March 24, 2020
Kenyon is suspending its residential program and transitioning to remote instruction. Read more about Kenyon's response to COVID-19.
Note: Kenyon has made the difficult decision to postpone our 192nd Commencement ceremony, originally scheduled for May 16. While we recognize the importance of ritual in marking life transitions and tradition in strengthening the fabric of community, planning for a large scale event in May would be both impossible and irresponsible, given current projections for the COVID-19 crisis. We are actively working with the senior class on plans to confer their degrees from afar at the start of the summer and to celebrate their Commencement on campus at a later date. We look forward to sharing those plans as they take shape. In the meantime, we have closed the registration form for new reservations and will continue to honor cancellations and issue refunds. Please visit our Commencement page for details.
Samie Kim Falvey ’96, chairman of Imagine Television, will be the featured speaker at Kenyon’s 192nd Commencement on May 16, 2020.
Through her accomplished career in Hollywood, Falvey has played a lead role in shaping some of America’s most popular and lauded television shows. As executive vice president of comedy development at ABC Entertainment, she guided to screens “Black-ish,” “Fresh Off the Boat” and “Modern Family,” among other series. Prior to her positions at Imagine Television and ABC, she worked at Fox on shows including “The Bernie Mac Show” and “Ally McBeal.”
Falvey will be the College’s first Asian American Commencement speaker. She was nominated by a committee of faculty, staff and students, and President Sean Decatur extended the invitation to deliver the address. Kenyon will award Falvey an honorary doctorate of humane letters in recognition of her achievements in the entertainment industry.
“For decades, Samie Kim Falvey has shown tremendous leadership in ensuring that television not only entertains us, but that it also accurately reflects the diverse array of American life,” Decatur said. “She has served as a model of the ways in which one can apply their liberal arts education to transform the world around them. Her speech is especially fitting this year, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of women at Kenyon, and the 50th anniversary of the Black Student Union. I look forward to welcoming her back to campus in May as we celebrate the Class of 2020.”
Falvey joined Kenyon’s Board of Trustees in fall 2018 and currently serves on its Budget, Finance and Audit Committee as well as its Diversity Committee. An English major at Kenyon, Falvey also dazzled on the Ladies field hockey team. She was named an All-American her junior and senior years — serving as the second All-American in program history — and led as team captain her senior year. In recognition of Falvey’s team leadership and her many athletic accolades, Kenyon inducted Falvey into its Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.
“As an Asian American woman, I am so pleased that Samie Kim Falvey will be the first Asian American to deliver the Commencement address at Kenyon,” said Senior Class President Jodi-Ann Wang, an international studies major from Vancouver, Canada, who will introduce Falvey at Commencement. “Diversity and inclusion lie at the heart of what I care for and have advocated over my four years at Kenyon, and so on a personal level, it is especially inspiring to welcome as Commencement speaker someone who has worked extensively to cultivate inclusion and fairer representation for minoritized groups in television. Her trailblazing leadership exemplifies the power and significance of a Kenyon education beyond Gambier.”