Dear Kenyon students, faculty and staff,
The staff of the Advancement Division — including six alumni and two current Kenyon parents — enjoyed mingling with members of the Class of 2027 today on our porch. In that spirit, I wanted to share a welcome and introduction from my team on Chase Avenue. (In those quaint connected white houses, feel free to come in and say hello or enjoy the porch anytime.)
Our group is responsible for helping alumni remain connected to Kenyon through events across the country and especially at Reunion Weekend in May, as well as through volunteer activities. We also work with alumni and parents to connect them to the areas at Kenyon they want to support, aligning their philanthropy with Kenyon’s current strategic plan and mission. Kenyon is fortunate to have a generous community who gives back for many reasons, including out of gratitude for the role Kenyon played in their lives and a desire to enhance the College for future generations.
This academic year is an exciting one for Kenyon and our team. In addition to welcoming President-Elect Julie Kornfeld, and introducing her to alumni, parents and friends of the College, we are working with partners across campus to plan for the College’s bicentennial next year, while continuing to seek support for initiatives in alignment with Kenyon’s strategic plan in the last year of the Our Path Forward to the Bicentennial campaign. Two of our priorities this year are raising funds for travel-embedded courses as well as for scholarships and financial aid.
Kenyon already has two popular travel-embedded courses in which students complete a group trip over spring break as part of the syllabus. With the collaboration of faculty and the Center for Global Engagement, we are working to expand these types of courses through philanthropy. The current strategic plan includes priorities for such “rigorous learning in a global context” while also emphasizing equitable access to all Kenyon has to offer. We seek to amplify both of these priorities with our efforts — and donors are already responding.
Increased scholarship support
As you likely are aware, more than 1,200 students receive some form of financial aid or scholarships each year. As we continue to strive to make access to Kenyon more equitable, increasing funds for scholarships is a central focus. These can come in the form of endowed funds which are invested as part of the College’s endowment, with the returns added to the operating budget each year, or gifts of all sizes to our annual funds — like the Kenyon Fund — which make an immediate impact. Scholarships like the Kenyon Access Initiative, aimed at Pell-eligible students and DACA students, have already helped increase the number of students Kenyon is able to admit, regardless of their family’s ability to pay.
Our Path Forward to the Bicentennial campaign
This academic year is also the final year of a comprehensive fundraising campaign that was publicly launched in 2018. It was continued and expanded in 2021 following a record-setting gift that made possible the South Campus residences currently under construction. An anonymous donor is contributing significantly to the exciting ongoing transformation of Bexley Hall into residences. Since the beginning of the campaign, more than 20,000 alumni, parents, students, faculty and staff have made the decision to give to Kenyon. We have the privilege each day of hearing from people whose lives have been forever changed for the better by Kenyon and we are grateful for the generosity cultivated here.
Finally, we hope you’ll join in the fun at Homecoming this year, September 29-30, as alumni make plans to return for this festival for all.
Here’s to a wonderful fall semester!
Vice President for Advancement
P.S. Come find us outside Peirce tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for some ice cream to start your year off sweetly!