October 23, 2010
About 1,000 Knox College alumni returned to their alma mater on October 22-24 to celebrate Homecoming by re-connecting with old friends and attending a wide range of events, such as Saturday's Homecoming Convocation.
Here's a quick look at some of the Knox graduates who participated in the 2010 Homecoming festivities, which also included Prairie Fire football and soccer games, social get-togethers, and opportunities to sit in on classes.
Don '81 and Kate Kendzy Gingold '82 of Naperville always return for Knox's Homecoming. "Honestly, we haven't missed one since we graduated," she said.
In recent years, they've also used the occasion to visit their daughter, Emma, a current Knox student. But right now, Emma is studying in France through the Knox Program in Besançon.
The Gingolds have formed bonds with Knox alumni from many different graduation years. "When we were here as students, we got to know a lot of the alums that were coming back through Don's fraternity (Sigma Nu)," Kate Kendzy Gingold said. "So we have friends from '72 and as early as '62."
They've continued to meet Knox alumni of all ages at each Homecoming, and they agree that the atmosphere at Knox encourages those friendships to develop.
"Knox is small and personal," Don Gingold said. "I don't have the experience of going to a huge university, but my perception of it when I made a choice was that it was huge and impersonal. And Knox was small and very personal -- and personable."
Marc Wollman '70 of Racine, Wisconsin, credits his Knox education with giving him "the ability to rise to challenges and to continue to explore, continue to learn, and continue to stretch intellectually."
"That's what a liberal arts education is about, and that's what a liberal arts education teaches people to do throughout their life," he said.
"I come back because I value what Knox has been in my life," he added. "Knox is important to me." His mother, Shyla Slobodkin Wollman '46, also graduated from Knox, and his father was an Air Cadet here during World War II.
Bill '61 and Barb Lee Fay '61, who began dating as Knox juniors, have returned for multiple Homecoming weekends.
"We're strong supporters of Knox, and we like to see the development of the campus," Bill Fay said. "Of course, the most important thing is to see longtime friends." Many of those friends are in the Class of 1960, said the Fays, who live in Overland Park, Kansas.
While on campus, they added, they always stop by Old Main and the Gizmo.
One of their classmates, Susan Shea Worthington '61, said she was hoping to pick up some ideas from the Class of 1960's 50th reunion because her class will have its 50th reunion next year. Now a resident of Lexington, Missouri, she came back to Knox with her husband, Ken Worthington.
Aneze F. Chinwuba '75 left his home in Nigeria to enroll at Knox in the 1970s and eventually returned there, but he recently traveled to the United States so he could visit Knox. His son, Aneze, is a Knox senior, and his daughter, Adannia, graduated from Knox in 2008.
"I've enjoyed a liberal arts upbringing, and I'm proud to be a member of the Knox family. That's why I sent my children, right?" he said. "If you don't like a place, you won't send your children."
Robert Brands '64 of Madison, Illinois, attended the 2009 Knox Homecoming, when his class held its 45th reunion. He made it back again this year to catch up with friends. On Friday, he spent time with current Knox students when he sat in on a couple of classes in history and political science.
As they headed to the Knox Homecoming football game Saturday, Trish Kenny '86 and Madhavi Samala '88 said they met as Knox students and have remained friends ever since.
"We talk about Knox all the time," said Samala, who lives in Naperville, Illinois. "I think because it is so small, you get to know a lot of people in other classes."
They said they enjoy their campus visits.
"It's awesome," said Kenny, of Park Ridge, Illinois. "It's always so good to just walk around."