From Sept. 13 to 15, Kenyon hosted a celebration marking 50 years of coeducation. Over 150 alumnae visited, with graduation years ranging from 1971 to 2015. Events honoring their contributions, alongside those of current faculty and students, spanned the weekend.
“This weekend has been a collaboration between alumni, folks on campus, some faculty, some students as well, in terms of trying to capture not only the impact that women have had on campus, but then celebrating the diversity of success alumnae have had,” President Sean Decatur said.
Panel topics included women in political leadership, intersectionality in higher education, the process of leading a meaningful life and more. Art exhibitions, staged readings, sports games and concerts also helped draw alumnae back to their alma mater for the weekend. On Saturday, students, faculty and alumnae dedicated the Black Box theater to Harlene Marley, Kenyon’s first female tenure-track professor. The weekend concluded with the planting of a new weeping beech tree (known around campus as an upside-down tree).
Vice President for Student Affairs Meredith Harper Bonham ’92 appreciated the atmosphere of gratitude on campus. “It was wonderful,” she said. “The women who returned for the anniversary celebration are so inspiring. These are women who are really quite extraordinary, and that was very much on display over the weekend.”
Celebratory events will continue throughout the year. A full schedule is available online through the 50 Years of Women at Kenyon website. Kenyon is also using the hashtag #KenyonWomen to promote stories and upcoming events on social media.