A Reunion 200 Years in the Making

A cake in the shape of Old Kenyon, a keynote by an ambassador and countless moments for connection and celebration mark Reunion Weekend 2024.

Old Kenyon Illuminated

Three Kenyon presidents, 1437 alumni and guests, a group of circus performers and one horse helped celebrate the bicentennial Reunion Weekend held May 23-26. The weekend contained traditional elements of a Kenyon reunion, including a Parade of Classes down Middle Path — this year led by a man dressed as Philander Chase astride a horse — and class photos, along with multiple alumni college seminars and opportunities for learning in the company of friends.

Rob Oden, Kenyon’s 17th president who coined that phrase, was in attendance with his wife Theresa, as was S. Georgia Nugent, Kenyon’s 18th president, with her husband Tom Scherer. More than 100 members of the class of 2019 returned to celebrate their 5th reunion, but it was the 50th reunion Class of 1974 which won the Peirce Cup for highest percentage of members in attendance with 30 percent. That class also won the top giving award with a whopping $22,918,372 given. Read more about reunion-related generosity.

President Julie Kornfeld recognized Kenyon’s many volunteers and supporters in her remarks at a 1,000 person soiree Saturday night. “As magical as our campus is — from the rebuilt masonry of Old Kenyon to the gleaming disco skylight of the new Chalmers Library — the people of Kenyon are the reason we have two centuries to celebrate tonight. 

“Your continued care for and commitment to Kenyon comes through in the countless hours you spent to help plan this weekend, in the amazing impact of your cumulative class gifts and in the way you proudly represent Kenyon out in the world, in business, on boards, in your neighborhoods and overseas.”

The weekend’s keynote address was delivered by U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink ’91, who made the arduous journey from Kyiv to be part of the festivities. She was presented with the Humanitarian Service Award at the soiree, where she received her second standing ovation of the day. 

Among the groups Kornfeld recognized in her remarks were volunteers with the Kenyon Fund Executive Committee and Alumni Council, which each held meetings over the weekend. 

In addition, she acknowledged members of the Perennial Reunion classes — those over 50 years out — along with the oldest alumni in attendance: Gerald Weintraub ’54, Robert Bradley Bennett ’57, Bob Palmer ’59 and John Woollam ’61, as “examples for the rest of you that you have many more reunions you can look forward to attending.”

Browse the gallery below, and view more photos from the weekend.