Kenyon in the News 2005
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jennifer Britz was mentioned in the lead of a December 27 story in USA Today. The story talked about the impact a letter of recommendation can have on a student's chance for admission to a selective college. USA Today reports that academic record and test scores remain the most important factors in admission, but recommendations, along with the student essay, are next in importance. "A student's grade point average and test scores don't tell you who is a joy to teach," Britz is quoted as saying. "A recommendation does."
An essay by President S. Georgia Nugent appeared in Slate on November 15. The online magazine asked a number of prominent academics to tackle the controversial question of what students should be studying in college. Nugent noted that there is still a consensus among faculty members about two traditional answers--reading (or, in a larger sense, critical thinking) and writing. She went on to discuss a third traditional answer, "moral development,"pointing out that at one time many undergraduates had to take a capstone course in metaphysics taught by the college president. Nugent argued that "a recommitment to the moral dimension of higher education" requires attention to "the Big Questions: Why am I here? What is asked of me? What is the good?" A contemporary version of the old metaphysical capstone, she suggested, "might take a myriad of forms," from a course on the Homeric epics and Greek tragedy to one in which the students constructed a scientific instrument by hand. The goal would not be "mastery of a subject" but rather "maturity as an adult--attaining a degree of self-understanding, appreciation for the limits of the human condition, empathy for others, and a sense of responsibility for civil society."
A front-page story in the travel section of the Sunday, November 6, Plain Dealer featured Kenyon and Gambier, calling the village the "perfect fit of town and gown." Reporter Mike Sangiacomo, who visited campus this fall, wrote that travelers will be rewarded by a town that has more bookstores than bars and a school with a reputation as a first-class college for a classical education. "Here, in the middle of Ohio cornfields, you come upon a small village with clapboard houses that seem to have been bypassed by time," writer-in-residence Fred Kluge was quoted as saying. "One minute you're driving up a hill and the next you see Kenyon College, a place that looks like it belongs in England or the East Coast."
Kenyon's Food for Thought program was featured in the November 1 Columbus Dispatch. The article discussed the interest in local farming and locally grown foods at Kenyon, noting research conducted in Professor of Sociology Howard Sacks's fieldwork course and student involvement with renovations to Mount Vernon's Buckeye Building. "When I was a freshman, I didn't eat in the cafeteria at all," the article quoted Carly Brien, Class of 2005, as saying. Nothing was fresh. I just ate cereal and pizza. I eat all my meals in the dining halls now."
Director of Public Affairs Shawn Presley was quoted in the Sunday, October 16, New York Times in a story about the popularity of drinking games among college students. The Times reported that a whole new industry has taken off around drinking games, making them more popular, more intense, and more dangerous, according to college administrators, who say the games are just thin cover for binge drinking. Kenyon is mentioned along with Bucknell University as an institution that banned drinking games on campus but later dropped the restriction. "It became apparent that the ban wasn't going to work," Presley was quoted as saying. "And we didn't want to drive the games underground." Kenyon outlawed drinking games briefly in the fall of 2003.
Kenyon's football team was featured in the sports section of the October 12Columbus Dispatch. The Lords garnered attention by upsetting the defending conference champion College of Wooster on October 8. The story noted that the revitalized team is making strides in the North Coast Athletic Conference after a 2003 hiatus from competing for the conference championship. "The big difference is the kids have worked so hard at this," third-year coach Ted Stanley was quoted as saying about the team's improving record. The story went on to say that Stanley's biggest challenge is building the roster, given Kenyon's stringent admissions requirements.
The October 10 Columbus Dispatch quoted Professor of Drama Tom Turgeon in a story about Josh Radnor '96, the star of the new CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Written by Dispatch television critic Molly Willow '00, the story mentioned Kenyon's track record of producing graduates who excel in the field of acting, citing such stars as Paul Newman '49. Turgeon, who recalled directing Radnor in the role of Romeo, was quoted as saying, "I never get the sense that someone's going to make it or not, but I often get the sense of people I hope will make it because I admire what they can do, and he certainly fell in that crowd."
The Kenyon Review was mentioned in the September 26 New York Sun. The Sun reported that the Review held a kickoff party for its upcoming November 10 gala that will honor sportswriter and fiction editor Roger Angell and novelist/philosopher Umberto Eco with the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement.
Professor of English and Editor of the Kenyon Review David Lynn was quoted in the September 28 Columbus Dispatch in a story about Empire Falls novelist Richard Russo, who spoke recently in Columbus as part of the Columbus Metropolitan Library's annual "Celebration of Learning." Lynn called Russo a "very important and probably underrated" American author. "His subject is the America that is generally neglected, an America of the working class, of cities that are in decay and struggling to survive," Lynn was quoted as saying.
Kenyon was mentioned in the September 26 edition of Time magazine. According to Time, the U.S. News & World Report "best colleges" guide, the granddaddy of college ratings, now has a slew of competitors. In a chart of alternative rankings, Kenyon was listed alongside Berea College as one of the "Top 10 Schools You've Never Heard Of." The list was compiled by the Students' Guide to Colleges.
The October issue of CosmoGirl! magazine mentioned Kenyon in its second annual list of the country's top fifty colleges. The magazine mentioned the Kenyon Review as the College's "claim to fame" but mistakenly stated that the literary journal is completely run by students and is one of the nation's oldest student magazines. While Kenyon students do work at the Review, the journal is edited by Professor of English David Lynn and employs a professional staff. CosmoGirl! compiled its list based on small class size, prominent female faculty, strong women's sports teams, career centers that excel at internships and job placement, and leadership opportunities in clubs and activities.
Professor of Psychology Michael Levine was quoted in the September 21 Columbus Dispatch in a story about the effects of college stress on eating disorders. "If you were trying to build a circumstance that increased the risk, college would be it," Levine was quoted as saying. He went on to note that college students are exposed to unlimited food in dining halls while under pressure to perform academically, socially, and sometimes athletically.
The August issue of Harper's magazine mentioned Kenyon in a story about the 2004 presidential election. In his analysis of Election Day, Mark Crispin Miller noted "a wide discrepancy between the availability of voting machines in more minority, Democratic, and urban areas as compared to more Republican, suburban, and exurban areas." He compared Kenyon with the Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Gambier provided two machines for 1,300 would-be voters, resulting in Kenyon students standing in line for hours. In contrast, at the Nazarene University, which is considered more Republican-leaning, there were ample waiting machines and no lines.
Kenyon and first-year student Madeline Smith were mentioned in the August 19Philadelphia Inquirer in a story about dorm decor. According to the Inquirer, Smith spent the summer combing the aisles of Pier 1, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Ikea to find the perfect items for her dorm room. "We decided on a Moroccan theme, and our color scheme is bright pinks, oranges, and purples, with red and gold accents," Smith, who is from Glenside, Pennsylvania, was quoted as saying. College students are expected to spend $3.6 billion on dorm and apartment furnishings this year, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation. The figure represents a $1 billion jump from last year.
Media outlets around the country, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, mentioned Kenyon in the obituaries for William H. Rehnquist, the sixteenth chief justice of the United States. He died on Saturday, September 3. Rehnquist began his college education at Kenyon in 1942 but was drafted in March 1943. After the war, he earned a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and a juris doctor from Stanford Law School, where he graduated first in his class in 1952.
Kenyon was mentioned in the August 1 issue of Restaurants & Institutions magazine in a story about the top concerns of foodservice directors on college campuses. The story mentions the College's local foods initiative, Food for Thought, and its innovative way of supporting the local community by buying regional produce and meat. In addition, the article calls attention to the way Kenyon accounts for the participation of its 1,600 students in the mandatory meal plan. "Sounds corny, but we count trays," Niles Gebele, general manager of Aramark food service, was quoted as saying.
Kenyon received extension coverage in an August 24 New York Times story. Reporter Marian Burros visited Kenyon in June during the second annual National Farm to Cafeteria Conference hosted by the College. The resulting story examined the growing use, by institutions such as schools and colleges, of fresh foods produced by regional farmers. "You get higher quality food and lower environmental impact," President S. Georgia Nugent is quoted as saying in the Times. The article also quotes Niles Gebele, general manager of Aramark food service at Kenyon, and Kate Barney, Class of 2006, who has been involved in research and projects sponsored by Kenyon's Rural Life Center.
Kenyon was ranked number thirty-two in U.S. News & World Report's annual listing of the nation's best liberal-arts colleges. Last year, the College was listed at number twenty-nine. Williams College took the top spot, followed by Amherst at number two and Swarthmore at number three. Oberlin's listing was number twenty-three, Denison University's fifty-one. The rankings were published in the magazine's August 29 edition.
The Princeton Review listed Kenyon in its 2006 rankings of the best 361 colleges. The college was ranked number twelve in the category "most beautiful campus" and number nineteen for "best college theater," a category taking into account how easy it is to get involved in dramatic productions and how popular they are on campus.
Professor of English and Editor of the Kenyon Review David Lynn was quoted in the July 15 Baltimore Sun in a story about the latest book in the Harry Potter series. According to Lynn, the books by J.K. Rowling have served as a bridge for an entire generation of readers who are now reading more advanced literature. "J.K. Rowling is an absolute master of using elements from many great mythic traditions and epics from the past, from Beowulf to Sir Walter Scott to J.R.R. Tolkien," Lynn is quoted as saying. "This means that younger readers should be able to make the transition to authors such as Shakespeare or Hemingway and still come back to the Harry Potter books when new ones are released."
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jennifer Britz was quoted in the May 20 Los Angeles Times in a story about college wait lists. Writer Stuart Silverstein reported that many colleges favor wealthier students when deciding who to admit from the wait list because financial aid resources have typically been tapped out by the time those admissions are decided. Britz said that she was pleasantly surprised in May to have financial aid money left over to offer students on the wait list.
Elliot Rushton, Class of 2005, was included in the Faces in the Crowd section of the May 2 issue of Sports Illustrated. He was the NCAA Division III swimming and diving championship's only triple winner, setting records in the 500- and 1,650-meter freestyle and winning the 400 IM. Rushton was swimmer of the meet, and the Lords won their 26th consecutive men's title.
The May 2 issue of U.S. News & World Report mentioned Kenyon in a story about accessibility for low-income students at America's elite colleges. The story discussed a new book by William Bowen, the former president of Princeton and current head of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in which he points out that students from low-income families are hard to find on elite college campuses. According to U.S. News, some colleges are addressing the problem by adjusting their financial aid packages. Most administrators would like to see more economic diversity, the article said. "We wish we could do it," Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jennifer Britz was quoted as saying. "But if you admitted the ideal class you wanted without any regard to what it is going to cost, you would bankrupt your institution very quickly."
Kenyon was mentioned in the March 16 New York Times in a story about overnight infirmaries disappearing on college campuses. Kenyon was listed alongside Williams and Bowdoin as an example of small liberal arts colleges that no longer provide overnight beds.
Kenyon was featured in the March issue of Vanity Fair, in a story by columnist Christopher Hitchens decrying "discrepancies" and "irregularities" in the 2004 presidential balloting in Ohio. Hitchens, who was on campus as a guest speaker just after Election Day, found the Ohio results suspect. But, in the course of reviewing the voting saga Gambier, he praised Kenyon as a "visiting lecturer's dream, or the ideal of a campus-movie director in search of a setting." He went on to mention the Kenyon Review, a number of the College's prominent alumni, and its well-mannered students.
An article in the February issue of American Way, the in-flight magazine of American Airlines, touted Kenyon as a "hot" college among small liberal arts schools. The article, titled "Get Your Kid Into Harvard," also suggested that selective summer creative-arts programs, such as those offered at Kenyon, impress college admissions officers. The Kenyon Review sponsors a two-week writing program for high school students.
Associate Director of Alumni and Parent Programs Shawn Dailey was mentioned in the January 2005 issue of Currents magazine in a story about corporate matching-gift programs. The magazine, published by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, pointed out that Kenyon donors don't need to tie a string around their fingers to remember to have their gifts matched. Dailey uses software that generate e-mails reminding donors to have their donations matched by employers. Kenyon's December reminder resulted in a $5,000 matching gift.
Physics professor Paula Turner was quoted in the February 1 Columbus Dispatch in a story about the physics of football. In a preview of what viewers could see in the Super Bowl on February 6, Dispatch science writer Mike Lafferty set up the possibility of a collision between New England linebacker Mike Vrabel and Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb. Turner noted that Newton's third law would apply to a quarterback sack. "If McNabb feels 2,000 pounds of force, so does Vrabel," Turner was quoted as saying." And I bet any linebacker understands this. I hurt you, you hurt me back."
President S. Georgia Nugent was quoted in the January 27 Columbus Dispatch in a story about new legislation introduced in Ohio that seeks to limit what professors could say in the classroom. Marion Senator Larry A. Mumper's "academic bill of rights for higher education" would prohibit instructors at public or private universities from "persistently" discussing controversial issues in class or from using their classes to advocate political, ideological, religious, or anti-religious views. The language of the bill comes from a 2003 booklet by conservative commentator David Horowitz. Nugent called Horowitz's thinking a "severe threat to academic freedom." The article quoted her as saying: "I see this so-called bill of rights, the platform that he has constructed, as one that would explicitly introduce into colleges and university appointments a kind of litmus test."
A January 27 Associated Press story mentioned Kenyon as one of many colleges and universities that are improving the food in their dining halls and helping their local agricultural economies by going straight to the farm. The article noted that under Kenyon's program, Food for Thought, the two campus dining halls serve apples, potatoes, squash, lettuce, berries, and other produce that comes from small farmers in Ohio.
Kenyon was mentioned in the Thursday, January 6, Columbus Dispatch in a commentary by Bob Hunter about Andy Geiger's resignation as the athletic director at Ohio State University. Hunter wrote that Geiger had always been a man of contradictions, wanting to run a clean, respected program but finding himself plagued by off-the-field controversies that tainted the university's reputation. "He steadfastly believes in the rah-rah of college athletics, yet he runs a program that probably has more in common with the New York Yankees than Kenyon College," wrote Hunter.