Quintessential Kenyon: Student Life, Uncut

The Benefits of Working Reunion Weekend

Melissa Layton
April 18, 2016

Last summer I worked as a student-manager-in-training and event assistant for Reunion Weekend. This annual gathering of Kenyon alumni takes place in late May after seniors have graduated and most students have left campus. Since I live nearby in Knox County during the summer, I figured it would be a good opportunity to make some money and speak with alumni about their memories of life on the Hill. As it turned out, working Reunion Weekend was an even better experience than I expected, so I am returning to campus again this summer for the 2016 Reunion Weekend! I highly encourage Kenyon students to consider applying to any of the various jobs associated with this event in the future. There are some great benefits to working Reunion Weekend that you might not expect:

You’ll experience Kenyon during the summer.


The campus has a completely different feel when it is mostly empty of students. Gambier is much quieter, the weather is warmer, and everything seems more peaceful. You’ll only have this experience if you move in early before Reunion Weekend to help out as a student manager because when the weekend rolls around, the campus is bustling with activity again. Hundreds of alumni return, giving it the appearance of the typical Kenyon semester. However, even the weekend seems unlike Kenyon in the fall or spring, as the absence of classwork and assortment of daily events creates a laid-back and casual atmosphere. It’s refreshing to experience life at Kenyon without the worry and stress associated with classes.

You may live in a new residence hall.

Depending on the job you apply for during Reunion Weekend, you may get to live in an upperclass residence hall or spend the weekend in a hall you aren’t really familiar with. If you’re a first-year or a sophomore, this can be a great way to scope out housing options for the future. For instance, I spent a week living in Farr Hall, which has apartment-style housing usually occupied by seniors and juniors. Having that first-hand experience living in Farr will certainly help me during my senior year when I am trying to figure out my housing preferences. 

You can meet alumni. 

This perk is fairly obvious, but it’s worth mentioning because networking with alumni is always important. While Switchboardand the CDO’s Kenyon Career Network are great resources to get in touch with Kenyon grads who work in your field of interest or who may be able to offer valuable advice, nothing really beats having in-person conversations with alumni. The people who return to Kenyon for Reunion are clearly fond of their alma mater. Generally, they also love talking to students. Whether you’re hoping to figure out what you can do with a liberal arts degree or just curious about Kenyon’s past, alumni will almost always be happy to chat!

You can (potentially) drive golf carts around campus.

When else would you have the chance to drive a small motorized vehicle around Kenyon? After completing a brief training with Campus Safety, you’ll be “certified” as a golf cart driver for the weekend. As such, you may end up chauffeuring staff members around campus or delivering refreshments and/or supplies to various spots for activities. As an event assistant, I drove a golf cart from the bookstore to Ransom lawn to deliver items for an author reception. Personally, I thought it was pretty exciting.

If you’re looking for something to do after spring semester ends or have ever wondered what it would be like to live at Kenyon during the summer, you should definitely apply to work Reunion Weekend. I’m glad I applied last year because it was a great way to learn more about Kenyon and conclude my first year of college.