Where Is Kenyon College?

Founded in 1824, Kenyon College is a privately-funded liberal arts college that places a heavy emphasis on writing and literary tradition. Over the years, the college’s alumni have included famous authors, actors, activists, and other media figures. Let’s see Where Is Kenyon College?

Where Is Kenyon College?

Kenyon College is located in Gambier, Ohio, in the United States. Gambier is a town in the middle of Ohio, to the northeast of state capital Columbus. The town sits along the Kokosing River, which flows into the larger Ohio River.

Kenyon College Location

Kenyon College is located in Gambier, Ohio, in the United States, an hour’s drive away from state capital Columbus. The College also runs the Wright Center in the nearby town of Mount Vernon, where it screens art films and offers educational programs for children. Described by Kenyon College as a town “off the beaten path”, Gambier is a remote village in the middle of Ohio with a population of almost 2,500. The village was founded alongside the Kenyon campus in 1824 by Philander Chase, a bishop and pioneer who organized the construction of many churches and schools across Ohio and Illinois throughout the 1800s. Chase named Gambier after its largest financial sponsor, British Admiral James Gambier. The town sits along the 92 km long Kokosing River, which later flows into the larger Ohio River.

Gambier, Ohio Features

The “core” of Gambier, according to its residents, is Kenyon College. Residents and students alike navigate Kenyon and the surrounding area via its famous “Middle Path”, a 200-year-old gravel footpath that connects the town’s major amenities. Gambier’s remoteness lends it several nearby hiking trails, including the 22 km long Kokosing Gap Trail, which runs along a decommissioned railroad. The route crosses the Kokosing River and winds through the county’s fields and forests and lets hikers see a retired train engine and caboose up close. Those looking to learn more about the Gambier’s surroundings can visit the college-operated Brown Family Environmental Center, where staff and volunteers educate visitors on the local ecosystem and organize maintenance of the town’s trails.

Kenyon College Campus Features

With Kenyon College’s culture so deeply rooted in the written arts, many of its most well-known features are tied in some way to its rich literary tradition. The campus is home to the Kenyon College Bookstore, the oldest college bookstore in the United States. In addition to textbooks and literature, the store sells apparel and food and is a popular hangout spot for students. Kenyon College is also the site of the Finn House, headquarters for the world-famous literary magazine Kenyon Review.

Kenyon’s educational spaces focus on more than writing, though. The Gothic castle-like Ascension Hall houses the College’s economics, philosophy, and linguistics departments. The more modern English and Science Quads host the bulk of academic activity, with their interconnected structure meant to encourage cooperation between students and departments.

Kenyon College also devotes a lot of square-footage to athletics. The campus grounds contain several athletic centers, with facilities including fully-kitted weight rooms, ball courts, indoor tracks, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Outdoor areas are managed by the College’s groundskeeping staff and feature several running tracks and game fields that accommodate a variety of sports.

What is Kenyon College Famous For?

Kenyon College is renowned for its literary magazine, the Kenyon Review. The Review has printed works from the early years of many famous figures, including Dylan Thomas, Maya Angelou, Thomas Pynchon, and more. The magazine was founded in 1939 by husband-and-wife team Gordon Chalmers and Roberta Swartz, as well as famous author John Crowe Ransom. As faculty at Gambier, the three envisioned a publication that would cultivate young writing talent at the College and beyond. Since then, the Review has evolved from a magazine to a nonprofit arts organization. Through the efforts of staff, volunteers, and donations, the group continues to support budding writers through awards and grants, educational programs, and publishing young writers’ work in the magazine. The Review has garnered countless accolades over the years, including 42 O. Henry awards.

The College also prides itself on its swimming and diving teams, the Kenyon College Lords and Ladies. Both Men’s and Women’s teams compete on a national level, with the Lords winning 34 NCAA titles, and the Ladies 23.

Is it hard to get into Kenyon College?

Kenyon’s admission requirements vary by program. Overall, the College says it expects its students to be “top of their class” and invested in extra-curricular activities and their local community. Applicants are expected to maintain a well-balanced high school curriculum of both arts and sciences. Participation in special programs, like honors, Advanced Placement (AP), or International Baccalaureate (IB) is a strong asset. The College also recommends applicants book an interview with staff, where they can meet the faculty they’ll be working with for the next few years. It should be noted that all Kenyon students are expected to live on campus, and the College doesn’t accept applicants that wish to study or travel from home.


With its wide array of facilities, pleasant surroundings, and high pedigree, Kenyon College is a great choice for students looking to sharpen their skills in the arts or sciences. The College’s commitment to high-quality education and renown throughout the academic world is sure to bolster the career of any student.