Here's a fun fact about me: I am particularly susceptible to earworms — catchy songs that get stuck in my head for hours, and sometimes days. 

As we put the finishing touches on this special issue of the Bulletin, which honors the 50th anniversary of coeducation at Kenyon, one song played on an endless loop in my mind: “Running Up That Hill,” the 1985 hit by English singer-songwriter Kate Bush. 

I’ve always loved this gender-equality anthem, which features Bush’s singular, lilting voice over a snappy synth pop drum beat; and running up a hill feels like an apt metaphor for the experiences of Kenyon’s earliest female graduates (and it makes for a natural headline). The song is “about the inability of a man to see things from a woman's point of view — and vice versa,” and the fantasy of “making a deal with God to let two people swap places so they'll be able to see things from one another's perspective,” Bush said in one interview in 1985. 

When women first enrolled at Kenyon in 1969, our Hill was rife with the kinds of gender-based misunderstandings Bush sings of in her music. In many ways, the Kenyon of today, is a world apart from the Kenyon of 1969 (for one, women made up 55 percent of the Class of 2019). Yet students (of all genders) continue to fight for equality (of all kinds) and empathy (across complex divides).

You might have already noticed that this Bulletin is missing a few things: There are no Class Notes, In Memoriam or Books sections, for example. Rest assured that we’ll catch up on each of these in future issues of the magazine. Instead, the following pages are dedicated exclusively and entirely to the stories and accomplishments of Kenyon women — from Kenyon’s pioneering first female graduates and faculty members to one of Hollywood’s biggest, brightest stars.

The College will celebrate the beginning of coeducation, and the influence of all Kenyon women, throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, starting with the publication of this magazine and followed by a weekend of kick-off activities on campus Sept. 13-15, 2019. This magazine is dedicated to all the women who, for various reasons, know how it feels to run, and keep running, uphill.

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