W&J to Honor Kenyon R. Bonner ’94 with Maurice Cleveland Waltersdorf Award

Created: March 22, 2017
Last Updated: January 15, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (March 22, 2017) – Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) will honor alumnus Kenyon R. Bonner ’94, vice provost and dean of students at the University of Pittsburgh, with the 2017 Maurice Cleveland Waltersdorf Award.

Bonner is passionate about his work in student affairs and believes that working with college students is one of the greatest privileges in the world. He embraces the motto, “lift as you climb,” and instills this ethos in his students. He is committed to fostering a campus community that values diversity and inclusion, as well as learning inside and outside the classroom.

In his role at the University of Pittsburgh, Bonner oversees the offices of Student Life, Residence Life, the University Counseling Center, Student Health Services, Student Conduct, Career Development and Placement Assistance, Parent and Family Resources, Disability Resources and Services, Campus Recreation, Pitt Arts, PittServes, and Cross-Cultural and Leadership Development. He also is responsible for the Outside the Classroom Curriculum and the PittAdvantage Grant.

He serves as the liaison to the Board of Trustees Student Affairs Committee; is a member of the Council of Deans, the University Senate Council, and the Undergraduate Education Task Force; and he co-chairs the Enrollment Management Committee. Bonner also serves as a member of the United Way of Southwestern PA Impact Cabinet, on the Board of Fellows of the Institute of Politics at the University of Pittsburgh, and on the boards of the American Red Cross Western Pennsylvania Region, and OrangeArrow.

Bonner joined the University of Pittsburgh in 2004 as the associate director of residence life, and quickly assumed additional responsibilities. He served as associate dean of students for seven years and as the director of student life for 11 years. In 2013, he received the Chancellor’s Award for Staff for Excellence in Service to the University, which is the highest honor the University bestows on staff.

Bonner earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and philosophy from Washington & Jefferson College. An Edward Moffat Weyer Scholar for his achievements in the Department of Philosophy, Bonner was the inaugural president of the Washington & Jefferson College Black Student Union (BSU). As a member of the men’s basketball team, he helped his team capture three consecutive Presidents’ Athletic Conference championships and a bid to the NCAA Division III tournament where they advanced to the Elite 8. He remains active with his alma mater to help provide a great experience for African-American students.

Bonner completed his master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling at Kent State University and is pursuing his doctorate in higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Student Affairs Committee (APLU), Association of College Unions International (ACUI), and NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Bonner lives in McCandless, Pa., with his wife Sylvana and their children Ijhad, Grant, Jasmine, and Chase. Bonner enjoys training for 10K and half-marathon competitions and attending his children’s activities.

The Maurice Cleveland Waltersdorf Awards for Innovative Leadership recognizes outstanding alumni and students of Washington & Jefferson College who attain a high level of achievement and exemplify the spirit and leadership qualities manifested by Dr. Maurice C. Waltersdorf.

The Waltersdorf Awards honor the late Dr. Waltersdorf, who served as a professor and chairman of the Department of Economics at the College for 32 years. He initiated numerous innovative changes that shaped the Department of Economics and its students.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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