A Closer Look at Ascension’s Carvings

If you’re like me, you always enter Ascension through the Middle Path entrance. Actually, if you’re anyone at Kenyon right now, that’s definitely where you’re entering Ascension, because you have to. But last year I had Arabic in Ascension 126, which would be accessible through the main doors if there weren’t a class in 105, so I had to go in through the south-facing entrance. If you look closely at the stones around this entrance, there are a number of carvings, mostly of initials and class numbers. Let’s take a look!

Like I said, mostly initials and numbers. In this area I can make out an ‘89, a ‘91 and a ‘19, presumably referring to 1989, 1991 and 2019, respectively. I like to think they’re actually from 1889, 1891 and 1919. Besides the numbers, there are a few initials carved into this stone, as well as “Tom,” which could either be initials or just a first name. Food for thought.

This one is pretty similar to the last one. I see another ‘89 and an ‘05. This is clearly 1989 and 2005; the writing isn’t nice enough to be from a Palmer method-era vandal. 

This stone features a recent edition, “Hill ‘17.” Hill, if you’re reading this, you’ve been caught by the Thrill. I’d change my identity if I were you. 

Tom strikes again?? Give it a rest! Another carving on here says 1900. That’s pretty cool if it’s true! Maybe it’s actually Tom and he thought he could get away with forging a turn of the century carving to trick future students. He won’t get away with it!

Nothing too exciting here, but I think this is the most consistent area: three dated initials. W.G. ‘86, E.H.B and H.U.M ‘78, W.F.T ‘10.  

Did H.P.S have an actual stone chisel? How is this carved so well? I hope H.P.S went and opened a masonry after graduating from Kenyon in 1969. 

This is my favorite stone. I absolutely love the seriffed letters McG took so much time to carve. I like to think he and W.S. (‘15) were co-conspirators in this vandalism, but they were about to get caught so McG couldn’t finish writing his name with such flourish and W.S. had to hastily carve his initials and the year.

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