The Kenyon and Gambier communities celebrated “43022 Day” on April 30, 2022, honoring the once-in-a-century calendar date alignment with Gambier’s zip code. In addition to alumni celebrations across the country, the festivities on campus involved a number of Village-led activities and student-led programs, as well as food trucks and $1 ice cream from the Kenyon Bookstore.
According to Student Engagement Director Mick Steiner, the idea originated in late Fall when Associate Director of Alumni and Parent Engagement (APE) Kim Wallace reached out to pitch the celebration. While the APE planned to engage alumni, Steiner worked to engage students.
“After a few planning meetings and consulting with my team, we knew that student organizations have a ton to offer the greater community and engaging them would be our best bet in drawing fellow students to the event.”
Steiner reached out to student groups to participate and had multiple organizations sign on to assist with programming — including ECO, Persimmons Magazine and Kenyon’s South Asian Society. In addition, the Office of Student Engagement passed out commemorative buttons, stickers and magnets.
“The day turned out beautiful and there was a wonderful mix of Kenyon students and employees, community members, and alums who visited,” Steiner said. “Those who passed by my table were quick to share a favorite Gambier memory or take a photo with a friend or loved one. Even the dogs were having a good time.”
Gambier Mayor Leeman Kessler ’04 expressed gratitude specifically for Councilwoman Kaitlin Sockman and Wallace for leading the planning efforts of an entirely new event.
“When you’re trying something novel and unprecedented, there are always concerns that folks won’t show up and all the planning will have been in vain but thanks to everyone getting the word out and the work Kim and Kaitlin put into this event, we had a great turn out,” Kessler wrote in an email to the Collegian. “Having so many Kenyon students present meant a lot. The village’s big annual event is usually the 4th of July parade when most students are away so this felt like a great opportunity to celebrate while they were still around to join us.”
To mark the occasion, Kessler also delivered remarks outside the post office. He praised Gambier for fostering a sense of whimsy and humor in the community.
“We like living in that sense of uniqueness, that sense of eccentricity. We take pride in standing a little bit apart,” Kessler said. “But at the same time, we take pride in what brings us together, what gives us common cause. What reminds us of our common good that we owe to each other.”