Capstone ExperienceGAMBIER, Ohio (April 16, 2004) It can take the form of an art exhibit, a documentary, a slide show, a play, or something else entirely. It involves diligent preparation and is supremely rewarding in the end. It's the Senior Exercise, a rite of passage that's quintessential Kenyon.
The Senior Exercise, a requirement for completion of the Kenyon degree, gives students the chance to produce scholarly or creative work through self-designed projects. As the capstone of the Kenyon experience, the exercise draws together four years of education, involves close interaction between students and faculty, and encourages students to grow personally and intellectually. It also allows students to explore their passions in a way that is creative and fun.
"The Senior Exercise," says Chris Renaud, associate director of admissions, "illustrates the amazing work our students do as undergraduates, in concert with their faculty mentors, using the magnificent facilities we are fortunate to have at Kenyon. Students are learning by doing, and learning is fun at Kenyon."
"The Senior Exercise is one of the best things, academically, about Kenyon," says Harrison Rivers, Class of 2004, an American studies and drama double major. Rivers completed projects for both of his majors, exploring his passion for theater through each. For his drama project, he acted in The Play About the Baby with three other senior drama majors. For his American studies project, Rivers wrote, directed, and acted in Under the Bed, an original children's musical that explores storytelling as a means of preserving family history.
Rivers began preparing for his project during his junior year. "My summers were spent researching; my school years were spent writing, editing, and composing. This past semester was spent in production," he says, noting that the hours he spent were rewarding. "Academically, I've not had a greater challenge. Nothing feels better than to know that you went all out, that you left no stone unturned."
One of the nation's leading liberal arts and sciences colleges and home to the Kenyon Review, Kenyon College offers 1,594 students a challenging educational experience enriched by a culture of friendship. Graduates of the College have included actor and philanthropist Paul Newman and author E. L. Doctorow.