Second Round of Bicentennial Grants Announced

Performance and lectures among the projects to be funded by the advisory committee.


In celebration of 200 years, the Bicentennial Advisory Committee has awarded a second round of special project grants to community members and organizations planning an event in honor of the College’s bicentennial. The second round of awarded grants include a community theater performance of Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People;” a panel discussion exploring Kenyon’s commitment to diversity; a campus-wide computing colloquium; a subscription to a website archiving tool; a lecture series on the unexpected connection between plant growth and human development. 

The committee looks forward to receiving more requests for funding in hopes that Kenyon’s 200th birthday may be filled with community engagement and excitement.  

The second round of projects awarded funding were: 

'An Enemy of the People: A Theater Project from America’s Hometown'  

Proposed by: The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County/Theater of War Productions

In April 2024, both Mount Vernon’s Knox Memorial Theater and Kenyon’s Oden Hall will host a performance of Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People,” followed by a guided town hall exploring the themes of Ibsen’s play in contemporary rural America. The cast will feature community members and Kenyon students alongside acclaimed professional actors. In honor of the bicentennial, the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, Theater of War Productions, Office for Community Partnerships and the Department of Dance, Drama and Film hope to collaboratively empower the College’s long standing goal to “foster collaboration between Kenyon College and the Knox County community.” 

Panel Discussion Exploring Kenyon’s History of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Proposed by: Members of the Alumni Friends of DISCO (Disabled Chronically Ill Student Committee Organization) and DISCO members.

The proposed panel discussion will explore Kenyon’s efforts to be welcoming of students, staff and visitors with disabilities against the backdrop of the past 50 years. Panelists will include current students and alumni able to speak to their lived Kenyon experience, alumni involved in the disability rights movement and College administrators and faculty dedicated to creating a more accessible learning environment and curriculum. Planned for Homecoming Weekend 2024, the committee appreciated this project’s dedication to ensuring a forward-thinking and inclusive experience. 

Campus-wide Computing Colloquium

Proposed by: Program in Computing

The College’s interdisciplinary Program in Computing will bring Jon Ippolito from the University of Maine to campus on Feb. 20. Ippolito will speak on the applications of computing and AI in digital arts and humanities. This would be the Program in Computing’s first campus-wide colloquium, highlighting Kenyon’s rapid growth in interdisciplinary studies throughout its 200 years. 

Subscription to Archive-It

Proposed by: Special Collections & Archives 

To allow for the continuous collecting of Kenyon’s webpages throughout 2024, Special Collections and Archives has been approved to use bicentennial funds to purchase a one-year subscription of Archive-It. Archive-It maintains an archive of live website pages providing the future Kenyon community with a comprehensive understanding of Kenyon’s historical online presence. 

Beronda L. Montgomery Lectures

Proposed by: Peter Rutkoff Distinguished Professor of Diversity/Inclusion & Professor of Biology Karen Hicks and Associate Professor of Chemistry Kerry Rouhier and Faculty Lectureships

On Thursday, Beronda Montgomery — writer, scientist, and vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Grinnell — will arrive on campus to engage in two lectures. One talk will explore her work on mentoring ecosystems, and the other, inspired by her book “Lessons From Plants,” will discuss the connection between plant behavior and human development. The lecture series is funded by Faculty Lectureships and the Center for Innovative Pedagogy as well as the Bicentennial Advisory Committee’ special project initiative.

Questions? Contact the bicentennial tri-chairs at

First-round Grants