Section: Features

Four siblings from four class years: Kenyon’s ‘royal flush’

Four siblings from four class years: Kenyon’s ‘royal flush’

From left, Eleutheria “Elle,” Makarios “Kod,” Kallinikos “Nike” and Maximos “Max” McCune | ZANE STENERSON

Kenyon has a royal flush. Many Kenyonites may not know that four siblings — a first year, sophomore, junior and senior — are on the Hill together. The McCune siblings have followed in the footsteps of their mother, Charissa Katzan McCune ’92, and their aunt, Irene Katzan ’89, both of whom also attended Kenyon. Born and raised in Avon, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, the siblings had the chance to visit Kenyon several times throughout their childhood and get to know the layout of the campus before officially joining the Kenyon community.

Attending Kenyon wasn’t necessarily a part of their parents’ master plan for them. Rather, each sibling made the decision to enroll at Kenyon for their own separate reasons. Makarios “Kod” McCune ’24 originally wanted to attend a larger college but changed his mind. “The closeness of the community is something I really liked — you’re not lost in a sea of other students,” he said. Maximos “Max” McCune ’23 agreed with his brother: “The snowglobe effect of Kenyon is pretty cool, where it’s just your campus, just your Hill, and you can really zone in on what you want to do.” The siblings all valued community in their college search processes, as Kallinikos “Nike” McCune ’25 and Eleutheria “Elle” McCune ’26 both agreed that small class sizes were a motivating factor in coming to Kenyon.

Remarkably, all four siblings are on the pre-med track. Max is a neuroscience major, Nike is deciding between biology and biochemistry and Kod and Elle are studying molecular biology. If you’re looking for a McCune, the Science Quad is always a safe bet. “Our family is quite medically oriented. It’s the world we grew up in, so it’s kind of a natural progression of things,” Max said. Because they are studying in the same field, the siblings are able to enjoy hand-me-down textbooks.

The two eldest of the pack, Max and Kod, are deeply involved with Knox County Medical Experiences Designed by Students (KC-MEDS), which provides opportunities and advice for prospective medical students. Meanwhile, Nike and Elle have been volunteering at the Knox Community Hospital. Elle describes herself as the most non-STEM student of the pack. She has a passion for writing, which was 0another factor that drew her to Kenyon. For that reason, she has been excited to work with Lyceum and Sunset Press, two writing organizations on campus, during her first semester here. 

Although the College is small, the four have been able to forge their own paths at Kenyon and branch out. “Even though we are all here, we still all have very different college experiences,” Nike said. Kenyon’s different social scenes allow for the siblings to be close yet feel independent. Max said the best advice they got before attending was from their mom, who said, “Sure you’re a legacy, but you have to make it your own experience.” 

Kod admitted that it was comforting to visit Max’s apartment during his first year on campus, which was overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The only member of Greek life from the pack, Kod, is a member of Alpha Delta Phi (ADs). He is also the lone lover of Peirce Dining Hall’s Great Hall (“Old Side”) in the family, much to the chagrin of his siblings. But Kod doesn’t care; he said the tables on Old Side “[allow] me to spread my food out like a medieval king.” 

Even though the quartet of siblings all lead busy, separate lives, they appreciate being able to gather together in Peirce, Hayes Hall or just on Middle Path. It also makes Family Weekend and birthdays a breeze, they said, as the whole family is able to gather together for special occasions. At Kenyon, the four future doctors have been able to continue the McCune legacy of pursuing a medical track while making the most of their time on the Hill.

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