Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 29, 2017

keno float 3

Sophomores carry their float down to the Eel River for a day on the water. 

Photo courtesy of Kali Quackenbush 


Alumni Office Hosts Second Annual Sophomore KenapocoFloat down Eel River 

Wayne Smith 

The Eel River recently contained more than fish… That’s because the Manchester Alumni Office hosted its second-annual KenopocoFloat for sophomores on Sunday, Sept. 17, which invited students to float down the Eel River from Liberty Mills toward the North Manchester campus. Students shared their boats with faculty members, who shared facts about the university.

The weather was fantastic for the event, as there was not a cloud in the sky on that Sunday afternoon. The event drew a crowd of some 60 participants, which is slightly more than last year’s attendance.  

Melissa West, assistant director of Alumni Relations, hopes this sophomore event will become a tradition. “These events are very important to the alumni office as we try to create memories with Manchester students and create a positive impact with the school and alumni office,” she said.

West characterized this and other events—such as the First-Year 101 Days on campus to the Senior 101 Days to Graduation—as “Stair Steps.” The student events gradually grow in magnitude as they progress through the university, with the Senior 101 Days ceremony being the largest event of the year.

The events hosted by the alumni offices are unique, as they enable students to explore parts of Manchester University that most have never seen, and consequently understand how Manchester has affected different things outside of campus. The same goes for the students’ junior year, during the “Mugging" event each spring, when they get to tour the Administration Building and the Chime.

During the Sunday "float," participants painted shirts and learned about some of the hidden gems Manchester has to offer outside of campus, such as the Environmental Studies cabin, located where the boats ended the day’s journey. They were also able to observe parts of the river that have been cleaned up by the environmental studies program, as well as see some of the different projects that have been completed along the river. 

The students floated down a three-mile stretch of the Eel River, until they reached the beach area by Manchester’s Good Field. The boats were rented from a group out of Warsaw, and each held 10 students and one faculty member. To get to the launch site in Liberty Mills, students were chartered via school bus, courtesy of Whitko Community Schools.

Barring any scheduling conflicts, expect to see this event around the same time next year. Sundays appear to be best, so students can still attend the athletic events on campus, as well as enjoy the start of the fall season.

The next event for the Alumni Office is Homecoming, Oct. 13 and 14, where they are hosting festivities such as a “Fifth Quarter Band” and different types of carnival games across from the football field and by the Jo Young Switzer Center.