Section: Features

The Kenyon alphabet: a Collegian guide to Family Weekend

The Kenyon alphabet: a Collegian guide to Family Weekend


We at the Collegian would like to extend the warmest welcome to the family and friends arriving on campus to celebrate Family Weekend. At a school as tight-knit as Kenyon, it can be difficult to decipher some of the more confusing aspects of campus culture — you may have heard your student mention “the Horn” on the phone or struggled to identify which “Gund” they were referring to over text. In an effort to ease your transition to college life this weekend, we humbly offer a lexicon of all things Kenyon to aid you on your visit.

A is for Archaeology. You may be wondering why a crew of students is digging holes in front of the church — they’re trying to uncover the remnants of some of Kenyon’s earliest buildings! Here’s hoping the ghost of Philander Chase doesn’t mind having his cabin disturbed.

B is for BFEC. Our very own oasis away from the chaos of Middle Path. If hiking isn’t your thing, rumor has it there will be alpacas at the Harvest Festival on Saturday…

C is for Collegian. Your guide to all things Kenyon, since 1856. Reporting on hard-hitting stories like mold infestations and stricter party guidelines, and stories that are hard-hitting in other ways, like the sushi bar that used to be in the Lowry Center. 

D is for Drama. Family Weekend just wouldn’t be the same without a Kenyon play — catch KCDC’s production of Alice In… at the Bolton Theater, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. 

E is for Equestrian Team. Yes, we really do have one

F is for Foliage. Sometimes, Ohio has its charms! Especially in October when the 80-degree days finally give way to some good old-fashioned fall colors (and temperatures).

G is for Gund. Commons. Gallery. Just plain Gund. Pick your favorite!

H is for Horn Gallery. You never know what you’re going to see at Kenyon’s student-run performing arts venue. Come to think of it, you probably won’t know what exactly you saw on your way out either…

I is for Initiation. To Phi Beta Kappa, that is. Reserved for the highest of the high GPAs, the initiation will take place on Saturday morning in Chalmers Library room 303.

J is for Julie Kornfeld. Kenyon’s brand new president! If you see her on Middle Path, try to avoid giving her your two cents on the cost of attendance (get it?). 

K is for Kenyon Krud. If you find yourself with a tickle in your throat a few days after leaving the Hill, don’t panic — it’s just our very own special strain of the common cold known for putting students and professors alike out of commission for at least a few days. Fear not, dear families…after all, it is only a cold.

L is for Lecture. If your student’s classes aren’t open to visitors, you can still revisit your college experience by attending one of many lectures this weekend, ranging in topics from shady art deals to the war in Ukraine! Don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz at the end. 

M is for Midterms. They don’t stop, not even for our lovely visitors! If you see students holed up in Chalmers Library with a dazed look on their faces, don’t worry — it’ll all be over in time for finals season.

N is for Nutty Irishman. At Kenyon, it can either refer to someone’s go-to Wiggin Street Coffee order or the James Joyce novel they’re reading for their English class. 

O is for Owls. Just don’t say that in front of the swim team…

P is for Pealers. One of many beloved College traditions, the Pealers treat the campus to a church-bell concert every Friday between 4 and 5 p.m. If you come out of a class visit to the sound of a historic chapel playing Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” just roll with it.

Q is for Quest for Justice. Come walk a mile in a first-year political science major’s shoes (and don’t forget your copy of John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government!).

R is for Rosse. A veritable Family Weekend hotspot, given Kenyon’s 10 (yes, 10!) a cappella groups. If you leave the Hill with Männerchor’s rendition of “Grog and Tobacco” stuck in your head, don’t say we didn’t warn you! 

S is for Statue. Spindle. Artificial Rock No. 85. Renaissance Man and Woman. Whatever that thing Richard Serra made behind the library is supposed to be. You either love them or hate them — or try your best to bring them up in conversation in an effort to impress everyone with your knowledge of contemporary art. 

T is for Tent. Because is it really a Kenyon event if there’s not a tent the size of Texas on the Peirce Dining Hall Lawn?

U is for Undead. Listen, we all know that Kenyon is haunted. Halloween is just around the corner, so a word of friendly advice: Hold off on the seances! The last thing Old Kenyon needs is another poltergeist roaming the old floor plan.

V is for Village Inn. That is, if you can snag a table…

W is for Wiggin Street Coffee. A favorite for all students — be sure to stop by for coffee so reasonably priced it’ll have all you New Yorkers longing for the days when you could get a chai latte for less than eight dollars.

X is for Xylophone. One of many instruments you can be regaled with at the Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert!

Y is for Yerba Mate. A bookstore staple, solely responsible for keeping around 30% of campus awake for their morning classes.

Z is for Zen. What you’ll be feeling after seeing a slice of your student’s life and affirming that, yes, Kenyon was the right choice after all.On behalf of the Collegian, we wish you all a wonderful Family Weekend!


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