The same year my mom became one of the first women to enroll at Kenyon (she joined my dad on the Hill their sophomore year), Lennon and McCartney wrote the lyric, “You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.” The “Two of Us” they wrote about could have easily been my parents — Paula Siegel Barone’72 GP’25 and Sam Barone ’72 GP’25. With a relationship that dates back to high school, their decades of shared memories became the stories my siblings and I requested at bedtime and on long car rides. Some of our favorites featured eccentric college classmates, Gambier in the early ’70s and the adventures of young lovebirds on the Hill. Their Kenyon tales have become family legends and endeared many more “of us” to this special place they chose for our home.

Luisa Barone Gantt is the associate director of advancement communications at Kenyon. She and her family relocated to Knox County in January 2020 and live two blocks from her parents.

Paula Siegel Barone ’72 

Major at Kenyon: Art

City of birth: Sandusky, Ohio

Current residence: Mount Vernon, Ohio

Occupation: Retired teacher

Since Kenyon: We have three great kids and eight grandchildren. I taught for 35 years, in various subjects and grade levels, received a master’s degree and National Board Certification in middle childhood education. Along the way I served on the city council and the board of education.

Favorite Kenyon memories: Kenyon friends! They are the best. Each time we’re together we pick up exactly where we left and we laugh.

What has most surprised you about your life post-Kenyon? How much Kenyon is still a part of it! From the ongoing connections with “Kenyon people,” to the influences of a great education. Since we live here, we have the luxury of participating in events and watching the College change and grow.

Personal motto: I don’t really have one, but I heard this recently: “Talk less; listen more.” I like it. Also, my son gave me a vintage sign that reads, “Rely on your brakes instead of your horn.” Fond of that one, too.

Best advice anyone has ever given you? If you have an idea that just does not go away, you should probably act on it.

A book that changed your life: I read “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” as a freshman. Its powerful messages stayed with me. The one I think of most is that people can, and do, change.

Sam Barone ’72

Major at Kenyon: History

City of Birth: Sandusky, Ohio

Current residence: Mount Vernon, Ohio

Occupation: I retired in July 2020, following 18 years as executive director of the Knox  County Foundation.

Since Kenyon: My career path includes leadership opportunities in marketing, politics and public transportation. But the highlights are 10 years in the Kenyon public relations office, immediately after receiving a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern, and 18 years directing the Knox County Foundation, before retirement.

Proudest accomplishments: My 48-year marriage to Paula, our three successful children and eight grandchildren are right at the top of that list. I am also proud of, and grateful for, the opportunity to begin paying back Kenyon, via a planned gift, for everything it gave me, not the least of which was a generous scholarship.

Favorite Kenyon memories: Editing the Kenyon Collegian, establishing a (then) Kenyon high-hurdles record, and cultivating lifelong relationships on the Hill, most especially with my future wife.

What has most surprised you about your life post-Kenyon? I was delighted to discover it is true ... a Kenyon education simultaneously prepares you for nothing and for everything!

Best advice anyone has ever given you? “God helps those who help themselves,” courtesy of my mother; also, “When in doubt, tell the truth,” attributed to Mark Twain.

A book that changed your life: I was fortunate that English professor Bill Klein introduced me to “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk, Jr. For the past 53 years a little voice has nagged me to “omit needless words” and to “use the active voice.”  

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