Alumni Digest

Jo Usher Retiring After 12 Years

After twelve years of service to Kenyon, Director of Annual Funds Jo Usher P'94 will retire at the end of June. Usher came to Gambier in the summer of 1993 after living in Los Angeles, California, for thirty years. During her time at the College, she has overseen a range of activities in the Office of Alumni and Parents programs, including regional event planning, the Kenyon Parents Fund, and the Kenyon Fund Leadership Giving Program. For the past three years, she has directed all annual-funds programming. Usher's next adventure will take her to Seattle, Washington, where she looks forward to spending time with twin Kenyon daughters Jen Usher '94 and Katie Snyder '94, Katie's husband Alfred Snyder '94, granddaughter Ellie Snyder, and daughter Lindsay.

As an expression of gratitude for her dedication, friendship, and service, Usher's colleagues are preparing a scrapbook for her. Alumni, parents, and friends are invited to send a letter or a creation (measuring no more than 8.5 by 11 inches) to include in the scrapbook. Please send submissions to Lisa Schott '80, executive director of alumni and parent programs, College Relations Center, Gambier, Ohio 43022-9623 by June 1, 2005.

The Kenyon Review Goes to Italy!

Spend eight fabulous days in the foothills of the Cimini Mountains, ninety minutes north of Rome, exploring both the countryside and your own writing. The inaugural Kenyon Review Writers Workshop in Italy, held June 5-12, 2005, will offer sessions in fiction and poetry, taught by Kenyon Review editors David Baker (poetry) and Nancy Sydor-Zafris '76 (fiction). Writers of all abilities are welcome, with a special invitation to Kenyon alumni, parents, and students. The cost for the workshop, including tuition, room, and board, is $2,495. Spouses, partners, or friends who wish to accompany you but not enroll in the workshop may come at a cost of $1,795. Travel costs are not included.

In addition to daily workshops, there will be ample time for exploring the village and surrounding area. Also planned are day trips, including a special presentation on wine tasting and local foods by Marc Millon '77, noted wine and food author. Applications must be received by March 15, and spaces are filling quickly.

For more information and an application form, please see the Kenyon Review Web site,, or contact Ellen Sheffield, Kenyon Review programs coordinator, at or 740-427-5207.

A Rare Find

The Class of 1975 proudly sees itself as part of the modern Kenyon. But thanks to a remarkable gift from class member Adele Davidson, the men and women of '75 can also say that they have helped the College rediscover a piece of its earliest history. In honor of her class as it prepares to celebrate its thirtieth reunion this spring, Davidson is giving the College library a first-edition copy of the sermon that was delivered at the laying of the cornerstone of Old Kenyon in 1827.

The document is titled "Christian Piety and Knowledge, or Literature and Religion; a Sermon, Preached at the Laying of the Corner-Stone of The Theological Seminary and Kenyon College, At Gambier, Knox County, Ohio, June 9, 1827." The sermon was delivered by Reverend Intrepid Morse, the minister of St. Paul's Church, Steubenville, and St. James's Church, Cross-Creek, Steubenville. An appendix includes the "Ceremony of Laying the Corner-Stone," led by Bishop Philander Chase.

Davidson, an associate professor of English at Kenyon, discovered the sermon more or less by chance. A dedicated bibliophile, she enjoys browsing in book stores and on the Internet, looking for interesting texts. Knowing of her interest, Fine Arts Librarian Carmen King directed Davidson to, a Web site that facilitates searches for books, including rare and out-of-print books, by combining the listings of a number of online resources.

Just to see what would come up, Davidson typed "Gambier, Ohio" into the search engine. There, on the computer screen, was a description of the sermon. The twenty-four-page document was in its original printed wrappers and in near fine condition. Moreover, Davidson learned that the College library did not possess a copy.

The sermon speaks to the values upon which the College and seminary were founded, values that remain at the core of a Kenyon education. "Learning," said Reverend Morse, "can and does enlighten the mind, expand the faculties, and prepare for greater and more extensive usefulness in the sphere of action and on the stage of life."

Click and Vote

For the first time, the election of Alumni trustees and Alumni Council members will take place online. In order to cast their votes, alumni will log on to Kenyon's online community, view the candidate information, and select their preferred candidates on the online ballot. Those who do not have Internet access may request a paper ballot by calling 800-KENYONC in mid-February.

An announcement will be made in the February issue of the electronic newsletter Kenyon News Digest to notify alumni when the online ballot is available. If you do not currently receive the Kenyon News Digest or know how to log on to the Kenyon online community, please contact Jill Shriver at or 740-427-5147.

Once the voting is complete, Alumni Council will evaluate the effectiveness of the online voting process. Traditionally, about 14 percent of alumni cast votes in the annual elections.


He's Back!

Sporting his trademark plaid pants and wielding his antique bugle, John Young '50 rallied Cleveland-area alumni and parents who turned out to cheer on the Kenyon football Lords at the Kenyon vs. Case Western Reserve University football game on September 18. Football parents Ginny and Byron Bowman P'02,'07 of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, organized pregame tailgate gatherings at all the Lords' football games and drew record crowds of alumni and parents to support the team this fall.

In Memoriam

William Hopple '24 celebrated his 102nd birthday on October 20, 2004, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Russ Geiger, director of major gifts, and Tom Lockard '67, director of capital funds, attended the celebration. At the time, he was the

College's oldest living alumnus. Sadly, Mr. Hopple died in mid-December. Prior to his death, he established an endowed award to be presented to all who succeed him as oldest alumnus. Harold Thebaud '28, of Nashville, Tennessee, will be presented with the Hopple Award in the spring.

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