Four Kenyon students awarded Austin E. Knowlton Memorial Scholarships

By Mary Keister

GAMBIER, Ohio — This year, four Kenyon College students from Ohio have been awarded Austin E. Knowlton Memorial Scholarships: first-year Phillip Diamond, sophomore Jack Provenza, junior Jimmy Clark and senior Eden Stephey. Knowlton Scholars normally receive support for all four years at Kenyon. 

Established in 2014 by the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation, Kenyon's Knowlton Memorial Scholarship Fund provides financial aid to students who are interested in pursuing mathematics or related fields. To date, the Knowlton Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $500,000 to Kenyon. These funds are invested in the College's endowment, with income restricted for Knowlton Memorial Scholarships.

Austin E. “Dutch” Knowlton was chair and owner of the Knowlton Construction Company, which completed more than 600 significant construction projects throughout Ohio and the Midwest, including schools, hospitals, libraries and post offices. As a successful Ohio businessman and generous philanthropist, Knowlton worked to help Ohioans earn degrees from Ohio colleges and universities.

“I was a reluctant math major at Kenyon; it took a couple of years and caring professors to convince myself that I could do it,” Stephey said. “Because this scholarship helped me take the leap as a woman in STEM, I have developed my confidence as a student and a mathematician. As I transition to the work force and grad school, I am truly grateful that I was able to study mathematics at Kenyon.”

Stephey, from Tiffin, is a mathematics major who is involved with different theater productions on campus as well as the dance team and squash club. Clark, from Mentor, is a mathematics major and philosophy minor who also serves as a pitcher/outfielder on Kenyon’s baseball team.  Provenza, from Cleveland, plans to major in mathematics and is a running back on the football team. Diamond, from Yellow Springs, has academic interests in mathematics, physics and sociology and is involved in a campus sketch comedy group as well as KenyonSERF, an Ultimate Frisbee team.

“I've never learned more in the span of a month than in my first month here at Kenyon, and I can already tell I'm going to have a great time in whatever field I end up in,” Diamond said. “This scholarship is representative of Kenyon's commitment to my potential as a mathematician, and has given me the confidence as well as the resources to understand math on a deeper, more profound level.”