June 23, 2010
FYC President Robert K. Burden, a 1955 graduate of Knox, passed away on June 19. He had just been re-elected to his second two-year term as the Fifty Year Club president in June 2010.
During his time as president from 2008 - 2010, Burden was actively involved in asking Knox alumni of 50 years ago and longer what they'd like to do when they gathered together, as well as what impact and legacy they would like to leave for Knox. He set a goal for the FYC membership to reach 40% participation with gifts to Knox in 2009. That goal was met. He set a goal of 45% participation for 2010. The FYC is currently at 38% participation, with the giving year set to end on June 30, 2010.
Asking alumni to support Knox was not foreign to Burden. He and his wife, Christine, have been Knox donors for many years. They are long-time members of the President's Circle and Burden and five of his closest Knox friends established a scholarship in 2007 in memory of one of their fellow classmates, the Reverend Pete Hosutt '55. Together, this group raised in excess of $200,000 for an endowed scholarship, which has been awarded to four recipients. Burden was on campus to meet the fourth scholarship recipient, Michelle Geyer '10, in March.
Burden wanted the FYC to have representation with the College's Board of Trustees and obtained a spot for an FYC observer to attend general board meetings. Tony Liberta '55 continues to hold that position and writes a board review in each issue of the FYC Bulletin.
Christine Burden has asked that gifts in memory of her husband be made to Knox College to establish the Robert Burden Scholarship Fund. Gifts may be sent to Knox at 2 East South Street, Galesburg, IL 61401 or can be made online at www.knox.edu/Give-to-Knox or by phone at 888-566-9265.