Highlights from on and off the Hill


The men’s swimming team wins an NCAA Division III championship, kicking off a streak of 31 consecutive championships. 

The first Summer Sendoff is held on McBride Field.


The women’s swimming team begins its run of 17 consecutive NCAA Division III championships. 

Women's swimming team.
Women's swimming team.

The Alumni House is torn down to make way for construction  of the Kenyon Inn, which opens for business in 1985.


E.L. Doctorow ’52 H’76 gives the Commencement address to the Class of 1985, titled “Beautiful Composition.” He tells the graduates, “You are  endowed with the  spirit of this place.”


Olof Palme ’47, a Swedish politician who served as prime minister of Sweden from 1969 to 1976, and again from 1982 to 1986, is assassinated by a gunman.


Harlene Marley of the Department of Dance and Drama becomes Kenyon’s first female faculty member to be awarded a full professorship.


Evelyn King ’92 and Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings ’93, with assistance from Juan DePascuale, associate professor of philosophy, become the founding members of the new club, ADELANTE, which promotes Latin American and Latinx culture and community on campus.

Members of ADELANTE
Members of ADELANTE.

Musical acts that rocked Kenyon in the 1980s

  • 1981: Michael Stanley Band, Ernst Center
  • 1982: The Romantics and Livingston Taylor, Summer Sendoff
  • 1984: Sonny Rollins, Rosse Hall
  • 1986: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Summer Sendoff
  • 1987: Dizzy Gillespie, Gund Commons

I Was There: Jennifer M. Mizenko ’85

Jennifer Mizenko is professor emerita of movement for the actor and dance at the University of Mississippi, where she ran the theater department’s dance program from 1989-2020 and the movement program from 1996-2020.

My first semester at Kenyon I took “Introduction to Philosophy” at 8 a.m. with Professor (Daniel) Kading H’86 in Ascension Hall because I was in the last group to register. Can you imagine? Philosophy at 8 a.m. for a freshman?! I had no clue what was going on most of the time. It also doesn’t help that I slept in fairly frequently and/ or fell asleep in class!

As I look back, I realize now how that class and so many others made me the choreographic artist I am today. Often the liberal arts are dismissed as irrelevant for the artist in training, and a major emphasis is placed on technique, form and skills. But as Susanne Langer expressed in her seminal book “Feeling and Form,” without feeling there is no need for form, and form needs feeling in order to have a purpose. Becoming a choreographic artist in the strong liberal arts atmosphere of Kenyon College taught me to make cross-connections between subjects, as well as performing arts techniques and theories. 

Student dancers
Mizenko (top row, far right) was among a group of senior dancers chosen by longtime dance professor and noted choreographer Maggie Patton to go on a performance tour in the spring of 1985.

In this next phase of life as a professor emerita, I am creating site-specific works about the history of the enslaved in Mississippi, combining dance, theater, music and spoken word to express this difficult and complicated history. Without my Kenyon education, I don’t think it ever would’ve occurred to me to unite philosophy, sociology, psychology, dance and physical theater to sensitively express difficult history.

Jennifer in Uganda
A photo of Mizenko, taken “many years” after graduation, wearing a “Kenyon is not near Uganda” T-shirt … while in Uganda.

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