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As president prepares to leave, campus prepares to lose Peg

Mickey Osthimer We all know it by now: President Grant Cornwell has had enough of semi-Arctic winters in Ohio and is dashing into the Florida sunshine come June. (Really, if this is news to you, you’re seriously too late. Do you even have a Wooster email?)

But regardless of whether or not his position, or more importantly his scooter seat, will be fittingly refilled next year, Wooster is losing more than just the President’s charmingly tall presence at the end of the term. There has been a mysterious force at work behind the scenes during the Cornwell era that many of us seem to have seldom witnessed, and it will soon be gone for good.

Yes, Grant is leaving, and Peg Cornwell is going with him.

Peg has only (unless my memory escapes me) impacted me twice in my Wooster days. The first time was during my first year, when myself and other Woo Idol winners were granted a dinner at the President’s house preceding Josh Krajcik’s performance in McGaw. I hazily recall conversing over refreshments in the President’s sunroom and Peg’s enthusiasm to learn about each of us and our musical backgrounds. Though faded, my recollections of that night contain the liveliness and excitement both Cornwells resonated through their curiosities about what we wanted to gain from a Wooster education and where we wanted to go with our lives afterwards.

Or was that even Peg at all? Have the last two and a half years of heavy workloads and sleep deprivation sullied my memory of what Peg even looks like?

“She’s the one with braces, right?” a friend of mine asks.

“I’m sure she isn’t,” I respond, but I’m suddenly not so sure.

Two long years passed until the second time Peg made an appearance in my life, albeit in an indirect way. This was when she spoke at Molly Bennett’s memorial service in October. Peg reflected on Molly’s love for learning, her joyful spirit and her commitment to living in the present. I was touched by the fact that she focused primarily on these unique characteristics of Molly’s personality and the matchless memories she brought to many of our lives. Short her speech was, but it was admirable nonetheless.

But again, Peg disappears from the narrative, and I admittedly will have to say I know little more to continue it.

Through the crumbs of discussion I’ve managed to pick up with KEZ members, for which Peg is the advisor, my sense is that her departure will be a loss to the community. I’ve also garnered some accounts of Peg’s involvement with numerous student activities and her overall charismatic presence through said contributions, accounts that remind me of the Peg I knew in my first year. Yet all too soon these discussions come to an end, the subject matter quickly passed on to more mundane topics such as paper writing and Lowry chicken tenders.

I bid a fond farewell to Grant and Peg. May the tune of Scotland the Brave bring upon your sunny faces the smiles of the good ol’ days.

Watch out, Rollins.

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