April 23, 2020
Kenyon has temporarily adjusted its operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
Release: May 23, 2019
GAMBIER, Ohio — Thanks to a $30,000 gift from local business leaders and philanthropists Mark and Denise Ramser, Kenyon College students will have increased opportunities to engage in paid internships with Knox County nonprofits.
The Ramsers’ gift, to be paid over a three-year period, will benefit Kenyon students and the Knox County community by strengthening Kenyon’s existing Community Internship Program. Students in the program work five to 10 hours per week with local organizations, such as the Area Development Foundation of Knox County and the Knox Community Hospital, which have been the first to make use of this additional funding. While these groups have a history of working with Kenyon students in both community-based learning courses and unpaid internships, this is the first time they have been able to offer a stipend for this work, providing an opportunity for students who otherwise could not afford to participate in an unpaid experience to deepen their involvement with the local community.
“I hope there is continued interest from local organizations because my wife and I would love to continue to fund it,” Mark Ramser said. The Ramsers are no strangers to supporting Kenyon’s efforts to strengthen ties to Knox County, having donated $100,000 to help refurbish the old Buckeye Candy building in Mount Vernon — now the Kenyon College Wright Center — Kenyon’s only off-campus academic building and home to its Office for Community Partnerships (OCP).
“Through these internships, students have the opportunity to meaningfully connect with, learn from, and contribute to the impressive work being done in Knox County,” said Holly McCormack, dean for career development. “Our hope is that students will explore the connections between what they are learning in their classes and how it can be applied locally.”
By supporting these connections between Kenyon and the Knox County community, Ramser sees the potential for students to gain real-world experience, while providing local organizations with valuable work. Already thinking about potential intern projects, Ramser mentioned the Knox County Historical Society, an organization he leads, which needs to digitize its museum records and materials. In his view, such archival work could be a great match for history, art history or anthropology majors looking to hone skills for future employment.
“These internships have been a great way for local organizations to move their projects forward and for Kenyon students to gain valuable work experience, learn more about Knox County, and work closely with community experts and business professionals,” said Jan Thomas, senior advisor for community relations.
Beyond the immediate benefits of aiding local organizations, Ramser hopes to plant a long-lasting appreciation of nonprofits among Kenyon students, to “spark their interest in being involved with nonprofit organizations in their community.”
The Ramsers’ gift contributes to Kenyon’s Our Path Forward comprehensive fundraising campaign, which aims to support high-impact practices such as internships, off-campus study and community-engaged learning, among other goals. For more information about the campaign, visit forward.kenyon.edu.