Una Fogarty ’90 is determined to help Kenyon women forge connections and a shared sense of purpose across generations. As the chair of the Kenyon Women Giving Back initiative, she and her fellow volunteers focus on helping Kenyon women invest in Kenyon and each other.
Fogarty introduced the March 22 volunteer-led virtual panel organized by the group, featuring alumnae with Knox County ties discussing the role Kenyon and philanthropy have played in their lives. Jan Thomas, senior advisor community relations at Kenyon, served as moderator along with Tamara Parson ’93, Lisa Schott ’80 and Peg Tazewell ’03 P’15.
Tazewell, the executive director of Knox County Head Start, discussed how honing her writing skills at Kenyon prepared her to write her organization’s grants and make presentations. She also sees elements of Kenyon’s educational ethos in her job. “Being able to be in community with people in my work, in Knox County, we do a lot of really good work together because we have this sense of learning in the company of friends,” she said.
Schott, managing director of the Philander Chase Conservancy, has seen her connection to Kenyon evolve over more than four decades, but she sees elements of the anthropology she studied in much of it. “I’ve always felt a bit like an anthropologist in my different roles. I love to hear people's stories, I love to listen to where they’re coming from, what motivates them, what their issues are. I think learning to listen and to observe has been a very high impact thing for me in my life,” Schott said.
Parson is a Knox County native now living near Columbus who works as a Student Assistance and Family Engagement specialist at Treca Digital Academy. She had the incredible opportunity to spend a year traveling the world as a member of the Up with People program, thanks to a Kenyon connection and donor support. “I went to 92 cities, in 13 different countries, three continents, in one calendar year, because someone at Kenyon who was philanthropic believed in me. And that changed my life. And changed my trajectory in terms of becoming the person that I am today.”
In addition to having first-hand experience with the power of giving, she sees social value as well. “The goal, in my experience, is to recognize that the best opportunity you have is to provide empathic experiences. Where a person who may not typically have that opportunity to have an experience, may be put in another person's shoes. You can create those opportunities through your philanthropy."
Fogarty announced that the Kenyon Women Giving Back committee had committed nearly $40,000 to a matching funds program to support the Kenyon Women’s Annual Scholarship.
In May, the group will co-sponsor the Reunion keynote address by Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher ’97 and Republican political strategist and publisher of the conservative news and opinion website The Bulwark Sarah Longwell ’02, with additional support from the Center for the Study of American Democracy.
The Kenyon Women Giving Back steering committee is challenging Kenyon alumnae to support the Kenyon Women’s Annual Scholarship, which since its inception in 2020 has provided over $200,000 in current use dollars to Kenyon women students, and will match all gifts under $2,500 up to $38,500. The committee has set a goal of 100 gifts to this scholarship fund by June 30.
Eliza Rossman '84 P'15, has enjoyed her work with the group. “Making new Kenyon women friends and working together to launch Kenyon Women Giving back has really brought me back into the Kenyon fold in a new and meaningful way. The College is on such an exciting path and I’m thrilled to be a part of it!”