K- Walking: Do you know Prez W-O?

By Ogden Wright, Business Manager

Madame President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran

Drawing on inspiration from the sketch “Jay Walking” on the popular night time television show “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “K-Walking” will serve as our weekly feature where we ask students from our campus community a series of questions in the hopes that they know the answer…or not.

This week, we sought to understand how much Kalamazoo College students know about President Dr. Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran.

While some students knew who she was the minute I mentioned the College President, many were hesitant and almost clueless as to whom I was talking about. I asked them if they could name and describe Madame President Wilson-Oyelaran, and below are excerpts from some of my conversations.

“I thought the President was the woman who walked around with the cane,” said one student referering to Sarah Westfall, Dean of Students.

“I thought you were talking about Darrin for a second” said another, confusing Student Commission President Camilleri with President Wilson-Oleylaran. Unfortunately, Camilleri does not live in Hodge House.

Many of the students could point out her unique identifiers as the first African-American and first female president of the College.

“I think our president is a female.”

“I don’t know her name, but I’d recognize her if you showed me a picture.”

“She’s an African-American female. I know what she looks like, I just don’t know her name.”

“Is she a black woman?”

“I don’t know the lady’s name; I just know she’s a black lady.”

But then again, some could not.

“Our College President is a white man with a moustache right?”

“It’s not Zaide Pixley is it? Last year I thought it was Zaide Pixley.”