New ProfessorshipGAMBIER, Ohio (March 29, 2006) Longtime Kenyon benefactors Edwin H. Eaton Jr. '60 P'89 H'03, his wife, Christine "Tickie" Eaton, their son Christopher Eaton '89, and Christopher's wife, Colleen Siders Eaton '87, have made a commitment of $2 million to endow a life professorship in anthropology at Kenyon College. The new position, which will be held jointly by Edward M. Schortman and Patricia A. Urban, will be called the J. Kenneth Smail Professorship in Anthropology. Schortman and Urban, who joined the Kenyon faculty in 1981, founded the Kenyon Honduras Program, a biennial study-abroad program in which dozens of undergraduates have gained firsthand experience in archaeology and cultural anthropology.
Smail, who joined the Kenyon faculty in 1973, was the College's first professor in anthropology. He taught Chris Eaton and Colleen Siders Eaton, both of whom majored in anthropology. When he retired from Kenyon in 2004, Smail received an honorary doctorate. Professor David Suggs, who presented the degree, said, "As founding chair and early architect of Kenyon College's Department of Anthropology, your vision emphasizing both breadth and depth has helped us build an undergraduate program that ranks second to none among liberal-arts colleges… As we recognize your passionate defense of quality teaching, your organizational vision, your penchant for innovative solutions, your broad-gauge scholarship, and your service to the academy both here and at large, we are proud to make you the first emeritus professor of anthropology at Kenyon College."
Ed Eaton earned a B.A. in economics from Kenyon in 1960 and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago in 1962, when he joined the Procter and Gamble Company as a financial analyst. He retired in 1997 as the company's vice president and comptroller. A member of the College's board since 1991, Ed currently serves as chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Kenyon in 2003 in recognition of his distinguished career, philanthropic achievements, and service to the community. The College's Eaton Center, built in 2001-02 with a $1.1-million gift, is also the result of Ed and Tickie Eaton's generous support. The center serves as the home of Kenyon's accounting, business services, finance, risk-management, and human-resources departments, as well as the Philander Chase Corporation.