Political Science majors now have a new senior exercise: each student is assigned a developing country. They then have twenty-four hours to impose a stilted, ill-fitting bastardization
of liberal democracy upon that country.”—Reporting from the Kenyon Collegiate, a mock version of the student newspaper
“I profoundly hope that in the evening shades ahead of you—those evening shades ahead of us all—your memory of Kenyon may indeed be a calling bell, and I hope that that bell may register upon you in a chord of harmony, which will remind you of a harmony in which once you dwelt.” —English professor Perry Lentz addressing the Class of 2009 at Baccalaureate
Jolly Good Fellows
“I recommend that you become writers—all of you . . . To be sure, you will be opting for a life of poverty. But a writer is supposed to be poor. When a crooked or incompetent CEO winds up penniless, people laugh in his face. That won’t happen to your face. And where others have to manufacture lives of paranoia, touchiness, rejection, and self-loathing, those qualities will already have been built into your profession.” —Writer Roger Rosenblatt addressing the Class of 2009 at the one hundred eighty-first Commencement
ast spring, three students were named to well-endowed fellowships for graduate school or study abroad. These highly prestigious fellowships have rarely or never before been awarded to Kenyon applicants. Shrochis Karki ’09, awarded the Jack Kent Cooke fellowship for graduate study. The award is worth up to $50,000 per year for as many as six years of graduate school. Karki, who doublemajored in international studies and political science, will pursue a master’s degree in development studies at Oxford University in England, where he previously studied during his junior year abroad. Karki is the first Kenyon recipient of the award. Janae Peters ’10, the winner of a Beinecke fellowship for graduate study. Peters, an English major, will receive $4,000 during her senior year, and $30,000 more to offset the cost of graduate school. Peters is the first Kenyon student to win a Beinecke since the year 2000. Shaakira Raheem ’11, an international studies major, the firstever Kenyon recipient of a Boren National Security Education Program scholarship for study abroad. Valued at up to $20,000, the scholarship will allow Raheem to study during her junior year in Rabat, Morocco.
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IN: Village Market dogs FIVE MINUTES AGO: Bookstore bagels OUT: Ramen IN: 30 Rock FIVE MINUTES AGO: Grey’s Anatomy OUT: Lost IN: The Collegiate (A mock version of the Collegian, published anonymously) FIVE MINUTES AGO: Allstu OUT: The Collegian
TREND ALERT: Frisbee Golf. Students created their own Frisbee golf course using campus landmarks such as trees and sculptures. The sport is also known as “disc golf” and “frolf” and touts a Professional Disc Golf Association.
—by Jessica Murray ’09
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin spring/summer 2009
The money raised by Naomi Blaushild ’10 for mosquito nets will save lives in Ghana, and the money raised for scholarships will save minds. Blaushild, a political science major from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, spent the second semester of her junior year at the University of Ghana in Legon. A volunteer internship took her twice a week to a primary school in Nima, a sprawling, impoverished, migrant suburb of Accra. She refused to be daunted by the conditions around her, including a school roof in need of repair, open sewers, and children who are easy targets for deadly malaria-bearing mosquitoes. She organized the AMIS (Anani Memorial International School) Friends, created a Web site (amisfriends.weebly.com), and raised $2,663 through donations. The money bought 635 insect-repellant nets and funded scholarships for five students through the 2009-10 school year. The nets were shared with students at Becky Day Care and the Greater Care Nursery Centre in Nima. Blaushild also organized classes in malariaprevention, health, and nutrition. “Sometimes it’s really frustrating to not be able to fix everything,” she said. “The problems seem so overwhelming, but I’ve learned that every little thing counts. We gave these kids a little more protection against malaria. One net might cover three or four kids sleeping close together on the ground, on mats.” With her Kenyon colleagues, Blaushild is now organizing a “sponsor-a-student” project. They hope to raise money for use by the Anani Memorial International School as student tuition. Donations may be sent to AMIS Friends, care of Naomi Blaushild, P.O. Box 942, Gambier, Ohio 43022. Checks should be made out to Naomi Blaushild, noting the donation to AMIS Friends. “We want to sponsor as many children as we can,” she said. “I know these kids. I played with them, taught them, held their hands, sang with them. Africa is real to me.”
KENYON IN THE NEWS
The hiring of Shaka Smart ’99 as head basketball coach at Virginia Commonwealth University triggered media attention starting on March 31, with a report on www. sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Smart, former Kenyon point guard and captain, had been an assistant coach at the University of Florida. The hiring was also reported by a number of television stations in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and in the Richmond Times-Dispatch; USA Today; Wisconsin State Journal in Madison; www. espn.com; and www.vegasinsider.com. The TimesDispatch called Smart “a fast riser” and interviewed Peter Rutkoff, professor of American Studies, who said of Smart, “He was a wonderful combination of very smart and incredibly diligent.” Smart told the Associated Press, “We are going to wreak havoc on our opponents’ psyche.” The unmatched success of the Kenyon swimming teams attracted stories in the New York Times, on February 25, and the Plain Dealer of Cleveland, Ohio, on March 25. The Times featured Coach Jim Steen in a story that opened this way: “A two-lane highway that accommodates Amish buggies and cuts through the farmland of central Ohio may be the road to success.” Judy Holdener, associate professor of mathematics, told the Times
that Steen “has that ability to connect with people, to figure out what makes them tick. He’s a genius when it comes to that.” Also mentioned in the story were swimmers Kellyn Caldwell ’12 of Gambier, Ohio; Michael Machala ’09 of Twin Falls, Idaho; Tracy Menzel ’09 of Crawfordsville, Indiana; and Nat Carruthers ’10 of Longmont, Colorado. Kris Caldwell ’84, director of donor relations, was also quoted. Steen urges his swimmers to “engage in battle without compromise,” the Times said. The Plain Dealer story opened with Zachary Turk ’12 of Strongsville, Ohio, who won the 50-yard freestyle during the national championships. “The Strongsville native realized he didn’t have to travel across an ocean to get some of the best swimming coaching in the country, compete for a record-shattering number of national titles, and get an excellent education, too,” the Plain Dealer said. Jim Douglass, Saint Edward High School swimming coach, said of Steen, “He’s real. The guy loves the sport, but more importantly he loves the kids.” Alisa Vereshchagin ’12 of Solon, Ohio, who won the 200-yard breast stroke, was also mentioned. Jennifer Delahunty, dean of admissions and financial aid, was quoted in the New York Times on March 8 in a front-page story about colleges coping with the shifting priorities of prospective students at a time of financial uncertainty. Admissions officials around the country this year had less faith in statistical models
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when figuring the number of students to accept and the number likely to enroll. “Trying to hit those numbers is like trying to hit a hot tub when you’re skydiving from 30,000 feet,” Delahunty said. The story was also published by the Arkansas DemocratGazette of Little Rock; Denver (Colorado) Post; Gadsden (Alabama) Times; Gainesville (Florida) Sun; Herald Tribune of Sarasota, Florida; Seattle Times; South China Morning Post; Star News of Wilmington, North Carolina; and the Tuscaloosa (Alabama) News.
“I worry that we’ve become like the jaded spectators who watched the gladiators in ancient Rome,” MacLeod wrote. “I feel a little guilty . . . about the injuries suffered for our entertainment.” The column was also published by the Albany (New York) Times Union; the Canton (Ohio) Repository; the Day of New London, Connecticut; the Houston Chronicle; the Miami Herald; the Pittsburgh TribuneReview; the Plain Dealer of Cleveland, Ohio; and the Silver City (New Mexico) Sun News.
A story in the March 5 Canton (Ohio) Repository about a book club that has met for twenty-five years included a feisty reference to Kenyon friends David Utlak ’74 and James Gwin ’76. The roots of the book club extend to “a fist fight during an intra-squad scrimmage on the Kenyon College lacrosse field.” Student combatants Utlak and Gwin later learned they shared interests in philosophy, politics, history, and economics. After Kenyon, they met again in 1983 in Canton and in 1984 helped found the Local Men’s Book Club. Utlak is a cardiologist. Gwin is a U.S. District Court judge.
The death of writer John Updike invited comment by P.F. Kluge, writer-in-residence, in a column published on January 28 in the Chicago Tribune. “I think Updike took a larger bite out of what ordinary life in America is like than any other writer I know,” he said. The column was also published by the Grand Forks Herald of Grand Forks, North Dakota; the Erie (Pennsylvania) Times-News; the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader; the Philadelphia Inquirer; the Santa Barbara (California) News-Press; the State of Columbia, South Carolina; and the Taiwan News. Kluge was also quoted on Updike in stories in the January 28 edition of the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch and the January 30 edition of the Plain Dealer of Cleveland, Ohio.
A column in which Wendy MacLeod, James Michael Playwright-in-Residence and professor of drama, muses about the physical price paid by players in the National Football League was published on January 28 in the Washington Post.
hot sheet Park It for the Planet
Joan and the iPhone
Kenyon celebrated planet Earth with a Week of Sustainability that included the effort “Park It for the Planet.” Students and employees earned prizes for carpooling or putting aside their cars altogether in favor of biking or walking. Score one for the environment, score two for the maniacal Gambier squirrels who had fewer cars to dodge.
Biology professor Joan Slonczewski’s textbook, Microbiology: An Evolving Science, was spotted in a television commercial for Apple’s iPhone. Calling all students: last year your biggest worry was college applications, this year it’s phone applications.
Steve Bronstein/Getty Images
PARKING, POTTER, PIE, AND SIX OTHER THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT KENYON
Pie AVI, the College’s food service, sponsored a pie-throwing contest to benefit Relay for Life. Volunteers were asked to sign up for thirty-minute time slots to take a pie in the face. Using dough to raise dough? A slice of genius.
Joe Kohen/Getty Images
The Office of Housing and Residential Life and community advisors sponsored a Harry Potter Day complete with a themed dinner, readings from the books, a costume contest, and a trivia game. The event was almost derailed in the planning stage when Kenyon faculty began a fierce debate about whether the course “Defense Against the Dark Arts” was appropriate for a liberal arts curriculum.
KENYON ON BROADWAY Allison Janney ’82 wore a Kenyon hoodie in her Tony-nominated performance in 9 to 5. Many alumni reported watching Janney with delight and pride. Go Allison! That’s the “way to make a livin’.” Turn to page 67 to see Janney in her hoodie with a Kenyon classmate.
Toilet Drama Students staged a play with a title too racy to mention in the Bulletin. The advertising was so provocative some posters were removed and either destroyed or saved as souvenirs. The real
kicker? The play was staged in the men’s restroom of the dance studio. Classy!
Cheaper Hot Dogs Gambier’s grocery store offered a “Village Market Stimulus Package” by rolling back the price of its popular wieners from seventy-five cents to fifty cents. A clever idea, and one that gives us the rare chance to use the words wiener, package, and stimulus in the same sentence.
Wild Gambier The Brown Family Environmental Center started “Wild Gambier,” a new series of nature talks to help students and residents appreciate local wildlife and plants. And that’s about as wild as things get in rural Ohio.
Kenyon on Facebook Kenyon’s Facebook page has almost three thousand fans. Sign up today to receive news feeds about your alma mater.
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
Best in the Nation
he Bulletin has been named the best college magazine in the nation. The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) has given the Bulletin the Robert Sibley Magazine of the Year award. The coveted award is given annually to the most exemplary collegiate general interest, research, or special interest magazine. The Bulletin competed against 151 entries from both large research institutions and smaller colleges. In the final round, it went up against the magazines of Princeton and Stanford universities and King’s College London. Last year’s Sibley was given to Dartmouth College. The Newsweek magazine editors judging the competition consider writing, editing, design, print quality, and creative use of resources. According to the judges, the Bulletin is “firing on all cylinders.” The judges said the magazine “plays skillfully on two elements of the small liberal arts college experience shared by the College’s alumni—a deep emotional attachment to Kenyon’s educational ethos and an abiding sense of place. By combining past and present on a palette of carefully calibrated stories, the magazine mixes deep tones of memory with a bright reassurance that present-day Kenyon, though it may be different in many ways from what alumni experienced, is inextricable from its storied past.” Kenyon submitted two issues for judging: the fall 2008 issue and the winter 2009 issue. Judges praised feature stories for fulfilling the magazine’s stated goal of conveying Kenyon’s “beauty, fun, quirkiness, and academic rigor” in addition to the College’s reputation as “a small place to think big thoughts.” Among the features were the
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experience of George Williams ’06 with Teach for America, a story on post-traumatic stress disorder, a “perfectly calibrated” feature remembering Paul Newman ’49, and the feature commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the Old Kenyon fire. The Bulletin is edited by Shawn Presley and deputy editors Amy Blumenthal and Dan Laskin. Mark Ellis is the associate
D oin g Ph ilan de r Proud Luke Svoboda-Barber, the great-great-great-greatgrandson of Kenyon’s founding father Philander Chase, helped beautify the campus at this year’s Middle Path Day, a traditional day of work and fun that dates back to Earth Day in 1971. Villagewide projects included bulb and tree planting, trash and winter-debris pick-up, spreading mulch, and raking to restore some of the gravel along Middle Path. Luke is the son of Helen SvobodaBarber, rector of Harcourt Parish and great-great-greatgranddaughter of Philander Chase, and her husband, Shawn Svoboda-Barber.
editor. The magazine is designed by Aldrich Design and Adam Gilson. CASE is a leading professional organization in the fields of education fundraising, communications, and alumni relations.
Retired college physician Tracy Schermer was named the Gambier Citizen of the Year at the annual Fourth of July parade. He was honored for almost three decades of service to the community.
The College house formerly known as the Student Affairs Center has been renamed Edwards House in honor of Dean of Students Emeritus Tom Edwards and his wife, Gloria. Members of the Student Affairs staff now occupy Gund Commons, which closed as a dining hall when the remodeled Peirce Hall opened. Edwards House is now home to the offices of the registrar and academic advising.
A New Spelling Local residents petitioned for a correction, after many, many years, of the spelling of Acland Street, named for Sir Thomas Acland but spelled in Gambier, erroneously, as Ackland.
The Demolition of Ernst The former athletic facility was torn down during the summer. The area formerly occupied by Ernst has become green space, allowing for a spectacular view of the Hill from inside the glass-enclosed Kenyon Athletic Center.
W H AT ’ S Y O U R K E N Y O N Q U O T I E N T ?
Which musical Bob played a packed Rosse Hall? A. Bobby Short B. Bob Marley
C. Robert Goulet D. Bob Dylan
Dylan had already released “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” and was emerging as an eloquent, if nasal, poet of protest when he performed at Kenyon in November 1964. He made his entry from the graveyard and launched into his first song, which, because of a temporary technical glitch, “sounded like mosquitoes caught in a net of Saran Wrap.” The description was written by Jay Cocks ’66, the future screenwriter, who chronicled the singer’s Gambier trip in a lengthy Collegian article. Dylan seemed to win over “the predominantly conservative student body,” and by the second half of the concert, people had abandoned their seats to crowd the floor near the front, wrote Cocks, whose piece would be republished in Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews (2006). Other musical greats who have graced the Rosse stage or Peirce Hall: Count Basie, Muddy Waters, John Coltrane, Bo Diddley, Odetta, Leo Kottke, Nina Simone, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.
TRY THIS QUESTION FROM THE WORLD OF KENYON TRIVIA
ANSWER: D. Bob Dylan
G A M B I E R I S TA L K I N G A B O U T
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
KENYON IN SEASON
BASEBALL RECORD: 24-21, 12-4 NCAC
East RECAP: The Lords played for
their first NCAC championship after earning their first-ever postseason series victory in the semifinals against Ohio Wesleyan. National runner-up Wooster dashed Kenyon’s title hopes, but the 12 regular-season conference victories marked the Lords’ best win total since joining the NCAC in 1985. Matt Burdette captured conference Coach of the Year honors for the fourth time, and four Lords turned up on the All-NCAC first team, including senior Jake Calcei, who went on to earn All-Region and Academic AllAmerica recognition. GOLF RECORD: Seventh in NCAC
Championship Series RECAP: The Lords continued
to push their way up the ladder by improving their finish in the NCAC Championship Series for the second straight season. Senior Dan Direnfeld brought home an All-NCAC secondteam nod, the first conference honor for a Kenyon player since 2006, after averaging 79.3 strokes in NCAC competition. M E N ’ S L A C RO S S E RECORD: 8-6, 3-2 NCAC RECAP: Devin Catlin became
Kenyon’s all-time career assist leader (114) and picked up an invite to play in the USILA’s North/South Senior All-Star Game. He also tallied 213 points for his career, becoming only the third Lord to pass the 200-point plateau. Kenyon’s stingy defense was wellrecognized at season’s end and
garnered three of the team’s four All-NCAC first-team selections. Tony Alexander, Charlie Sayre, and goalie David Page formed the core of a defensive unit that ranked 31st in the nation after allowing a paltry 7.93 goals per game. W O M E N ’ S L A C RO S S E
Ellen Witkowski joined Adams on the conference’s first team, and, along with Brittany Vanegas, collected all-region recognition.
RECORD: 21-8, 3-0 NCAC East RECAP: The Lords finished the
an overall record of 12-5 and an appearance in the NCAC tournament championship game. The 12 wins marked the most for Kenyon since the 1986 season and helped Buzzi earn her first NCAC Coach of the Year distinction. High honors were also reserved for goalkeeper Chase Kreuter, who merited all-conference and all-region first-team nods after leading the NCAC in saves percentage (.585) and saves (223)—totals that ranked third and fourth, respectively, among all NCAA Division III players. SOFTBALL
RECORD: 18-18, 6-8 NCAC RECAP: Behind a potent of-
RECORD: 12-8, 3-0 NCAC East RECAP: The Kenyon women
fense that set team records for slugging percentage (.422) and runs batted in (157), the Ladies posted a .500 record for the second straight season. The gaudy offensive stats generated by the lineup led to several players raking in prestigious honors. Kelly Adams became the first Academic All-American in program history and also earned an All-NCAC first-team selection.
again played their way into the NCAC championship match, but settled for their fourth straight runner-up finish to Denison. Leading the way for the Ladies were sophomore Prita Kidder and senior Alexis Marino, who both nailed down All-NCAC honors for their singles and doubles play. Kidder, the team’s number one player, was Kenyon’s lone selection to
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
MEN’S OUTDOOR T R AC K A N D F I E L D RECORD: Ninth place at NCAC
Championships MEN’S TENNIS
season ranked seventh in the country after capturing their third straight NCAC crown. They also advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III tournament for the second consecutive year. Individually, Michael Greenberg was stopped short of defending his national singles title, but did repeat as NCAC Player of the Year. Sophomore Tomas Piskacek also qualified for the NCAA Division III singles tournament and raked in regional and conference Newcomer of the Year honors. Greenberg and William VandenBerg participated in the national doubles tournament, giving Kenyon its highest number of player selections to the national tournaments since 1993.
RECORD: 12-5, 4-2 NCAC RECAP: In just her second season as head coach, Meredith Buzzi guided the Ladies to
the first team while Marino was a second-teamer. Together, the two captured their second consecutive second-team selection in doubles action.
RECAP: A pair of impressive
accomplishments bookended the Lords’ 2009 campaign. In the first meet of the season, senior Kaleb Keyserling etched his name in the Kenyon record books with his efforts in the 3,000- (8:48.27) and 5,000-meter (15:00.47) runs. The season concluded with the Lords earning All-Academic team status from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association after they posted a combined 3.450 grade-point average, the third highest among all NCAA Division III men’s track and field programs. WOMEN’S OUTDOOR T R AC K A N D F I E L D RECORD: Eighth place at
NCAC Championships RECAP: Like the Lords, the
Ladies ran down an AllAcademic team honor from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for their diligence in the classroom. Among women’s programs, Kenyon’s cumulative grade-point average of 3.420 stood as the highest of any Division III team in the state of Ohio and the best produced by a North Coast Athletic Conference team. It was the second consecutive year in which the Ladies earned the lofty distinctions for their academic work.
Music with muscle She’ll listen to just about anything her iPod can haul, except classical. “I’ve got nothing against it, it’s just too calming for me.” Before a race, songs from the Jock Jams collection help motivate her.
ANATOMY OF AN ATHLETE Two-sport athlete Lauren Brady ’11 proved her prowess to several hundred witnesses on one October day during her first semester at Kenyon. After placing second among 101 runners in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) cross country championship race, she jogged back to the Kenyon Aquatic Center, jumped in the pool, and swam the 100- and 200yard butterfly events in times that cleared the NCAA Division III provisional cut for national championship qualifying. Since then, Brady, a native of Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, has helped direct both the Ladies cross country and swim teams to consecutive national championship appearances. She’s twice earned All-NCAC and All-Region honors in cross country and has collected ten All-America certificates for her work in the water. She’s decided to pursue only swimming this year. We caught up with her after the cross country season to take a look at what makes her tick . . .
Don’t leave home without it Brady never gets on a bus without Rosie, her stuffed bunny. She’s affectionately preserved the scruffy pet since she received it as an Easter present during childhood.
Books and Outlaws Brady is in the process of declaring biology as her major, with hopes of going pre-med toward a goal of pediatrics practice. To this point, however, her two favorite classes at Kenyon have been Italian, which she’d like to claim as her minor, and “Outlaws,” an English course that examines representation of evildoers in literature, drama, and film.
A pre-college shopping trip to T.J. Maxx helped convince Brady to join the cross country team. She struggled with the decision until she stumbled upon a rack of running shorts. “They were purple and I could actually afford them, so I took that as a sign that I should join the team.” The day before she arrived on campus she called coach Duane Gomez and informed him of her decision.
Breakfast of Champions Brady watches what she eats. Her staples are fruit (for health) and water (to dampen nerves). She’s rarely seen without a water bottle, even away from competition. Favorite breakfast: an omelet crammed with peppers, onions, and ham.
Round and round When not running or swimming, she’s cycling. She put all three activities together last year to participate in her first triathlon. She trained less than a week for the grueling event and said afterward, “It was fun, but it hurt. I can’t wait to do another one.”
Don’t knock the socks For the past six years, she’s worn the same pair of black socks during every competition. Laundry days, with the threat of sock-eating washing machines, are met with a degree of anxiety.
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
INDL NG The library has always been the heart of a Kenyon education. But how much longer will ink on paper define the act of reading? Digital technologies let students download electronic books without ever leaving their Adirondack chairs. Today people wonder not just what you are reading, but how you are reading. As new media continue to advance, the Bulletin ponders the future of the printed bookâ€”a solid technology that has fed our imaginations, delivered information, lined our walls, and shaped our lives for centuries. Is it doomed to obsolescence, to be replaced by screens and electrons? Or will it adapt and survive alongside its upstart digital cousins? With these questions in mind, we turned to a few alumni and faculty members whose professional concerns and personal passions have made books a central part of their lives. Hereâ€™s how they weighed in. BY AMY BLUMENTHAL, JOHN GREEN, SARAH J. HEIDT, SERGEI LOBANOV-ROSTOVSKY, AND TRACI VOGEL
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
TEST CAN THE KINDLE HOLD A CANDLE TO A BOOK? BY SERGEI LOBANOV-ROSTOVSKY
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
I FEEL LIKE A TRAITOR. One of my students, catching sight of my new toy during a recent bus ride across Ireland, recently cried out in dismay, “You have a Kindle!” As someone who loves books, and tries to get my students to share that love, I understood how she felt. But before I could explain, the student sitting across from her looked up and said, “You’ve got a Kindle? Cool! Can I try it?” Normally, I’m what tech companies call a late adopter. The lights on my VCR still flash plaintively—12:00, 12:00, 12:00—as if time
has given up on me in disgust. I can’t pass a used record store without thumbing through the ancient LPs to see if they’ve got that replacement copy of From Her to Eternity I’ve been searching for since the great roof leak of 1985. For me, a text is what you find, copiously underlined, when you open a book. That’s right, a book. If they still sold scrolls, I’d be the guy with the library that smells like sheep. And why not? Books are a new-fangled invention. In 1490, John of Trittenheim wrote in his treatise In Praise of Scribes, “The word written on parchment will last a thousand years . . . The most you can expect a book of paper to survive is two hundred years. Yet, there are many who think they can entrust their works to paper. Only time will tell.” John of Trittenheim, it seems, was another late adopter. So what am I doing with a Kindle? Call it curiosity. Call it fatalism. Or call it an aching back. I teach Shakespeare. Anyone remember how it feels to heft a copy of the complete plays? Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane hill comes, one semester after another, and I’ve started to feel as if I’ve carried
every log. Whose idea was it to make books from wood? My new Kindle can hold 1,500 endless Russian novels—a lifetime supply of starving peasants, existential despair, and pale countesses waltzing in the snow—and I can carry them all around with me, not as a spine-twisting load in my backpack, but with no more effort than a flicker of light caught in a jar. Still, reading Shakespeare on a Kindle can feel like drinking champagne from a plastic cup. When I first picked it up, it felt like an oversized pocket calculator, and there are a lot of buttons for a simple act like reading. (What’s SYM do, anyway? Oh no!) It’s great for traveling, but I can’t picture myself curling up with my Kindle on a cold winter night. To be honest, I miss the smell of dust, and the way pages spill out of cheap paperbacks like students leaving class on the last day of the term. When you buy a book, you can feel strangely proud of yourself, as if you’ve just shaken hands with Walt Whitman or bought Socrates a round. Downloading an e-book feels . . . well, like doing your taxes.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for progress, and I’m convinced that what Amazon has produced is only the first of its kind: e-book readers will quickly become cheaper, lighter, and more responsive to the ways people read. On YouTube, you can see a prototype version of an electronic screen that can be rolled up or folded, changing its image as easily as you’d turn the pages of a book. Digital books can be published at very little cost, sent around the world in an instant, and hidden easily from the secret police. But what happens, I keep wondering, when the lights go out? A book is just a box made of paper and glue, but in it burns a Promethean fire. As long as there are readers, we’ll need books. But not only books. Just as we listen to both iPods and violins, we will embrace any technology that moves us. Now can someone tell me how to turn this thing on? Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky, a professor of English, is back on campus after a year directing the 2008-09 Kenyon-Exeter Program in England.
WHAT’S RIGHT AND WHAT BYTES ABOUT KINDLE Amazon sells books, so they make it cheap and easy to
Oh, and if your eyes are starting to get old, you
fill your Kindle. One-click ordering, wireless downloads,
can enlarge the font with one click. No need to skulk
and no coffee bars. Many classic novels are now in the
through the large-print section of your library: Kindle
public domain, so you can get them for free. Others cost
will keep your shameful secret. Or, if you like, Kindle
as little as $2.00, while the latest airport bestseller will
will read aloud to you. You can choose a male or female
run you $9.99.
voice, but neither will ever read you to sleep. (They
Reading is also a one-click affair. One button turns the page, another will take you back. As for how it looks, the Kindle’s “electronic paper” is easy on the eyes and can
sound like those robots who do the local forecast on the Weather Channel.) There’s a built-in dictionary for looking up words,
be read even in bright sunlight. It still feels like reading
and they give you a small keyboard to type in annota-
on a computer screen, but without all the neon colors
tions to the text, which you can also highlight or book-
and flashing boxes that can make you feel like you’re
mark with a touch of a button. A search function allows
lost in Times Square when you browse the Internet.
you to find text in any book on your Kindle. Great for
(Color is coming: the new large-format Kindle is aimed at
those identification sections on your English exams!
magazine and newspaper readers, as well as at college
So what bytes? Well, it’s not a book. There’s no faint
students who buy textbooks. If Amazon can pull that
smell of dust and glue to take you back to childhood,
off, it may not be long before you see Kenyon students
you can’t fold down the page, and if the author makes
studying on their Kindles along Middle Path.)
you angry, you can’t throw it across the room without instant regret. —SLR
BOOKS MATTER A MEMBER OF THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT PROFESSES HER ENDURING LOVE OF BOOKS
Her father appeared in the bedroom doorway after a few minutes. “That’s why the book will survive,” he said, gesturing to us. “Can you imagine doing that with a Kindle?” My answer, of course, was no. In our intimate, lamplit tableau, the story the book told was not all-important. The material book itself—its glossy, squeaky dust jacket; its hard covers; its shiny, colorful pages—was crucial. The book itself bound us together in an intellectual, emotional, and tactile experience. I have been a bibliophile, if not a bibliomaniac, all my life. In my earliest memory, I sit with my mother, sounding out the words in one volume of my beloved Richard Scarry Look and Learn Library boxed set; somewhere, we have a picture of me at four, sun-flushed
MY TEN-MONTH-OLD GODDAUGHTER Matilda* just came for a visit. Following her last afternoon nap in Gambier, her mother brought her into my bedroom, where I had been reading since morning. Because we’d been having Matilda’s bedtime story in my room each night, her book was hiding in my quilts, along with the various volumes occupying me that day. I settled her into my lap for several renditions of Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman’s Bear Snores On, its hard covers joining with my arms to embrace her eager, full-bodied participation in my reading aloud. She reached for her favorite animals; she mouthed along as I spoke the book’s words; she turned the pages when it was time.
BY SARAH J. HEIDT ’97
on a hot summer afternoon, asleep beneath another of those volumes. I remember the first bookstore I frequented (a Waldenbooks in East Amherst, New York). I remember the rash pleasure I felt each time my elementary schools distributed Scholastic Books order forms or held book sales. Even school sales of used textbooks—only twenty-five cents for each battered, outdated volume—enraptured me. I could go on no family trip without an overflowing bookbag, just as now I cannot travel anywhere, for even a short time, without five or ten books—even though I know I’m entirely likely to acquire five or ten more while I’m away. By the time I moved back to Gambier in July 2004, my bibliophilia had come to have
*Young bibliophile Matilda Grace Knauer Terrell is the daughter of Thomas Knauer ’94 and Katherine Terrell ’95.
TO KRO ABOUT
serious material consequences. Of the three tons of possessions unloaded into a rental house I’d chosen for its built-in bookcases, my movers estimated that probably two tons had been books. Five years later, my library is scattered among my apartment, a house in England, a Gambier basement, and my Lentz House office—and I no longer have any idea how many books I own. And yet I keep buying them, keep piling them everywhere in my life. They rest on shelves, tables, floors, washing machines; they fill the kitchen, the office, the bedroom. I cannot have enough books because I cannot know or love enough: for me books are physical embodiments of knowledge and love, tangible manifestations of curiosity and passion without end. An electronic reader would certainly make some parts of my life easier. I would pay fewer overweight baggage fees, for one thing, and moving would get a lot cheaper. But I find myself unable to regard e-books as true, complete books. An e-book communicates a book’s content without its form, and in losing the form, it loses what literally matters about books: their solid, touching, lasting presence in our world. I don’t resist new technologies for no reason. In my lifetime, I’ve gladly used but just as gladly abandoned a range of audio media (from vinyl to the Mini-Disc) as each has been superseded by something arguably better. When something better than my iPod comes along, I’ll probably be abandoning it, too. But for me, there simply isn’t anything better, for doing what books do, than the book itself.
THE KENYON REVIEW is not immune to either the rising cost of print or the limits on distribution of its print journal. Looking for ways to expand the magazine’s audience and bring more top fiction and poetry to its readers, editor David Lynn ’76 and his staff decided to explore the power of the electron. Out of their planning has come a new online journal, Kenyon Review Online (KRO), found at www.kenyonreview.org along with a lively and well-read blog on literary matters. “For the first time a couple of years ago, I was having to turn down first-rate literary work because we just didn’t have the space in KR,” said Lynn. “As we began to develop the idea for KRO, it seemed an opportunity not simply to reproduce the print journal, but to do something different.” KRO forms a complement to the print journal, not a substitute. Pieces selected for publication in either venue are submitted to the same high editorial standards. But the missions of the print and online journals differ slightly. “Where KR strives to be timeless in what it publishes,” says Lynn, “KRO is meant to be a little more timely, a little more experimental, a little more challenging.” Some writing styles and literary forms are better suited to one medium or the other, notes English professor Sergei LobanovRostovsky, who was brought on board as associate editor in 2007 to help launch the new online magazine. Lengthy paragraphs, intricate sentence structure, and longer pieces overall are usually better served by print. The design of an online page and the habits of online readers favor brevity, such as lyric poems and shorter fiction. But there’s no difference in quality. “We look for surprise and mastery in every piece of writing we accept,” he says. KR staffers have been compelled to become online readers themselves. The Review accepts submissions only online these days, not on paper. With the volume of submissions higher than ever—more than 6,000 pieces of writing were received in the four-month reading period from September 15, 2008, to January 15, 2009—staff members have become experienced very quickly in the challenges, benefits, and practices of onscreen reading. Since all submissions go into the same electronic pool, the editorial process remains unchanged, says Lynn. Writers submit their work to a single address, not to one or the
THE KENYON REVIEW EXPANDS ITS OFFERINGS WITH KRO, A NEW ONLINE LITERARY JOURNAL BY AMY BLUMENTHAL
other journal. In making their selections, the editors choose whether something is right for print or KRO—or both. Just about every recent issue of the print magazine has included at least one piece cross-published on KRO. “KRO allows me to take more risks, to say yes to more things that are worth putting out there,” says Lynn. Benefits accrue to writers and readers as well as to the Review. KRO is reaching a younger audience, including the growing number of graduate and creative-writing students whose budgets may prevent them from subscribing to print but who form a natural audience for the magazine. International readership has also broadened, another long-term challenge as the journal looks to the future. In March 2009 the KR Web site received about 24,000 unique visitors. KRO content changes every two weeks, alternating poetry and fiction, so readers get more literature more frequently, and for free. If print is permanent, digital is immediate. And both offer advantages to writers. The two journals together offer writers more opportunities to publish under the KR imprimatur. Where the print journal alone had room to print only about 3 percent of submissions, with KRO the overall acceptance rate is edging up to 7 percent. Online publications appear more quickly, too. Work accepted to KRO gets published in a matter of months; there’s a two-year lag for print publication. Will online edge out print in the future? “I used to swear that there’d be a print KR as long as I was editor, but I don’t any longer,” says Lynn. “I’m pretty confident that we’ll still have a print version for the next five years. But anyone in publishing who dares make predictions for more than five years out is a fool or a liar.”
DECORATING THE READER’S DEN
BOOKS AND READING HABITS HAVE A CENTRAL PLACE IN TIMOTHY WHEALON’S INTERIORS BY TRACI VOGEL
AS MORE AND MORE LITERATURE goes digital, at least one haven for paper remains: the home library. To New York-based interior designer Timothy Whealon ’88, a room without books is unfinished. He builds many of his modern-yet-timeless interiors around his clients’ collections. The art and furniture might all be in place, but “the room is not complete until the bookcases are filled,” he says. Whealon, an English major at Kenyon, views books as both beautiful decorative objects and windows into personality. When he wants to understand clients better, he talks to them about what they’re reading, and his clients often buy books for him to help him understand their aesthetic. “Books are my way of getting to know people, to get their essence,” he says. “I also like the way books create their own space. They’re part of the interior themselves— they’re three-dimensional objects with weight and heft.” His own collection is a case in point. Though currently renovating a new apartment in New York’s Gramercy Park, in his former space on Fifth Avenue Whealon displayed his library in étagères, free-standing open-sided cabinets. On the shelves he stacked his books in horizontal pyramids, mixed with one or two objects, such as a simple vase or box. The arrangement merited a cover on Elle Décor magazine. The designer recommends allocating a space dedicated to books in your home. “Think about it in the scheme of the room when you’re designing it,” he suggests. “Books need a home just like your clothes need a home.” For his clients, Whealon often creates built-in bookshelves, but he also places books around a room, piled on coffee tables or library tables. How books are grouped is an important consideration for the home decorator. “You
have to allocate hardcover versus paperback,” says Whealon. “Your eye wants some kind of order.” Once you’ve organized your books by size to create a shape and structure, you can add objects to the mix. For one client whose children enjoyed reading before bedtime, Whealon created a library alcove on a stair landing. In the design, the colorful covers of the children’s books are complemented by throw pillows and toys tucked into the shelves.
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009 kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
“I think the spines of books are beautiful, and can have a rhythm to themselves, and a life,” says Whealon. This is one of the reasons he doesn’t think the paper book is going away any time soon. “In a way, they’re like fine art,” he says. “There’s the tactile element, opening up this narrative, looking at the pictures, the smell, the whole three-dimensionality.” No, he says, like furniture, “Books will persevere.”
WHEN I ARRIVED AT KENYON in 1995, my home library seemed too immature to take with me, so I showed up in Gambier with exactly one book, Allen Ginsberg’s small and short Howl and Other Poems. Of course, I soon learned that I’d brought a knife to a gunfight. I was surrounded by incoming freshmen with hundreds of books, and my singlevolume library made me feel small and stupid. So with the help of my Bookstore account, I bought (and read) dozens of books my freshman year: Infinite Jest and On the Road and Generation X and Song of Solomon and many more, not to mention everything for school. (Okay. Not everything for school.) I don’t know how I managed to do all that reading and still drink so much Miller Lite. Except maybe this: That whole year, the only television I watched was about five minutes of the O.J. trial. The best thing about all those books—I mean, aside from how brilliant they were and everything—was having them on my shelf. The single shelf above my desk was carefully calibrated to prompt discussion among visitors. Ideally, female visitors. With e-books, we lose this, which is tragic, indeed. But so far as I can tell, that’s about all we lose. We cannot afford to print our stories on thinly sliced trees forever. Nor can we afford
BY JOHN GREEN ’00
the immense carbon footprint associated with the insane inefficiency of the contemporary book business. Every year, for instance, millions of books—which, as you will recall if you have ever moved, are heavy—get shipped from warehouses to bookstores, only to be shipped back to the warehouses a few months later. Thanks to this business practice, publishers destroy more than 250,000 tons of books each year. Once we quit weeping over how good books smell, and fretting over what we’ll do with our free time if we don’t have two thousand books to dust each week, and whining that the Internet is making us dumb, we may even find that the Internet and electronic publishing will mean more readers reading more books. I’m living proof of this, in fact. Once upon a time, I was an author of books for teenagers. My books were nicely reviewed and even won some awards, but they were never read by all that many people. Then I started blogging, and almost immediately, more people read my blog than my books. (The blog was free, after all.) Then, almost three years ago, my brother and I started making YouTube videos, which became improbably popular. (Improbably because we are . . . well, I don’t want to say we are middle-aged, but we are certainly late early-aged, and we are nerds who make a lot of jokes about physics, which usually does not lead to popularity.) So now I’m not just an author of books for teenagers. I’m a blogger and vlogger and (God help me) Twitter user who writes books for teenagers. Not only do my books reach more readers as a result of this career change, but so do other people’s books. Late last year, for example, tens of thousands of our video viewers read The Catcher in the Rye with us and spent weeks discussing it in forums and chat rooms. Our viewers live all around the world, and it’s tough to get my books in some countries, so our American viewers have e-mailed PDFs of my books to readers from Iran to China.
Can we really say that the book read on a screen in Tehran is inferior to the one read on paper in Gambier? That said, I’m sure print publishing will be around for a while. Even though my books are read mostly by tech-savvy teenagers, Kindle and e-book sales made up less than .1 percent of my overall sales in 2008. But I have begun to switch over to screen reading, and I hope more of my readers do, too. I’ll mourn the printed book when it goes. But someday, a kid will show up at Kenyon with nothing but Howl in his Kindle—and I trust that his classmates will still shame him into filling it with stories that will enrich his life.
A WRITER OF YOUNG-ADULT NOVELS SAYS NEW MEDIA HELP SELL PRINTED BOOKS—AND SHOULD EVENTUALLY REPLACE THEM
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
THE DAYS OF KENYON MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES ARE GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
BY MIKE HARDEN ILLUSTRATION BY TED WRIGHT
When Hal Wider came to Gambier in the autumn of 1937, he recalls his most earnest intention was to “major in girls,” though another passion ultimately made him a prime candidate for membership in the Kenyon College Flying Club. “I always knew I was going to fly someday,” the ninetyone-year-old Wider said recently from the Camarillo, California, home from which he routinely ventures out to give sailing lessons. “My dad was one of the first military pilots during World War I. I grew up knowing Eddie Rickenbacker as Uncle Rick.” A Winnetka, Illinois, native, Wider spent his youth building balsa biplanes when he was not among the throngs in attendance at air shows and races. He was eight years old when Charles Lindbergh flew from New York to Paris. The same summer that pioneer aviator Amelia Earhart went missing in her quest to fly around the world, Wider got his first good look at the twin 2,000-foot grass airstrips of Port Kenyon and the hangar that sheltered the Aeronca aircraft he would eventually pilot. In 1934, Port Kenyon had notched the distinction of becoming the first officially recognized airport at a liberal arts college in the United States. The landing field, hangar, two training planes, and funds to establish a chair of aeronautics were a gift to Kenyon that year by Wilbur Cummings, a Class of 1902 graduate and a New York lawyer with the foresight to grasp the future certainty that flight would be a worldchanging phenomenon. Tragically, Cummings would die in 1941 after being thrown from a horse and trampled at the Montana ranch of his son. That son, Wilbur Cummings, Jr., would be killed in an air crash east of Columbus, Ohio, in 1943, while ferrying a military plane for the government. Yet, the dream of the elder Cummings about flight at his alma mater was to blossom and grow in ways that its benefactor may never have imagined. In 1937 and 1939, Kenyon won the National Intercollegiate Air Meet competition. In 1938, vying for the championship at the University of Akron against a host of college pilots from across the country, Kenyon’s aviators shared the first-place trophy with Stanford’s. The schools had dueled one another in every challenge from bombing accuracy—dropping flour-filled paper bags—to pinpoint landing.
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ABOVE AB BOVE:
Rodney Boren ’38 8 (rig (right), ght), a member of the e Kenyon College Flying Club, in conversation with an unidentified interlocutor. Please contact the Bulletin if you can supply further information about any of the archival photos accompanying this story. y. RIGHT: A large gathering g at the hangar of the Kenyon on School of Aeronautics.
A few academic purists sniffed at the notion that Kenyon had been an eager partner in establishing the Wilbur L. Cummings School of Practical Aeronautics. But Cummings vigorously defended what he had forged by pointing out the intellectual value of courses such as physics and meteorology that members of Kenyon’s flying club were required to pass in the process of learning to fly. He said that his chief desire was that students “achieve an understanding through vicarious interest in what is going on in the world of aviation.” College officials issued a statement aimed at detractors, who believed that a respected institution of learning such as Kenyon should not be dabbling in an activity so closely associated with county-fair barnstormers and seat-ofthe-pants pilots. The statement pointed out that the aeronautics school “is of distinct advantage to a young
man who is primarily interested in obtaining the benefits of a cultural education at an institution of higher learning.” The elevated language was lost on Kenyon student Wider, who happily concedes today, “I was a lousy student, a terrible student, but I was eager to get into the air.” During the first flourishing years of aviation training at the College, Donald McCabe Gretzer, a licensed commercial pilot and flight instructor, shepherded groups of enthusiastic students both at the grass airstrips on the far fringe of the campus, as well as in a classroom and laboratory that featured airplane engines, portions of frames, and a number of other flight devices common to the era.
Gretzer taught Wider the scientific aspects of flight, though the latter intimates that what enchanted him about the proverbial “wild blue yonder” was the first word. Wild is a distinction that fit Wider quite comfortably at Kenyon. “We probably would have been arrested if we were doing it today,” he said of some of the stunts pulled by the more devilish members of the flying club. They buzzed the campus buildings. “We had to come in over Old Kenyon,” Wider remembers, “with all of those spires coming up. [Gretzer] insisted that we stay at least fifty feet above it. But there was a power line along the downwind side of the field where the railroad ran, so we would turn upwind and dive into the field, keeping enough speed so we could climb over that power line.” To residents of Old Kenyon, the roar of the incoming incomi ncoming plane’s pistons likely created ed the h sensation that their dorm was about to be strafed.
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
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Up, up, and away: Some students earned their flying licenses while at Kenyon. The hangars had previously been used for storing athletic equipment. ABOVE: Rodney Boren ’38 in the cockpit.
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Wider learned to be a pilot at Kenyon, though his major was not a closely related academic pursuit. “I was persuaded to major n in psychology. I had every intention of going on with it, but they were having this war when I finished up in June of 1941.” The w summer and autumn that followed would be the last stretch of su ppeacetime the nation would know for almost four years. Wider would go on to pilot B-24 bombers, logging seventeen ccombat missions over Germany, Austria, and occupied Poland. On one of those missions, he said, a burst of anti-aircraft flak O ppeppered his plane with 300 holes, wounded his tail gunner, and compelled him to nurse the bomber back to its base on a wing and a prayer. After his war years in the European theater, he never flew again. Even today, though, Wider fondly remembers the man who taught him to fly at Kenyon. “He was a helluva nice guy,” he said of Gretzer, “and he was relaxed with us. He was ‘Don’ instead of ‘Doctor’ or ‘Mister.’ He re taught me the physics of flight, weather, and navigation. He was a ta ddamned good teacher.” Wider never told Gretzer about the times that he pulled his 1937 Ford up to the gasoline pump that was th used to fuel the planes and pilfered a tankful at Kenyon’s expense.
Kenyon students continued to fly for many years, but Wider’s era and the flying club held a kind of glamour for later Kenyon generations. “I guess there was a kind of lore about it,” Andy Bourland ’73 said. But the thirty-plus years that separated Wider’s and Bourland’s days at the College had been rough on Port Kenyon and what had once been a celebrated school of aeronautics. “There were no aviation classes,” Bourland said he discovered when he first came to Gambier in 1969. “The flying club was the sum total of the involvement the school had with it. They did mow the runway a couple times a year. We hired a farmer to make the field a little bit better and he made it a little bit worse. There were probably a few resident groundhogs.” Mike Damchak ’74, today a Columbus lawyer, said, “With groundhogs and things like that, you really don’t want to land a plane on a grass strip unless it is being used all the time.” Damchak, who earned his pilot’s license while at Kenyon, said of what had once been Wilbur Cumming’s dream, “The hangars had been used for storing athletic equipment for years.” They were filled with the blocking sleds used by the football team. “The flying club basically existed only as an arrangement with the Mount Vernon airport to rent airplanes cheaply. I think it was $10 an hour including gasoline, which would be ludicrous at today’s prices.” Damchak learned of Bourland, he said, because of the latter’s nickname at Kenyon: “Airplane Andy.” “Airplane Andy” now works as a commercial pilot for a Cleveland corporation and is also a flight instructor. He said of his days in the flying club, “For me, personally, it forged some lifelong friendships and provided me with the basic skills to have what has been an exceptionally rewarding career. That little airstrip at Kenyon has enabled me to cover all fifty states, almost all of the Canadian provinces, much of South America, and another ten to fifteen foreign countries.” He and three other former members of the flying club still get together every two years to recall their days at Kenyon. Truth be told, the beginning of the end for flying at Kenyon began with a tragic accident that occurred decades before Bourland and Damchak graduated. In May 1956, a Knox County farmer looked up from his work to see a small plane struggling to maintain altitude. He would later tell authorities that he distinctly heard the engine sputter
to a stop before the craft dropped from the sky. Two Kenyon students, Charles Frederick Walch, Class of 1957, and Arnold Perry Gilpatrick, Class of 1958, perished. The tragedy cast a lingering shadow over the activities at Port Kenyon. In 1972, citing the expense of upkeep, the school asked the Federal Aviation Commission to decommission the airport, removing it from its air maps. The Kenyon College Flying Club now resides in file boxes in the archives, on the lower level of Olin Library. Its story is told in old photographs of devotees of flight posing with their instructor or gossiping in the knotty-pine lounge that was once part of the hangar. An old logbook from 1941 records that a pair of students had dutifully earned seventy-five cents toward their flying fees by washing the planes in the hangar. Another entry cites a student’s payment of $2.50 to use the Kenyon plane for takeoff and landing practice. The log entries end abruptly at the end of the first week of December with the notation that a student had taken up a plane to hone his skills in the clouds. The time was 12:47 p.m. Fifteen minutes later, Hawaii time, Japanese pilot Mitsuo Fuchida looked down from the sky at the dreadnoughts lined up on Battleship Row and signaled his fellow pilots to begin the attack on Pearl Harbor. Wilbur Cummings had been right about flight changing the nature of history. K
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kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
UNDAUNTED BY DEGENERATIVE ILLNESS, BETH NEWSOM CONQUERS THE CHALLENGES OF SKI SLOPES AND DAILY LIFE, AIDED BY THE ADVICE OF HER KENYON COACH • BY TRACI VOGEL
Beth Newsom ’95 was in high school when she first noticed something strange. A dedicated runner, the slender brunette regularly brought in prizes for her cross-country team. The state meet during her junior year was no different—her team took first place, and Newsom clocked her fastest time. Afterwards, however, she suddenly experienced a disturbing “pins and needles” numbness in her legs. “It went away, and I never told anyone about it,” she says, but looking back, it was probably the first sign of the illness that took several more years to diagnose. Newsom, who lives in Parker, Colorado, with her husband and sixyear-old daughter, has multiple sclerosis. The disorder, in which the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system, is frightening not only because there is no cure, but also because its progression is unpredictable. Living with multiple sclerosis can mean years of relative health, then a sudden and debilitating “attack” leading to severe loss of function. For an athlete, it’s among the worst of diagnoses—and yet, some twenty years after those first symptoms, and now semi-paralyzed from the waist down, Newsom continues to live as an athlete and to challenge herself as one. She works out with arm weights daily, cycles with a group of disabled athletes who use hand-pedaled cycles, and recently skied for the first time, using adapted equipment that allows her to ski while sitting. A photo of Newsom on the slopes appeared in a February 2009 USA Today article about athletes triumphing over their disabilities. Newsom credits athletics with helping her overcome the limitations imposed by multiple sclerosis, both physically and psychologically. It all started, she says, with her experience on the track team at Kenyon. Newsom was at the height of her physical abilities when she arrived at Kenyon as a freshman in 1991. She joined the crosscountry team under coach Duane Gomez. It was Gomez who showed her video evidence of the marked wobble that had developed in her stride by her sophomore year, sending her on the road to her diagnosis. “[The video] showed me, O.K., it’s real, it’s not in my head,” Newsom says. She began taking trips to the Ohio State University Medical Center for testing. There, on February 11, 1993, she heard the official news. That day, she had asked her friend and teammate Kelley Wilder ’93 to
accompany her. “I had read a lot about MS, but at this point I was doing O.K.,” she says. “I was starting to run again.” When the doctor said the words “multiple sclerosis,” she was stunned. “I remember I said, ‘So, should I just lay down on the floor and die?’” Newsom and Wilder walked back to her car, and, she says, “We just sat there and cried.” Back at Kenyon, she rallied, in part by remembering a motivational trick that Gomez had taught her. “Coach Gomez had this method: if you’re running a race and you’re thinking about the whole 5k, it seems like a long distance,” she explains. “But if you break it up into little parts, if you think, ‘I can make it to that tree; I can make it to the end of the next block,’ it doesn’t seem so long. In life, I use that a lot.” Newsom looked down the road ahead: she would no longer be able to run competitively, but she could create other goals. She became the assistant track coach. She switched her major to honors math and economics. She auditioned successfully for the Chamber Singers. During her senior year, she finished the Columbus Marathon. As her disease progressed and mobility became more difficult, the willpower Newsom learned from long-distance track helped her conquer seemingly impossible challenges. For example, she says, “Somebody told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t have a baby. Well, I didn’t think I could ride a bike again, either. So I went ahead and had a kid.” Today, along with raising her child and overseeing the renovation of her house, Newsom is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration from the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado, Denver. She works as a project coordinator for the healthcare organization Kaiser Permanente, and is a network leader for the Colorado Springs Americans with Disabilities Act Center. Such a busy existence would be a challenge even without mobility issues, but Newsom works around them. She gets around the house by bracing herself against walls—“or scooting on my butt,” she says. For short trips, she uses a walker or leg braces. For bigger distances, she uses a wheelchair, although she resisted it for a long time. “Really, though, it’s freed me up. I can go to the mall with it,” she says. Sometimes, Newsom dreams that she’s running again. She can still remember how it feels, she says. But the competitions she now wins daily—watching her daughter ski beside her, getting one test closer to her graduate degree—are where the real rewards are found. K
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
Did an aristocrat have Weaver Cottage built as his country retreat?
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
URBAN LEGENDS, THEY CALL THEM: THAT BODY OF HALF-PLAUSIBLE STORIES EVERYONE KNOWS AND PASSES ALONG. IN THE OUTSIDE WORLD, WEB SITES EXIST TO DEBUNK THEM. FOR US, THERE’S THE BULLETIN. HERE AT LAST, THE DEFINITIVE WORD ON
SOME OF OUR FAVORITE “RURAL LEGENDS.”
LEGENDS BY MOLLY WILLOW ’00 • PHOTOGRAPHS BY RON CROFOOT 4XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX$
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
enyon College was founded in 1824 by Bishop Philander Chase. This much is true. But since then, a host of irrepressible gossips and fertile minds passing through our hallowed halls have helped burnish all manner of rumor, legend, and bits of non-history that, at the very least, speak to students’ boundless creativity. How else to explain the theory that a secret subterranean Middle Path exists? How do such notions get started? And what, if anything, holds them up? Sometimes, it’s the fault of a daytime talk show host (really). Sometimes, in a historical game of telephone, a story is repeated and in each telling moves farther from the truth. And sometimes, it must be concluded, somebody just made the whole thing up. Here are some of the tallest Kenyon tales, chopped down to size.
EAVER COTTAGE WAS CONSTRUCTED BY ROYALTY TO HOUSE A PRIVILEGED SON WHO DIDN’T WANT TO LIVE ON CAMPUS.
First off, Weaver Cottage, while boasting fancy roof tiles, isn’t exactly luxurious. It sleeps eight upstairs. In bunk beds. Second, although the building’s donor, Robert Weaver ’12, was very good to the College over the years and served as a trustee for three decades, then as an emeritus trustee until his death in 1976, he was not, at any time, royalty. Weaver grew up poor in Kenton, Ohio, working as a janitor, bellboy, and waiter at his parents’ hotel. He played football and baseball as a student, and ran a fraternity jewelry business and photography agency. He was a Delta Tau Delta member, Collegian editor, and general manager of Reveille. After graduating, he made millions as a pioneer in the porcelain enamel industry with his Ferro Enamel Corporation of Cleveland. (Thus, the roof tiles.) And although his sons Robert A. Jr. ’43 and Peter ’50 were students, pops built the 2,039-square-foot cottage just north of McBride in 1936 when it wasn’t part of campus, or north of McBride for that matter. It was a family getaway left to the College in Weaver’s will and can now be used by any student, professor, or staff member for an event. There are no coronations in its history. 34
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
4LEGEND$ PSYCHIC ONCE CLAIMED THE GATES OF HELL ARE LOCATED IN GAMBIER.
Unlike other Kenyon legends, which seem to have sprouted among the corn from a stray kernel of truth, the Gates of Hell story can be traced directly to daytime TV. And its origin is based more on fact than one might imagine of a legend involving a portal to Hell. The name is so prevalent today that many students can’t recall ever hearing the stone pillars on Middle Path called anything but the Gates of Hell. Built two decades after the College was founded, they are referred to as the Gates of College Park or College Gates in archival
Do the Marriott Park gates really lead to you-know-where?
material, names wussified by the much more strident “This Way to the Underworld” appellation. Although some versions of the story involve a writer as the source of the tale (darn writers, always making things up), College Historian Tom Stamp ’73, the College’s record-setter-straighter, cites Phil Donahue and a psychic. Stamp remembers because he was there when the calls started. So, once and for all: In the early 1980s Donahue hosted a psychic on his show who claimed to know where the entrance to Hell was located. Shortly thereafter people began calling the College, asking in earnest if the gates to, you know, Hell were in fact on campus. They expressed “how awful this was and ‘couldn’t we do something about
it?’” Stamp said. As if the College had actually signed some sort of damnation decree allowing for the establishment of a Hell franchise. Gambier won’t even allow Wendy’s in. Looking to quash the wild rumor before it could spread, Stamp got a transcript of the episode. In it he found no mention of Gambier or Kenyon. Instead, the psychic said the Gates of Hell were located in Gahanna, most likely a reference to the suburb of around 30,000 people northeast of Columbus. The name Gahanna comes from a Native American word meaning “meeting of the three creeks,” which could not have less to do with hellfire. kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
Was Peirce Great Hall ever considered as a Hogwarts location for the Harry Potter movies?
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
But Gahanna also happens to sound a lot like “Gehenna,” another name for the Valley of Hinnom from the New Testament that is described as being like Hell, where garbage was dumped and burned. (Gahanna, Ohio, has a solid waste-management reputation.) So, apparently, Gehenna became Gahanna which, to some Phil Donahue fans’ ears, became Gambier . . . and a devilish campus legend was born, despite Stamp’s best efforts to point out to callers that the psychic was talking about somewhere else entirely. (He didn’t say “Gahanna” because he didn’t want to start yet another rumor.) The College avoided publishing anything clarifying the Gambier Hell rumor, Stamp said, because they didn’t want it to take on a life of its own. Bit late for that. It wasn’t the first time the Gates had earned a tough reputation. A 1946 unattributed article in the College archives explains that the Gates were meant to ward off townsmen: “Speaking out in tones of thunder, ‘Thus far shalt thou go and no farther’, [they] were duly respected, and few townies ventured beyond except under the privilege of the Church.” Some superstitions linger. “I heard if you go through the Gates of Hell when the clock strikes midnight you go to Hell,” said Maggie Hohlfeld ’12, who added that she had never tested the theory. (Why tempt fate?) Stamp has also heard some claim that if a car is driven down Middle Path and hits the Gates at a particular speed (66 mph?), the occupants will be transported directly to Hell, which sounds suspiciously like a major plot device from the Back to the Future movies. Robert Alef ’09 found the name cool. “It’s an endearing characteristic of Kenyon,” he said. Even Stamp, who pleads with tour guides each year not to use the name, allows that it isn’t used as an anti-Kenyon sentiment. Exactly. When people say the entrance to Hell can be found on campus, they mean it in the nicest possible way.
4LEGEND$ SERIES OF TUNNELS CONNECTS BUILDINGS ON SOUTH CAMPUS.
File this one under wishful thinking. During the cold winter months, when even the squirrels are hiding, it would be awfully nice not to have to bundle up to get a bowl of cereal at Peirce. And some colleges, in parts of the country that get feet of snow (can you hear Macalester in Minnesota talking smack?), actually do have tunnels connecting campus buildings. But not Kenyon. If you want to stay warm trekking from Old Kenyon to Olin Library in the bitter cold, your best option is a healthy jog. Alef and his buddies once launched an expedition to uncover the subterranean passageways, but failed. Probably because they were looking for something that doesn’t exist. “We were trying to find the entrance to the catacombs,” Alef said. Their quest was spawned by hard evidence: “You can see the path of them when it snows.” And, in fact, when it snows the white stuff does melt in foot-wide straight lines to buildings on south campus, cutting across the quad
and shooting off to each building. Highly suspicious—at least until Tom Lepley, the director of facilities planning, explains. The melting pattern traces the path of twenty-two-inch-diameter steam tunnels that start in the maintenance building down the hill from Bushnell and provide heat to most of south campus. The tunnel is “very, very small,” Lepley said. Anyone envisioning Bruce Willis inching through heating ducts in Die Hard can hold that thought—the tunnels contain four- and eight-inch pipes that are quite hot, which is why the snow melts above. “A person could never get inside them,” Lepley said. (That information hasn’t made its way to Alef. Despite his foiled search, he believes the truth about an entrance is out there: “Apparently the Peeps know,” he said, which is something one hears a lot when tracing campus rumors.) Lepley, who is in his thirty-ninth year of working at the College, started to say that there has never been a tunnel on campus but realized with some chagrin that he couldn’t quash the notion entirely. The new science buildings of Hayes and Tomsich halls and the Fischman Wing of Higley are connected underground by an eightfoot-high corridor that anyone can find by taking the stairs down. No crawling required. The truth, it turns out, just isn’t that sexy. “It doesn’t look like a tunnel,” Lepley said. “It looks like a hallway.”
HE GREAT HALL IN PEIRCE WAS A SECOND-CHOICE LOCATION FOR THE HARRY POTTER FILMS.
If you haven’t been on campus for a while, this one might be new to you. But it is everywhere, most likely because the Great Hall in Peirce does vaguely resemble Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Potter films. The 2001 on-screen location is actually a composite of several sites—none of which is in Ohio, or North America, for that matter—including, in the scenes of broomstick flying lessons, Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England. However, that castle has more than 830 years on Peirce (the first recorded mention of it was in 1096) and had the benefit of being in the same country where the rest of the movies were filmed. (Oxford’s library also made like Hogwarts in several scenes, according to the Internet Movie Database.) Simple logic would seem to imply that traveling nearly 4,000 miles to shoot in Gambier might not have proven cost-effective. But, still, wouldn’t that have been cool? “The Harry Potter dining hall one has got to be the number-one legend I’ve dealt with,” said Veronica Hauad ’03, who, as assistant director of admissions, is responsible for organizing student-led campus tours. “I heard that on my tour,” she said. This, of course, is part of the problem. It is only natural to believe that what one learns on a college tour is, in fact, true. But because student guides are encouraged to share their own stories and don’t follow a script, sometimes trueish information sneaks through. (See “riot proof,” on page 38.) Stamp, the College historian, can only roll his eyes in gentle exasperation. “The things they tell students on tours, so many lies,” he sighed. kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
Hauad tries to keep the embellishment to a minimum. There’s a board in the Admissions Office for tour guides labeled “Fact or Fiction” on which the staff debunks any tour tales making the rounds. The Harry Potter story stayed on the board for a year. Tour guide Chase Kreuter ’10 remembered hearing the story her freshman year and repeating it. She learned the truth “only from Admissions getting mad at us for saying that on tour.” While Kenyon never had a shot at hosting flying broomsticks, it was, in fact, considered for two other projects. Location scouts for the Robin Williams prep-school film Dead Poets Society visited campus in 1988. “We had most of what they wanted but they were worried about the weather during their shooting period,” said Stamp. There was concern about snow. The movie ended up using Saint Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware—where it snowed during filming. (That showed ’em.) Then in 1993 Stamp escorted director Fred Schepisi as he scouted for his Albert Einstein love story I.Q. The film starred Meg Ryan as Einstein’s niece and Tim Robbins as the suitor who wooed her with the help of Einstein, played by Walter Matthau. Schepisi needed a location to stand in for Princeton in the 1950s. Kenyon had the right look, but they ended up going with the actual Princeton. Hard to take that personally.
AMPUS SAFETY HAS ITS OWN STASH OF STUDENTS’ STASHES AND DISPOSES OF THE CONTRABAND WITH A GIANT BONFIRE EACH YEAR.
Dude. Campus Safety does routinely end up in possession of drugs and paraphernalia and keeps them in an evidence locker the size of a closet. “It’s what we keep ’til a case is adjudicated,” said Bob Hooper, director of Campus Safety, who noted that the locker rarely fills up. Usually the non-ingestible contraband goes into the trash compactor. The biggest item to reside in evidence: a six-foot bong. The oddest, Hooper said, was a full set of men’s and women’s clothes found together in an academic building. The building was empty. On the subject of drugs, Campus Safety has something in common with students: it isn’t allowed to keep them either. “It’s illegal for us to have (drugs) as well,” Hooper said, “being as we’re not law enforcement.” And so when it ends up in possession of a substantial amount of anything, enter the Knox County sheriff, who, Hooper said, works with the Drug Enforcement Agency and Environmental Protection Agency to have a controlled burn of illicit substances once a year. But there are no backroom campus bonfires that turn safety staff into Spicoli tumbling out of the van. For lesser amounts, Hooper and his staff have their own disposal protocol. “We flush it,” he said. The john in the men’s room does the trick. Two officers watch the contraband swirl away so that the disposal is properly documented. Let the rumors about the hallucinogenic water supply begin. 38
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
4LEGEND$ HE HALLWAYS OF MATHER AND MCBRIDE RESIDENCE HALLS WERE DESIGNED TO BE “RIOT PROOF.”
Anyone who has ever walked through one of these north campus dorms, finished in 1969, would probably have an easy time believing that the multiple twists of the hallways—it takes seven sharp turns to navigate from one end to the open middle—were designed with some greater purpose in mind other than, say, making sleepwalking difficult. And they were. Just not for the purpose that is mostly taken as gospel. “Is that not true?” said Liz Jacobs ’12, when informed that the design of her residence (McBride) was not intended to keep her in line. “I explained that to prospective students,” she said. “That’s embarrassing.” Adam Sendor ’11 was also surprised to hear the riot rumor busted. “Isn’t that true?” he said, as if being told the sky was not blue. “I was told that on my tour,” he said, trying to accept that he could not, in fact, believe everything he hears. Sarah Bush ’12, a McBride resident last year, was fond of jumping out from her dorm’s many corners and scaring the academia right out of her pals. She scoffed at more traditional designs. “The hallways in Lewis and Norton are creepy; you can see all the way from one end to the other,” she said with a slight (facetious) shudder. “If someone were chasing you, there’d be nowhere to hide.” While Bush makes an interesting safety-first argument for the serpentine corridors, the actual reasoning behind the design is much more warm and fuzzy. The bends are meant to create a sense of community at each turn. Ken Rohlfing, principal at the Chicago office of Perkins + Will, the architecture firm that designed the buildings as well as Caples and Gund Commons, took one look at the designs and said the building clearly was not riot proof. Instead, the kinks in the halls are meant to define “neighborhoods” of nine dorm rooms, a strategy to “humanize” a large dorm building, as Rohlfing put it. “If you break [the dorm] down into smaller groupings or neighborhoods, you have an affinity for that group. . . . I think that what they were trying to do is make it more intimate,” he said. No doubt the charged atmosphere on campuses across the country in the late sixties and early seventies helped fuel this legend. But for the record, Rohlfing said that while buildings can be constructed to protect against window breakage, there’s no such thing as “riot proof.” Future inhabitants of Mather and McBride should not read that as a challenge. The myth of riot-proof dorms exists on so many college campuses, by the way, that this legend has received national comeuppance on Snopes.com. K
OFFICE HOURS BURNING QUESTION
RACIAL POLITICS IN THE AGE OF OBAMA BURNING QUESTION FOR GLENN MCNAIR On January 20, 2013 or 2017, Barack Obama will pass the presidential torch to the forty-fifth president of the United States. That next president may be an African American, Latina, Asian American, or, perhaps, Caucasian. The conversation about race in this country has changed, and we asked Glenn McNair, associate professor of history with expertise in African-American political and intellectual culture, to discuss racial politics and policies in the age of Obama. McNair has a doctorate from Emory University. He began his career as a cop in Savannah, Georgia, and, along the way, hosted a talk-radio show and became a United States Treasury Department special agent.
Q&A Bulletin: Does Obama owe more of a debt to Jesse Jackson or to Colin Powell? McNair: He owes them both but in different ways. It’s true that in terms of advancing ideas like voter registration and putting out there the idea of a black guy who could be a serious candidate and could be president, he owes Jackson and that generation. They fought for voting rights and expanded the black electorate and kept the feet of the nation to the fire. At the same time, if Obama pursued a Jackson-type candidacy, one explicitly based on race and pursuing racial justice, he would not be president right now. For that, he owes Powell as the kind of black leader that the majority of Americans can get behind. Powell said that when white Americans see him, they have a picture in their head and that’s of a general. Trumpets start to blare and medals start to gleam. Whites respond to that image. He had this whole other persona and his own take on things. He’s black but he’s not racially aggrieved. Obama has a similar sort of non-racial appeal. He has that quintessential American story—the son of immigrants, the son of Africa, white, black. He went to the Ivy League, but he was raised by a single mom. When you see Obama, many people can see whatever it is they want to see in him, and that’s been the secret to his success. In Obama’s mind, you can be proud of your race, but that’s not really what you’re all about.
Obama is right at the cusp of all of the things that have come before him. As a nation, we’re at a critical moment of racial change. Everything is unfolding so that each generation is a little more tolerant than the generation before it. When you were a kid, the world we see today would have been unimaginable. A black guy is president? Are you serious? Black people couldn’t even vote.
Bulletin: Is Obama a product or an agent of change? McNair: He’s clearly a product of changes in the country that surprised a lot of people. I think we’ve advanced as a nation, certainly on matters of race in the political context, much farther, much faster than I think most commentators expected. Much of the struggle for blacks has been to be recognized as full citizens of the body politic. You had a century of political disenfranchisement in various ways. So to arrive at the moment when the president of the United States is black—that’s huge for us as a nation. I don’t think you’re ever going to see an Obama save-the-black-inner-city campaign or anything like that. His position from the start has been that America has certain socioeconomic conditions that disadvantage certain people across the spectrum. If we can improve those things, the lives of all people will be improved. That represents a new politics for most black politicians. We’re seeing the last days of the Jackson style of politics, one of racial grievance, because it’s gone as far as it can go.
Bulletin: What’s the life span of affirmative
action? McNair: It’s well on its way out. You just cannot defend giving advantages to kids who are not disadvantaged in any particular way. It gets harder and harder to explain why the kids of doctors and lawyers and politicians are getting the advantages that should go to working-class kids of whatever background. If our goal is to ultimately get beyond race to a society where people are judged for their abilities and for who they are, you’ve got to start doing it at some point. Others, including Obama, have advocated a more classbased approach to these kinds of things. We’re also getting generations of black kids who are tired of being stigmatized, of having their accomplishments questioned. They are tired of the assumption that somehow they are there for the education of other people. “We’ve got the minority kids so white kids can learn about diversity.” Who wants to be that? Their view is, “Sorry. I’m here for the same reasons that you are. I’m a student. I’m not a representative of the race.” Bulletin: Does the United States have a biracial future? McNair: If you mean whether we’ll ever be this kind of amorphous blend, where the races are indistinguishable, probably not. But I can envision a society where whatever you look like is fine, where we’re not going to make a huge deal out of it. We’re seeing that. I remain very optimistic about the future.
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
OFFICE HOURS MUSINGS KENYON PROFESSORS REFLECT ON THE LIFE OF THE MIND
by Adam Serfass, associate professor of classics
What do mudlarks, spotted dick, and Kenyon’s ninth president have in common? Check the dictionary!
the cluttered confines of my desk drawers lurk relics of my past as a reader: bookmarks on which I jotted down unfamiliar words that I later looked up in lexica. I choose one bookmark and scan the list, which includes matelot, besom, knout, and another dozen or so words. I can define some of the entries— stoup, embrocation; regarding others, I’m clueless—isinglass. Still other words I recognize, but their precise meanings elude me—bombazine? Although it sounds like a heavy-duty sedative, I know it’s a kind of old-fashioned fabric. As to its color, from what material it’s made—on these details I’m a bit hazy. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) reveals that bombazine is made, partly or wholly, from worsted. Worsted? I’ve always been weak on textiles; back to the dictionary. Words can take us to other worlds, now lost. Think of the glebes and benefices of Trollope’s country clergy, the dead drops and honey traps of le Carré’s Cold War spies, the hawsers and spotted dick of Patrick O’Brian’s sailors. (Spotted dick is suet pudding speckled with dried fruit. Serious readers of British literature must know their puddings.) The raw realities of nineteenthcentury London are revealed by the jobs of those who populated it: beadsmen, costermongers, ratters, scullions, mudlarks. Lexica breathe life into these words. The more you dig in the dictionaries, the more vivid the words become. Take mudlark. It doesn’t appear in my go-to lexicon, the fourth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary. Fall back, then, to the OED. There it is. First attested in 1796 and “now chiefly hist.,” a mudlark, according to the noun’s second definition, is “a person who scavenges for usable debris in the tidal mud of a river, harbour . . . [or] in a sewer.” My interest piqued, I turn to a more specialized
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book, Daniel Pool’s What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, to fill in the gruesome details. Specialized lexica can be a strange delight: consider Slayer Slang, published by the august Oxford University Press. This book is a comprehensive guide to the argot spoken on Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It occupies a position of honor on my shelves.
I teach in a field—classics—that relies on dictionaries more than most. There are no native speakers of ancient Greek and Latin with whom we can check the accuracy of our translations, so we turn to these tomes. The great Greek and Latin lexica are linguistic treasuries, with long and colorful histories. In 1893, industrious German scholars began work on the definitive multivolume Latin dictionary. Their descendants, still going strong, are almost through the letter P. Charles Short, Kenyon’s ninth president, co-edited another major Latin dictionary. Short was responsible for the entries under the letter A and his partner, Charlton Lewis, for those under B through Z. Despite the uneven workload, Short shares the spotlight in classicists’ moniker for the dictionary, “Lewis and Short.” Today’s standard Greek-English lexicon was co-edited by Henry George Liddell, dean of Christ Church, Oxford, whose
daughter Alice inspired a mathematical colleague to write Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The lexicon was a bestseller: Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, sought to acquire his own copy when he was only sixteen. If you spend time with such dictionaries, you realize that speakers of other languages see things differently, that their words shape, organize, and make sense of the world in unfamiliar ways. To take one example: in English, we speak antithetically of work and leisure. Writing this piece at my desk is work; recovering afterward on the couch is leisure. In Latin, the corresponding words are, respectively, negotium and otium, but the correspondence between the Latin and English terms is not exact. The base word is otium, leisure; the word for work is otium negated, literally “not-leisure.” Otium is the “default mode,” negotium a departure from it. Would our lives change were English to speak of work and leisure as Latin does? Delve further into the dictionaries, and you learn that elite Romans saw otium less as a time of idleness than as one of cultural consumption and production. This concept of leisure may seem somewhat alien to us. Few twenty-first century Americans write epic poems to unwind, though plenty of Romans did. That negotium and otium are linguistically linked also implies that, in ancient Rome, the line between work and leisure was porous. This seems more familiar. Caesar and Cicero would understand home offices and drinks with clients just fine. As this example of otium and negotium suggests, when you study another language through its lexica, you end up learning much about your own.
A REAL FLING
It’s not every day that a medieval war machine turns up on a college campus, but one sunny Sunday, a trebuchet appeared on one of Kenyon’s fields. A trebuchet is a siege engine that uses a swing arm with a sling to hurl objects into enemy territory. Built of timber, the machines proved key to military campaigns for centuries, from the siege of Acre in 1191 to that of Tenochtitlán in 1521. Kenyon was not under siege by time-traveling marauders, but by a group of enthusiastic students aided by two of their professors. It all came about when Josh Omandam ’10 was chatting at a holiday party with history professor Jeff Bowman, with whom he’d taken a course on the later Middle Ages, and physics professor Paula C. Turner, and mentioned his desire to build a trebuchet. Bowman says he doesn’t usually make things with his students, but the three began to imagine collaborating on a hands-on extracurricular project. Bowman enlisted the help of three other history majors—Alexander Boivin ’09, Jon Lawrence ’09, and Geoffrey Toy ’10—one of whom, Jon, had dreamed of building a trebuchet since he was twelve years old. The students ntt came up with schematics for a falling bucket counterweight, a type of trebuchet that uses gravity to pull the arm up and fling the sling forward. “From the historic end of it, I didn’t care what type they chose or what sorts of technology, as long as they understood something about the way what they made related to a historical context,” says Bowman. Turner imposed a size limitation, dictated by the dimensions of the freight elevator to the workshop. The group worked in off hours throughout spring
semester, wrestling the piece of history to life. The throwing arm, the largest part of the trebuchet, was a ten-foot piece of lumber, and the base was about seven feet wide. After construction, Turner and the students wheeled the trebuchet to a test site, where they shot off dozens of tennis balls to determine the optimal length of the sling— “It turns out sling length is very important” to the trajectory, Turner says—and, at last, the engine was ready to be unveiled to the public. That day a smattering of other students milled around, mostly Sunday afternoon passersby, says Bowman, “and suddenly there was a siege engine on the football field.” Bowman was given firstfiring honors. The students had been using double-sized tennis balls as ammunition, but that afternoon they also experimented with cabbage wrapped in duct tape—to simulate a severed head, sometimes used as a scare tactic in medieval times, Bowman explains. The longest launch traveled fifty-five yards. “It was my first experience with any siege engine, almost any weapon,” Bowman says, still sounding a little giddy. “I haven’t even been in a duck blind in almost twenty years. It was great.” While building a medieval siege engine was unlike any history project Bowman had been involved in, Turner says that “every five years or so” her physics students tend to conjure up a similarly extreme project, including a liquid nitrogen cannon and a tennisball launcher. Combining the disciplines of physics and history showed how “rich collaboration could be,” says Bowman. Something else the professors learned? “You know, these kids would have been okay Crusaders,” jokes Bowman m , with a laugh. —Traci Vogel ma Bowman,
Two professors, four students, a cabbage wrapped in duct tape, and—voila!—a vestige of medieval history materializes in modernday Gambier Erin Davis
NOT IN MY
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
Changing lives with discipline and imagination Students laud the talents of Perry Lentz and Robert Mauck, winners of the 2009 Trustee Teaching Excellence Awards
embers of Kenyon’s board recognize great teaching each year with the Trustee Teaching Excellence Awards, but it’s often the students who make the nominations. Who better than students and former students to sing the praises of the 2009 winners, Charles P. McIlvaine Professor of English Perry Lentz ’64 and Associate Professor of Biology Robert Mauck. Lentz, who joined the faculty in 1969 and also received a trustee teaching award in 1992, won the award for professors who have been teaching at the College more than ten years. After four decades of teaching at Kenyon, Lentz retired this spring. His name is now fixed on the roll call of iconic English professors with the completion of Lentz House, a new home for the English Department. Mauck won the award for a faculty member who has been teaching at Kenyon less than ten years. He conducts much of his research on storm-petrels at the Bowdoin Scientific Station at Kent Island in New Brunswick, Canada, and has taken a number of Kenyon students along to participate in the field studies.
ON PERRY LENTZ: “Perry Lentz, scholar, teacher . . . recycler? Indeed. Following Denham Sutcliffe’s lead, he neatly typed his lectures in salvaged, unbound blue books, heavy with dissections of Walden, The Odyssey, and Gulliver’s Travels. Lentz rewrote his notes annually, reflecting his own evolution and that of his students. Cold type of the seventies gave way to the dot-matrix eighties and the laserjet nineties. Blue books multiplied and colonized, until the third day of Paradise Lost could be measured in inches. We like to think that the classics don’t change with time, but they do. With care, they improve. By demonstrating that he, too, was in perpetual refinement, Lentz invited students on a lifelong course of study, founded on literature, governed by discipline, guided by imagination, enriched by wisdom. We studied ourselves as much as books. The genius was all around us. I cherish my notes and the thoughtful patterns they formed within me. There’s a little Lentz in every good thing I do.” —George Stone ’95 “Mr. Lentz approached literature with an awe and enthusiasm that never failed to convey the significance and the privilege of our being able to spend even a very small period of our lives engaged with literary works of defining importance for our culture. He also worked to elevate our views of ourselves as serious students by calling us each Mr. or Ms. This at first seemed funny, but I later appreciated how this civility would extend beyond the classroom and connect us. Upon seeing a fellow Lentz student at a party on Friday night or in the dining hall, we would often greet each other in the same formal, but always warm terms.” —Mary Love ’04 “Mr. Lentz showed me that it is not always about the great knowledge that each of us thinks we have; instead, it is about having the ability to think critically and deeply about what is in front of us. His teachings carved out a new groove in my brain and allowed me to read literature in a different way. I am so lucky to have learned under his influence as that groove in my intellect has been one of the most important aspects of my Kenyon education.” —Ava Tanton ’08
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
ON ROBERT MAUCK: “I cannot think of a single professor who has been more of a mentor, inspiration, colleague, and friend, nor has had a more profound effect on my life, than Dr. Robert Mauck. Dr. Mauck provides an ideal learning atmosphere through his expertise in the subject, his ability to intrigue and inspire the student, and his ability to challenge students to further immerse themselves in the study of biology. He had an active role in changing the course of my life. Without his teaching, guidance, and challenges, I would not have found a field of study which I am excited about making my life’s work.” —Jack Cerchiara ’06
“Acknowledging that it is cliché, I have to say that my life would not be the same without having been advised by Bob Mauck. He joined the faculty at Kenyon at a time when I was questioning my decision to be on the pre-vet track. I enrolled in Bob’s first ‘Animal Behavior’ course and it blew my mind. Due to vast knowledge of the subject and a relaxed and interactive teaching style, Bob effectively taught that class right off the bat and it was an amazing journey into the animal world. Bob is enthusiastic, encouraging, and compassionate and has a zest for life that is contagious. His mind produces a never-ending string of biological questions that he discusses with students freely, treating students as scientific colleagues instead of as nineteen-year-olds. Yes, he helped me learn facts about ecology, but, more importantly, he engaged me in the scientific process and provided an example of a life that included constant inquiry of and respect for nature. I have never second-guessed my decision to leave veterinary medicine for a career in wildlife biology.” —Jenny Glazer ’04
“Bob draws on his many past careers and experiences to make his teaching enthusiastic, interesting, and funny. It’s not uncommon to hear anecdotes of Italian architecture, forest fires in Alaska, and birds on Kent Island in a single ‘Animal Behavior’ lecture. He can captivate a classroom for an hour as he discusses the intricacies of barnacle behavior. As a research mentor, he has always encouraged me to go beyond my comfort zone and to think creatively to become a better scientist. And, perhaps most importantly, he always emphasizes the importance of finding your passion in order to lead a fulfilled and exciting life.” —Priscilla Erickson ’09
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
Beyond “Baby Panic” Rachel Lehmann-Haupt ’92 talks about In Her Own Sweet Time, a memoir exploring the reproductive pressures and choices facing her generation
or women who want to reproduce, the age of thirty-five has become notorious: the hang-time between “easy” fertility and what doctors call “geriatric” pregnancy. An estimated 20 percent of women wait until after thirty-five to have children, and every year their chances of getting pregnant drop. Forget the biological clock—for many women, this is the biological time-bomb. Rachel Lehmann-Haupt ’92 defuses this explosive subject in her heartfelt and informative memoir, In Her Own Sweet Time: Unexpected Adventures in Finding Love, Commitment, and Motherhood (Basic Books). Lehmann-Haupt’s story mixes the poignantly personal with intensive science reporting. When the book begins, she’s thirty-five, in her doctor’s office. She’s not in a relationship, but she knows she wants to have children, “Maybe next year. Or the year after that. Or even the year after that.” She’s worried about her declining fertility, and she wants to know what she can do about it.
Like many women, Lehmann-Haupt had spent her twenties working on her career, finding great satisfaction in writing for the New York Times, Vogue, and Newsweek, among other publications. Executive editor of Plum magazine, she lives in New York’s West Village and travels the world on assignment. But hitting thirty-five forced her to face issues closer to home. “I wanted advice from someone within my generation who was going through everything I was, and am, going through myself,” she writes in the book’s introduction. Since she “couldn’t find that book anywhere on the shelf,” she decided to write it herself. On her West Coast book tour in late June, Lehmann-Haupt and I met up at San Francisco’s Serrano Hotel just before she gave a reading at Borders Books. As we sat in the hotel’s Spanish revival lobby, perched over glasses of wine, Lehmann-Haupt exhibited a trait valuable to memoirists—the ability to contextualize one’s most intimate experiences in a larger sphere. What inspired you to write In Her Own Sweet Time, and why write it as a memoir?
In 2004, when I was thirty-one, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, an economist, wrote a book that said basically that if you don’t have a baby by the time you’re thirty-five, you’re doomed. The next year, my boyfriend and
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
I broke up. I was very aware of my own age at that point, but the kind of “baby panic” reaction that was going through the media just seemed very simplistic. I wanted to understand from a socialpsychological perspective what it meant that more women were putting off having children until their thirties or forties, and what it meant for me. I couldn’t see a way around using my own experience as a spine for the book, even when it was painful. I also had a lot of fun writing the book— there were some funny experiences, and I wanted to entertain people. In the book, you explore some of the options available to women in your situation, and one of the things you decide to do is freeze your eggs. What did you learn about this option?
It’s a fairly new technology, still considered experimental by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, but it is becoming a way for women to extend their fertility. I do think eventually it’ll be as influential as the birth control pill. If a woman knew that she didn’t want to have a kid until age forty, she could freeze her eggs at twenty-seven, concentrate on her career, and when the time is right she’d have the option to use those eggs. I learned about it at an educational event for extended fertility, and flew
to Italy and met the inventors of the technology. It’s similar to in vitro fertilization— you give yourself shots and have your eggs removed under general anesthesia. Why is the decision to have children so anxiety-producing for this generation of women in their thirties?
Women used to live their lives according to a social prescription: that we were supposed to be married by a certain age, we were supposed to be some cultural definition of a wife, and we were supposed to be mothers. Feminism questioned all of those roles. Liberated women had all of these new choices. The first wave, our moms, even though they were the warriors on the front, their consciousness-raising was more about sexual freedom—most of them were still getting married in their twenties and having children. I think we are the first generation that is spending our twenties in a sort of second adolescence. We’re getting married later, in our early thirties, and many women don’t start thinking about getting pregnant until their mid-thirties. There really is no road map for us, which brings a whole new set of anxieties. What I’m really trying to do with the book is calm this panic. This combination of starting later and having a lot of new choices has forced our generation to ask questions that maybe we haven’t had to ask in previous generations. Did writing the book help allay your own anxieties?
This book has really been my life for the past six years, and, yes, it’s an incredibly satisfying feeling to have expressed all of these emotions and to have put them into a story. That brings me to a place that is more at peace than I’ve ever been before. When I graduated from Kenyon, my mom said, “Find your passion, find yourself.” I never interpreted that as what her mom said to her, which was, “Find a husband, get your MRS.” I feel like I’ve found my passion, I’ve found my path. —Traci Vogel
A S LA N T O F LIG H T By Galbraith Miller Crump XOXOX Press
It is impossible for me to be objective when reviewing A Slant of Light, as it will be impossible for many to be objective when reading this beautiful and moving memoir. Galbraith and Joan Crump spent twenty-five years in Gambier—Gal taught English from 1965 to 1990, edited the Kenyon Review from 1983-88, and frequently ran the Kenyon-Exeter Program—and the couple touched a good many lives. A Slant of Light recounts the painful last year in the life Joan Amanda Lee Crump, who died of ovarian cancer in 2006. “Inevitably past events from our lives together intruded on the narrative,” writes Crump. “I was after all describing a person whose life was rich and meaningful well beyond the hard times with which it came to an end.” The result is a complex, multilayered narrative, weaving together stories from the distant past, the couple’s marriage, the year of Joan’s passing, and the period of writing and mourning—even anticipation of the future. A marvelous story-teller, Crump regales us with vivid memories and delightful vignettes. We hear about Joan and Gal skinny-dipping at Cabot’s Landing near Cape Breton. And there’s a vacation in Lucca, Italy, when, at a family meal in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, Crump, as pater familias, was proudly presented with the local delicacy, a dish of goat’s testicles. In order to save the family honor, Joan quickly switches the plates and polishes off the specialty herself without a murmur. We hear, as well, about family tragedies, such as the terrible accidents befalling their sons. What shines through is Joan’s immense strength, as well as her capacity, in moments of the most extreme grief, to convey strength to others. While painting a precise portrait of Joan—capturing her spunk and humor, her courage and zest for life—Crump also focuses, unerringly and honestly, on himself. After decades of togetherness and a final
year of great tenderness as well as great sadness, he finds himself alone, at times almost lost. Through interminable days of grief, he seeks solace in memory, writing, and literature. “Our lives,” he writes, “turn on the node of fiction as we try to make sense of events and dreams and things that might have been, shaping them as best we can from the dust of our being.” Joan Crump was a beautiful person who was loved by many within the Kenyon community and beyond. This elegant book presents her character and sparkling personality to a wider public so that, as Crump writes, “. . . the example of her life and the mourning of those who loved her may help others to cope with the trauma of being left behind.” —Marc Millon ’77 N O W IN N ERS HERE TO NIGHT: R AC E, P O LITICS, AND GEO GRAPHY IN O N E O F THE CO U NTRY’ S BU S IES T D EAT H P ENALTY S TATES By Andrew Welsh-Huggins ’83 Ohio University Press
Three soldiers driven to desertion under a stern commanding officer are believed to
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
Homer & Langley, the new novel by E.L. Doctorow ’52, was scheduled for release around the time the Bulletin was going to press. Based loosely on lives of the eccentric Collyer brothers of New York—compulsive, reclusive hoarders who lived in a Harlem brownstone—the novel moves through the decades of the twentieth century, as figures from gangsters to hippies enter the brothers’ bizarre, increasingly cluttered world. Narrated by Homer, the blind brother, the book displays Doctorow’s usual exquisite mastery of language as well as his social insight. Look for more on Homer & Langley in the next issue of the Bulletin. Mine All Mine, a novel by Adam Davies ’94, was named to the 2009 list of top ten crime novels by Booklist. According to Booklist, the novel is “remarkably imaginative” for its portrayal of a future where investigators are called “pulses” because they can sense what the bad guys are up to.
The Kenyon Review has published its second anthology, Readings for Writers, featuring works from the journal’s archives from 1939 through 2009. Review editor David H. Lynn ’76, who also edited the collection, explains in his introduction that one goal is to challenge and inspire writers, much as the journal’s summer workshops use stories, poems, and essays to jumpstart student efforts. The list of authors reflects the Review’s enduring stature: Dylan Thomas, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Sylvia Plath, V.S. Naipaul, Don DeLillo, Annie Dillard, Pablo Neruda, W.S. Merwin, and on and on. Notable Kenyon alumni are represented here as well, from Robert Lowell ’40 to Nancy Zafris ’76 H’93.
be the first people executed, under a judicial process, in what would become the state of Ohio. That was in 1792, and the bodies were still warm when news of a pardon arrived. The anecdote sets the tone in No Winners Here Tonight, a skillfully reported history of the death penalty in Ohio, from the early days of public spectacle to what are now “quiet, aseptic events” viewed behind glass. Much of the focus is on the 1980s and beyond, a time during which the state, having crafted a law that passed modern Constitutional muster, became a leader in executions. Welsh-Huggins’s balance, dispassionate style, and eye for detail reflect his grounding in the old-school, objective journalism he practices on the job as an Associated Press reporter assigned to the Columbus, Ohio, bureau. He provides the national context and scouts the local political terrain. Above all, he relishes a good story, concisely told, and the book takes us through a horrific roll call of crimes and punishments, including the 2000 kidnaping and murder of Kenyon student Emily Murray. That case is notable for its racial overtones (the victim was white, her killer black), the budget burden of the trial on a rural Ohio county, and the Murray family’s resistance to the death sentence in which the trial culminated. Welsh-Huggins shows that the death penalty remains arbitrarily applied, entangling
only a fraction of those who might be eligible and tainted by the variables of geography, expense, human error, plea bargain, and race. Nevertheless, proponents of execution, well in the majority, believe that the death penalty is a just act and a useful deterrent. The book is rich with footnotes and appendices, perhaps a little lean on firsthand interviews. Welsh-Huggins did some of the footwork while working on a project for the Associated Press, during which he examined 1,936 death-penalty indictments over twenty-two years starting with the 1981 passage of the state’s current law. The law was changed in 1996 to permit life imprisonment without parole, an option that has thinned the death-row ranks. Racial disparity is a key issue. It’s a cruel irony that the justice system, disproportionately populated by black inmates, is easier on black defendants if they kill other black people. Killers of white victims are far more likely to land on death row. For all the seriousness of the issue at hand, Welsh-Huggins is expert at mining nuggets of gallows humor. One inmate, an hour before his execution, reached for a smoke and remarked, “I think I’ll have one more cigarette and then quit.” —Mark Ellis
YOU’V E COM E A LO NG WAY BA BY: WOMEN, POLITIC S, A ND P O P UL A R CU LTU RE Edited by Lilly J. Goren ’87 University of Kentucky Press
If the 1968 advertising campaign for Virginia Slims cigarettes that popularized the phrase “You’ve come a long way, baby” was, in retrospect, smarmy and manipulative, it did point to one unavoidable fact: politics is inextricable from consumer culture. In her anthology of essays by the same name, editor Lilly J. Goren gathers the latest thinkers of the movement, Third Wave feminists, to sift through television sitcoms
play two songs with female singers back-toback, among other things. Linda Horwitz and Holly Swyers dissect the role of female presidents in the television shows Commander in Chief and Battlestar Galactica, pointing out that both women attain the position only after their precursors die—in other words, “the question the shows are really asking is: what might happen if we end up with a female president?” And Cecilia Konchar Farr counterbalances the critical dismissal of “chick lit” by
like Ugly Betty and untangle movements like the “Stitch-n-Bitch” knitting phenomenon. The result is a densely footnoted, academically rigorous collection of essays that rewards the reader with real insight into issues regularly obscured by faddishness. Rachel Henry Currans-Sheehan writes about the history of women in rock ’n’ roll and the establishment of the all-women concert festival Lilith Fair in reaction to commercial radio’s refusal to
David Bergman ’72, editor, Gay American Autobiography: Writings from Whitman to Sedaris (University of Wisconsin Press). A leading authority on gay literature, Bergman draws on letters, journals, oral histories, memoirs, and more in this anthology. An eloquent introduction makes the case for “gay American autobiography” as an important genre. Daniel Mark Epstein ’70, Lincoln’s Men: The President and His Private Secretaries (Smithsonian Books). The award-winning author gives us a vivid look at the Civil War White House through the eyes of John Hay, John Nicolay, and William Stoddard. Bill Fine 1950 P’73, Gonzales: A Noble Dog (Xlibris). Children and parents alike will enjoy this true story about a mutt with an almost-human smile, whose good nature leads him from the slums of San Juan to the comforts of Park Avenue. Amos N. Guiora ’79, Fundamentals of Counterterrorism and Global Perspectives on Counterterrorism (Wolters Kluwer). These two books cover a wide
range of issues central to one of the most difficult problems of our time. Guiora is a law professor and counterterrorism expert who served as a legal officer with the Israeli Defense Forces. Eric D. Lehman ’94, Bridgeport: Tales from the Park City (The History Press). From circus impresario P.T. Barnum, to helicopter pioneer Igor Sikorsky, to Pogo cartoonist Walt Kelly, Lehman brings us a fascinating cast of characters with ties to “the park city,” along with episodes in the city’s history. Justin B. Richland ’92, Arguing with Tradition: The Language of Law in Hopi Tribal Court (University of Chicago Press). What
do kiva ceremonies have to do with court cases? Richland, who holds a Ph.D. in anthropology as well as a law degree, explains how Hopi notions of tradition and culture shape, and are shaped by, modern tribal jurisprudence. Richland teaches in the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of California, Irvine. Paul Spehr ’52, The Man Who Made Movies: W.K.L. Dickson (John Libbey Publishing). Spehr, who helped to build the motion picture collection at the Library of Congress, has written an important book about a major figure in early film history.
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
W Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone celebrated P Poem in Your Pocket Day? You carry around a favorite poem a and share it, aloud, with friends and strangers. In conjunction w with the Academy of American Poets (creators of the annual A April celebration), Elaine Bleakney ’98 has published a delightfu ful anthology in the poetry-sharing spirit, Poem in Your Pocket: 2 200 Poems to Read and Carry. It’s actually a kind of ingenious flip-pad between hard covers, designed for you to tear off the poems, one by one, for easy transport. “You cannot fold a Flood,” wrote Emily Dickinson, “And put it in a Drawer.” With this book, however, you can tuck some Dickinson into your breast pocket, keeping her beside your heart, to lift out in times of need or joy. (Incidentally, the Kenyon Review’s student associates have organized a Poem in Your Pocket Day celebration on campus for the past two years.)
redefining the genre as “part of a broad, diverse literary tradition, one that can recognize and celebrate commercial viability, one that can relish a good romance plot, one that, speaking in a compelling fictional voice, can offer up character as alive as the people we meet every day.” Quoting Catherine Orr in her introduction, Goren reminds us that feminism is “governed not by academic discourse, but by ‘talk show audiences and Cosmo readers’ who experience feminism, and femininity, through popular texts.” You’ve Come a Long Way Baby shows us that feminist criticism can break down and understand these texts with humor and insight—and in that sense, we really have come a long way. —T.V. DE ATH BY C HOC OL ATE by Zachary Nowak ’99
Zachary Nowak emerged as a natural source and translator. He’d been living there for years, as a bon vivant and guidebook author. Nowak made news briefly himself when it came to light that he had been about to publish his first book, a mystery to be titled Murder in Perugia, on the very day that news of the killing broke. In light of the real-life
“L ate C r i ckets ” I like those crickets best we hear after first frost And they make me think of my dead grandfather, a railroad man, palming his inlaid pocketwatch.
In 2007 the picturesque Italian university city of Perugia was shaken by the murder of a British exchange student. As Englishspeaking journalists flooded in, expatriate
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
tragedy, publication of the book was delayed, and it was retitled Peril in Perugia. Now, Nowak follows up with a new mystery, Death by Chocolate. Perugia again takes center stage, this time as the scene of the murder of a famous chocolate critic. When James Pace’s body is discovered during the city’s Chokofest, suspects abound and two unlikely detectives emerge: American expatriate Zachary Nowak and Compagno (“Comrade”) Paolo, a fiftyish, balding anticapitalist who also happens to be a fan of Sherlock Holmes. With some investigation, and some bumbling luck, our heroes uncover a publishing-world kerfuffle, long-simmering tension between artisanal chocolate makers and corporate behemoths, and, finally, the murderer. Nowak’s lighthearted prose and surprise ending turn Death by Chocolate into a sweet escapist read. And you can dip into Italian, since the edition is bilingual. —T.V.
Even today, Thanksgiving, by the shed— one old-timer keeps at it.
From Good Lonely Day, by John Clarke ’59, published by The Backwaters Press. Clarke, who studied with John Crowe Ransom at Kenyon, is a professor emeritus at Gettysburg College, where for many years he directed the program in the writing of poetry and fiction. Reprinted by permission of the author.
R E C E N T FA C U LT Y B O O K S
Jean Blacker, WACE: A Critical Bibliography, Société Jersiaise. Adele Davidson ’75, Shakespeare in Shorthand: The Textual Mystery of King Lear, University of Delaware Press. Simone Dubrovic, “Aprir vidi uno speco...”: racconto e immagini della grotta nei testi letterari italiani tra tre e cinquecento, Vecchiarelli Editore. Bradley A. Hartlaub, Teacher’s Solutions Manual for Yates, Moore, and Starnes’s The Practice of Statistics, W.H. Freeman and Company. George E. McCarthy, Dreams in Exile: Rediscovering Science and Ethics in Nineteenth-Century Social Theory, State University of New York Press. Víctor Rodríguez-Núñez, La poesía sirve para todo, Ediciones Uníon. S H AD ELAND by Andrew Grace ’01 Ohio State University Press
Andrew Grace grew up on a farm in Illinois called Shadeland. In his newest book of poetry, he returns to his pastoral roots, plowing through heritage and memory and uncovering plenty of lumps in the loam. Not all is bucolic in these poems, which create a compelling narrative of growth, loss, and myth. This is “land / I inherited,” Grace writes in “Curse.” “Pitiable how inexhaustible / mist and pig smell are to me.” Scent and weather permeate the poems; in “Z,” the narrator eulogizes his father, who “died on the floor of a machine shed on March 4th, 2004, the wind of Illinois in his lungs.”
“The wind from Illinois is the duration of loss,” the poem continues. “The wind from Illinois is a plastic curtain to collapse behind.” In “Silo,” there is a “Citronella-reek in the stray dog necropolis, center chamber / of an unused silo, few stars shining,” and in “Achilles in the Heartland,” the narrators “live on the plains, discuss / the unseen, know the tang of methamphetamine / being cooked close.” There is hope to be found, too, though, in work. “A good mechanic,” for example, “is a connoisseur of the ongoing / conviction that an answer / is forthcoming” (“Them Men”). In the end, as Grace writes in “Letter Sent Back on a Crane’s Heel,” “We are human: humiliation slicks our hair, mercy steers us.” —T.V.
Víctor Rodríguez-Núñez (author) and Katherine M. Hedeen (translator), The Infinite’s Ash, Arc Publications. Víctor Rodríguez-Núñez and Katherine M. Hedeen, editors, Oh, smog: antología poética, by Juan Calzadilla, Editorial Arte y Literatura. Peter Rutkoff, Across the Green Line: Cyprus Portraits, XOXOX Press. Reginald L. Sanders, editor, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Die Israeliten in der Wüste, Packard Humanities Institute. Benjamin Schumacher, Quantum Mechanics: The Physics of the Microscopic World, The Teaching Company. Joan L. Slonczewski and John W. Foster, Microbiology: An Evolving Science, W.W. Norton.
C L A S S
N O T E S
CLAS S NOTE S C L A S S
N O T E S
’44 Kenyon College
Office of Public Affairs College Relations Center Gambier, Ohio 43022-9623 email@example.com ’45 H. Noyes Spelman
1630 Post Road East, Unit 202 Westport, Connecticut 06880 firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of Public Affairs College Relations Center Gambier, Ohio 43022-9623 email@example.com
1940s ’40 Kenyon College
Office of Public Affairs College Relations Center Gambier, Ohio 43022-9623 firstname.lastname@example.org ’41 George Lytle
14 Lonsdale Avenue Dayton, Ohio 45419 email@example.com Richard H. Stevens
812 Clifton Hills Terrace Cincinnati, Ohio 45220 firstname.lastname@example.org Harold Wilder Jr., Camarillo,
California, tells us that for the past two years he has been asked to lead a workshop on memory at the Brain Injury Center of Ventura County, which has been both successful and rewarding. Hal says that at ninety-one it is wonderful to find he is still useful. ’42 Kenyon College
Office of Public Affairs College Relations Center Gambier, Ohio 43022-9623 email@example.com ’43 Philip T. Doughten
204 Gooding Avenue, Northwest New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas O. Murphy, Chagrin
Falls, Ohio, sends his best regards to President Nugent and all the staff. He also says hello to his class agent, H. Noyes Spelman. ’46 Kenyon College
Office of Public Affairs College Relations Center Gambier, Ohio 43022-9623 email@example.com ’47 Samuel P. Todd Jr.
670 Reisling Knoll Cincinnati, Ohio 45226 firstname.lastname@example.org Reverend George P. Timberlake,
Germantown, Maryland, reports that since January 14, 2009, he has served as the priest-in-charge of Saint Barnabas’ Episcopal/ Anglican Church in Temple Hills, Maryland. He will be there for an indefinite amount of time, as the church is in a period of transition.
Richard A. Stadler ’49 just finished a course in radio drama and reads to the blind over local closed-circuit radio. nia, tells us that as he retired in 1984, he would not be too useful in advising Kenyon undergraduates as to his job when he was employed (Honeywell, Inc.). He and his wife, Charlotte, live in a retirement community which has many volunteer opportunities for them. Phillip J. Wall, Bay Village, Ohio, writes, “‘Give me a house by the side of the road, and let me be a friend to man.’ The general practice of law is, in a real sense, a house by the side of life’s road. In my case, a very small house. Oh well!”
1950s ’50 60th Reunion 2010 Louis S. Whitaker
Wheeling, West Virginia email@example.com
John S. Peabody, Indio, Cali-
fornia, tells us that this year he traveled to Seattle, Washington, for lunch with classmates and Alpha Delts G. Bruce Hartmann and Robert C. Day and their wives. Jack says it was a lovely day at Rob’s home, overlooking Puget Sound. Many tales were told and remembered. Elizabeth Jones Smith ’75, Granville, Massachusetts, writes that she and her father, John B. Jones, would like to invite all Kenyon alumni to stop by for a personalized tour of the Noble & Cooley Center for Historic Preservation. The museum is located in the historic buildings of the Noble & Cooley drum factory in Granville, which was founded in 1854 by John’s great-great-grandfather. ’53 Arthur W. Sprague Jr.
La Grange, Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org
James D. Squiers, Redding, ’48 Kenyon College
Office of Public Affairs College Relations Center Gambier, Ohio 43022-9623 ’49 Theodore K. Thomas
21305 Ann’s Choice Way Warminster, Pennsylvania 18974 email@example.com Richard A. Stadler, Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, reports that he is shuffling between Pittsburgh and Naples, Florida, where he just finished a course in radio drama. “Gotta keep a hand in,” he says. In Pittsburgh, Dick regularly reads to the blind over local closed-circuit radio. He says that gardening and attending the theater occupy his leisure hours. Theodore K. Thomas, Warminster, Pennsylva-
kenyon college alumni bulletin fall 2009
Connecticut, tells us that he is enjoying retirement, but, he says, it’s classified information. Peter Weaver, Gaithersburg, Maryland, reports that he is continuing his fifty-eight-plus-years’ career as a reporter and writer for newspapers, magazines, and television. He loves getting and telling “the story” just as much as ever. He and his wife, Kate, live in the Washington, D.C., area. They have three children and seven grandchildren, plus daughters-in-law. ’51 Douglas W. Downey
Northbrook, Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org ’52 Richard D. Sawyer
Newbury, New Hampshire email@example.com
Richard L. Tallman, Idaho Falls,
Idaho, writes to say he is witnessing the distance of today’s reality: lack of intelligent design. ’54 Richard R. Tryon
Frankfort, Michigan firstname.lastname@example.org Richard R. Tryon, Frankfort, Michigan, sends the following report of the Alternative Fifty-fifth Reunion of the class of ’54. “When I discovered that the forty-eighthour Fifty-fifth Reunion in Gambier on April 20-22 fell on dates that conflicted with my Vertical Farm project construction schedule in Puerto Rico and that Bil [Rev. William H.] Aulenbach did not want to come to Gambier to lead a short seminar on his new book,
W. Thomas Wilson II ’58 is retired–but still swimming What’s Love Got To Do With It?, for only one other graduate of ’54 planning to attend, we decided to share our presentations with each other in Puerto Rico instead over a four-day period.” Dick explained his mock-up of a vertical plantgrowing tower and spoke about the benefits of bamboo as a future building material and storage place for the carbon dioxide responsible for global warming, and Bil told of his quest to put new emphasis on what Jesus taught about love and forgiveness. Dick says, “All four attendees, including spouses Anne and Ann, enjoyed the mountain retreat at Casa Grande, near the Dos Bocos reservoirs close to Utuado, Puerto Rico, as well as the opening sessions at Palmas del Mar’s beach-level resort.” ’55 55th Reunion 2010 B. Allen McCormick
Indianapolis, Indiana email@example.com Arthur L. Johnson, Potsdam,
New York, reports that he had his “second retirement” this May as adjunct professor of history at SUNY-Potsdam. ’56 Christian Schoenleb
Phoenix, Arizona firstname.lastname@example.org ’57 Donald A. Fischman
New York, New York email@example.com
of the Peoples Bank of Gambier and chairman of the zoning commission of College Township.
Kurt E. Yeager, Aptos, California,
Michael C. Kolczun, Sheffield
Olmsted Falls, Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org
informs us he is the executive director for Galvin Electricity and co-author of the book Perfect Power. He is involved in both the National Research Council and the Renewable Energy Panel.
W. Thomas Wilson II, Carmel
’62 Jonathan S. Katz
by the Sea, California, sends greetings and informs us that he is retired but still swimming! He and his wife, Wilma, are building another home in Carmel by the Sea, which they will move into by Christmas 2009. Their son Bill has his own company in Los Gatos, California, and their son Walt is an engineer in Portland, Oregon. Their daughter Suzanne lives in Bath, England, with her husband and four children, and their daughter Kelly is a restaurant worker in San Francisco. “All’s well!” Tom reports.
Newton, Massachusetts email@example.com
Lake, Ohio, was inducted into the Avon Lake High School Sports Hall of Fame this May during its twenty-fourth annual banquet. Mike has served as the school’s team physician since 1974 and was recognized as being the most valuable player in the recovery of countless Avon Lake High School athletes. Eric A. Wagner, Gainesville, Florida, tells us that the Eric A. Wagner Professorship in Sociology, supporting excellence in undergraduate teaching, will be inaugurated at Ohio University in the fall of 2009.
’58 Adolph Faller III
’59 William Harley Henry
Atlantic Beach, Florida firstname.lastname@example.org Donald Bomann Jr.
Stamford, Connecticut email@example.com Robert E. Gove, Cararra, Italy,
r eports that he is well and living and working as a sculptor in Cararra. He was sorry not to be able to attend the fiftieth reunion and sends his regards to all and especially to Robert B.“Beebop” Palmer, his old roommate.
1960s Gambier, Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org ’61 David C. Brown
Homer, New York email@example.com
Louisville, Kentucky firstname.lastname@example.org R. Hutchins Hodgson Jr.
ambier, Ohio, reports that he is G currently on the board of directors
St. Charles, Illinois email@example.com John R. Knepper, Gambier,
Ohio, was awarded the William A. Long Memorial Award during the Honors Day Convocation in April. It is presented to the member of the community who, in the opinion of the Faculty Committee on Student Affairs, has made an outstanding contribution to developing and clarifying the role of athletic play and competition in the life of the College. The recipient’s name is inscribed on a plaque in the Kenyon Athletic Center. James M. Swaney, Watauga, Texas, writes to say that in 2008 he retired and moved to the Fort Worth area after spending thirty-three years in Lake Havasu City, Arizona (home of the London Bridge). He spends much of his time buying and selling stamps on the Internet. Jim also mixes some travel in with local activities, such as Fort Worth Symphony concerts. ’63 Neal M. Mayer
Millsboro, Delaware firstname.lastname@example.org
’64 Joel D. Kellman
Huntington Woods, Michigan email@example.com David A. Schmid
Norwell, Massachusetts firstname.lastname@example.org ’65 45th Reunion 2010 William G. Lerchen
Fairfield, Connecticut email@example.com Thomas R. Sant
Hilliard, Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org Paul B. Zuydhoek, Buffalo, New
York, has been named a “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peerreview publication in the legal profession. Paul is a partner at Phillips Lytle LLP, where he concentrates in banking and commercial lending, representing financial institutions and borrowers.
Calvin S. Frost
Lake Forest, Illinois email@example.com
’60 50th Reunion 2010 Robert G. Heasley
Henry J. Steck
Harlow L. “Hal” Walker,
William P. Russell
Cumming, Georgia firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael C. Kolczun ’63 was inducted into the Avon Lake High School Sports Hall of Fame. He has served as the school’s team physician since 1974. kenyon college alumni bulletin fall 2009
C L A S S N O T E S
Paul B. Zuydhoek ’65 has been named a “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers. ’69 Christopher “Kit” Marty
’66 David W. Foote
for the past thirty-four years. He is also the lab director for histology for medical students.
Wilmette, Illinois email@example.com
’67 Alan T. Radnor
David B. Bell, Burke, Virginia,
Bexley, Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org
writes to inform us that he and his wife of thirty-eight years, Mary, are still living in the Washington, D.C., area. Dave says that since he “has slipped into semi-retirement as a financial planner,” they spend most of the summer on Cape Cod and “an inordinate amount of time visiting their three married children and four grandchildren in Nashville, Nashville, and Santa Fe, respectively.” Dave still does some singing in the church choir and an a cappella madrigal group,
Thomas A. Mason
Indianapolis, Indiana email@example.com
’68 Howard B. Edelstein Gordon L. Todd, Omaha,
Nebraska, informs us that last year he was the president of the University of Nebraska Medical Center Faculty Senate. He still directs the gross anatomy course for physical therapy and physician assistant students, and he has been the codirector of the gross anatomy course for medical students
Shaker Heights, Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org Mark E. Sullivan, Raleigh, North Carolina, reports that he and his wife, Teri, celebrated their thirtysecond anniversary with a ten-day trip (first class) to London and Paris in November.
Medina, Ohio email@example.com
and he and Mary stop in to see classmate Thomas Caceci and his wife, Susan, in Blacksburg, Virginia, on every trip to Nashville. He and Tom enjoy fishing the New River.
1970s ’70 40th Reunion 2010 Chester A. Amedia Jr.
Boardman, Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org ’71 W. Peter Holloway Jr.
Wheeling, West Virginia email@example.com Earl N. McCardle Jr., Fort Lauderdale, Florida, reports that he currently commutes between his home and Pottsville, Pennsylvania, where he is the president and C.O.O. at Fanelli Brothers Trucking and Leasing Compa-
It’s been a bumpy ride. The financial markets have been all over the place this year. If that’s left you a little dizzy, you’re not alone. Turbulence can be instructive, though, if it teaches us to take the long view. Kenyon’s mission has not changed: it remains one of the nation’s finest liberal arts colleges. By recognizing the College in your estate plan, you can further our noble endeavor. Please call or e-mail us for information about estate giving to Kenyon. contact: Kyle W. Henderson ’80, J.D., Director of Planned Giving 740-427-5729 or 1-800-KENYONC firstname.lastname@example.org
Bequests • Charitable Gift Annuities • Charitable Lead Trusts • Charitable Remainder Trusts • Retirement Plan Gifts
nies. He says, “After twenty-five years of living and working in south Florida, I had forgotten how brutal the winter season can be, but it takes me back to those memorable winters in Gambier.” He and his wife, Deborah, just celebrated their thirty-sixth wedding anniversary. His older daughter, Meredith, is practicing law in Fort Lauderdale, and his younger daughter, Hilary, is finishing her pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. His son, Patrick, has decided after a year’s lay-off to enter law school in the fall. William J. Williams writes that he recently completed his term as president of the Society for History in the Federal Government. Bill has been chief of the Center for Cryptologic History at the National Security Agency since 2002 and currently lives in Laurel, Maryland, with his wife, Happy. Next year they will celebrate their thirty-fifth anniversary. ’72 Douglas G. Holbrook
New York, New York email@example.com Jeff Bell, Mansfield, Ohio,
has been named chairman of Domedia, an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of out-ofhome and alternative advertising media. Most recently, Jeff served as Microsoft’s corporate vice president for global marketing for the interactive entertainment business. ’73 R. Benton Gray
Avon Lake, Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org Shelley A. Hainer
New York, New York email@example.com Pegi P. Goodman, Scarsdale, New
York, reports that she and her husband, Gregory Leeds, celebrated the bat-mitzvah of their daughter, Maia Leeds (thirteen), on March 14, 2009, at Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, New York. Many Kenyon alumni attended the festivities. Maia and her family were looking forward to a trip to Gambier in May for Kenyon’s 181st Commencement.
Forged in Steel IDEALS SHAPED IN THE SIxTIES CONTINuE TO INSPIRE LABOR LAWYER RICHARD BREAN ’70 The size of attorney Richard Brean’s client list is double the population of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As general counsel of the largest industrial union in North America, Brean ’70 represents the 670,000 members of the United Steelworkers. When USW International President Leo Gerard appointed him to the position early this year, Brean became just the eighth general counsel in the union’s sixty-six-year history, succeeding luminaries such as former Supreme Court Justice and Secretary of Labor Arthur Goldberg. “The Steelworkers’ legal department is one of the best in-house operations in the labor movement,” Brean said. “I hope to be worthy of the people who preceded me.” The promotion culminates Brean’s thirty-year career at the USW, where he previously served as senior associate general counsel. “His work has been crucial to our winning contract settlements in some of our biggest disputes over the past decade,” Gerard said. Brean’s pursuit of unfair labor-practice cases before the National Labor Relations Board saved more than five thousand jobs of USW members who were unlawfully locked out or permanently replaced after striking plants in the Midwest and South. “Getting those jobs back was a great feeling,” Brean said. “I love labor law because I am able to live my ideals.” Those ideals are rooted in his experience at Kenyon, where the student counterculture in the late sixties shaped Brean’s social conscience. “You couldn’t have graduated in 1970 from Kenyon without having a shared concern for people,” he said. “I firmly believe that people who were not on a college campus then have a different perspective today on the world.” Brean majored in history and had planned to become a professor. “But in my senior year, with our cities on fire, teaching history suddenly didn’t seem relevant, so I decided to apply to urban affairs school,” he said. He earned a master’s degree in public affairs and urban planning from Princeton University in 1973, before Watergate turned his attention to law. He then went to Harvard Law School, where he “totally became turned on to labor law,” and joined the USW immediately after receiving his J.D. in 1978. In his position as the union’s chief legal officer, Brean supervises a staff of sixteen attorneys and the work of more than fifty outside firms. He deals with a broad range of industries ranging from metals to pharmaceuticals. “We attract idealistic people for whom working here is a dream,” he said. USW lawyers are on the front lines of the labor movement, fighting on
behalf of membership against anti-union employers and policymakers. “The most pressing issues we face today are the illegal obstacles to organizing,” he said. “Worker activists involved in an organizing campaign have a 20 percent chance of being fired and 58 percent of American workers believe they will be fired if they try to start a union.” He criticizes free-trade policies for “wiping out millions of American jobs” and the cost of a healthcare system that “is killing U.S. employers and making them globally non-competitive.” The USW, he noted, represents more than 250,000 Canadian workers and “our members unanimously support the Canadian system of universal coverage.” Brean bristled at the notion that unions have outlived their purpose. “There are forty-two million Americans without health insurance and not one of them is a USW member,” he said. “Fifty-three percent of Americans don’t have a retirement plan, but every member of the steelworkers has one. So you tell me if we’re still necessary.” He has little patience for the charge that union wages have driven up the cost of consumer goods and undermined performance incentives. “Union workplaces have to be more productive to survive precisely because they pay more money,” he said. “Wage gains lift our entire society.” Brean grew up in Pittsburgh, the headquarters of the USW, where he still resides with his wife, Karen. Their daughter, Molly, is a freshman at Princeton. He is the son of a pharmacist with union members on both sides of his family. “We weren’t poor, but I can tell you we had no money to go to college,” he said. “Kenyon came through with a fantastic scholarship offer that allowed me to go to college. I owe everything to Kenyon.” —Dennis Fiely
kenyon college alumni bulletin fall 2009
C L A S S N O T E S
Hugh D. McElrath, Hyattsville,
Maryland, informs us that he retired from a career in naval intelligence three years ago but flunked retirement (as younger son is still in high school), so he is still working as a manager for a national laboratory. His passion is sport aviation: hang-gliding, paragliding, powered hang-gliders, sailplanes, and airplanes. The year 2008 brought paragliding trips to Bulgaria and New Zealand. ’74 Stuart H. Anness
Cincinnati, Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org David H. Brown
Kettering, Ohio email@example.com
sons, Nathaniel W. Otting ’05 and Jacob A. Otting ’06. Kim Stapleton Smith, Mount Gilead, Ohio, writes that this year she agreed to be the local alumnus advisor to the Psi Upsilon fraternity. Various Iota alumni wanted to strengthen ties with current members, especially since there is a movement afoot to renovate the lodge. Kim is serving as a liaison when needed. “Any alumni concerns? Please contact me,” she requests. Kim is Kenyon’s assistant registrar. She and her husband, Tracy G. Smith ’72, are the parents of Sarah and Hannah G. S. Smith ’13, their younger daughter, who is excited to begin her first year at Kenyon. Katharine Dawson Widin and Gregory P. Widin, Stillwater, Minnesota, report they are alive and well. Their daughter, Joan, is a graduate student in analytical chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and their son, Peter, is a student in applied ecology (plants) at Michigan Technological University. Katharine is an urban forestry consultant and Greg is manager of product databases at 3M.
Miriam Dean-Otting, Gambier,
Ohio, received the Founders’ Medallion from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), during their graduation ceremony on Sunday, June 7, 2009, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The award was in recognition of her twenty-five years of distinguished professional service. Miriam received her doctorate at HUC-JIR in 1983 and has been teaching in the Department of Religious Studies at Kenyon since 1984. She and her husband, Charles J. Otting ’72, have two
’75 35th Reunion 2010 Mary Kay Karzas
Culver, Indiana firstname.lastname@example.org Thomas M. Bruggman, Luther-
ville, Maryland, reports that the Bruggmans and the Berlins (Cars well R. Berlin) united around fireworks and fireflies with Lyall (Berlin) and Twill (Bruggman), Class of 2026, sparkling the night away. Deborah Jansen MacKinnon, Northport, Maine, writes to say that after a year off from being
Miriam Dean-Otting ’74 received the Founders’ Medallion from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. a mental health nurse practitioner and becoming a barber, she is returning to the Veterans Administration. She believes the last Bulletin was excellent. John A. Mitchell, Aurora, Colorado, informs us that he and his wife, Russetta, are the proud grandparents of Carenna Gloria Mixon, born August 27, 2008. John says, “Grandparenthood is the best! Stop by and we’ll show you the pictures.” Elizabeth Jones Smith, Granville, Massachusetts, informs us that since retiring in 2007 after thirty-four years at CIGNA, she is busier than ever volunteering for ‘Chip in for a Cure’ (a local breast cancer charity) and for the Noble & Cooley Center for Historic Preservation, a museum located in the historic buildings of the Noble & Cooley drum factory in Granville, founded by her great-greatgreat-grandfather in 1854. Liz and her father, John B. Jones ’52, invite all Kenyon alumni to stop by for a personalized tour when visiting western Massachusetts. ichael J. Taday, Cleveland, M Ohio, tells us that he just started up an e-business to provide investment data for exchange-traded funds and no-load mutual fund investing (www.cycle-techdatallc.com). ’76 Michael Young
Hugh D. McElrath ’73 has a passion for sport aviation: hang-gliding, paragliding, powered hang-gliders, sailplanes, and airplanes. 54
kenyon college alumni bulletin fall 2009
Carlsbad, California email@example.com Richard S. Milligan, Canton,
Ohio, was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ohio Task Force on the Disciplinary Process for lawyers and judges. He is extensively involved in the defense of hospitals, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers. He is also recognized by a vote of his
peers as an “Ohio Super Lawyer” from 2004 to 2009. Rabbi Charles P. Rabinowitz, Larchmont, New York, tells us that in 2008 he was named editor of Jewish Spiritual Case, a journal for the National Association of Jewish Chaplains. He also serves as its co-chair of the Continuing Education and Peer Review Committee. His daughter, Brynn, is a sophomore presidential scholar and adolescent education and English double major at the State University of New YorkOswego, and his son, Jamie, is a high school senior. Charlie’s wife, Wendy Weiner (sister of Stuart B. Weiner ’74), is still director of a therapeutic G.E.D. program in New Rochelle. “Best wishes to all ’76 Phi Kapps,” he says. John T. Sunderland writes that after twenty-five years of practicing law, he has given up his partnership in Thompson Hine L.L.P. and moved from Columbus, Ohio, to Bath, Maine, where he now is concentrating on restoring an 1850s house in Bath’s historic district. He says that contacts from fellow Kenyonites are most welcome. Deborah Boone Tepper, Chesterland, Ohio, reports that she and her husband, Stewart, are currently working together on headache medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. Deb recently went back to her old room at McBride, and says that Kenyon looked peaceful but fun. William R. Wilson Jr., Bedford, New Hampshire, informs us that after twenty years in the Midwest and South in academic cardiac surgery and building startup open heart programs, he has returned to New England. Bill is currently working at the Elliot Hospital in Manchester.
’77 Laurence G. Bousquet
Syracuse, New York firstname.lastname@example.org Denese Fink Giordano
West Hempstead, New York email@example.com Beshara Doumani, currently
an associate professor of Middle East history at the University of California at Berkeley, spoke in April at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco on the Israel-Palestinian peace process. The seminar was entitled “After Gaza: the Peace Process, Past, Present, and Future.” Beshara is the author of Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900. Rabbi Stacy K. Offner, Tuckahoe, New York, tells us she loves living in New York after twenty-four years in Minnesota. Patricia Mauro Warrick, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, has been named president of the Association of Corporate Growth’s Pittsburgh Chapter (ACG Pittsburgh) as of June 1, 2009. Tricia has served on the organization’s board of directors for ten years. This is a one-year term, and Tricia and the ACG board will focus on building the Pittsburgh chapter as a vital regional service for educational and networking opportunities for the corporate, banking, and mergers and acquisitions community. ’78 Bruce V. Thomas
Richmond, Virginia firstname.lastname@example.org William F. Lominac Jr. reports
that he has been living and working in Singapore since last August. William moved from Miami, Florida, after eight years working and traveling in Latin America.
Any fellow Betas or classmates traveling through Singapore should contact him at email@example.com. Karen L. Spear, Indianapolis, Indiana, informs us that she accepted a position in October 2008 as director of the Center for Organizational Ethics and assistant professor of philosophy at Marian University, a Catholic and Franciscan university in Indianapolis. Susan G. Tobin, Columbus, Ohio, writes to say that she successfully litigated a voting rights case in federal court last year, as well as a children’s healthcare case that is on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals. She also has a sweet chocolate lab named Hershey.
that there is life and growth after fifty! Margaret Garland Whitman, Towson, Maryland, informs us that she is still working as an elementary school nurse and loves it! Her daughter, Elizabeth, graduated from Denison in May, her son Ben is looking at colleges in the south as he wants to play golf, and her son Robbie is in seventh grade at the school where she works. He has one more year before he is off to high school. Margie’s husband, Ben, is enjoying retirement and keeps the house running smoothly.
’82 Brian K. Wilbert
’79 Daniel A. Gulino Mary Ann Gulino
’80 30th Reunion 2010 Griffin Fry
Athens, Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org
Atlanta, Georgia email@example.com
Douglas J. Robillard, Little
Stephen C. Stec, Szentendre,
Rock, Arkansas, tells us that he and his wife, Patricia, celebrated their twenty-third wedding anniversary in June 2009. Their children are all grown and doing well. Despite the recession, their academic jobs seem secure. Doug received tenure at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in April 2008. Since 2000, he has been doing scholarly work on the great Southern author Flannery O’Connor. In 2007, he spent a month in Milledgeville, Georgia, at a National Endowment for the Humanities Institute devoted to O’Connor’s life and work. As part of the Southern Literary Trail conference series, Doug presented a lecture on O’Connor and Pete Dexter, another Milledgeville author, at Georgia College State University. He is happy to report
Hungary, informs us that after eleven years, he has left the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe. For the time being, he is doing more teaching at Central European University, research projects with the Center for Environment and Security, renovating his house, and enjoying time with his children, Kaidi (seven) and Riley (four).
Douglas J. Robillard ’79 has been doing scholarly work on the great Southern author Flannery O’Connor.
demonstrated industry knowledge, and high level of client service. Brian N. Victoroff and his wife, Kristi, announce the birth of their fifth child. Lily Anne Victoroff was delivered by Karen Regan Jaffe on December 30, 2008. The Victoroff family, which also includes Nora, Claudia, Zak, and Ryan, lives in Solon, Ohio. Dorothy Lenard Wells, Bloomington, Indiana, is happy to report that she has returned to her hometown, working in disability services at Indiana University. “For all fellow alumni who think fondly of their hometowns, I h ighly recommend going home again!” she says.
’81 Lori Dhiraprasiddhi
Hilliard, Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org Mary B. Campbell, St. Louis,
Missouri, was appointed assistant vice chancellor for real estate at Washington University in St. Louis on April 13, 2009. Kathleen Kondo Miller, Strongsville, Ohio, has been recognized as a risk insurance power broker in an annual listing of the most influential commercial insurance brokers by a professional trade magazine. She is a vice president with Oswald Companies, headquartered in Cleveland. She and other power brokers were judged on creativity in solving risk-related problems,
Oberlin, Ohio email@example.com William N. Edwards, Anniston,
Alabama, reports that he is hanging on to the craft of daily smalltown journalism as practiced at the Anniston Star, where he writes and does some editing. L. William “Chip” Erb, Rocky River, Ohio, has joined Cavitch, Familo, Durkin & Frutkin, a leading law firm in northeast Ohio, as a partner. Chip’s practice focuses primarily on representing banks and financial institutions in commercial lending, loan restructuring, and documentation matters. Neil F. Trueblood, Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, tells us that he and his wife, Kristin Crawford Trueblood ’83, are getting ready for round two of Kenyon as their daughter Kelsey A. Trueblood ’13 starts class this fall. Michael K. Zorek, New York City, informs us that while a stay-at-home dad, he has been proud to accompany his son, Jeremy (nine), as he has begun a career in the arts. Jeremy has recently appeared on Law & Order and Fringe and has done some radio commercials for both Bank of America and US Bank. He will be on the Onion News Network this fall in a segment on Halloween. Can his little sister, Diana (three), be far behind?
kenyon college alumni bulletin fall 2009
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Taylor W. Burton-Edwards ’85 is coordinating the launch of an ecumenical Open Source Liturgy Project that includes a wide variety of denominations in the United States and Canada. ’83 Reid W. Click
Washington, D.C. firstname.lastname@example.org Gregg O. Courtad
Canton, Ohio email@example.com David F. Stone
Birmingham, Michigan firstname.lastname@example.org Nancy Grant, Winnetka, Illinois,
informs us that she had a great time at the twenty-fifth Kenyon reunion. She says the Caples dorm rooms and bathrooms are as lovely as they were twenty-five years ago! Nancy served on the National Finance Campaign for the Obama campaign and got to take her husband, Steven Grey, and their children to the inauguration and the Illinois ball. Stuart D. Sheppard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, writes that he has been running into a lot of old classmates on Facebook, which he recommends that everyone sign up for. He is still dreaming of selling the film rights to his novel. Does anyone know any producers looking for a modern Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man set on Nantucket? Kristin Crawford Trueblood, Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, reports that she and her husband, Neil F. Trueblood ’82, are getting ready for round two of Kenyon as their daughter Kelsey A. Trueblood ’13 starts classes this fall. ’84 Pamela Bardonner
Richmond, Virginia email@example.com Beverly Sutley
Tyrone, Pennsylvania firstname.lastname@example.org Susan Opatrny Althans, Pepper
Pike, Ohio, informs us that her son, Arthur J. “Trace” Althans III ’13, graduated from University
School in June and is now starting his first year at Kenyon. Roberta Bair Watts, Pasadena, Maryland, tells us that she could not be at the reunion because it conflicted with her twentieth wedding anniversary. She and her husband, Richard, have two teenage children, Howard and Darcy, and Roberta says, “The college visits start all too soon!” ’85 25th Reunion 2010 Laura A. Plummer
Bloomington, Indiana email@example.com Harvey M. Stephens
Springfield, Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org Taylor W. Burton-Edwards,
Fishers, Indiana, tells us that he is continuing his role as liturgical officer for the United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. There, he is coordinating the launch of an ecumenical Open Source Liturgy Project that includes diverse populations in the United Methodist Church and a wide variety of denominations in the United States and Canada. He also continues to publish regularly on the denomination’s worship Web site, www.gbod.org/worship, and to host the emergingumc blog (emergingumc.blogspot.com). Ingrid Goff-Maidoff and Jonah A. Maidoff, Chilmark, Massachusetts, write that they can scarcely believe their daughter, Rose (seventeen), is starting to look at colleges. As much as they loved Kenyon (and they know she would too), they are pretty sure they couldn’t afford to send her here, let alone visit! But they are rich in other ways: love, family, and work that they enjoy. Jonah continues to be a well-loved teacher at Martha’s Vineyard Charter School,
kenyon college alumni bulletin fall 2009
and Ingrid’s poetry/gift line is very rewarding. “If you’re ever on the Vineyard, look us up!” they say. Tracey Nash Salinas, Hilliard, Ohio, tells us that she and her family have moved back to Ohio from New Jersey. They welcome any greetings or visitors in the Ohio area. Ellen Wells Underhill, Portland, Oregon, reports that her family is still living in the City of Roses. Ellen has recently met another (much younger) Kenyon alumnus living only blocks away. Her son, Billy (fourteen), will be a freshman in high school, and his sister, Charlotte (seven), will be in third grade. “The cliché about time flying is absolutely true!” she says. Ellen J. Watson, Appleton, Wisconsin, informs us that she has been back from Australia for over a year now, and is working for Kimberly-Clark. In January 2009 she changed jobs, from relationship marketing manager for child care brands (Pull-ups and GoodNites) to relationship marketing manager for family care brands (Kleenex, Viva, Scott, and Cottonelle). Her mother remarked in the family Christmas letter, “Ellen has moved from diapers to toilet paper, which for some reason she views as a promotion.” Ellen oversees the Web sites and digital marketing for these brands and has to spend lots of time on Facebook for research, so please send friend requests! ’86 Lauren D. Cottle
Palo Alto, California email@example.com Frank S. Crane IV
Staten Island, New York firstname.lastname@example.org Ruth Staveley Bolzenius, Co-
lumbus, Ohio, writes that she and her husband, John, are embarking
on an adventure into business ownership. They are opening The Guitar House Workshop in a renovated house on Chambers Road in Columbus. Services include guitar lessons; guitar building, repair, sales, and maintenance; and a recording studio. They hope it will be a destination for both professional and novice musicians. Elizabeth Sigel Bouchard tells us that she just moved with her husband, Tim, and twin sons, Max and Jacob (twelve), to Great Falls, Virginia. A semi-rural community, Great Falls is a substantial change from Manhattan, where the family lived the previous three years. Liz is currently working at International Registries, where she is the maritime policy advisor. “It’s wonderful to be back in the work world after having taken time off to raise my family and live around the world,” she reports. James W. Caley and his wife, Margoth, announce the birth of their son Christopher Warren Caley, on July 14, 2008. The Caley family, which also includes Maxwell (two), lives in West Hartford, Connecticut. Megan Swanson Coleman, Scituate, Massachusetts, reports that she is making lemonade from lemons and has taken a hiatus from her real estate career. Activities for her children, Kristi (sixteen), Patrick (fourteen), and Brigid (four), dominate, of course. She is currently fundraising for Brigid’s preschool’s Special Olympics day and tying in the high school kids as volunteers. Megan says it’s lots of work but extremely rewarding. Kenneth P. Kreider, Cincinnati, Ohio, is entering his twentieth year of practice at Keating Muething & Klekamp and has recently been elected to join the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the
premier organization of real estate lawyers in the United States. On a personal note, Ken and his wife, Emily, have been married twenty years and have three sons, Pierce, Keene, and Quinn. ’87 Colleen R. Siders Eaton
Cincinnati, Ohio email@example.com Ann C. Davies, Beloit, Wiscon-
sin, has been named dean and vice president for academic affairs at Beloit College, effective June 1, 2009. Ann says this is a two-year stint, with the option of participating in a national search in 2010-11. She has been a member of the college faculty since 1997 and was recently promoted to full professor. She had the good fortune of having her first fulltime teaching experience at the college she knew best: Kenyon. Now she gets to experiment with full-time administration at another liberal arts college that she has come to know well over the past twelve years. Ann reports that just as when she returned to Kenyon to teach, she finds herself remembering that “thrill often includes an edge of terror.” W endy Stetson Palthey, Tunbridge, Vermont, tells us that she and Jean-Francois Palthey ’88 have been farming organic vegetables for over twenty years. “It is nice to have the rest of the country catching up; demand is always more than we can grow,” she says. Their children, Timmy and Zea, are doing well. Now that they are old enough to actually work, Wendy wishes that she had more. She got a lot of skiing in with the great snow last winter. “Vegetable farming in Vermont is one way to make the winters here seem way too short.” Ann Spencer,
Newport, New Hampshire, reports that she completed a doctorate in education, moved to New Hampshire, and married Seth Wilner (University of Connecticut ’91). She is now building an afterschool program through a federal 21c project and teaching graduate students in education. She and her husband have an organic flower and vegetable farm, along with careers and children. Reach Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org. ’88 Patricia Rossman Skrha
Cleveland, Ohio email@example.com Allison E. Joseph, Carbondale,
Illinois, read excerpts from one of her many books of poetry in April at the Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts as part of the Visiting Writer Series. In addition to writing, Allison teaches at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. She is also poetry editor for the Crab Orchard Review and the director of the Young Writers Workshop, a summer conference for high school writers. Melissa Henderson Koenig, Oak Park, Illinois, informs us that in March she placed third overall in her age group at the 2009 United States Short Track (Speed Skating) Nationals in Midland, Michigan. She had two second-place finishes and a fifth-place finish. Melissa’s twelve-year-old son, Michael, also competed in the Midget Men division, placing eighteenth in one race and nineteenth in two others. ’89 Andrea L. Bucey-Tikkanen
Hudson, Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org Joan O’Hanlon Curry
Ossining, New York email@example.com
Melissa Henderson Koenig ’88 placed third overall in her age group at the 2009 United States Short Track Nationals.
Patrick B. Williams and his wife,
’91 Phillip E. Wilson Jr.
Ladan Soomekh, announce the birth of their son, Oliver Greer Williams, on May 14, 2009. Patrick and Ladan, who also have a daughter, Violet Tova (three), live in Los Angeles, California. Liza Q. Wirtz, Harrisonburg, Virginia, reports that after spending several years singing (and copy editing) professionally, she got her J.D. at Vanderbilt in 2006 and became a staff attorney at Blue Ridge Legal Services, a legal aid firm in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. In her spare time, Liza writes, she recovers from knee surgery, and continues her quest to prove that vegetarian food can be as decadent as any other kind.
Yardley, Pennsylvania firstname.lastname@example.org
1990s ’90 20th Reunion 2010 Jenny Ross Thurber
East Lansing, Michigan email@example.com Joseph C. Bline, Saint Marys,
Ohio, reports that he has been named the new athletic director for Saint Marys Memorial High School. His children, Steven and Lauren, are five and three years old, respectively. Joe says, “Call to say hello at 419-778-7077.” Jeremy E. Caslin and his wife, Julie, announce the birth of their third child, Adam Dallas Caslin, on January 24, 2009. The Caslin family, which also includes big sisters Abigail (ten) and Lily (six), lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Elizabeth Talcott Wempe informs us that she and her husband, Kenneth A. Wempe II, and their family moved to Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville, in July. Ken is the head of the middle school at Battle Ground Academy, and their children, Clara (nine) and Henry (seven), attend the lower school.
Tracey A. Fatzinger, Glen Allen,
Virginia, informs us that she and her family continue to live in the Richmond area. She is an assistant clinical professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, as part of a team evaluating preschoolers for autism. Her children, William (eleven) and Sarah (eight), enjoyed summer and the pool. risten Hoffman Senior and K Alden L. Senior ’92, Winnetka, Illinois, report that Ben (nine) and Amelia (six) are keeping them on their toes. Alden was recently in Columbus on business visiting one of the branches in his region and used that as an excuse to swing by Kenyon. He got a chance to chat with Hugh C. Resnick in the Kenyon Bookstore, which Hugh now manages, and to check out some of the new construction that has taken place since his last visit. Alden thinks Peirce Hall in particular looks great! Yiji Shen Starr, Waltham, Massachusetts, a Cleveland Heights High School graduate, was inducted into the school’s Distinguished Hall of Fame in May 2009 during its twenty-ninth annual ceremony. Yiji is vice president and chief financial officer of John Hancock Annuities. ’92 Alise A. Shuart
Montclair, New Jersey firstname.lastname@example.org Heather Ahlburn Emerick and
her husband, Donny, are happy to announce the birth of their twin daughters, Winifred (Winnie) and Charlotte (Charlie) Emerick, on March 25, 2009. They are still living in Cranston, Rhode Island, where Heather works as a consultant for the Center for Learning and Professional Development at Brown University. So far, the twins listen only to the music of Justin S. Roberts! Priscilla W. Latta and her husband, Brent Godek, announce the birth of their third child, Scarlett Ann Godek, on January 15, 2009. She has an older sister, Aurora (seven),
kenyon college alumni bulletin fall 2009
C L A S S N O T E S
and brother, Riley (five). Priscilla is keeping busy as a family physician in practice with her husband in Buckingham, Pennsylvania (Bucks County). The family lives in nearby Doylestown. Alden L. Senior and Kristen Hoffman Senior ’91, Winnetka, Illinois, report that Ben (nine) and Amelia (six) are keeping them on their toes. Alden was recently in Columbus on business visiting one of the branches in his region and used that as an excuse to swing by Kenyon. He got a chance to chat with Hugh C. Resnick ’91 and to check out some of the new construction that had taken place since his last visit. Alden thinks Peirce Hall in particular looks great! Patrick van de Coevering reports that he is settled in Miami Beach, Florida. His wife, Iris, has opened a spa called Spa 101 at the Hilton Bentley Hotel there. ’93 Kevin Kropf
Jackson, Michigan email@example.com William M. Ashley married Monica Manginello in September 2008 in Saddle River, New Jersey. Classmate Edward E. Curtis sang “Ave Maria” during the service. Will and Monica moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, and Will is still with ESPN. Melissa Wood Brewster tells us that she continues to love living in Seattle, Washington, with her husband, George, and
their three children, Quinton (four), and Hadley and Davis (two), and developing her private psychotherapy practice. Johanna J. “Jody” Young Llewellyn, San Francisco, California, reports that after several years of research and development, she is excited to finally be launching the product and company she has developed, www.sidewalkskincare.com. Sidewalk’s first product is a luxury balm to protect women’s skin from fashion- or sports-induced rubbing (think heels or running). Jody says her “other hat” is as proud mama to her toddler son, Bart (two). Katja Zerck informs us that she and her husband, Wolfgang Steveker, moved to Wuppertal, Germany, in 2008. On April 11, 2008, they became a family of five, as their daughter, Fenna Steveker, was born then. Win (six) and Piet (four) are very proud big brothers.
2009-10 academic year. Joellen has worked as a journalist for The Wall Street Journal, based in Frankfurt, since 2006. She covers the European economy and the European Central Bank. Jamie L. Smith, Centerburg, Ohio, tells us that she is splitting her time between New York and Ohio, working on a novel about her family’s experiences in Appalachia since the 1700s, and applying to Ph.D. programs.
’95 15th Reunion 2010 Colleen R. Canning
David A. Beck and his wife,
New York, New York firstname.lastname@example.org Jennifer A. Schwesig, Saint Lou-
’94 Sarah E. Hall
Somerville, Massachusetts email@example.com Paul M. Penick III
San Francisco, California firstname.lastname@example.org Sandford Jaques, Kingsville,
Texas, informs us that he finished his Ph.D. in microbiology at the University of Iowa in 2004 and took a trip to India to study yoga at the Iyengar Yoga Institute. Since then he has completed a short post-doc back in Iowa and has now landed in Kingsville, a place he never thought he would live. Sandford is currently doing a post-doc at a college of pharmacy and slowly getting used to South Texas. He has started teaching a yoga class and volunteering at the local animal shelter, and he has adopted two cats. Katharine Weiser Macdonell, Ossining, New York, reports she is living in
Joellen C. Perry ’96 was named a KnightBagehot Fellow by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. 58
Westchester with her husband, James, and their three children. They regularly see Kate’s classmates Stephen C. Collins and Fiona Wallace Collins and keep in touch with Catherine Haight Smith, Michelle F. “Mischi” Carter, and Sarah HalstedPrenger. Douglas J. Rowland Jr. married Karen Gagnon on August 22, 2008, in Santa Cruz, California. Doug and Karen live in Davis, California. Katie Usher Snyder and Alfred L. Snyder, Seattle, Washington, report that they are raising their two daughters, Eleanora (six) and Turner (four), “with awe and delight.” They are both still teaching and loving it all.
kenyon college alumni bulletin fall 2009
is, Missouri, has been named leader of Armstrong Teasdale’s international practice group. The company employs over three hundred lawyers in offices across the United States and China. Jennifer’s practice focuses on international corporate compliance and transactions. ’96 Shannon P. Galvin
Chicago, Illinois email@example.com Delia A. Kloh
Charlottesville, Virginia firstname.lastname@example.org Sarah E. Michael
Santa Monica, California email@example.com Lauren MacKay Caplan, New-
tonville, Massachusetts, reports that she teaches yoga and natural health in studios and corporations around Boston, and she is beginning to train new yoga teachers. Lauren and her daughter, Shoshana (eight), planned to spend the summer in South Africa so that Shoshana could visit her father and his family there. Joellen C. Perry, Frankfurt, Germany, was one of nine KnightBagehot Fellows in economics and business journalism named by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for the
’97 Ed O’Malley
Mantoloking, New Jersey firstname.lastname@example.org Elizabeth A. Pannill
Houston, Texas email@example.com athryn, announce the birth of K their son, Windsor Foster Beck, on June 3, 2009. The Beck family lives in New Albany, Ohio. Elizabeth Rosengren Cotone, Ventura, California, tells us that she recently moved back to the Los Angeles area with her husband, Chris, and will begin the University of Southern California’s M.F.A. program in screenwriting this fall. Aaron R. McCormick, Brentwood, Pennsylvania, writes that life has been very active lately and he now has a wife named Kristin and a two-year-old son named Quinn. The McCormick family recently moved from Westmin ster, Colorado, to the Pittsburgh area to be closer to Kristin’s side of the family. Aaron is working in the finance field in downtown Pittsburgh and having a good time at it. Since he has moved back to the east side of the nation, Aaron would like to know who’s in the area. Please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to meet sometime. He hopes all is going well with everyone. Keri Schulte Wheeler reports that she and her husband, A.J., continue to love working (a little) and playing (a lot) in beautiful Jackson, Wyoming. The couple welcomed their second child, Ellie Mae Wheeler, into their lives on September 9, 2008. She made a very speedy arrival, being born just ten minutes after Keri got to the
hospital. Keri took a little time off from her busy pediatric practice to enjoy being home with Ellie and her brother, Mason (five). She still loves running and is currently training for a one-hundred-mile ultramarathon this fall. ’98 Jonny Nicholson
Andover, Massachusetts email@example.com Thomas S. Dodge, Manchester, Massachusetts, was named the director of field operations for Windover Construction. He will be in charge of preparing project schedules, investigating phasing options as well as site and logistics planning. Tom specializes in managing and operating complex, large-scale project schedules and issues related to site acquisition, construction, and implementation. Matthew C. Jadud and Carrie Kepple Jadud are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Matthew John Jadud, in March 2009. He recently made his first trip to Kenyon for this year’s Chasers reunion, where he saw the sights and met several alumni and faculty members. Matt has just finished his first year as a computer science professor at Allegheny College, while Carrie is presently taking what she chooses to view as an indefinite maternity leave. The Jaduds live in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and they encourage those who happen to find themselves in the area to drop by. Keith Wilde, Mount Vernon, Ohio, writes, “My stint as the figure drawing T.A. at Kenyon traced a wandering line through twelve years of dots to my current job. I now teach art at East Knox High School, a short walkable trace from Kenyon.” ’99 Jesse Savage
Redwood City, California firstname.lastname@example.org Hilary A. Lowbridge
Delaware, Ohio email@example.com Mary E. “Beth” Fincke, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, informs us that she is currently teaching English as a second language at Boston University. She is also
Reel Life FORMER KENYON FILM SOCIETY PRESIDENT SPENCER PARSONS ’95 DIRECTS HIS FIRST FULL-LENGTH FEATURE On a June evening last year, Spencer Parsons was pacing in the back of a sold-out theater at the L.A. Film Festival, enjoying—in his way—the fulfillment of a long-nurtured dream. He and hundreds of paying ticket-holders were watching the world premiere of I’ll Come Running, Parsons’s first feature-length film. “It was a great launch,” he remembers. “By the third screening we had a long line of people who were disappointed when we had to turn them away.” Co-written and directed by Parsons, the film stars Melonie Diaz (Be Kind Rewind) and features Parsons’s classmate Hallie Bulleit ’95. Set in Austin, Texas, and Aarhus, Denmark, it tells the story of a one-night stand that leads a young woman on an unexpected romantic odyssey in Europe. The film sold out every showing at the festival, and was called by LA Weekly “a surprisingly insightful portrait of how a sudden loss reverberates through a family and a circle of friends.” The movie also screened successfully at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas. Purchased by the Independent Film Channel, the movie will be available through videoon-demand as part of the “Festival Direct” series on November 4. A self-described film-geek from early childhood and a former teen film critic for his hometown newspaper in Naples, Florida, Parsons enrolled his freshman year in an introduction-to-film course taught by Christopher Brookhouse. “I took that thinking: I’ll do that one, and then any others that come along after that,” Parsons recalls. “Only there weren’t any others.” So he devised an independent study of films with English professor James Carson, wrote a number of scripts for a newly founded student theater troupe called Roundtable, and served as president of the Kenyon Film Society. “I’m honestly grateful that I attended a college with no film major, and only one or two classes I could take that were related to film, because it encouraged me to explore other subjects,” he says. “I would say that the philosophy and religion classes that I took at Kenyon actually have a lot more to do with my filmmaking process now than any film class I’ve ever taken.” After graduating with a degree in English and interning in the dramaturgy and literary management departments of Center Stage in Baltimore and Actors Theater of Louisville, Parsons did finally enroll in more film classes—in the MFA program in film at the University of Texas, Austin. He completed the program and taught at the university for seven years.
While there, he made short films, served as senior programmer for the Cinematexas International Short Film Festival, and labored for three and a half years on I’ll Come Running before production even began, while also struggling to cobble together the money necessary to turn the script into a film. By the time Parsons arrived in Aarhus to start filming, in the summer of 2006, he had quit his job as a lecturer at UT, and had invested so much of his own money into the movie that he had a zero balance in his bank account. “It was basically a question each month of what credit card I’d have to pay,” Parsons explains. The film has buoyed Parsons’s fortunes professionally. He has just signed on as an assistant professor at Northwestern University, where he loves working with students on their films. “The teaching is really important to me,” he says. “I love learning from students’ mistakes, and also from their discoveries and triumphs.” Meanwhile, he has begun work on his own future film projects. Together with a writing partner he is working on a romantic comedy, and he is already at work with I’ll Come Running producers to schedule his next directorial effort: a psychological horror film. “Filmmaking—or at least my experience of it— always reminds me of a scene in Jurassic Park 2, where somebody says, ‘We won’t make the same mistakes we made before,’ and Jeff Goldblum comes back with, ‘No. We’re going to make entirely new ones.’” Staring out a nearby window, as if he can see, upon the grass, an idly assembled cast and crew whose talents he’ll soon have to marshal, he adds, “The horror movie will present entirely new problems, I know. But maybe now I know better what sort of monster I’m inviting into my life. I feel ready.” —Brian Groh ’95 k e n y o n c o l l e g e a l u m n i b u l l e t i n f a l l 2 0 0 9 59
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’00 10th Reunion 2010 Elizabeth N. Roche
Arlington, Virginia firstname.lastname@example.org Paulette M. Adams married
doing yoga, hiking, and salsa dancing. Andrew D. Lebkuecher and his wife, Alys L. Spensley ’01, tell us they are enjoying life in Shanghai and exploring new parts of China, and that Kenyon friends are welcome to visit. Drew and Alys are both foreign service officers with the State Department. Their home is in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Zachary B. Nowak, Perugia, Italy, reports that he has put out his second mystery novel, Death By Chocolate, which is set in Perugia. He is also working as a correspondent for ABC News online, covering the Meredith Kercher murder trial. Shaka D. Smart, Gainesville, Florida, was recently hired by Virginia Commonwealth University as its new basketball coach. Shelby Van Voris-Schoenborn, Richmond Hill, Georgia, tells us that her husband, Stephen, returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq in August 2008. On November 18, 2008, the couple welcomed their daughter, Chloe Michelle Shoenborn. Daniel C. Wilcock, Washington, D.C., married Takako Maeda in 2006 in Japan. He is currently working as a writer at Georgetown University but is interested in doing international work with the State Department.
Robert Russell “Rusty” Campbell (Chaminade University, Honolulu) in 2007, after meeting him in Afghanistan in 2005. Their first child, Noah Isaac Campbell, was born May 12, 2008. Rusty recently retired from the Marine Corps and they have moved back to the mainland from Hawaii. Paula says that after seven years in Hawaii, Rusty has quite an adjustment to make to Ohio winters! Paula, Rusty, and Noah live in Hicksville, Ohio. Charles M. Walsh, Portland, Oregon, reports that he is now living in the attic. ’01 Erin Shanahan
Chicago, Illinois email@example.com Andrew P. Grace and his wife, Tory L. Weber ’02, announce the birth of their daughter, Lily Kae Weber Grace, on July 6, 2008, and Tory says they are loving parenthood! Andy’s second book of poetry, Shadeland, was published in December 2008 by Ohio State University Press. The family recently moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, so that Andy could pursue his Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati. The couple returned to Gambier briefly this summer to teach for the Kenyon Review Young Writers workshops. Rowan Williams Haug and her husband,
Charles, announce the arrival of their daughter, Sophie Adele Haug, on March 11, 2008. Since then, she has kept their lives very busy. The Haugs live in S halimar, Florida. Alys L. S pensley and her husband, Andrew D. Leb kuecher ’99, tell us they are enjoying life in Shanghai and exploring new parts of China, and that Kenyon friends are welcome to visit. Drew and Alys are both foreign service officers with the State Department. Their home is in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Sr. Jeana M. Visel, Louisville, Kentucky, tells us that she is interested in organizing Catholic alumni to work on increasing campus ministry support for Catholics at Kenyon. If you would be interested in helping in this endeavor, please e-mail Jeana at jeanav@thedome. org. Todd J. Weiner, Arlington, Virginia, reports that he is currently working as the senior writer for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas. Stephanie Sorge Wing, Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and her husband, Andy, were ordained as ministers of word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) on January 11, 2009. They are currently serving as co-pastors at United Presbyterian Church in Harrodsburg and enjoying close proximity to Louisville, Lexington, and Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail.
kenyon college alumni bulletin fall 2009
’03 Phillip E. Ross
Anaheim, California firstname.lastname@example.org Jennifer A. Keeley married
’02 Meredith M. Crawford
Madison, Connecticut email@example.com Amelia C. Johnson
Birmingham, Alabama firstname.lastname@example.org Densil R. Porteous
San Francisco, California email@example.com Caitlin E. Horrocks, Grand
Caitlin E. Horrocks ’02 is one of twenty authors recently featured in the 2009 PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories.
University Press toward the end of the year. Robert J. Mazer, San Francisco, California, informs us that he is about to release his second CD, called Collecting Dust (under the name Bob Harp), this spring. “It’s a folk rock/Americana kind of sound,” he says. Tory L. Weber and her husband, Andrew P. Grace ’01, announce the birth of their daughter, Lily Kae Weber Grace, on July 6, 2008, and Tory says they are loving parenthood! Andy’s second book of poetry, Shadeland, was published in December 2008 by Ohio State University Press. The family recently moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, so that Andy could pursue his Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati. The couple returned to Gambier briefly this summer to teach for the Kenyon Review Young Writers workshops. Arielle R. Wolovnick married Benjamin Heller on May 30, 2009, in Weehauken, New Jersey, overlooking the New York City skyline. Ruth E. Crowell served as a bridesmaid. Following a honeymoon in Costa Rica, Arielle and Ben continue to live in New York. Arielle says they couldn’t be happier!
Rapids, Michigan, is one of twenty authors recently featured in the 2009 PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, widely regarded as the nation’s most prestigious award for short fiction. The story is entitled “This is Not Your City.” Caitlin informs us that a collection of her stories, under the same title, is forthcoming from Eastern Washington
Andrew Yonda on August 9, 2008. In Jennifer’s words, she married Andrew, “the love of her life, one sunny August day, in the middle of the prairie, on the top of a hill. In the middle of the ceremony out burst one of the best fiveminute rain storms. The rest of the ceremony was lit by streaks of sun pouring through the clouds, and now Jennifer is living happily ever after!” The Yondas live in Madison, Wisconsin. Alexander B. O’Flinn’s film Movement was an official selection in the 2008 American Film Institute Dallas International Film Festival, the Omaha Film Festival, the St. Louis International Film Festival, and the Indianapolis International Film Festival. Movement was also
Adrienne D. Boris ’07 recently directed a one-act at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge.
six years. She and Aaron C. Stancik ’04 celebrated their one year wedding anniversary in March, and they are both doing very well. Sarah L. Wasserman reports that she is currently working on her dissertation, “Material Losses: Urban Ephemera in Contemporary American Literature and Culture,” for her Ph.D. at Princeton. She is happy to be living with her boyfriend in London and Berlin for the 2009-10 academic year. ’04 Cynthia A. Cunningham
the opening-night showcase and winner of the UCLA Festival of New Creative Work Best Documentary in 2008. The film is about Alex’s own struggle with the rare movement disorder, benign myoclonus. Another of his films, a documentary short called The Cost of Life that deals with the issue of health care reform, was an official selection of the UCLA Stolen Dreams Short Films Competition. Alex lives in Los Angeles, California, where he is in his final year of the master’s degree program at the University of California, Los Angeles, film school. Rebecca M. Palacios married Raymond Smith on May 3, 2008, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Classmates Melissa R. Blum, Katherine F. C hapman, and Kristina L. Cushing participated as bridesmaids. Becca and Ray both graduated from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine the weekend following the wedding. The Smiths live in Indianapolis, Indiana, where Becca is doing a residency in psychiatry and Ray is doing one in family medicine. Elizabeth C. Ray married Ted Whitney in October 2008. Liz and Ted live in Lafayette, Colorado, where Liz operates a private voice studio and runs competitively. Laura May Stancik, Arlington, Virginia, reports that she is leaving Washington, D.C., and her position in corporate finance to pursue an M.B.A. at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. She is very excited to be back in school for the first time in
Chillicothe, Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org Jesse Spencer
Denver, Colorado email@example.com Nell B. Burger married William
George Kirst Jr. on November 29, 2008, at McKinley Presbyterian Church in Urbana, Illinois. Nell’s classmate Erica K. Elliott was a member of the wedding party. Nell graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School on May 8, 2009, and will be staying on at the university for residency training in family medicine. In March of this year her article titled “Comforter and Comforted in an Unfolding Mystery” appeared in the Health Section of the New York Times. Dawn C. Sokolowski, Willoughby, Ohio, tells us that she has completed her second year of teaching at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio. She teaches biology, oceanography, and biotechnology. ’05 5th Reunion 2010 Edward B. Hourigan
Brooklyn, New York firstname.lastname@example.org Kelly A. Smallwood
Falls Church, Virginia email@example.com Adam M. Clark, Houston, Texas, reports that he and Silvia Cernea ’08 plan to move to Silvia’s home
country of Romania for a year before returning to the United States for graduate school.
’06 C. Hayes Wong
Atlanta, Georgia firstname.lastname@example.org Andrew J. Hass
Chevy Chase, Maryland email@example.com Kaley P. Bell, Hopewell, New
J ersey, reports that she will be starting an M.A. in American studies at Columbia University this fall, joining Anne C.H. Huntoon ’04 and classmate David I. Purcell in the liberal studies department. Zachary D. Rosen, Washington, D.C., was featured on the front page of the Metro section of the Washington Post on March 22. He and a friend, Eboné Bell, focus their energies on making the gay culture in D.C. more inclusive, in an attempt to separate themselves from a culture which seems entirely focused on sex and personal ads. Zack is the co-founder of an online publication, The New Gay, which he describes as a “rare forum for gay people that focuses more on pop culture and politics.” Michael Scott-Nelson writes that he is currently studying computer music at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He says it has been great sharing dinners with classmate Samuel M. Simkoff and Callie Vincent Simkoff ’04, and catching up with David H. Rogoff when he travels down to Washington, D.C., as well as other Kenyon alumni. Michael and his wife, R. Laine Scott-Nelson, moved to Baltimore in the spring of 2009. Casey M. Smith, Dauphin Island, Alabama, writes that she is still in graduate school working on her master’s degree in marine science, which she is hoping to complete by the end of this year. She recently traveled to France for a large conference. Olivia L. Tucci married Patrick Grenter (Santa Clara University ’05) in August 2008. Her sister, Tara N. Tucci ’04, served as the maid of honor, and the ceremony was attended by a number of Kenyon classmates and friends. Olivia and Patrick live in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Olivia works as an eighth-grade science and history teacher and coaches a high school softball team. Suzanne M. Wasik, New York City, tells us that she is the head kindergarten teacher at the Excellence Boys Charter School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Suzanne is an alumna of Teach for America and taught in the South Bronx for two years before going to Excellence. ’07 Emily C. Martyn
Somerville, Massachusetts firstname.lastname@example.org Adrienne D. Boris, Brighton,
Massachusetts, reports that she lives in the Boston area and is employed by Opera Boston. She recently directed the Brecht/Weill one-act The Seven Deadly Sins as part of the company’s Opera Boston Underground series at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge. Adrienne also directed a new play for Company One’s SLAMBoston, a festival celebrating diversity in American theater. Ian H. Brantley, Chattanooga, Tennessee, writes that he is currently working as a health volunteer with the Peace Corps in Nicaragua. While his work consists of various health educational activities, he has recently been focusing his time on a water and sanitation project called Water for Lemons. He says that access to potable water is an issue that has been neglected for too long in the displaced, mountainous communities of Nicaragua. Lisa A. Hamer, San Francisco, California, is excited to report that she went to New Orleans this past summer to work at the office of the Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana under the auspices of the University of San Francisco School of Law’s Keta Taylor Colby Death Penalty Project. She researched habeas corpus appeals and conducted interviews with death row clients, their families, and victims’ families. She also worked with Sister Helen Prejean (author of Dead
kenyon college alumni bulletin fall 2009
C L A S S N O T E S
tells us that she is working for an Africa advocacy organization in Washington, and she participated in a research trip to Burundi and Uganda last spring. Beth says she loves living in our nation’s capital, especially during this exciting political year! ’08 Peter W. Case
Man Walking). Elizabeth R. Howe and William G. Stanton ’08, Boulder, Colorado, inform us that Elizabeth is working as a registered nurse on a medical oncology floor at a hospital in Denver. In June, Will finished the first year of his Ph.D. program in math at the University of Colorado. Richard E. Marinos, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, tells us that in June of this year, he began Peace Corps service in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. He serves as an agroforestry volunteer, working primarily in antidesertification and micronutrition initiatives. Alexis N. Minana, Irvine, California, informs us that she is working at the Los Angeles Times and applying to graduate programs in English. She misses the falls of Kenyon. Jeremy S. Spater, Granville, Ohio, reports that he is finishing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan and doing experimental research on more fuel-efficient car engines. He is also looking for a job, if, as he says, such a thing still exists. He writes, “Thanks for a great four years, and good luck to everyone!” Amy L. Strieter, Cleveland, Ohio, tells us that after returning from Indonesia in the summer of 2008, she began a Bible study program for the academic year in Cleveland. After a few road trips and organizing a drama camp during the summer of 2009, Amy plans to continue working for the Cleveland Heights Church as an intern. She also continues to write for a travel company based in Costa Rica. George L. Ten Eyck, Cincinnati, Ohio, tells us that he is the assistant teacher in a sixthgrade class. He sees classmates Luke A. Jellison and Christopher J. Caldemeyer often. Beth C. Tuckey, Washington, D.C.,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania email@example.com Marc E. Christian
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania firstname.lastname@example.org Matthew E. Segal
Glencoe, Illinois email@example.com Adam M. Clark ’05, Houston, Texas, reports that he and Silvia Cernea are moving to her home
country of Romania for a year, before returning to the United States for graduate school. Silvia has been living in Brooklyn, New York. Franco A. DaCosta Gomez writes that he graduated from the University of Virginia in May 2008. He is currently working in Costa Rica. William G. Stanton and Elizabeth R. Howe ’07, Boulder, Colorado, inform us that Will has finished the first year of his Ph.D. program in math at the University of Colorado. Elizabeth works as a registered nurse on a medical oncology floor at a Denver hospital. Lydia J. Thompson tells us that she has been living in Little Rock, Arkansas, since July 2008 and loves it! She worked for City Year, an Americorps program, but her term of service ended in June 2009 so she is currently searching for jobs to continue her work in the nonprofit world, possibly through another Americorps program.
kenyon college alumni bulletin fall 2009
IN MEMORIAM John K. Murdoch 1931, on July
27, 1995. The La Grange, Illinois, resident was eighty-seven. John majored in economics and was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. He worked as an office manager at Brunner Booth Fotochrome Company and as an accountant for Electric Vehicle Associates, both in Cleveland, Ohio.
and psychology major, graduating with honors. He was a member of Delta Phi. He joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1952 as a special agent and worked at the agency for ten years. Arthur then earned a master’s in business administration at New York University. He went to work for the General Foods Corporation in White Plains, New York, where he became the manager for financial planning, analysis, and control. He retired from General Foods in 1988 and worked for several years in real estate sales. Arthur was survived by his wife of fifty-three years, Ann; daughter, Pamela Severson; son, Jeffrey Seidel ’84; and four grandchildren. Gifts in his memory may be sent to Lake Sunapee Region Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice, P.O. Box 2209, New London, New Hampshire 03257. William H. Shriber ’49, on March
Douglas G. Meldrum ’47, on
March 12, 2009. The Laconia, New Hampshire, man was eightyfour. Douglas was a member of Delta Tau Delta. He served in the U.S. Army Air Forces as a radio operator in Italy during World War II. He went on to a career in writing, editing, and public relations. Douglas was a medical writer for the Columbia University Medical Center, the managing editor of Modern Plastics and executive editor of Industrial Design magazines, and an account executive for a number of public relations agencies. He was an avid reader and writer. Douglas was survived by his wife, Betty; step-daughters Wren Sooy and Robin Grant; and five grandchildren. Arthur H. Seidel ’48 P’84, of
cancer, on May 29, 2009. The Grantham, New Hampshire, resident was eighty-three. Arthur attended New York University before serving in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. He transferred to Kenyon and became a philosophy
26, 2009. The South Bend, Indiana, man was eighty-two. William was a biology major and a member of Sigma Pi and Peeps. He served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He later earned his medical degree at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. He was an obstetrician and gynecologist and served an internship and residency at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. He then practiced at the South Bend Clinic, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, and Memorial Hospital for thirtytwo years. William continued his medical education in retirement with the Retired Doctors Group. He became a volunteer at St. Joseph and with the local Meals on Wheels program. One of his great interests was the stock market, and he was a member of the National Association Investment Club and the American Association Investment Club. William was survived by his wife of fifty-seven years, Rena; daughter, Alida Shriber; son, Gregg Shriber; and two grandsons.
Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Foundation of SJRMC -Auxiliary, 4215 Edison Lakes Parkway, Suite 300, Mishawaka, Indiana 46545; Real Services Meals on Wheels, 1151 S. Michigan Street, South Bend, Indiana 46634; and the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care, 111 Sunnybrook Court, South Bend, Indiana 46637. David F. Andrews 1950, on May
5, 2009. The Lewiston, Idaho, resident was eighty-four. David was a member of Delta Tau Delta. He arrived at Kenyon after serving in the U.S. Army during World War II with the 14th Armored Division in France, Germany, and Czechoslovakia and later as a military police officer in New Orleans. He had also worked in a sporting-goods store in Shaker Heights, Ohio, selling firearms, which gave him a career focus. He transferred to Arizona State College, graduating in 1951. He became a sales representative for Remington Arms, covering the southwest United States before moving to San Francisco. David was a marksman who competed in rifle and pistol matches. He later took a job with Micro Sight, a sporting-goods wholesaler in Belmont, California, and then with Speer Products in Idaho. At Speer, he was the editor of Speer Manuals and director of research and ballistics. He also worked for CCI and Omark. David retired in 1987 but stayed busy in the firearms industry, including as a safety inspector at Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute trade shows, technical advisor for the Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners, and contributing editor to American Rifleman. He was also a consultant to law-enforcement organizations on technical issues related to ammunition. The outdoorsman loved hunting and fishing. And David was an avid collector of cartridges, coins, and stamps and traveled around the world to attend trade and collector shows.
His wife of thirty-five years, Ida Mary, died in 1985. David later rekindled a friendship with Dorothy Ross of Shaker Heights, and they enjoyed a relationship of seventeen years together and at long distance, marrying in 1993. David was survived by his daughter, Chris Boyer; son, Bill Andrews; sister, Phoebe Therrien; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Donations in his memory may be sent to Lewiston Library Foundation, P.O. Box 1055, Lewiston, Idaho 83501. John R. McNaughton Jr. ’50, on
March 23, 2009. The Nashville, Tennessee, resident was eightytwo. Before attending Kenyon, John served in the U.S. Army for eighteen months in the European Theater during World War II. At Kenyon, he majored in German and was a member of Delta Phi. John was co-owner of the McNaughton/McKay Electric Company in Madison Heights, Michigan, where he started his career in sales. He was survived by daughters Carol Beebe and Krysta Giacobone; son, John R. McNaughton III; and three grandchildren. Gifts in his memory may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 North Michigan Avenue, Floor 17, Chicago, Illinois 60601, or the Hole in the Wall Gang, 555 Long Wharf Drive, New Haven, Connecticut 06511. Ira Miller 1951, on March 31,
2009, after battling prostate cancer. The Bethesda, Maryland, resident was seventy-eight. Ira attended Kenyon for two years and then transferred to Columbia University and graduated in 1951. He earned a medical degree from the University of Buffalo in 1956. He became a general surgeon who had a practice in Bethesda for thirty-three years. At various times he served as the chairman of the surgery department and chairman of the medical staff at Suburban Hospital. After he retired in 1997, Ira earned a master’s
degree in classics at St. John’s College and became an instructor of Greek history and literature in the adult education program at Johns Hopkins University. Ira was survived by his wife of forty-one years, Barbara; son, Benjamin Miller; and a sister. He had survived the deaths of two children, Amy and David Miller. Thomas P. Metcalf ’55, on May
29, 2009, after an extended illness. The Mount Vernon, Ohio, resident was seventy-seven. Tom was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma. He had transferred to Kenyon after attending Ohio State University. He overcame serious injuries suffered in a 1952 traffic accident as a teenager and became a community leader in Mount Vernon. As a result of the accident, his leg was amputated in 1957, but Tom went on to water ski and dance. Tom worked as a teenager in the family business, Metcalf Motors, in Mount Vernon. After Kenyon, he worked in the insurance business and for the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, where he was the 1983 employee of the year. He also managed the Alcove restaurant in downtown Mount Vernon for many years and became an advocate for a strong downtown business community. He was most noted for his dedication to the Alcove, where he brought a hands-on approach to management and engaged in lively conversation with patrons. “If you wanted someone to tell you the truth about your ideas, and to always have the best interests of your city at heart, Tom Metcalf was your guy,” Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis told the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. “We all thought Tom would just keep on going forever. We will surely miss him.” The Dispatch said Tom was a vital part of the Heritage Centre Association, which supports Mount Vernon downtown activities and redevelopment. He played key roles in the development of the Dan Emmett Conference Center and the preservation of
the Woodward Opera House. Tom was also involved with the Knox County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Central Ohio Restaurant Association, the Woodward Opera House Development Corporation, the Dan Emmett Festival Committee, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Mount Vernon Developmental Center. Boating and listening to music were among his favorite activities. Tom was survived by his children, Kimberly Brady, Thomas P. Metcalf Jr., Stephanie Langley, and Richard Langley; seven grandchildren; and two greatgrandchildren. Paul B. Belin ’56, on April 30,
2009. The Union Dale, Pennsylvania, man was seventy-six. Paul was an economics major and a member of Psi Upsilon. He worked in the field of chemical-dependence recovery for more than thirty years and was a mentor to many people recovering from addictions. He was a counselor and admissions director at Marworth Treatment Center in Waverly, Pennsylvania, and at Clearbrook Treatment Centers in northeastern Pennsylvania. Earlier in life, Paul raised and trained horses in Pennsylvania. Paul was survived by his brother, Henry Belin IV, and sister, Alice Fish. Memorial contributions may be sent to Clearbrook Treatment Centers, 1003 Wyoming Avenue, Forty Fort, Pennsylvania 18704. Carl W. Armstrong ’71 P’99, on
March 5, 2009. The fifty-nineyear-old Richmond, Virginia, physician had fought cancer for seven years. Carl was a biology major. He graduated from the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in 1975 and received training in internal medicine at Tufts New England Medical Center. He became a leader in the field of public health. Carl began his career as an epidemic intelligence service officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assigned
kenyon college alumni bulletin fall 2009
C L A S S N O T E S
to the Virginia Department of Health, where he later became director of health hazards control. He went on to become a local health director for the Piedmont Health District, senior medical advisor for the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, and director of the Office of Epidemiology at the Virginia health department. Carl competed in triathlons and was a member of the Richmond Area Bicycling Association. He and his wife of thirty-five years, Barbara, enjoyed riding the tandem bicycle they named Blazing Saddles. In addition to his wife, Carl was survived by daughters Charis Lyon and Amelia Weinman ’99; son, Matthew Armstrong; father, John Armstrong; and brother, Alan Armstrong. Contributions in Carl’s memory may be sent to the Chris Desch Foundation, P.O. Box 8467, Richmond, Virginia 23226. Mike Langstrom ’71, on March
7, 2009, of pancreatic cancer. The Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, resident was fifty-nine. Mike majored in French and graduated with honors. He was a member of Alpha Sigma Chi and the Chase Society. He earned a master’s degree in management at Oakland University in 1975. Mike and his wife, Beverly Olsen Langstrom ’73, were married at the Church of the Holy Spirit and enjoyed a reception at Peirce Hall in 1976. Mike worked at the American Motors Corporation in Michigan as an employee-benefits analyst before taking a job as corporate benefits administrator at Volkswagen of America. At Volkswagen, where he was known fondly for his
Hawaiian shirts, Mike was general manager of human resources and director of human resources. He retired from Volkswagen in 2007. He was an active and generous alumnus, serving as the Detroit chairman for alumni admissions, co-chair of the reunion planning committee, and volunteer for Kenyon Fund events. In addition to his wife, Mike was survived by his mother, Josephine, and his sister, Susan. Beverly invites all returning alumni to sit for a moment on the bench that bears their names in front of the chapel along Middle Path and then “go forth and seize the day!” Paul J. Dellasega ’73, on June 2,
2009, after suffering a stroke. The Hershey, Pennsylvania, resident was fifty-seven. Paul was a political science major and president of Delta Phi. He went on to earn a law degree at Dickinson School of Law. He became a partner in the law firm Thomas, Thomas & Hafer and chaired the employment law section. Paul was survived by his wife of twenty-six years, Cheryl; daughter, Ellen Dellasega; son, Joe Dellasega; stepson, Matthew Thorn; brothers Philip Dellasega and Stephen Dellasega; a granddaughter, and a step-granddaughter. Donations may be sent to Downtown Daily Bread, 10 North Third Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101. Gordon B. Buell ’81, on June 3,
2009. The Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, resident was fortynine. Gordon was a history major. He played lacrosse and was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. After earning a master’s degree in architecture from Drexel University, he became a self-employed architect and contractor. Gordon was an avid fly fisherman. Gordon was survived by his wife, Susan; children Jack and Sarah Buell; and parents Duncan and Sally Buell. Memorial contributions may be sent to Bryn Mawr
kenyon college alumni bulletin fall 2009
Hospital, 130 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010. James C. Higgins ’81, of injuries
suffered in an industrial accident, on April 13, 2009. The London, Ohio, resident was fifty-two. Jim was an economics major. He was a veteran of the U.S. Merchant Marine. After Kenyon, Jim worked in the restaurant business and in financial services before returning to the family farm near Lafayette, Ohio, in 1985. With his brother Bob, Jim grew soybeans, corn, and wheat. He later joined Oracle Elevator as an elevator technician. He was killed while working on an elevator in Columbus, Ohio, in what was once a high-rise hotel being converted into a residence hall by Ohio State University. Jim served as the financial director of the Noor Islamic Cultural Center in Dublin, Ohio. He was also a Kenyon Fund Phonathon volunteer. Jim was survived by his wife, Nadia; children Joseph and Yasmine Higgins; brothers Dan Higgins, John Higgins, Bill Higgins, and Bob Higgins; and sisters Kathy Higgins-Luthman, Peg Beathard, Nancy Sachs, Janey Hodge, and Ruth Roddy. Donations in Mike’s memory may be sent in the name of the Higgins children to Advantage Bank, 2 East High Street, London, Ohio 43140. James M. Bauschatz 2000, on
March 13, 2009. The Willoughby, Ohio, man was thirty-two. At Kenyon, James sang with the Kokosingers and provided the voice for Audrey II in the production of Little Shop of Horrors. He transferred to the University of Maine and graduated in 2003 with a major in elementary education. James never complained about coping with a congenital heart defect, reduced lung capacity, and many surgeries. He was described by family and friends as a thoughtful and kind man with a wonderful sense of humor. He is well-remembered for his strong singing voice. He enjoyed singing in barber-
shop quartets and was a member of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America. James participated in several Elyria (Ohio) Summer Theater and Silhouette Productions and was a member of the Cleveland-based Street Corner Singers. James was also an actor, appearing in several independent films, including Get Him, La Dolce Fajita, and The Red Lantern. He had background roles in the studio films Smart People and She’s Out of My League. He was a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. James was married for eight years to the former Joiel Davies ’99. Their first date was dinner at the Gambier Deli on Valentine’s Day in 1998. When Joiel told her roommates about the date, “we all spontaneously held hands and jumped around in a circle together, like a bunch of silly school girls.” Their life together included two children and James became their devoted, stay-at-home dad. “James’s medical situation made us all more acutely aware that every moment we shared together was a miraculous gift,” she said. “The amazing man, husband, father, brother, son, friend, and talent that he was, made everyone cherish their time with him even more. He was brave and … lived blissfully in the moments of every day. “My heart never stopped jumping around in that silly, little circle. And it never will.” Scott Strickland ’97 sang in the Kokosingers with James and recalled him as “a very special person—thoughtful, kind, and genuine.” James had “a beautiful singing voice” and was at home on the stage. Another former Kokosinger, Dan Fishbach ’98, said James was the group’s strongest bass voice and performed a memorable solo on the Michael Jackson song Thriller. His audition for the group was also memorable, Fishbach said. “How could that huge, incredible voice come out of that small kid?” He added, “I shall always remember him as a kind,
John K. Lutton, a beloved professor of chemistry, died on May 10, 2009, in Mount Vernon, Ohio, after a battle with heart disease. John, who was fifty-nine, joined the Kenyon faculty in July 1980. He lived in Gambier with his wife of thirty-eight years, Roberta, and was on sabbatical at the time of his death. He was a biochemist with a commitment to interdisciplinary study and a prescient love of technology. His home was a lively venue for social gatherings, including Department of Chemistry events with senior students and their families, and a stage for meetings with department job candidates. “He was considered the heart of the department,” said James Keller, associate professor of chemistry and department chair. “He just had that character. He was kind of incredible. There were many facets to this guy.” John had a knack for teaching and an “incredible rapport” with students, Keller said, from “non-majors who didn’t even want to venture into the science quad to our majors.” He had served on the Health Professions Advisory Committee, helping students determine the best ways to prepare themselves for and apply to medical school. One such student is Cathy Ulman ’09 of Upper Arlington, Ohio, a chemistry major and former Summer Science Scholar who did research into Alzheimer’s disease under John’s supervision. “He completely made my experience at Kenyon,” she said. “Everyone was trying to figure out their entire schedule around taking a class with him. He told stories. Everyone knows his stories. He kept it fun, like a family atmosphere. “And he was so accessible,” she said. “He would always say, ‘Do you follow me?’ ” John had an affinity for Asian and Asian-American students and was an early supporter of the Asian Students for International Awareness (ASIA), according to Wendy Singer, Roy T. Wortman Distinguished Professor of History. “ASIA has grown and developed and inspired other organizations since then,” Singer said. “But I will always remember John for this early commitment to Asian and Asian-American students.” He was “well-loved” by all of his students, said Scott Cummings, associate professor of chemistry. “He was very generous with his passion for learning, his passion for chemistry. He was a biochemist and he was always great at making connections between chemistry and the things right in front of our noses every day.” John taught courses in general chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry, and advanced organic chemistry. His research interests focused on computational biochemistry, enzyme mechanisms, and pharmaco kinetics. He was a leader in establishing the interdisciplinary Kenyon Program in Neuroscience. And John was widely known for introducing technology to teaching. He was born in Tokyo, Japan, to John B. and Kazuko Lutton. He spent his early childhood with his father, who was in the military, living in Germany, California, and Washington. His father’s second wife, Olive Lutton, took on the role of mother to John. He earned a bachelor’s in chemistry at Pacific Lutheran University in 1971 and a doctorate in biochemistry in 1976 at Purdue University, where he was a graduate research and teaching assistant. Before joining the Kenyon faculty, John was a research associate at the University of Colorado Medical School and the University of North Carolina Medical School.
He took sabbaticals in 1987, when he joined the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a research associate, and in 1995, when he took a turn as a visiting professor of chemistry at Ohio State University. “He was one of the movers and shakers on this campus for high-level computing,” Keller said. “This was way back. He was responsible for getting the cable from the mainframe on campus to the science buildings. He was literally out there hooking us up line by line and bolting things together. He was quite a wizard at that. “He was like a kid,” Keller said. “He loved new technological wonders.” John’s enthusiasm for technology prompted him to create his department’s first Web site and he set up wireless Internet access for his colleagues well before wireless service reached the rest of the campus. His scholarly work was balanced by a rich family life and love for God, according to family members. He was an active member at Faith Lutheran Church in Mount Vernon and had served as congregational president. He had been a youth soccer coach, science tutor, and local campaign volunteer for the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. He was also a Wiggin Street Elementary School volunteer and about a month before his death performed a chemistry demonstration with liquid nitrogen there. His son, Michael Lutton, of Howard, Ohio, said, “To him, Kenyon wasn’t just a job. It was a way of life and he felt honored to be part of the community on the Hill.” Michael described his father as a tireless educator who considered his students his extended family. He was most proud of the construction of the new chemistry facilities and enjoyed giving tours. “My dad was a wonderful educator, but he was an even better father and proud grandfather to my eight-year-old daughter, Mary, who often visited his office,” Michael said. “He taught me the value of education. He gave so much to the whole family through his time, patience, and love.” John was survived by his wife, Roberta; son, Michael Lutton; granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth Lutton; father, John B. Lutton; brothers Robert Lutton and William Lutton; stepbrother, John Lutton; stepsister, Colleen Husch; and many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
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John K. Lutton, professor of chemistry
C L A S S N O T E S
old soul with incredible talent.” James was also survived by his children Paul and Ava, parents Cathleen and Paul Bauschatz, and brother, John Bauschatz. John B. Dempsey III P’83 ’85,
an emeritus trustee and part of a deeply rooted Kenyon family, died in a traffic accident in Onondaga County, New York, near Syracuse, on April 30, 2009. John was driving to the sixtyfifth anniversary of the 1944 class of Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut, at the time of his death. “He was an ambassador for Kenyon wherever he went,” said his son James H. Dempsey III ’83 of Rocky River, Ohio. “He had a thirst for life that was kind of unique. He was a lot of fun. He was very creative in terms of his business career.” John was a real estate development and management consultant who played a key role in prominent developments on both Florida coasts and in the Cleveland, Ohio, suburb of Bratenahl, where he made his primary retirement home. He had a keen interest in business ties between Canada and the U.S. and wrote a freelance column about Canadian affairs in the early 1950s for the Plain Dealer of Cleveland. The column evolved into the Dempsey Canadian Newsletter, a biweekly business newsletter he wrote and distributed to clients from 1952 to 1997. The newsletter was informed by John’s considerable contacts with Canadian politicians, business leaders, and news reporters, his son said. He ended the newsletter after the death of his
wife, Marie (Gravel) Dempsey, in 1997. Mrs. Dempsey was a native of Montreal. John became a management consultant in Montreal after graduation from Harvard University in 1947. In the 1960s he became president and then chairman of Bratenahl Development Corporation and headed a $30 million push for an apartment and condominium complex on Lake Erie in what was then a fading suburb with an elegant past. The project, Bratenahl Place, broke ground in 1965, revived the village, and boosted its revenue at a critical time, the Plain Dealer reported. He later divided his time between Cleveland and Quebec Province. He formed the Canadian Enterprise Corporation He bought the historic Manoir Richelieu Hotel in Murray Bay, Quebec, in the early 1970s and sold it in 1976. He then moved to Vero Beach, Florida, where he helped develop the John’s Island community. As his career flourished, John cultivated the lively Dempsey family connection with Kenyon. His grandfather, James H. Dempsey 1882, was a founder of the Squire Sanders & Dempsey law firm in Cleveland and became a Kenyon trustee in 1898. He was known to arrive in Gambier from Cleveland on horseback. John’s father, Ernest Dempsey, Class of 1911, was also a lawyer in the Cleveland firm and joined the Board of Trustees in 1920, upon the death of James H. Dempsey. Ernest Dempsey was a trustee until 1966. Dempsey Hall was named in honor of James H. and Ernest Dempsey. John, in turn, became a trustee in 1966 and continued in that role until 1985. He was well-tailored at all times, Kenyon Historian Tom Stamp said. “He was a really interesting man, a very nice man,” Stamp added. John sometimes brought his sons to Gambier when he attended trustee events. It was not surprising, then, that Richard B. Dempsey ’85 followed his brother
kenyon college alumni bulletin fall 2009
James to Kenyon. “He absolutely loved going down there,” James Dempsey said. “He loved staying at the (Kenyon) inn. He was always interested in the academic side of things and in making sure the school was well-endowed. Kenyon is part of the fabric of our lives.” When James sorted through materials on a coffee table in his father’s home, he found that most of the publications were Kenyon-related, including copies of the Alumni Bulletin. A photo of a group of Kenyon trustees was placed on the wall above his typewriter. John had handed a Kenyon diploma to his granddaughter, Margo McKean ’98. She fondly recalled her grandparents’ visits to the College while she was a student. “I have so many wonderful memories of my years at Kenyon and some of the most treasured times were spent with my grandparents,” she said. John married again in 2000 and his second wife, Denise Hayman Dempsey, died a year later. He was survived by children Louise McKean of Gilford, New Hampshire; Ernest D. Dempsey of Montreal; Marie Carter of Richmond, Virginia; Gertrude McLean of Gilford, New Hampshire; James H. Dempsey III of Rocky River; and Richard B. Dempsey. He was the grandfather of fifteen and had one great-grandchild. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Office of the President of Kenyon College, 106 College Park Drive, Gambier, Ohio 43022.
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Alumni of Color Collective
new Alumni Council initiative seeks to unite alumni of color for a range of opportunities. Spearheaded by council members April Yvonne Garrett ’92 and Robert King ’97, the Alumni of Color Collective is intended to serve several goals: • Engender participation by alumni of color in Alumni Council and in regional alumni associations. • Act as a resource for administrative offices at the college, including academics, admissions, athletics, and career development. • Compile a comprehensive listing of people of color among alumni, faculty, and staff of the College. • Plan a reunion for alumni of color, tentatively set for 2011. The collective kicked off in February 2009 with a dinner sponsored by Kenyon’s Office of Admissions. Several members of the collective joined faculty members and prospective students for the dinner, which was followed by a discussion on the experience of people of color at Kenyon. The kickoff was an example of the kinds of interactions Garrett and King hope to achieve through the collective. “We formed the collective to improve the quality and quantity of relationships all people of color have with the College,” says Garrett. “The project has the enthusiastic support of the administration, faculty, staff, and Alumni Council.” All alumni of color born in the United States, as well as members of the student groups ADELANTE, Asian Awareness Club, Association of Japanese and American Students, Black Student Union, Brothers United, Chinese Culture Club, Multicultural Council, NIA, SAMOSA, and the Snowden Multicultural Center programming board, are invited to join the collective. The Alumni Council is formulating plans for a similar collective for international alumni. For more information, contact Robert King at firstname.lastname@example.org or April Yvonne Garrett at april@alumni. kenyon.edu.
R E C O N N E C T I N G BAC K S TAG E In August, Michael Zorek ’82 and his wife, Shelly Friedland, went to see the Broadway show 9 to 5, starring Zorek’s classmate Allison Janney ’82. After the show, Zorek and Friedland visited Janney backstage and had their photo taken with her—as she wore her Kenyon sweatshirt (see “The Hot Sheet,” page 9). “She looked terrific and was the hit of the show!” says Zorek.
Annual Report Moves Online To conserve resources, both financial and environmental, the 2009 Alumni Bulletin Annual Report issue is available only online. See the names of individuals and organizations who contributed to Kenyon during the previous fiscal year (July 1-June 30) on the Web at www.kenyon.edu/ annualreport.
Visits H O N O R I N G AT H L E T E S, PA S T A N D P R E S E N T
W R I T I N G TO H E A L
A new award honors both the legacy of an alumnus and the athletic prowess of current students. The Robert C. Weidenkopf awards in football and baseball were presented on April 25, 2009, to two Kenyon seniors. Yancy Edwards ’09 (photo, second from left), captain of the football team, and Geoff Bollier ’09 (center), a member of the baseball team, were the inaugural recipients of the award. The award is presented to the football player and baseball player who best exemplify the competitive spirit and leadership abilities of Robert C. Weidenkopf ’61. Weidenkopf was named most valuable player in both sports during his years at Kenyon. The award was begun by Hutch Hodgson ’61, (photo, far left) Joe Adkins ’63 (far right), and a number of Weidenkopf’s teammates who attended the presentation. President S. Georgia Nugent joined in honoring the inaugural winners.
How can writing a personal journal improve your daily life? Sheppard Kominars ’53 was on campus on April 16, 2009, to share his insights into the powers of journal writing. The author of Write For Life: Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit through Journal Writing, Kominars discussed his more than fifty years of regular journal writing and the healing powers associated with that activity. Kominars’s talk followed his gift of a large number of his books to the College community. His visit was sponsored by the College’s Wellness Initiative.
kenyon college alumni bulletin fall 2009
LAST PA G E
Suburban Legends by Wendy MacLeod ’81
e’re familiar with urban legends and now with Kenyon’s rural ones (see story on page 32). But what about tales that proliferate like kudzu in our burgeoning suburbs? Wendy MacLeod, Kenyon’s James E. Michael Playwrightin-Residence, keeps her ear to the lawn in ’burbs coast to coast and imagines the stories that might make the rounds: There was once a book club meeting in Darien, Connecticut, in which everyone had actually read the book. There are children in affluent suburbs who become catatonic without “activities.” They pull into a fetal shape, convinced that a single idle afternoon will cost them the Ivies. In Arlington, Virginia, there was once a bag of microwave popcorn in which every kernel popped. There is a McMansion in Orange County, California, whose air-conditioning system uses as much electricity as the entire city of Brussels. Its automatic sprinklers use as much water as the entire annual rainfall of Oregon. Starbucks is secretly owned by Colombian drug cartels, and America’s office parks are being run on caffeine and trace cocaine. In Rye, New York, SAT prep courses are incorporated into the preschool curriculum, sandwiched between noodle-art and the making of Mother’s Day gifts that will have to be “disappeared.”
kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
There are superbugs growing in thousands of minivans, the lethal bacterial spawn of fallen Cheerios and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. There’s a tribe of Jazzercise women in Worthington, Ohio, who can still be glimpsed wearing ceremonial thongs and leg warmers. There’s enough E. coli left behind on the grills of a single suburb to bring the Taliban to its knees. There are middle-aged men who have squeezed themselves into bicycle shorts that they can never get off. They are forced to wear them in perpetuity as undergarments. There is an eco-lawn in Concord, Massachusetts, that has swallowed up seventy-four shuttlecocks, 136 boomerangs, and more than 2,000 Frisbees. Caddies have been said to disappear from the sixteenth hole of a golf course in Brookline. Some say they’ve just disappeared into the woods to toke up, but many consider it the Bermuda Triangle of the links. There is a “puppy play-park” in New Rochelle where new dogs are routinely set upon and killed, particularly those who are not Portuguese Water Dogs. There are husbands who have never returned from driving the teen-aged babysitter home, lost in a perpetual loop of middleaged sexual fantasy.
There are victims of the subprime mortgage crisis living in Costcos around the country. You will know them by the extraordinarily white teeth that come with a never-ending supply of Sonicare replacement brushes. There are thousands of tiny suburban blonde women, driving in gigantic SUVs, whose legs have atrophied. There are Highland Park husbands still circling the streets of Chicago searching for a parking place after dropping their wives off at a downtown restaurant in 2002. There is a Weight Watchers meeting in Bloomington, Indiana, where starving women once fell hungrily upon one of their own, like the Donner Party in late winter. There is an entire neighborhood in the vicinity of Montclair, New Jersey, where one spring Saturday the people were buried under layers of cedar mulch, which settled upon them like the ash at Pompeii. The only surviving Plesiosaur was discovered in a chlorine-free swimming pool in North Hollywood. He is now represented by CAA. There is a Best Buy in suburban Detroit that carries a wide-screen plasma television that is a portal to the lost continent of Atlantis. There are suburbanites who have never visited the city that they satellite. Some can’t even identify the city.
Trustees of Kenyon College
Carla R. Ainsworth ’95 Carole R. Artman-Hodge ’73 Jeffrey A. Bell ’84 William E. Bennett ’68 P’96,’00, ’07, Chair The Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal Carolyn S. Brody P’10,’11 David H. Cannon ’73 James D. Cox ’60 H’97 Philip R. Currier ’56 P’82 Brackett B. Denniston ’69, Secretary Gerald J. Fields ’62, Vice Chair Samuel N. Fischer P’10 Steven S. Fischman ’63 Pamela P. Flaherty P’00,’04 Nina P. Freedman ’77 H’92 Paul Goldberger P’04 H’05 Robert W. Goldman ’63 David M. Guernsey P’11 Paul B. Healy ’85 Aileen C. Hefferren ’88 Pamela Feitler Hoehn-Saric ’80 P’10 The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth Jr. Gary F. Holloway P’11 Mary Kay Karzas ’75 Joseph E. Lipscomb ’87 William E. Lowry Jr. ’56 H’99 David R. Meuse S. Georgia Nugent, President Michael C. Obel-Omia James F. Parker ’81 P’10 Susan Ramser Lisa Betson Resnik ’89 Alan E. Rothenberg ’67 P’96 R. Todd Ruppert ’78 Deborah Ratner Salzberg P’09 Thomas R. Sant ’65 Barry F. Schwartz ’70 William T. Spitz P’08 David Trautman Charles P. Waite Jr. ’77 P’06,’10 Matthew A. Winkler ’77 H’00 P’13 Simon Yoo ’91
Letitia Baldridge H’90 David F. Banks ’65 H’01 P’96 Randolph D. Bucey ’50 Edgar G. Davis ’53 Edwin H. Eaton Jr. ’60 H’03 P’89 Ellen W. Griggs ’77 Cornelia Ireland Hallinan ’76 H’91 R.S. Harrison ’53 H’01 P’82,’85 David W. Horvitz ’74 H’98 Robert E. Koe ’67 Harvey F. Lodish ’62 H’82 P’89 Beatrice C. Mayer H’87 P’71 John B. McCoy H’94 James C. Niederman ’46 H’81 P’76 B. Bosworth Ranney ’52 Burnell R. Roberts H’92 P’77 John G. Smale H’74 P’79 James P. Storer ’49 H’85 William A. Stroud H’88 P’76 David D. Taft ’60 H’00 Richard L. Thomas ’53 H’72 P’81 Robert J. Tomsich H’84 Charles P. Waite H’97 P’77,’81 Kenyon Fund Executive Committee 2009-10 Chair
B. Allen McCormick ’55 Past Chair
Cynthia A. Cole ’74 Vice Chair & Leadership Giving Program Chair
R. Benton Gray ’73 Members
Myles H. Alderman Jr. ’82 Austin Barger ’00 Elizabeth C. Bitting ’07 Matthew C. Brenner ’99 Rose Brintlinger ’84 Peter W. Case ’09 Reid Click ’83 Alan E. Goldsmith ’73 Sarah E. Hall ’94 Doug Heuck ’84 Delia A. Kloh ’96
Carl S. Mankowitz ’66 Frederick J. McGavran ’65 Jane R. Patterson ’81 Donna Bertolet Poseidon ’75 Scott R. Sporte ’90 Arthur W. Sprague Jr. ’53 Edward Symes IV ’04 Alumni Association 2009-10 Executive Committee
Emily Resnik Conn ’85, President John T. Seaman Jr. ’54, Vice President J. Andrew Mills ’02, Past President Lisa Dowd Schott ’80, Director of Alumni and Parent Programs Kent Woodward-Ginther ’93, Director of Regional Events Sarah Kahrl, Vice President for College Relations Committee Members
Christopher D. Barth ’93 Marshall W. Chapin ’94 Marguerite D. Doctor ’85 April Yvonne Garrett ’92 Amy Kirshbaum Harbison ’77 Robert C. King ’97 Todd P. Leavitt ’73 P’10 Kristin A. Meister ’00 Frederick C. Neidhardt ’52 H’76 P’04 GP’12 Laura A. Plummer ’85 Margaret C. Scavotto ’02 Henry J. Steck ’57 Appointed and Ex-Officio Members
B. Allen McCormick ’55 Melissa A. King ’09 Eric J. Raicovich ’05 Hays C. Stone ’99 P’91
Visit Kenyon on the World Wide Web
For up-to-date information on events at the College, visit the Kenyon site on the World Wide Web at www.kenyon.edu. The Kenyon College Alumni Bulletin (USBS 931-480) is published four times yearly by Kenyon College’s Office of Public Affairs for alumni, students, parents, and friends. Postmaster: Please send all address changes, including zip codes, with the present address label to Alumni Records, College Relations Center, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio 43022-9623. Periodicals postage paid at Gambier, Ohio 43022, and additional mailing offices. Diverse view are presented and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or official policies of the College. Letters to the editor will be used for publication unless the author states the letter is not to be published. The Bulletin welcomes letters and manuscripts for possible publication and encourages inquiries concerning reprints of articles. Please contact Shawn Presley, Office of Public Affairs, College Relations Center, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio 43022-9623 (740-427-5158).
Carla R. Ainsworth ’95 Carole (Robi) Artman-Hodge ’73 Jeffrey A. Bell ’84 Lisa Betson Resnik ’89 David H. Cannon ’73 Philip R. Currier ’56 P’82 Mary Kay Karzas ’75 James F. Parker ’81 P’10
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kenyon colle ge alumni bulletin fall 2009
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Water, bike wheel, bunny, â€™buds: what makes this Kenyon athlete tick? Get the inside scoop on Lauren Brady â€™11, award-winning runner, swimmer, and aspiring triathlete, on page 15.