Kenyon in the News

An Associated Press story on historians' views of Martin Luther King Jr. quoted Glenn McNair, associate professor of history. The story, which appeared in more than 100 media outlets around the world for several days, starting on January 20, explored how King's iconic status has oversimplified the message and obscured the rich complexity of the man. McNair said King's legacy has been used by politicians for their own ends. King, he said, "has slipped into the realm of symbol that people use and manipulate for their own purposes."

An interview with Lewis Hyde, Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing, was published January 13 in the Los Angeles Times, pegged to the quarter-century anniversary reprint of his influential book The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property. "The main assumption of the book," said Hyde in the interview, "is that certain spheres of life, which we care about, are not well organized by the marketplace. That includes artistic practice, which is what the book is mostly about, but also pure science, spiritual life, healing and teaching."

An Associated Press story on young voters focused on the civic zeal of Kenyon students who waited for hours to vote in the 2004 election in Gambier. The story, published in this country and in Europe, mentioned Matthew Segal '08, who was inspired by his experience in 2004 to found the Washington, D.C.-based Student Association for Voter Empowerment. Also quoted, among others: Sarah Cohen '08, Evan McLaren '08, Colin Maguire '08, and Ann Shikany '08. The story was written by AP reporter Andrew Welsh-Huggins '83.

The December 20 edition of Time reported the serendipitous development of a skin-care products company founded by Robert Lyles III '99 and others. Lyles had started an earlier company to improve the disinfection of ballast water in cargo ships arriving in the United States. A researcher noticed a skin-softening effect after exposure to seawater treated during the company's electrochemical process. The result: C'watre, the skin-care products company, established in 2004.

The $10 million gift to Kenyon from Paul Newman '49 and the Newman's Own Foundation was featured as part of a 2007 celebrity retrospective on the cable channel Vh1. The hour-long show, The Fabulous Life, included video clips of the campus and praise for Newman's philanthropy. The show ran multiple times from December 10 through December 28.

A story on volunteer student firefighters at Ohio colleges, published December 10 in the Columbus Dispatch of Columbus, Ohio, included a reference to Kenyon students who usually hold down about ten spots in the forty-person College Township Fire Department. Robert Hooper, director of campus safety and then the township fire chief, told the newspaper that some student volunteers go on to careers in firefighting. The story was circulated around the state by the Associated Press.

The debut of the Kindle, an electronic book reader, generated a story on December 10 in the News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware, which quoted David Lynn '76, professor of English and editor of the Kenyon Review. Lynn said a small market for high-end books will be sustained, much as some music listeners still prefer vinyl records. "For some people, the 'thingyness' of the book will always be the important thing," Lynn said. "The Kindle is one step closer to a reader's version of the iPod. If Apple makes one that has a cooler design, they'll sell a gazillion of them." Lynn predicted that bookstores will change or die out.

The rising popularity of squash and the elite sport's possible influence on college admissions in the Ivy League were the subjects of a December 9 story in the New York Times. "And even as squash spreads, it is often embraced by other academically selective universities, including North Carolina, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, and even small Kenyon College in Ohio," the story reported. Kenyon has a squash club.

A recycling program for electronic devices, started by Nick Morgan '11, was the subject of a story in the Washington Post on December 6. Morgan used his house as a drop-off point for ink cartridges, cell phones, laptops, and monitors. The program expanded into a partnership with a private recycling company.

Kenyon was one of three liberal arts colleges to achieve exemplary status in five categories measuring the satisfaction of junior faculty members in a survey conducted by the Harvard University-based Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education. Results were published online December 5 at and by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The College was found to be exemplary in tenure practices overall, clarity of the tenure process, overall effectiveness of policies, compensation, and climate and collegiality.

The 1900 Thanksgiving Day football battle between Kenyon and Ohio State University was celebrated in the Columbus Dispatch, in a November 22 sports column about holiday football. The annual Thanksgiving game dated to 1892 and was "the sports highlight of the year in Columbus," attracting well-dressed spectators who arrived in horse-drawn carriages. Some 2,000 fans attended the 1900 edition of the game, in which Ohio State prevailed, 23-5.

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