The Sept. 8, 1969, edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer featured a news article about a big change underway at Kenyon College. The headline read, “Male Tradition Broken: Coeds at Kenyon after 145 Years,” followed by, “A new look comes to Kenyon College today — girls. For the first time since the college was founded here 145 years ago, girls have been admitted. … Mini-skirted lasses began arriving at the tree-lined campus." 

The transition, however, was anything but smooth. A construction strike meant that the inaugural female students arrived on campus to find that their designated dormitories were incomplete; many were dispersed, chaotically, into temporary housing throughout Gambier. In addition, a shortage of women’s restrooms on campus, an absence of women’s athletic opportunities, a lack of local healthcare options, and general administrative indecision around things like library and dormitory visiting hours for the women did not help; nor did the fact that women, at first, were not allowed to sign the College’s Matriculation Book. 

But these women, as the new dean of the women’s college, Doris Crozier, told the Kenyon Collegian at the time, were “pioneers.” They fought and overcame obstacles, and over time integrated themselves into every aspect of campus life. In fact, since 2001, Kenyon has consistently enrolled more female than male students, with the percentage of female students fluctuating between 52 and 56 percent over the years. 

Throughout the year, the College will highlight and celebrate the women of Kenyon and honor half a century of coeducation. 

What follows is a cross-section, by no means complete, of some milestone moments from the past 195-plus years of Kenyon’s history, highlighting women’s impact at the College and the varied accomplishments of Kenyon alumnae over the decades.

Harcourt Seminary tennis players

1800s to 1950s: Before Coeducation

From the time of Kenyon’s founding, women played a role in the College’s growth as a liberal arts institution.


On Dec. 29, Kenyon College is officially incorporated by action of the Ohio state legislature.


The main, or upper, room of Rosse Hall, the chapel named for Lady Jane King Parsons, the College’s most generous original donor, is first used for regular Sunday worship. A portrait of her, labeled “Lady Jane King, who became the Right Honorable Dowager Countess of Rosse, Died 1836,” currently hangs in the foyer of Rosse Hall.


The Harcourt Place Seminary for Young Ladies and Girls opens in Gambier, with Lucy Caroline Andrews, an alumna of the University of Michigan and a former member of the faculty at Wellesley College, as headmistress. The November 1887 Collegian describes a less than desirable initial outcome: “When school opened at Harcourt and the girls first came on the ‘Hill,’ there were, it is true, a few students who acted in such a manner as to draw down upon them the condemnation of the mass of students,” the newspaper reports. “They acted as though they had never seen a woman before.” 


Harriet Lathrop Merrow, a Wellesley alumna who will go on to become the first woman professor of botany at the University of Rhode Island in 1895, joins the faculty of the Harcourt Place Seminary, where she will serve for three years as an instructor in natural sciences.


Emma Wright joins the Kenyon administration as College librarian and serves until her death in 1896. 


In the January-February Collegian, the editors ask, “Is it not high time that Kenyon offered the same advantages to women which for more than sixty years she has been offering to men?”


Ellen Douglas Smith Devol is named the College’s librarian, a post she holds for 26 years. 


Philena Taylor becomes the first woman to serve as secretary to the College’s then-president, William Foster Peirce. She also serves as the College’s assistant treasurer, and then treasurer, until Peirce’s retirement in 1937.


During Kenyon’s centennial celebration, Florence Kling Harding accepts an honorary degree on behalf of her recently deceased husband, U.S. President Warren Gamaliel Harding. 


At the end of the 1935-36 academic year, the Harcourt Place School, also known as the Harcourt Place Seminary, closes for the last time — a victim of the Great Depression. 


The June 19 Collegian leads with the headline, “Announce Kenyon to Go Co-ed in Fall.” Other stories in the special humor issue deal with a biology professor disproving Darwin’s theory of evolution, the College’s addition of a Department of Piscatology, and subversive activities on the part of the editors of a certain campus periodical. “Who knows, for the first time in its long and distinguished journalistic career the Collegian may be published by members of the fair sex in the Fall Term,” a satirical article reads. 


Florence Dyke Lewis Rauh, of Elyria, Ohio, donates $323,000 to Kenyon in memory of her late husband, David Lewis. The first $50,000 is allocated to a scholarship fund, while the remainder of the gift is designated for construction of a freshman residence hall.

women in the yearbook

1960s: The Move to Coeducation

Kenyon makes the decision to admit women, expanding the size of its student body and restoring its financial health.


In a June meeting, President F. Edward Lund and the Board of Trustees discuss what it would take to save Kenyon, which is teetering on the edge of financial ruin. In a Fall 2013 Bulletin article (“How Women Came to Kenyon”) journalist Joel Hoekstra explains, “For more than a decade, the College had been operating at a deficit. The revenue generated by an enrollment of roughly 600 students no longer kept up with expenses. Financial support among alumni was tepid, and the school’s endowment was tiny. The College had more than $1 million in unpaid bills. The future looked bleak indeed.” In March, the article notes, “a group of alumni, administrators, and consultants met to consider the only viable fix: boosting enrollment.” The College could either recruit more men (a challenge) or bring women to Kenyon.


On Feb. 27, the Kenyon board approves (in principle) the expansion of the student body and the creation of the Coordinate College for Women, which would admit around 175 female students in the fall of 1969. According to the Bulletin article referenced above, “as news of the plan leaked out, alumni and students reacted, often vehemently. … A campus poll indicated that more than half of the 644 students opposed entry of women. Steven Silber, chair of the Students’ Committee Against the War in Vietnam, told a journalist: ‘Women would be in the way. You can get hung up on women.’” 


Sylvia Barnard is hired into a two-year (but potentially tenure-track) position as an assistant professor of classics, but leaves after one year to take a job at the State University of New York at Albany.


Kenyon announces its Program for Expansion, which entails an increased enrollment of men and, for the first time, the admission of women.


On Oct. 15, Kenyon breaks ground for construction of the commons and residence halls of the Coordinate College for Women. As the 2013 Bulletin story notes, “The new dorms would cluster women in sixteen-person ‘social units’ … and would feature a curved ‘feminine’ design, according to the architect’s notes.” 

On Dec. 12, Doris Bean Crozier is announced as the dean of the Coordinate College for Women. “An international traveler who had lived and taught in Germany and Cambodia, Crozier knew something about foreign cultures — an understanding that, as the sole female member of an all-male administration, would serve her well,” Hoekstra writes in the 2013 Bulletin article.


Harlene Marley, a new assistant professor of drama and the second woman (after Sylvia Barnard) to be hired into a tenure-track position at Kenyon, arrives on campus. 

On Sept. 8, Kenyon marks the official opening of the Coordinate College for Women and the unofficial end of single-sex education on the Hill. The Collegian, in its Sept. 18 edition, notes that although “many Kenyon men welcomed the presence of girls on Middle Path, the majority still viewed the addition with clearly mixed feelings. As for the Coordinate women, they were constantly warned about infringing on the men’s sacred ‘traditions.’” 

Barbara (Lee) Johnson ’73, Glory (Wolfe) Shuler ’73 and Doretha (Leftwood) Smallwood ’73, Kenyon’s first black female students, arrive on campus. 

Mieko Muto becomes the first female international student to attend Kenyon. An exchange student from Japan’s Waseda University in 1969-70, Muto immerses herself in Kenyon’s culture of writing and becomes circulation editor of the Collegian. 

On Sept. 18, Linda (Urban) Sears ’73 becomes the first female student to have her byline in the Collegian. The article’s title is “Women in Kenyon Tradition.” 

Also in early October, a group of nine women begins working out in Shaffer Pool in anticipation of creating a women’s swimming team. 

On Oct. 31, Ohio State University President Novice Fawcett, a 1931 graduate of Kenyon, addresses the Founders’ Day Convocation in Wertheimer Fieldhouse. The Oath of Matriculation, however, is administered only to the men in the freshman class.


1970s: The Pioneers 

The first women to arrive on the Hill revolutionize the academic and social life of the College.


On Jan. 28, the Coordinate Council abolishes curfews for students at the Coordinate College for Women. 

From Feb. 5-7, the Kenyon College Dramatic Club presents a rock-musical version of Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata,” with Mia Halton ’73 in the title role.

Kenyon’s Lambda Chapter of Sigma Pi fraternity disaffiliates from its national organization and becomes a local group known as the Peeps (its former nickname) and admits women as members.

On April 9, the Kenyon College Dramatic Club presents its production of the Peter Weiss play “The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat, as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade,” or “Marat/Sade.” It’s the first play directed by Assistant Professor of Drama Harlene Marley, and the leading female role of Charlotte Corday is played by Colleen Kelly-Eiding ’73. 

A women’s lacrosse team begins to take shape at Kenyon.


With the May 6 issue of the Collegian, Liesel Friedrich ’73 and Denise Largent Roberts ’73 become the newspaper’s first female editors. 

On May 30, Kenyon awards degrees to its first three female graduates, Belinda Bremner, Judith Hobbs Goodhand and Patricia Sellew Cimarosa ’71 (the first woman elected to the Beta of Ohio Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa). All three came to the College as transfer students in 1969.


On Feb. 19, the Kenyon board votes that the College will become a coeducational institution on July 1, 1972, marking an end to the short life of the Coordinate College for Women. In a March 9 Collegian article, Provost Bruce Haywood says he hopes that the word “student” can now be used “without any further qualification,” and that he foresees a time when “we will no longer speak in terms of the number of men and number of women enrolled at Kenyon.” 

Flora N. Katz ’72 is the first Kenyon woman awarded a Watson Fellowship for travel and study abroad.

Leonie Silverman Deutsch ’73 is announced as the first female editor of Reveille, Kenyon’s yearbook. 

On May 28, Kenyon awards degrees to the second group of women, 18 strong: Susan Ceaser, Kathryn (Eisenberg) Belton, Carole (Garbuny) Vogel, Roberta (Hilt) Fancher, Flora N. Katz, Diane Markham, Susan McGannon, Joyce (Ott) Kelley, Ellen-Jane Pader, Nancy (Peek) Ellis, Kathleen (Seaton) Pennington, Sara Sedgwick, Ann Sellew, Paula (Siegel) Barone, Carolyn (Smith) Wolin, Kaj Wilson, Ann Worthington and Ouida Young. 

On June 3, the Kenyon board votes to approve an experiment in coeducational housing proposed by an ad hoc committee. The first residences to have both female and male occupants are Farr Hall (suite by suite), Caples Residence (floor by floor), and the Bexley and New apartments (apartment by apartment). In addition, Bushnell Hall is designated as a women’s residence hall to integrate housing on the South Campus. 

In July, Karen Burke joins Kenyon as assistant director of women’s physical education and the first full-time coach of the College’s field hockey and women’s lacrosse teams. For five of her 11 years at Kenyon, she simultaneously coaches four sports: basketball, field hockey, lacrosse and volleyball. 

Kenyon announces the formation of a women’s basketball team.


Jean C. Dunbar ’73 becomes the first Kenyon woman to be awarded a Danforth Scholarship for graduate study. 

On May 27, Kenyon graduates its first fully coeducational class, consisting of 211 men and 100 women. U.S. Representative Shirley Chisholm (D-New York) becomes the first African American woman to deliver the Commencement address at Kenyon and to receive an honorary doctorate from the College. 

Geraldine (Coleman) Tucker ’74 becomes the first woman to serve as president of the Black Student Union. 


Julie Miller Vick ’73 P’12 H’97 returns to the College to help establish the After Kenyon Library, which will evolve into the College's Office of Career Development.  

In January, Kim Stapleton Smith ’74 is “activated” as a member of Psi Upsilon, becoming the first woman to join a Kenyon fraternity. 

In April, College administrators reject a Peeps proposal to allow women to live in their division of Old Kenyon, citing concerns for the women’s safety, the “feelings” of members of the building’s other fraternities (Alpha Delta Phi and Delta Kappa Epsilon) and a desire for authorization by the Board of Trustees. 

On July 1, Rev. Joan P. Grimm, who later became one of the first women to be ordained to the priesthood by the Episcopal Church (1977), begins a two-year tenure as Kenyon’s associate chaplain, working with Rev. Richard L. Harbour. 

In September, the Collegian announces that M. Joan Larson, who taught biology at Kenyon from 1971 to 1974, has filed suit against the College, alleging sex discrimination in faculty salaries.


Georgiene A. Radlick ’76 becomes the first woman elected president of a senior class. 

The Owl Creek Singers are established as Kenyon's first all-female a cappella group. 


February sees the resignation of Sharon A. Decker, the first woman to be hired into a tenure-track position in the Department of English. Decker cites “social isolation,” “hostility” and “lack of understanding,” as well as opposition to change, among her reasons for leaving to accept a job at her graduate alma mater, the University of Virginia.

On March 31, President Philip H. Jordan Jr. announces the appointment of Donna Hurt Scott as Kenyon’s part-time equal opportunity coordinator, reporting directly to him and serving as staff assistant to the President’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women at Kenyon. 

In April, Glenda Enderle, a counselor in Kenyon’s Smythe House, announces her resignation from the College. 

On July 26, Gene C. Payne, head nurse at Kenyon’s Health Service, dies at the age of 59. One of the College’s first African American employees, she joined the Kenyon staff in 1962 after many years as head nurse at Mercy Hospital in Mount Vernon, Ohio. 

Gambier residents (and faculty spouses) Joyce Klein and Peggy Turgeon launch what will become a beloved Kenyon tradition: Friday Café, a lunchtime gathering, open to all, featuring homemade gourmet comfort food and camaraderie.

Kenyon’s Women’s Center becomes an official student organization, with headquarters in a former Peirce Hall storeroom. “We are beginning with a positive outlook,” co-organizer Lauren Rosenbloom ’78 tells a Collegian reporter in November. “We’re not anti-Kenyon or anti-male, but pro-information, decision and choice.” The group’s mission includes improving women’s medical facilities on campus, as well as providing opportunities for female faculty and students to better connect with one another.


At Honors Day, Nina P. Freedman ’77 H’92 becomes the first woman awarded Kenyon’s E. Malcolm Anderson Cup, for the student who has done the most for the College in the preceding year. 


Kathryn “Ryn” Edwards, Kenyon’s first out lesbian professor, joins the biology faculty as an assistant professor. Open about her sexual orientation from the start, she becomes an important part of the College’s gay and lesbian community and an essential player in efforts for equality on campus.

three women

1980s: The Influencers 

Female students and professors make their mark at Kenyon and beyond.


In March, the Ladies swimming team makes its first appearance at the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division III championships. All-American co-captain Katrina Singer Litchfield ’81 places third in the 200-meter backstroke at Nationals. 


Associate Professor of Philosophy Juan DePascuale agrees to be faculty advisor to a new club, Adelante, which aims to promote Latin American and Latinx culture on campus. The founding members include Evelyn King ’92 and Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings ’93. 


On July 1, Harlene Marley of the Department of Dance and Drama becomes Kenyon’s first female faculty member to be awarded a full professorship. 


On July 1, Lisa Dowd Schott ’80 becomes the first woman, and first Kenyon alumna, to serve as the College’s director of alumni and parent programs.  


The Kenyon Athletic Association Hall of Fame inducts its second class, including its first woman, two-sport (swimming and track) All-American Elizabeth Batchelder Boring ’84.

three women



At the Honors Day Convocation in April, Cornelia “Buffy” Ireland Hallinan ’76 H’91 becomes the first Kenyon alumna to be awarded an honorary doctorate by the College. 


At the Honors Day Convocation on April 15, Teresa E. (Cunningham) Lowen ’93 is announced as a recipient of a Marshall Scholarship for graduate study at the University of London. Other women awarded national fellowships and scholarships at Honors Day include Jennifer S. Sampson ’92, Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, and Sarah Y. Butzen ’93, Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. 

On May 13, Roberta Teale Swartz Chalmers, poet, professor, widow of President Gordon Keith Chalmers and often unacknowledged cofounder of the Kenyon Review, dies at her home in Newton, Massachusetts, at the age of 89. 


In October, Professor of History Joan Cadden is awarded the Pfizer Prize, recognizing the year’s most outstanding work in the history of science, for her book “Sex Difference in the Middle Ages: Medicine, Science, and Culture.” 


On April 14, M. Kristina Peterson ’73, then the executive vice president of Random House Children’s Publishing, receives an honorary doctor of laws at Honors Day. At the same event, Melissa L. Kravetz ’99 becomes the College’s first student to receive both the Doris B. Crozier Award and the E. Malcolm Anderson Cup. 

Cornelia “Buffy” Ireland Hallinan ’76 H’91 becomes the first alumna elected chair of the Kenyon Board of Trustees. 

Kenyon’s Board of Trustees creates the Dissertation/Teaching Fellowship to allow promising doctoral candidates from under-represented groups to complete their dissertations while teaching on a limited basis and participating in the life of the College. The first fellow is Marla Kohlman, who becomes a permanent member of the faculty in 1999 and later chairs Kenyon’s sociology department.


On April 15, Julia F. Johnson ’73 is awarded an honorary doctor of laws at Kenyon’s Honors Day Convocation. 

Inductees to the Kenyon Athletic Association Hall of Fame include the 1972 field hockey and 1973 women’s lacrosse teams and their coach, Karen Burke.

georgia nugent

2000s: The Influencers 

Female students and professors make their mark at Kenyon and beyond.


The Philander Chase Corporation is created to lead Kenyon’s efforts to preserve the College’s rural environment. Among the members of the inaugural board of directors is Anne C. Griffin ’78, who continues to serve in 2019. 


On July 1, S. Georgia Nugent H’13 becomes Kenyon’s 18th president, and the College’s first female president. In her inaugural address, she invites everyone to take part in “this endless odyssey of education,” and thereby to increase “Kenyon’s capacity to act in and transform our world.” 

Senior Ashley Rowatt (now Karpinos) is named the 2003 NCAA Woman of the Year and is the first-ever recipient from an NCAA Division III institution.


Following the death of Kenyon parent and trustee Marilyn V. Yarbrough, the College’s board names the Dissertation/Teaching Fellowship in her honor. Yarbrough, a law professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was well-known for her work on race and gender discrimination, sports law and legal education. 


On April 12, Debra S. Lunn ’73 is awarded an honorary doctor of fine arts at Honors Day. At the same event, Kelly P. Burke ’06 is announced as one of the College’s three winners of the year’s Barry M. Goldwater Excellence in Education Scholarships. 


The Gambier Child Care Center opens in November, making it easier for Kenyon employees to find affordable care for their children. “I think that being a woman contributed to my wanting to improve the child care situation. Inadequate options for child care had been a source of frustration for faculty and staff going back many years,” President Nugent later tells the Bulletin in a Winter 2013 feature published at the end of her presidency. 

student at graduation

2010s: The Influencers 

Female students and professors make their mark at Kenyon and beyond.


The Kenyon Farm is established on Zion Road just east of Gambier. Among the first four students to reside at the farm are Claire O’Connell ’13 and Anna Peery ’14. 


On June 30, S. Georgia Nugent H’13 retires as Kenyon’s first female president, after a decade in the position. 


On April 19, Kenyon hosts its first Lavender Graduation ceremony for graduating LGBTQ+ seniors in Peirce Pub. Jillian Watts, then-assistant director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, spearheads the effort to bring Lavender Graduation, which is celebrated nationally, to the college. 


Kenyon’s student portal, MyBanner, becomes more inclusive for students of all gender identities. An update allows students to easily enter and regularly update their name, gender identity and pronouns electronically, and the information in the system then migrates to the campus mailroom, class rosters, etc. 

Photographs courtesy of the Kenyon College Archives. 

Beyond Kenyon

How these alumnae are taking their Kenyon experiences and shaping the world.

1979: Fiber artist, quiltmaker, hand dyer and surface designer Debra S. Lunn ’73 P’98 H’05 creates a quilt, “Counterpoint,” that, according to the Lunn Fabrics website, becomes the first and only piece in Quilt National ’79 (the first such exhibition) that was made of hand-dyed fabrics.

1980: Charlotte “Shami” Jones McCormick ’75 P’10 H’94 helps develop the Depot Theatre in Westport, New York, from a community theater into a fully professional company. She serves as its artistic director through 2013.

1982: Cathy Rollins Gregg ’76 co-founds Treasury Solutions, a treasury management consultancy. She becomes a vocal advocate for client interests in regulatory matters, her online biography notes, speaking to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee regarding the Volcker Rule and authoring numerous papers on the financial collapse, money fund regulations and the impact of regulatory change on U.S. liquidity markets.

1984: “Shapes of Their Thoughts: Reflections of Culture Contact in Northwest Coast Indian Art,” by Victoria Wyatt ’77 H’15, a historian, teacher and expert in Native American art and culture, is published by the University of Oklahoma Press & Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. 

1990: Author Nancy Sydor Zafris ’76 H’93 wins a Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction for her book, “The People I Know,” a collection of short stories about characters “who hover at the edge of life,” her website notes. 

1991: Following the death of her infant daughter, Betsy Upton Stover ’73 co-founds Ele’s Place, a nonprofit, community-based healing center for grieving children and their families. The organization’s vision is “to ensure no child in Michigan grieves alone.” 

1992: Allison E. Joseph ’88 H’14 receives Ploughshares magazine’s John C. Zacharis First Book Award for her collection of poems, “What Keeps Us Here,” published by Ampersand Press. While at Kenyon, Joseph was the first undergraduate to be published in the Kenyon Review since poet James Wright '52. 

Julia Miller Vick ’73 P’12 H’97, the first woman to major in classics at Kenyon, co-authors the first edition of “The Academic Job Search Handbook” with Mary Morris Heiberger. Published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, the book guides aspiring faculty members step-by-step through the job hunting process. 

1993: Julia F. Johnson ’73 H’99 becomes Banc One’s first female senior vice president, as well as the first female member of the exclusive Columbus Club. “When I was told my application had been accepted, I was advised that it was a big deal,” she tells Columbus Monthly magazine in a September 1993 article. 

1994: Historian Janette Thomas Greenwood ’77 H’11 publishes her first book, “Bittersweet Legacy: The Black and White ‘Better Classes’” in Charlotte, North Carolina, 1850-1910,” through the University of North Carolina Press. According to a 1997 Bulletin feature on Greenwood, the book examines “how the upper-middle classes of both black and white communities forged biracial economic and social bonds based on their common values of hard work and economic advancement.”  

President Bill Clinton appoints the Hon. Kathleen McDonald O’Malley ’79 H’95 to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, where she handles several high-profile public corruption and mob-related cases. In 1995, O’Malley becomes the first alumna to serve as Commencement speaker at Kenyon. 

1997: A year after joining the faculty of Fisk University Lean’tin Bracks ’94 H’08 publishes her first book, “Writings on Black Women of the Diaspora: History Language and Identity,” through Garland Press. 

Vicki Barker ’78 H’96 is hired to host the BBC World Service’s morning world news program for U.S. listeners, “World Update,” a position she holds until 2003. A four-part 2005 radio documentary she produces, “The Changing Face of Global Power,” introduces the world to the concept of the “BRICs” — Brazil, Russia, India and China as rising powers. 

The film "House of Yes" — based on a play written by Wendy MacLeod '81 — wins a Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

1998: Kristina Peterson ’73 H’98 is named president of Random House Children’s Group, and in 2000, she accepts a new position as president of Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing Division. 

2001: Laura Hillenbrand ’89 H’03 publishes her first nonfiction book, “Seabiscuit: An American Legend,” about the famous thoroughbred racehorse. The New York Times bestseller becomes a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and inspires a popular film (“Seabiscuit,” 2003), which receives multiple major award nominations. “Seabiscuit” and Hillenbrand’s 2010 book “Unbroken” together have sold more than 13 million copies. 

2002: Aileen C. Hefferren ’88 H’12 is appointed chief executive at Prep for Prep, a leadership development program that prepares New York City’s most promising students of color for placement at independent schools in the city and boarding schools throughout the Northeast — and offers them support and opportunities to ensure their academic and personal growth. In 2012, she delivers Kenyon’s Commencement address on an always topical subject: race in America. 

2003: Robin L. Bennett ’81 ’09 is elected president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. She is recognized as “a forerunner in the development of genetic counseling practice recommendations,” a press release notes.

2010: The Hon. Kathleen McDonald O’Malley ’79 H’95 is appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit by President Barack Obama. 

2012: Hope C. Harrod ’98, a teacher at John Burroughs Elementary School, in Washington, D.C., is named Teacher of the Year by District of Columbia Public Schools. 

Obstetric anesthesiologist McCallum Robinson Hoyt ’76 H’95 is appointed to a one-year term as president of the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology. 

Jennifer Rudolph Walsh ’89 H’12 P’20, head of the worldwide literary department and a board member of talent agency William Morris Endeavor, makes The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment 2012: Power 100 list. 

The publication FierceBiotech includes Linda Slanec Higgins ’84 H’17 on its annual list of Women in Biotech. “At Foster City, California-based Gilead, the world’s top provider of HIV meds, Higgins has been a player in the biopharma powerhouse’s expansion into research of drugs for cancer, the world’s top pharmaceutical market,” the article notes. 

2015: On Feb. 24, President Barack Obama nominates career diplomat Katherine Simonds Dhanani ’81 H’16 as the first U.S. ambassador to Somalia in more than 23 years. Dhanani had been the State Department’s director of the Office of Regional and Security Affairs in the Bureau of African Affairs since 2013. She later withdraws her nomination for personal reasons.

2016: “Sweetbitter,” the debut novel by Stephanie Danler ’06 is released, with much fanfare. It is named by Time and Esquire as one of the best books of 2016. In 2018, Danler serves as executive producer of a Starz TV series based on the book; the series is renewed for a second season. 

The Obama administration honors two alumnae for their change-making work. Colette Pichon Battle ’97 H’18, director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy in Slidell, Louisiana, is among 10 individuals recognized by President Barack Obama as “White House Champions of Change for Climate Equity.” According to a press release, the White House selected Battle because of her work “with local communities, national funders and elected officials around equity issues in her home state of Louisiana in the post-Katrina and post-BP disaster in the Gulf Coast.” And Sonya Pryor-Jones ’94, the chief implementation officer at the Fab Foundation, is named one of 10 “White House Champions of Change for Making,” for empowering people to become inventors in a digital age. "I believe that education is the greatest equalizer," she writes in a White House blog post.

2017: Judy Hoff Gilbert ’91, previously a member of Google's leadership team, is hired into a newly created role at biotech company Zymergen: chief people officer. On April 12, a Vanity Fair blog interviews Gilbert for a piece titled, “How one tech start-up ditched its brogrammers. And became a better company.” Gilbert tells the magazine she wants “to build the best company I can and I’m doing so in a field where talent matters a lot, so I want to get the best talent I can get. I want to win.” 

Scientist Flora N. Katz ’72 H’94 is promoted to director of the research, training division of the Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the National Institutes of Health. 

2018: On Jan. 7, Allison Janney ’82 H’00 wins her first Golden Globe Award — Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture — for her portrayal of LaVona Golden, Tonya Harding’s abusive, chain-smoking, foul-mouthed, bird-wearing mother, in “I, Tonya.” Her winning streak continues on March 4, when she earns her first Academy Award — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.  

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Pannill Fletcher ’97, a Democrat, wins election as U.S. Representative from the 7th Congressional District of Texas on Nov. 6 and becomes the first Kenyon alumna to be voted into the U.S. Congress. She also makes political history as part of a wave of women to run for elected office in the 2018 midterms. 

2019: Ruby Schiff ’21 attends the 91st Academy Awards on Feb. 24. A psychology major from Studio City, California, Schiff served as an executive producer of the Oscarwinning short-subject documentary “Period. End of Sentence.” The film examines the stigma and lack of education surrounding menstruation in a rural Indian village. She writes a first-person account of her Oscar adventure in the Feb. 27 issue of the Columbus Dispatch, exclaiming, “This past weekend was the biggest whirlwind and most rewarding time of my life so far.”

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