In February, in response to requests from students, and in consultation with alumni leaders, staff representatives from athletics, advancement and communications, and the Board of Trustees, President Sean Decatur announced a process to consider a new moniker to better reflect our students today. We invited and received extensive feedback, and put a slate of five monikers, chosen from 200 unique suggestions, to the Kenyon campus and alumni community for instant run-off ranked-choice vote. 

A total of 6,914 ballots were submitted, and Owls was the winner. 

The name Owls is inspired by the Kokosing River, a beloved feature of our campus. Kokosing loosely translates to “River of Little Owls” — a tribute to the many species of owls living in our area. Like Kenyon athletes, owls are intelligent, perceptive and fierce. We have, in our Kenyon way, been singing their praises for years in Kokosing Farewell.

Design Process

The offices of athletics and communications turned to our partners at Moth Design to help bring the Owls moniker to life. Moth, a Boston-based agency, previously worked with us to refresh Kenyon’s visual identity. Working with Joe Bosack, a graphic designer with a long history in athletic branding, Moth oversaw a design process to develop a new owl illustration that integrates with Kenyon’s existing branding.

Bosack began his career at the National Hockey League, where he played a pivotal role in the development of numerous league-wide branding efforts as well as those of individual teams. He served as art director for Fila U.S.A., where he branded and launched new Fila product lines. He now runs his own sports branding firm, a leader in the industry, and has designed logos for the 2016 and 2018 Final Four, Colorado College, Xavier University, the Capital One Orange Bowl and many others.

Campus Senate Moniker Subcommittee

  • Jess Book ’01, Head Men's and Women's Swimming Coach
  • Shawn Dailey P’24, AVP for Alumni and Parent Engagement and Annual Giving
  • Delaney Gallagher ’23*, Co-chair
  • Adam Gilson, Director of Design and Publication
  • Alyssa Gomez-Lawrence ’10*, Assistant Director, Office for Community Partnerships
  • Peter Haas ’25*
  • Olivia Hynes ’24*
  • Celestino Limas*, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Ted Mason*, Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Professor of English
  • Justin Newell, Associate Athletics Director
  • Erin O’Neill ’02, Head Softball Coach
  • Jon Tazewell ’84*, Co-chair, Thomas S. Turgeon Professor of Drama and Film
  • Molly Vogel ’00, Advancement Communications Director

* Member of Campus Senate

Participation in the Suggestion Phase

We received 1,993 responses from 1,806 people.

All Responses

Total Positive Negative Neutral
1,993 64% 31% 5%

Responses by Demographic

Total Positive Negative Neutral
1,333 63% 32% 5%
Total Positive Negative Neutral
242 64% 27% 9%
137 (student-athletes included in the total above) 54% 39% 7%
Total Positive Negative Neutral
170 62% 37% 1%
Total Positive Negative Neutral
31 87% 3% 10%
Other (friends, unclear entries)
Total Positive Negative Neutral
30 44% 53% 3%

Key Dates

February 21

Suggestion and feedback form opens

March 22

Open forum for alumni and parents
President Sean Decatur and members of Campus Senate discuss possible changes to the monikers. Watch the alumni recording.

April 20

Suggestion and feedback form closes. (Note, the deadline has been extended from April 11  to April 20 due to delays with the alumni magazine.)


Feedback reviewed and suggestions narrowed by Moniker Subcommittee 

April 20

Submission form closes. View participation data

April 22

Voting opens (ranked-choice). We must have your current email to send your ballot, please update your email by sending to

May 2

Voting closes 



 “Anyone who passes through the Lowry Center doors, let alone the College gates, should feel confident and comfortable with the monikers we use to represent ourselves. It is our job as community members to help give the best Kenyon experience to every student we can. Anything less would be antithetical to our values.”

Delaney Gallagher '23
Co-Chair of Campus Senate, lacrosse player