‘Town-Gown’ Relationships

David and Becky SkeenBy Resident David Skeen —

Becky and I spent our professional careers as administrators and faculty at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio for 37 years. As Denison graduates, Class of ’62, we were delighted when the Kendal campus opened in Granville, shortly before our retirement. While serving at Muskingum and living in New Concord, we were active in an array of campus activities as well as community events in service groups, church programs and civic organizations. We commonly referred to these events as “Town and Gown” activities. Since moving to Kendal seven years ago, we have found ourselves in a similar set of “town-gown” relationships with the Kendal campus community, the village of Granville and the Denison University campus.

Here are three recent examples of how these “ town-gown” interactions have enriched our lives while living at Kendal at Granville.

On the Kendal Campus

Earlier this month the Granville Historical Society chose our Amelia gathering room to host a program in which attendees share their memories of Granville’s Opera House. This structure was built in 1829 for the Baptist church and was later sold to the township when the church required a larger building. The building was then moved across Main Street and used for 100 years as village offices, a library, a children’s clothing store, and a café and movie theater. The Granville schools and Denison University held graduations and student drama performances in the theater as well. The Opera House provided the center of village life from 1882 until it was destroyed by fire in April of 1982. Many Kendal residents who have lived in Granville, or perhaps attended Denison, shared their recollections and stories of this beloved building. Kendal residents, who have come to Kendal from afar, had an opportunity to learn a bit of Granville history.

On the Denison University Campus

Denison University campusLast week on Denison campus, The Eroica Trio performed as part of the Vail Series, an annual series of four concerts by world renowned musical artists. The Eroica Trio has won the prestigious Naumburg Award, resulting in a highly successful Lincoln Center debut and has since toured the United States, Europe, Middle East, South America and Asia. Thirty or more Kendal residents were in attendance and we are all looking forward to the remaining three concerts later this fall and next spring. As Kendal residents we were able to ride to campus on the Kendal bus, five minutes away to the door of the performance venue in Swasey Chapel.

In the Granville Community

Beginning this week, several Kendal residents will begin another year of working with junior high student at the Granville Middle School as advisors and coaches for science projects as part of the local school district’s participation the national Science Olympiad competition. This competition will attract over 7,800 teams from across our country with teams designing experiments, building models, and seeking an understanding of biological and ecological issues affecting our environment. In all, each school’s teams will be working on 23 different tasks in the realm of science, technology, and engineering. During the fall students will be preparing their skills and building projects for competition with other school districts during the spring semester. Competitions are held in our local area and later with teams from across Ohio. It is anticipated some teams will be invited to participate in the national competition in June. Kendal’s participation with the Science Olympiad program is an opportunity to contribute to the larger community of which we are a part and keeps our minds challenged as we have the opportunity to work with bright, energetic young adults.