Spotlight on Success

Honors Day highlighted excellence in teaching, outstanding student accomplishments — in and out of the classroom — and more.

Students receiving an award. Photo by Graham Stokes.

Photo by Graham Stokes.

Stellar achievements by members of the Kenyon community — including one star of stage and screen — were recognized during this year’s Honors Day convocation.

The annual ceremony, held in Rosse Hall, represents an important opportunity to stop and take stock of the many accomplishments taking place around campus, President Julie Kornfeld said.

“As we rush headlong into the final weeks of the academic year, this ceremony offers us an opportunity to pause and celebrate the academic achievements of our students,” she said.

Dozens of Kenyon students and alumni were recognized during the program for various fellowships, scholarships and departmental prizes. View a full list of award winners.

Provost Jeff Bowman presented accolades for student work in everything from African diaspora studies to sociology, while Vice President for Student Affairs Celestino Limas awarded college prizes to students who have contributed to the Kenyon community in various ways. Among the College prizes are:

  • The Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award, presented annually to the student who has best promoted social justice through service activities and programs, won by Yadhira Ramirez ’24, president of Adelante.

  • The Doris B. Crozier Award, given to a student who has demonstrated qualities of vision, responsibility, courage, and dedication to excellence. It was won by two students this year: Marissa Sun ’25 — co-president of Kenyon Asian Identities, president of POCappella, and Student Council president — and Hannah Sussman ’25, who created DISCO, the Disabled/Chronically Ill Student Community Organization.

  • The E. Malcolm Anderson Cup, awarded to the student who, in the opinion of students, faculty and staff, has done the most for Kenyon during the year. It was won by Chevaugn Campbell ’24, who was noted for working with various entities on campus to promote diversity and foster an inclusive campus culture. 

Two faculty members were singled out for their dedication to the craft of teaching as well when James P. Finn ’70, a member of the Board of Trustees, presented the Trustee Teaching Excellence Awards to Associate Professor of Psychology Margaret Stevenson and Charles P. McIlvaine Professor of English Adele Davidson.

Stevenson was noted for using her expertise in psychology and the justice system to inspire her students to think critically and practically about important issues facing the world and was praised for her engaging lectures and open and productive class discussions. 

Davidson was noted for her unmatched poise and grace in the classroom as well as for, according to one nominator, “professorial commitments, professional achievements, and civic generosity [that] are both model and matrix for the young men and women we teach and for other members of our community.” 

The monetary award was established by the board in 1999 to annually honor both senior and junior faculty members who demonstrate excellence inside and outside of the classroom.

A little extra sheen was cast over the ceremony this year during the conferring of honorary degrees to distinguished alumni and supporters of the College. 

Josh Radnor ’96 — a veteran of Broadway, film and television as well as a singer-songwriter — was present to receive a doctor of fine arts and offered a poetic thanks to the guidance of the heart, which led the Ohio native to Kenyon in the first place. 

“I continue to be astonished that a 17-year old boy from Ohio had such deeply good instincts about what to do with his life and which college would best set him on a path towards that life. His mind said, “Go hundreds of miles east.” His heart said, “Go an hour north. Go to Kenyon.”

Also honored was Steven Fischman ’63, a lawyer, real estate developer, philanthropist and former trustee. In receiving a doctor of law, he reflected on his work as an advocate for social justice over the years.

“Repairing society feels to me part of our obligation to one another,” he said. “It certainly came from my studies at Kenyon, but also from my experiences in life.”

Karen Buchwald Wright, P’05,'09, a Knox County industrialist and philanthropist and former Kenyon trustee, was presented a doctor of humane letters in absentia due to ongoing health issues. She was noted, in part, for her “vision for, and commitment to, improving the area’s quality of life by promoting the arts, education and the health and well-being of its citizens.”

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