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Kenyon set to celebrate 190th Commencement

GAMBIER, Ohio — Kenyon College will celebrate more than 400 members of the Class of 2018 at its 190th Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 19, at 10:30 a.m.

The ceremony is scheduled to be held on the lawn between two of the College’s oldest academic buildings, Ascension Hall and Samuel Mather Hall. Faculty members and students will proceed to the ceremony along Kenyon’s iconic Middle Path.

Acclaimed statistician and writer Nate Silver will deliver the Commencement address. Silver, the founder and editor of the website FiveThirtyEight, has gained fame for his exceptionally accurate political prognostications, beginning with his predictions for the 2008 presidential election.

Prior to his work with FiveThirtyEight, Silver was known for his prowess with baseball analytics. In addition to writing for Baseball Prospectus, he developed the Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm (PECOTA), an acclaimed forecasting system that predicts player and team performances.

Silver is the author of a series of books on baseball statistics as well as the 2012 best-seller “The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — But Some Don’t.” He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago and will receive an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Kenyon College.

Also receiving honorary doctorates are four retiring faculty members: Professor of English Jennifer Clarvoe; Professor of Art History Eugene Dwyer; Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing Lewis Hyde; and Assistant Professor of English Patricia Vigderman.

The College will precede its Commencement celebration with a Baccalaureate service Friday, May 18, at 1:30 p.m. on Samuel Mather lawn. The service features readings of academic and spiritual texts chosen and presented by a diverse group of seniors. Associate Professor of English Sarah Heidt, a 1997 Kenyon graduate, will give this year’s Baccalaureate address. Following the service, graduating seniors will gather on the steps of Rosse Hall for the Senior Sing, a beloved Kenyon tradition.

In the case of inclement weather, events will be held at the Kenyon Athletic Center, 221 Duff St. Tickets are not required for the Baccalaureate or Commencement ceremonies, which will be livestreamed. Members of the media interested in attending Commencement should contact Director of News Media Relations Mary Keister at

For more information, including details on parking and accessibility, visit

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