Also In This Edition

To aid Knox County voters, CSAD student associates compiled a nonpartisan voting guide to local candidates and issues. Photo by Rebecca Kiger

Grace in Crisis

We need to be generous with grace and kindness this year, writes President Sean Decatur.

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Same Hill, New World

From Plexiglass in Peirce to psychology class in Rosse, fall semester looked a little ... different.

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Kenyon in Quotes

“With all of the challenges facing them, their gratitude — joy, even — in being able to sing together, no matter the current circumstances, has been an inspiration to me.” — Professor of Music Ben Locke, on directing the Chamber Singers.

Kenyon in Quotes

“I am willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the public. I took an oath to that effect when I became a physician. But the public has to sacrifice some too if we want to get through this as safely as possible.” — Dr. Bradley A. Dreifuss ’01, an emergency medicine physician in Arizona, in a June 26 New York Times op-ed imploring the public to help health care workers fight COVID-19.

Gentle Resilience

Poetry by Virginia Kane ‘22 encapsulates the surreal nature of living amid tragedy.

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Big League

William E. Lowry Jr. ‘56 H‘99 is a heavy hitter in sports and life.

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Book Shelf

Explore new releases from members of the Kenyon community.

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Hot Takes: What's Trending in the Kenyon-verse

Crashing Courses

On Facebook recently, the mysterious account known only as Lorde Kenyon posed the challenge: “Ruin a Kenyon course title by changing one letter.” Some of our favorites from the 100+ responses:

ENGL 213:
Sexting: Reading Like an English Major

HIST 360:
Porn, Farming and the Roots of American Cultures

RLST 470:
Moanings of Death

PSCI 300:
Congress and Public Policyfaking

Serendipitous SMS

Many of our inboxes were blowing up with campaign-related messages this election season, but at least one of them sparked a Kenyon connection instead of ending up in the trash bin. Alise Shuart Barrett ’92, texting on behalf of New Jersey Democrats, was randomly connected with Sophie Silberman ’19, working for Ohio Democrats. Silberman took to Twitter to share her “heartwarming textbank story” of intergenerational Gambier goodwill.

Doorway Disaster

Reflecting how many of us have felt since March, the double doors of Peirce Dining Hall simply decided to give up, lie down and take a nap a few weeks into Kenyon’s fall semester. After all, enough else has gone wrong in 2020 — how much worse could a bit of ingress inconvenience make it? The faulty door was quickly set back on its hinges, but not before achieving minor Twitter fame.


Tofu: Is there anything these little soy-based rectangles can’t do? The versatile vegan staple has been a cornerstone of Peirce Hall’s modified operations this year, so several first-year students started an Instagram account, @kenyontofu, to rank each day’s offerings, which range from “cooked sponge” to “crispy on the outside, actually seasoned.” Come for the Tofu Bingo and stay for special guest appearances from tofu’s sidekick, “eatloaf.”

West Winging It

Twitter buzzed with excitement at seeing Allison Janney ’82 resume her role as Aaron Sorkin’s iconic White House press secretary CJ Cregg in a “The West Wing” TV special benefiting Michelle Obama’s organization When We All Vote.

The staged reading of the season three episode “Hartsfield’s Landing” reunited the cast and garnered online praise, including, “CJ at the podium again, how I’ve missed this,” and, “I have a queen and her name is CJ Cregg.”

Sadly, there was no reprise of “The Jackal.”

Class Notes

Recent Class Notes

Madeline R. Thompson, St. Louis, Missouri, began a new job as a clinical research coordinator for a study with mothers who use marijuana during pregnancy. Madi explains: “We follow their baby’s development from the first trimester to the time that their child is 2. I get to be with newborns at work, which is the dream!”


“Greetings from the Scooby-Doo ghost town that is Boston! Very strange to see nobody on the streets and to not sit in traffic during rush hour. I took the bar exam and can safely say that nothing is harder. I have been a legal assistant at a large law firm for almost a year. Outside the office, I’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons for the last two years with Laura A. Spiegler ’10 and our friends. I was back at Kenyon in September for the BSU 50th Anniversary Celebration: an amazing experience being in community with so many alumni. The village is so different now, but it’s a good different. Hope everyone is staying healthy, moisturized and hydrated during this crazy time, and remember to prioritize your mental health daily.”

Sasha Pauline Fanny-Holston


Lainie Thomas reports that in January, when a volcano in the Philippines started spewing gases and the government warned of imminent eruption, she put their oldest child on a flight out — back to college, two hours before the airport closed. The volcano calmed down, but then the first COVID-19 death outside China was recorded in the Philippines. “Like people across the world,” Lainie writes, “we are trying to stay on top of the facts. Our four children’s three schools on two continents are closing. We are adapting to virtual learning and working from home.” She continues to work on civil society engagement projects in Uzbekistan, Georgia, India, the Philippines and the Pacific — “but not in person!”

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