Next week, Kenyon will welcome its 20th president to campus. We, along with the rest of the Kenyon community, are excited to watch President-elect Julie Kornfeld lead the College into its 200th year, guide it through its ups and downs and see what new successes her leadership will bring. Through our work with the Collegian, we have not only witnessed the last three years of Kenyon life but also delved into the archives to explore the many generations of Kenyonites who came before us. Informed by this perspective, we want to take the opportunity to reflect on our own hopes and expectations for Kenyon’s newest president as she sets our beloved school on its next path.
As a tiny school, Kenyon prides itself on its small student-to-faculty ratio and the relationships that students can build with their professors. The president should not be an exception. Former president Sean Decatur had a tradition called “Pizza with the Prez,” which allowed students to engage with him directly to discuss their ideas and concerns. Kornfeld wrote in an email to the Collegian that she hopes to teach a class, invite students to her home at Cromwell Cottage and drop by Peirce Dining Hall for meals. We think that these are great steps toward fostering the connection between students and the administration that is necessary to run an institution as close-knit as Kenyon.
Key to the success of these relationships is a level of transparency and mutual respect. When given the opportunity, the student body is capable of engaging in mature, informed discussions about campus-wide issues. If the administration makes an effort to inform students of the rationale behind controversial decisions, allowing for open dialogue, all parties could work more effectively towards the common goal of making Kenyon as wonderful as possible.
Lastly, Kenyon’s financial success is necessary for its continued growth. Our progress as an institution depends on the generosity of alumni, family and other members of the Kenyon community, and the president’s direction is crucial: Decatur guided Kenyon through its most successful fundraising campaign, “Our Path Forward to the Bicentennial.” We hope that Kornfeld can build on this legacy and take Kenyon to even greater heights.
We at the Collegian look forward to welcoming Kornfeld to our campus community and sharing with her the wonder that is Kenyon. We are hopeful that Kenyon will continue to flourish in the years to come, and we are confident that its students are in good hands. Welcome to Kenyon College, President Kornfeld — and more importantly, welcome home!
Audrey, Hannah and Katie
The staff editorial is written weekly by editors-in-chief Katie Sparvero ’25 and Audrey Baker ’25 and managing editor Hannah Sussman ’25. You can contact them at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, respectively.