Owls was a clear favorite for Kenyon’s new moniker from the moment voting closed, receiving the most first-choice votes on 6,914 ballots. The selection was conducted through a ranked-choice, instant run-off vote, which requires a 51% majority to declare a winner. 

  • Owls: 2550 (37%)
  • Kenyon: 1920 (28%)
  • Rooks: 1462 (21%)
  • Oaks: 581 (8%)
  • Thrill: 401 (6%)

The vote proceeded to an instant run-off. With the fewest first-choice votes (and the most last-choice votes), Thrill was eliminated and its votes were redistributed. In the first run-off round, Oaks trailed with a total of 9% of first-choice votes, making it the next to be eliminated. Its votes were redistributed for a second run-off round, in which Rooks was eliminated. 

From the beginning, votes for Kenyon were split, with almost as many voters ranking it first and second as those ranking it fourth and fifth. This polarity was evident in the final run-off round, when Owls earned 62% of first-choice votes and Kenyon earned 38%, confirming Owls as the winner. 

See the initial ballot counts below.


Rank Vote count Percent of vote
1 2550 36.88
2 1943 28.1
3 1250 18.08
4 791 11.44
5 380 5.5


Rank Vote count Percent of vote
1 1920 27.77
2 918 13.28
3 975 14.1
4 1472 21.29
5 1629 23.56


Rank Vote count Percent of vote
1 1462 21.15
2 1648 28.1
3 1591 23.01
4 1375 19.89
5 838 12.12


Rank Vote count Percent of vote
1 581 8.4
2 1775 25.67
3 2321 33.57
4 1608 23.26
5 629 9.1


Rank Vote count Percent of vote
1 401 5.8
2 630 9.11
3 777 11.24
4 1668 24.12
5 3438 49.73

Frequently Asked Questions

Our athletes will continue using Lords and Ladies through championship play and celebrations this season. After this season, we will communicate to schools in our conference to begin using our new moniker. The Office of Communications and Athletics will collaborate on the visual identity over the summer, in work that will continue into the fall. We look forward to adopting the moniker look and plans for usage in the coming academic year.

Each unique ballot contained the five finalists in random order. Voters ranked finalists in their order of preference. After the ballot closed on May 2, first-preference votes were tallied. If no choice had a majority of first-preference votes, the choice with the fewest first-preference votes was eliminated and the second-choice votes were elevated and considered. The process was repeated until an option won an outright majority.

Students, alumni, current faculty and staff, as well as trustees.

After reviewing all the comments and suggestions from the community, the subcommittee vetted each proposed moniker against our criteria. Ultimately, the committee decided not to advance our current monikers, agreeing that they no longer reflect Kenyon’s values and emphasis on inclusivity. It was further decided that now was the time to make a break from monikers with feudal connotations or those with religious themes. The committee also agreed not to advance several frequent submissions because of potential negative connotations, including the Crows, which the committee deemed inextricably linked to John Crowe Ransom, who is a historically valued alumnus, but was deemed not the best fit for fresh prominence.

Many other unique and innovative suggestions were also not advanced because they lacked significant ties to Kenyon’s history, traditions or values today. 

Yes. The moniker subcommittee only advanced choices that were each worthy on their merits.