GAMBIER — As part of a special weekend leading up to Kenyon College’s Founder’s Day today, the current and two past presidents of the college gathered for a panel discussion Monday on the past, present and future of the college. Current President S. Georgia Nugent was joined by Philip H. Jordan Jr., president from 1975 to 1995; and Robert A. Oden Jr., president from 1995 through 2002.
The discussion ranged over the changes that have occurred in the past 36 years, the challenges each faced and the future of the liberal arts college. The evening was generously sprinkled with humor as well as serious observation.
In talking about the challenges they faced as president or what they are proud of, Oden noted that he had conducted a survey while he was here, and one question was “What is wrong with Kenyon?” The majority, he said, came back with the same one-word answer: February.
On a more serious note, he cited the establishment of the Philander Chase Corp. and the surrounding land that has been protected. He also cited a symposium in which six veterans of the Negro Leagues came to the college. “We wanted the students to see that it wasn’t just segregation at work, it was American Apartheid,” he said.