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2003 Knox Service Award Winners

Laurence S. Chadwick '53, Advancement & Athletic Department Volunteer
Larry accepted his award the same weekend he celebrated his 50th Reunion. It was particularily appropriate for him to receive a Service Award at Homecoming 2003 because he is a standout in his class, or any other class for that matter, in giving back to his alma mater.

  • Larry actively supports his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, by raising money for house improvements, serving as the chapter's alumni advisor, and organizing community service projects. He is a charter inductee of the Xi Chapter's Hall of Fame.
  • Larry has been president of the Galesburg Knox Club for many years and, in that capacity, has been involved with scores of programs and events sponsored by the Alumni Council and Alumni Relations.
  • As a former center on the football team at Knox, he has been a consistent supporter of and recruiter for the Athletic Department, where he has also helped organize many pre- and post-Turkey Bowl chili dinners.
  • He has served as a class agent for the Annual Fund, solicited funds for capital campaign projects, and worked with Relations and the Fifty Year Club as a Reunion Chair or Co-Reunion Chair for his 40th, 45th, and 50th class celebrations.

Michiko Tsukii Tanaka '57, Admission & Advancement Supporter
Since graduation from Knox in 1957, Michiko Tanaka was one of the most active Knox Club organizers outside of the United States. Although she lived on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, her love for Knox could still be felt by her friends on campus.

  • Michiko recruited high school students to Knox and was unfailingly helpful to Corine Andersen, Knox's admission ffficer for International Student Recruiting. Michiko was particularly supportive at university fairs in Tokyo.
  • She planned and organized many Tokyo Knox Club events for several years, including visits from Knox President Sharvy Umbeck in the early 1970's and President Rick Nahm in 1994.
  • She helped coordinate Dr. Michael Schneider's trip to Japan that included other Knox faculty.
  • She was an advisor to and fundraiser for the Bancroft Scholarship Foundation and organizer of and significant contributor to the Mikiso Hane Fund.
  • The Tanaka family hosted scores of Knox students, alumni, and faculty whose travels took them to Tokyo.
The Knox community was saddened by the death of Michiko in January 2004.


Vernie Mendrek, Secretary, Coach & Friend to Knox
Vernie was well-known at Knox for a role not defined in any of her job descriptions and that was as a friend and unofficial counselor to hundreds of Knox athletes, genuine interest and concern was apparent as she went about her work day, supporting the coaches' efforts and meeting the needs of student athletes.

  • Vernie worked as Athletic Department secretary from 1967-2000. By 1973, her responsibilities included teaching four classes per week, supervising the girls' basketball team, and helping with the synchronized swimming club, later she became involved extensively with the golf program.
  • Vernie worked to ensure the success of the Knox athletic program was not confined to office hours. She unofficially recruited students outside Memorial Gym and continued to coach even after giving up her official duties.
  • She was one of the original organizers of the Harley Knosher Golf Outing and currently serves as secretary of the Siwash Athletic Club.
  • She is also recognized in the Galesburg community as one of the top female golfers in the area-holding the record for most wins and most consecutive wins in the Galesburg All-City Women's Golf Tournament.