Kenyon thrives on the lively and diverse minds that converge on our Hill. And so it was in mid-October, when nearly 300 of Kenyon’s most loyal supporters gathered in Gambier to launch the College’s largest fundraising campaign ever: Our Path Forward. The $300 million comprehensive campaign funds the strategic vision laid out in the Kenyon 2020 plan, and sets the course for Kenyon’s third century.

“We in the Kenyon family have a deeply personal stake in the future of this charmed hilltop,” said President Sean Decatur. “But every flicker on our smartphones reminds us that we also have a stake in [society’s] larger questions. Our students, like young people across the world, will have to wrestle with questions that seem more urgent and more fraught than ever before.”

The funding priorities for the campaign speak directly to this changing landscape. The campaign seeks to ensure that Kenyon reflects the diverse world our graduates will enter; provides students with opportunities to apply the skills they hone in the classroom to real-world problems; and equips faculty and students with facilities designed for collaboration and innovation.

A full third of the $300 million goal will fund scholarships to make Kenyon more accessible. Each year Kenyon turns away many qualified students simply because the College cannot meet their financial need; others do not apply because they fear they could never afford Kenyon. Census data predicts that America’s top students will be more ethnically diverse, the first in their family to attend college and more likely to need financial aid. Raising $100 million in endowed funding for financial aid will boost the number of low-income students on campus by 10 percent.

For graduates to thrive in work and in life, the two most important factors of their education are connection with a faculty member and putting ideas into action. Kenyon students already benefit from close collaboration with faculty — and the campaign seeks $25 million for endowed professorships and faculty  support. More and more, colleges need to extend the rigorous work that happens in the classroom to include experiences that empower students to test their ideas in the field: internships, undergraduate research, community-engaged learning, and apprentice programs such as the Gund Gallery Associates and Kenyon Review Associates. Experiential learning efforts account for $60 million in the campaign.

This is a critical moment for undergraduate education — a time when technology is opening new worlds of knowledge, when faculty are collaborating more with students and with one another, when educators and employers recognize the value of building a continuum between work in the classroom and work in the world. The campaign will raise $80 million to adapt Kenyon’s campus to 21st-century teaching and learning. An extraordinary lead gift in the fall of 2017 made it possible to break ground on a new West Quad, which will include a new library, a social sciences building and an admissions center between Rosse Hall and Bailey House. Additional classroom and office buildings for the English Department and renovations in the Village are almost complete. With these projects, the College builds on Kenyon’s traditions with accessibility and sustainability top of mind: 90 percent of classrooms will be accessible when the West Quad and associated work is complete.

As this is a comprehensive campaign, annual gifts to the Kenyon Fund and the Kenyon Parents Fund are critical to success: In fact, $35 million of the campaign will be raised through annual giving alone. The College hopes 70 percent of alumni will make a gift at some point during the campaign.

At a Glance: Where Will Campaign Dollars Go?

Keep pace with the growing financial need of today's top students and support the gifted faculty who inspire them.

Build a bridge between what students know and how they'll use it.

Equip faculty and students with spaces designed to explores the questions of our time.

Power the activities that make Kenyon exceptional, year in and year out.

For more information about Our Path Forward, visit


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