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Alumni Council's Art Stroyd gives thanks to Kenyon through service
I have drawn from my Kenyon experience everywhere I have been--in law school, in the U.S. Navy, and in my practice of law," says Arthur H. Stroyd '67. "Every day I face a new challenge and seem to draw from a different discipline. I can't think of a more perfect background for the practice of law than the kind of education Kenyon offers. In thirty years, many of the facts I learned are long gone," he adds. "But, the process I use when trying to learn a new case or analyze a new situation was developed at Kenyon."
The proof is in the partnership, so to speak. On October 31 Stroyd, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, was elected managing partner of Reed, Smith, Shaw, and McClay in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In that role, he will supervise the activities of four hundred attorneys in the mid-Atlantic region.
"I came to Kenyon because I took my mother's advice," says Stroyd. "She had a good idea of the kind of environment I would enjoy, and she was right." When Stroyd enrolled in 1963, Kenyon was an all-male institution. "I was one of those who resisted the inclusion of women," he recalls. "But, of course, now I have a daughter [Elizabeth F. Stroyd '99] at Kenyon, and it's easy to see what women have added to campus life, both academically and socially."
When Stroyd and his wife, Susan, brought Elizabeth to campus, he was acutely aware of the strong bonds he has with the institution. "My wife had to elbow me and tell me it was time to leave," he says. "I tried not to be too involved, but it is so familiar. It was like she was going off to live with a relative."
His strong sense of familial connection and his belief that he received something of lasting value at the College are two things that motivate Stroyd to give his time to the Alumni Council, admissions efforts, and career development programs. And Kenyon has been appreciative of his efforts, presenting him with an Alumni Admissions Award in 1982 and the Distinguished Service Award--in 1988 and again in 1997.
The marketing committee of Alumni Council is one place Stroyd hopes to make a significant contribution. While it may not be possible to make Kenyon as much a household word as Harvard or Princeton, Stroyd hopes it can reach the level of being a household word among those who know liberal-arts institutions. And one way to do this, he believes, is to get alumni more involved in the admissions recruiting process. "Alumni are often shy about selling Kenyon," he says, "much like an insurance salesman might be shy about approaching family members and friends. But, from a recruiting standpoint, a prospective student hearing about Kenyon from a committed alumnus is our most powerful tool." Stroyd knows from his own firsthand experience how much friends, relatives, and neighbors appreciate the compliment of being referred to an institution like Kenyon.
"Every college says they are a family, that they are a community," observes Stroyd. "If you hear it from a stranger, you have no idea if it is marketing fluff or the truth. If you hear it from someone who has had the experience, who isn't getting paid to say nice things, it has credibility."
In addition to talking with potential students, Stroyd is delighted to hear from current students seeking career information. "Whether or not I can offer a student a job," he says, "I can share experiences and ideas and counsel them." Stroyd believes that alumni who take a personal interest in the success of current Kenyon students repay the College for their own educational benefits.
The Alumni Council is working closely with the Career Development Center (CDC) to strengthen the regional career networks and to make alumni more accessible to current students. "CDC Director Maureen Tobin brings a vibrancy and energy to the office that is good to see," says Stroyd. "Too many students are too shy too long and she is working hard to overcome that."
In another year, Kenyon will send Stroyd's daughter, Elizabeth, out into the world of work, and another generation of Kenyon graduates will be launched. He is confident that she and her classmates will be well prepared, as was he. "At the beginning," says Stroyd, "four years seems like a long time, but it just flies by. It is such an important time, a time when you are molded into the embryo of the kind of person you will become." He invites his fellow alumni to help him tell the Kenyon story.
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