Quintessential Kenyon: Student Life, Uncut

Once Upon an Inauguration

Mia Barnett
November 9, 2013

Two weeks ago, we inaugurated our 19th president, Sean Decatur. Now let me tell you, this event was HYPED UP. We started getting notifications about it over the summer. Subsequently, we got emails almost every week when the semester started.

*Side note: When administration is telling you that something is going to be completely awesome, you automatically know it is going to be lame. While the administrative staff is phenomenal at Kenyon, they sometimes have a skewed sense of "fun." Must be an adult thing. I went into this with high expectations for pomp and circumstance but low expectations for fun. 

But it was actually the most fun I've had at an all-campus event. I took a lot of pictures over the day-long celebration. And so it goes.

No people

Started off the morning with the actual Inauguration Ceremony. I'm in band, and we played the processional and recessional. Pros: Got a great seat; Cons: Had to sit in front of everyone and look very engaged the entire time (this was actually easier than expected... who knew the speakers could be so entertaining?)


And then the people came!

Amazing Grace

Possibly the most touching rendition of Amazing Grace I've ever seen. 

Well-deserved Standing O

He got a well-deserved standing ovation.


Mopsy, the adorable service dog, was by seat buddy for the ceremony. 

Martha Raddatz

Martha Raddatz came to speak again! Each of the shorter speeches were limited to two minutes, and her commentary won her a round of applause: "I can say a lot of things in just two minutes. I can wrap up the government shutdown in two minutes. Actually, I can wrap it up in two words, but I won't."


After a few more very entertaining speeches, President Decatur got his ceremonial mace! Things were very serious right before they brought out this big wooden stick, but everyone burst out laughing as soon as they handed it to him. Always the mega-nerd, he said, "I am a former Dungeons and Dragons player, so I've always wanted a mace." 


Then President Decatur gave his address. And once again, nerds all over rejoiced as he compared Kenyon to a catalyst in a chemical reaction. Though I have to say, even I enjoyed this. It's sort of great to see someone nerding out over something they're really passionate about, even if you don't share the same interest. 


My very own picture with the ceremonial mace. 


Transition to: later on that evening, Illumination of Old Kenyon. Now, I live in Old Kenyon, and I'd been getting a lot of emails about the lighting because I have a front-facing room. I was under the impression that they were going to shine a few flood lights at the building and call it a day. But I was so wrong. It was a freaking light show, and an amazing one at that. 

My room

My room had the E in Sean! (The whole thing said "Welcome Sean and Family")


This was my favorite one. So whimsical. Also, we got to hear the Old Kenyon bell, which only rings at inaugurations. 


And then, PARTY TIME. There was a Beatles cover band, an open bar (for the 21+ crowd of course), and amazing food (including the world's best donuts). First, Ballroom performed!


An example of the delicious food. Cake pops! AVI (the company who runs our dining hall) is possibly one of the best things about Kenyon.


My beautiful friends and I danced the night away. Who knew that every Kenyon student has the words to every Beatles song memorized? People were going crazy! They crowd surfed to the Beatles! It was a perfect way to end a wonderful day of celebration.