Mike Durham, substance abuse educator and counselor, will be this year’s Baccalaureate speaker.
Trevor Kirby ’16, president of the Senior Class Committee, made the announcement on Friday at Fandango, an annual event marking 100 days until graduation, and historically the moment for revealing the name of the speaker selected by the senior class.
The baccalaureate address will take place Friday, May 20, the day before the Commencement ceremony. The baccalaureate speaker is chosen from the College’s faculty and administrators to give a sermon on behalf of the graduating class.
Durham, who joined Kenyon’s staff in 2006, is involved in many aspects of student wellness, including alcohol and drug abuse education, intervention and party training.
“I am both honored and humbled by this kind and meaningful act,” Durham wrote of his selection in an email to the Collegian. “This is the greatest honor that I could ever receive. I am so proud of you all and proud to be asked to share in your graduation.”
In a statement released via Student-Info email on Tuesday, the Senior Class Committee spoke warmly of Durham and the many roles he fills at Kenyon.
“He is truly beloved for his impact on student lives,” the committee wrote.
Peter Hardy ’16 said he considers Durham to be the figure that has made the single greatest impact on his Kenyon experience.
“Kenyon would not be the same without Mike for so many people and we are lucky to have him speak,” Hardy wrote in a text message to the Collegian.
Prior to joining Kenyon’s counseling staff, Durham worked as a clinical director and site manager for both inpatient and outpatient programs. He is a licensed social worker and independent chemical dependency counselor, as well as an internationally certified clinical supervisor.
Durham graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1990 with a bachelor of science degree in social work.