It was the second time in less than two weeks that I had the privilege of sitting in Rosse Hall. Accustomed to traveling to Kenyon College for tennis matches, I switched my purple fleece and blue jeans for dress clothes. The occasions: celebrations of our daughter’s academic achievements.
First, a standing -room -only assembly where surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen and other veterans addressed students, sharing their experiences of prejudice against them at war and at home. This was Lydia’s senior project for her American Studies major. She had researched and interviewed many Airmen in Ohio and brought them to campus.
Yesterday, I attended the Honors Day Convocation; a true celebration of scholarship, complete with the brass band, college choir, and the parade of professors attired in full academic regalia.
Listening to the announcements of graduate study fellowships and the awards, prizes and scholarships given by trustees, alumna, the academic departments and the college, I marveled at how college can inspire the passion for learning. I looked at the young people, embarking on new lives soon, and imagined where their experiences will take them.
Reading the program, I wondered about the people immortalized in these gifts that will perpetuate student scholarship forever. Take someone like Henry Dalton, (1862-1939). Not a Kenyon graduate, but a benefactor who donated funds for a new science building in 1924. The fellowship awarded to Lydia, was named in 1946 in his honor.