Hill to Hill
|S. Georgia Nugent and Senator and Mrs. George Voinovich|
Voinovich introduced Nugent, noting that as Kenyon's first woman president, she joined in-state peers Karen Holbrook, president of the Ohio State University, and Nancy Zimpher, president of the University of Cincinnati. "I'd like to recognize Kenyon's contribution to the State of Ohio this evening, particularly through the outstanding group of young alumni present," Voinovich said.
Nugent spoke briefly, reflecting on Election Day 2004 and its impact at the College, where many students waited for hours to cast a vote. "Kenyon's story was about optimism, about hope, about faith in the democratic process," Nugent said. "On that cold and rainy night in November, Kenyon students expressed in a very tangible way the idealism of young people, committed to their belief in the democratic system... Our students' desire to cast their votes--for most of them, the first vote in their lives--gave them a voice that was heard, literally, around the world.
"Through the work many of you are doing, through many forms of service, it is clear that Kenyon does indeed care about our nation. That one election night was 'fifteen minutes of fame,' but Kenyon has a long and proud tradition of national service," Nugent said, citing alumni Rutherford B. Hayes, "most of Abraham Lincoln's cabinet," and Don Bandler, Class of '69, who was present and had just received an honorary degree in recognition of his career in foreign service.
Nugent called the night's gathering more than a representation of multiple political parties. "How about just a great party--a nonpartisan party--neither Republican nor Democrat, neither left nor right, neither red nor blue, but actually a wonderful amalgam of the two: PURPLE!"
The host committee, headed by Chip Unruh, Class of 1998, presented Nugent with a pewter plate featuring the image of the Capitol. Members of the committee were Mary E. Abbajay, Class of 1986; Jay Alexander, Class of 1991; Michael Collins, Class of 1998; Abby Fenton, Class of 1997; Sarah Glennon, Class of 1997; Jack Pratt, Class of 1998; Will Sieck, Class of 1999; Derick Stowe, Class of 2001; Unruh; and Tommy Vietor, Class of 2002.