Dear Alum: Jim Borgman ’76

Kenyon’s alumni are some of the best and brightest in the world (we happen to think). In this feature, we’ll be celebrating some of our most beloved Kenyon alums with the highest honor any mortal can hope to achieve: notes/letters published on the Internet. Yes, that’s right, the Internet.

Dear Jim Borgman,

I am not an artist, I am not politically savvy, I was not born on February 24th (hey! happy birthday in twenty-one days, friend), but I am a Kenyon student and if all goes according to plan, a Kenyon graduate at some point in the foreseeable future. So we have that much in common.

I once thought that it’s so wild to think you once walked these hallowed halls, worked diligently where Kenyon students stare blankly at their work for hours on end, and ate your meals where we now eat ours. But upon just a second of reflection I realized that we probably don’t share any of that. You were an Art major – a feat that only the chosen few can achieve – but you weren’t even here for Horvitz. Let me tell you, what a beauty. Come by sometime. While you’re here, give New Side visit. Snag a window table with a view! There’s something about you that strikes me as NARP-y (word on the street is New Side is for NARPS). Oh… was NARP a thing during your time? Probably not. It means Non-Athletic Regular Person and encompasses a good amount of us. But who knows! I’m not here to tell you that you weren’t a KAC head. Shoot! You weren’t here for the KAC, either. Welcome to 21st century Kenyon, you’ve got some catching up to do.

zitsIt’s okay, though. You’ve been busy since graduation. Co-authoring the national treasure of a cartoon Zits couldn’t have been easy work. What’s it like being a proud recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning (amongst a handful of other recognitions)? I’m sure you’d love to know that there’s a Zits panel that’s been taped up on my kitchen wall for God-knows-how-long. How’s that for prestigious recognition of your work?

My dad loves your work and I love my dad.

Thank you and good night,

Shayne Wagner

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