Notes from Ransom Hall: A Higher Ed Blog

Posted in Happenings

Memories and Legacies of Mandela: From Kenyon Avenue to Kenyon College

By Sean Decatur on December 6, 2013

February 11, 1990.  I was a senior in college, living in an off-campus house with two housemates and a mildly psychotic cat.  Almost all of the streets in the town of Swarthmore are named after colleges; I lived on Kenyon Avenue (one of those strange coincidences that one seems to collect as one gets older), a small, quiet street in a multiracial, working-class neighborhood.  I heard the news first via the car horns, then as families began to gather in the street, forming a spontaneous and joyous parade.  Nelson Mandela, a hero to many of us, imprisoned for twenty-seven years, had been released from prison.  

The movement we need is on our shoulders

By Sean Decatur on October 30, 2013

Traditions and ceremonies bring a community together, providing an opportunity to renew our connections to each other, the institution, and our shared values.  We certainly did that on Saturday, whether by sharing in collective awe and silence during “Amazing Grace” at the formal ceremony, singing “Kokosing Farewell” in the rain in front of a brightly lit Old Kenyon, or screaming the lyrics of “Hey Jude” en masse in a packed Peirce Hall.

Lessons and observations from atop a bike

By Sean Decatur on August 13, 2013

Powerful lessons sometimes arise from simple acts such as getting on a bike and riding farther than you thought you could do; volunteering with hundreds of others to support an important cause; or talking with a man standing on the road with a sign that says “Thank you for saving my wife.”