2008 Knox Service Award Winners
Phyllis Holowaty Albrecht '56, Alumni and Advancement Volunteer
Phyllis Holowaty Albrecht's service to Knox can be traced back to the academic year 1955-56, when she served as Student Senate president and was a member of Mortar Board and the Board of Publications. Flash forward 50 years, and you would find Phyllis on this same stage in 2006, with her fellow co-chairs and Reunion campaign committee members. The Class of 1956 won prizes that year for greatest participation and set a record for the largest class gift.
- As class correspondent for Knox Magazine, Phyllis helps her classmates connect to one another and to Knox.
- Phyllis currently serves on the Alumni Council as an at-large member. As a participant of an ongoing Alumni Council phone calling project, she surpassed all expectations by getting in touch with more than 20 Chicago area alumni who graduated in the mid-1950s.
- Phyllis has served as a class agent and as a member of the Knox Fund Steering Committee.
- She is also a dedicated volunteer for the Fifty Year Club (FYC). Phyllis and her husband, Jim, Class of '54, are regular attendees of FYC events, and Phyllis rallies her classmates to join them.
- In her life beyond Knox, Phyllis received a master's degree in speech and language pathology from Northwestern University and became a member of the clinical faculty in the university's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders until her retirement in 1997.
- In her community, Phyllis has been active in local government, having served as both a trustee and as president of the Village of Lake Bluff.
- Phyllis now serves on the board of directors of the local history museum and is an active member of the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women.
George B. Eaton '80, Alumni and Advancement Volunteer
George Eaton tells a memorable story about making the Knox connection. He was in Honduras on an Army exercise in 1996, in a location he describes as the boonies. In an after dinner conversation with a Lieutenant in the Army Reserves, the Lieutenant pointed to George's class ring and asked him where he went to college. George replied, "a small college in Illinois you probably haven't heard of." The Lieutenant pressed George for an answer, shook his hand, and introduced himself as Mark Saphir, Knox class of '91. They had a good laugh and George swore he would never use the "small college in Illinois" line ever again -- several years before Roger Taylor introduced his "look down at your shoes" mantra.
- George served as chair of the Alumni Council in 2003 and 2004, and went on to serve on the Board of Trustees as Alumni Council past-president in 2005 and 2006. During his reign as Alumni Council chair, he led the effort to improve the selection process for Knox-Lombard Hall of Fame nominees.
- George served as a member of the Class of 1980 Reunion campaign committee and has returned to campus multiple times to speak with current students about his life after Knox.
- In recent weeks, he has been calling alumni for the Professor Whitlatch retirement project.
George also gives back to the Davenport community.
- For the last two years, he has served as the lead mentor for Journey to Adulthood, a church youth program.
- He is a member of the Davenport Noon Optimist Club International and runs the production and maintenance for the Avenue of Flags program.
- George presents talks on Rock Island Arsenal history; supports the Alamo Scouts Association, a WWII Veterans group; and is a judge for the regional History Day competition.
George served in the U.S. Army for 21 years as an ordnance officer, retiring in 2001, with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He is currently command historian for the U.S. Army Field Support and Joint Munitions Commands at Rock Island, Illinois. His new status at Knox is as current parent. His daughter, Maddy, a junior, is currently enjoying a term abroad in Scotland.
Carolyn Swartz Park '55, FYC Volunteer
You will often find Carolyn Swartz Park with a stack of birthday postcards, bundled in a rubber band. Whenever she has a spare moment, she writes a few. Carolyn is an active volunteer for the Fifty Year Club (FYC). She writes more than 1,500 birthday postcards to FYC members annually. Carolyn has said that writing notes on birthday postcards reminds her of her days as a teacher when she carried students' papers with her wherever she went.
- In her role as an FYC volunteer, Carolyn can also be found behind the registration table at local FYC events. There, she assists Megan Clayton, FYC coordinator, in greeting and registering guests.
- Carolyn has also served as a class agent, as a member of the Class of 1955 Reunion campaign committee, and as an award selection committee member.
- Carolyn served as advisor for Alpha Xi Delta and was province president of Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI) for 12 years. She was one of three of the first recipients of the Rose of Dedication presented by SAI at their National convention.
- Carolyn has been very active in the Galesburg community, where she serves as an OSF St. Mary Medical Center volunteer and as a member of the hospital's auxiliary board.
- She is a past member of Galesburg Community Chorus, Knox-Sandburg Community Band, and Knoxville Summer Band. Carolyn was one of the founding members of the Knox-Galesburg Symphony.
- She was a 4-H leader for several years and currently volunteers for her church as a minister of communion, making communion possible for shut-ins.
Carolyn is a truly dedicated member of the Knox and Galesburg communities.