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Fall 2007

Volume 91, Issue 2

One-hundred-fifty years ago Old Main opened its doors for Knox students, faculty, staff, and visitors alike. This issue of Knox Magazine celebrates the history and memories of Knox's most beloved campus building.

Letters: Read the President's Message, Editor's Note, and letters to the editor.

Four Faculty Receive Tenure: Knox Magazine had the opportunity to ask each of Knox's four most recent tenured faculty a few questions about Knox, their research, and their life outside of the classroom. Read the full Q & A.

Strength, Resilience, and Endurance: Old Main at 150:  Old Main is 150 years old! Like any building, or anything else that has survived a century-and-a-half, it has undergone alteration and change, occasional crises, even threats to its very existence, yet it remains a vital and central presence on the Knox College campus. Read more.

At 150, Old Main Rocks!:  When Old Main opened on July 7, 1857, it was known as “Main College.” Our beloved edifice did not become “old” until after Alumni Hall opened in 1890. The Knox Trustees celebrated their new “Main College” and its companion the “Female College” (later Whiting Hall) by authorizing the handsome sum of $75.00 for a public dinner. Read more.

"Praise Father, Son, and Mrs. Post": On October 26, 1934, the Knox College Board of Trustees listened raptly as Janet Greig Post, an 1894 Knox graduate, challenged them to become active citizens and alumni. "Knox College belongs to all of us -- especially to us who are officers, trustees, and alumni -- and without the consciousness and strength of your cooperation, counsel, and sacrifice both of time and gifts, the task cannot be completed." The task that Post describes is the restoration of Knox's Old Main. Read more.

Lincoln and Douglas through the Years:  Knox College's interest in Abraham Lincoln inevitably focuses on his United States senatorial campaign debates with Stephen Douglas, the fifth of which was held at Old Main in October 1858.  Read more.

Politicians to Poets:  One year after its opening, Old Main hosted Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas at their fifht debate for an United States Senate seat. Since that time, numerous politicians, academics, artists, and dignitaries have graced the halls, classrooms, and lawns of Old Main since it opened its doors in 1857.  Read more.

21st-Century Old Main: Aside from tuck pointing in the 1990s and regular maintenance projects, Old Main has changed very little since its re-dedication in 1937; it remains the vibrant heart of campus, housing classrooms, offices, and community spaces. But there are two major issues that Knox must address for Old Main to survive as a vital campus building -- accessibility and updated classrooms. Read more.

Return of the Ring: Like Old Main, the Knox bell is one of a kind. Through the 1840s, Knox’s first bell was a modest hand bell that signaled the class schedule at the Academy building at Main and Cherry streets, just north of the current campus. Knox Bells, an undated document in the College Archives, telegraphs the bell’s first holiday: "Borrowed Dec. 24, 1851. Returned Jan. 5, 1852."  Read more.

Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Old Main is Where We Go: Since it opened its doors in 1857, Old Main has been at the epicenter of student protests and celebrations. From political demonstrations to bell tower pranks, sit-ins to concerts on the lawn, students have gathered at Old Main -- the heart of the Knox campus -- whenever they’ve wanted their voices heard by the campus community or world at large. Read more.

Memories of Old Main: If there is one building on campus that connects Knox alumni across the years, it is Old Main. Since it opened its doors in 1857, Knox students have been studying in its classrooms, walking up its stairs, or simply basking in its history. To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Knox Magazine asked alumni to share their favorite memories of Old Main. Read more.

An Old Main Wedding Album: Flowers, musicians, a bride and groom. This is not an unusual sight at Knox -- alumni often return to be married in the shadow of historic Old Main, the veritable heart of the Knox campus. In honor of Old Main’s 150th birthday, a few of the many alumni who were married at Old Main share photos of their special day. Read more.

Class Notes: Catch-up with your classmates and friends!