Donna Bertolet Poseidon '75 on the evolving role of Kenyon in her life
The Kenyon that Donna Bertolet Poseidon ’75 experienced as a student was less a quiet, tradition-bound academy than a vibrant place awash in social change.
“I came in with the first wave of women students (I was in the third co-ed class), so I was at Kenyon in the middle of a huge transition,” Poseidon said. “I see that Kenyon is always changing, always improving. There are some who say they want to go back and see Kenyon as it was when they were students. I like to see the change. And I want to see Kenyon continue to adapt and improve.”
Poseidon was elected to the Kenyon College Board of Trustees by the alumni in 2016. She has served on the Kenyon Fund Executive Committee, as a class agent, as a regional association officer and as a volunteer in admissions, career counseling and reunion planning. In 2015, Kenyon gave her a Distinguished Service Award. Her outstanding work as a class agent also garnered her the D. Morgan Smith Award, named for class agent D. Morgan Smith ’28, whose service on Alumni Council and work with students inspired the creation of the Student-Alumni Association.
She said she is proud to be on the diversity committee of the Board of Trustees.
“We have to be planful about diversity. It’s not just going to happen on its own. Kenyon has been working on improving our diversity profile, and I applaud that,” Poseidon said. “Other colleges are competing for these same outstanding faculty and students, so that’s a challenge for us. We need to get alumni more interested in helping us reach capable students. Alumni know who the outstanding students are in their community and schools and can assist us as we reach out and look for those students. Fortunately, this is top of mind for the board now, and we have a great leader in President Sean Decatur, who is addressing this issue. There is no fast answer for this, but we are addressing it.”
Poseidon brings to her Kenyon work a strong interest in data and business practices. She spent more than 30 years at NCR Corp. and now lives in Atlanta leading the internal communications for a major business transformation at the cybersecurity ﬁrm Dell SecureWorks.
“Every time I come back to Kenyon, I am more and more impressed with the students. The best part of still being involved with the College is seeing what the students are doing now. Now that I’m on the Board of Trustees, I am learning more about how Kenyon the organization works. And like all Kenyon alumni, one of the things I really love is learning new things. Through my KFEC and alumni work, I’ve built wonderful relationships with the development staff, and now that’s expanded to seeing the business side of Kenyon.
“And I loved my puffy hat that I got to wear on Founders’ Day! That was really awesome, to be standing there on Middle Path in the regalia and to walk in the parade to Rosse Hall. I teared up. I really did. I bleed Kenyon purple.”