Spring 2009 Letters
Message from the President
"I'm so going to Knox," seven-year-old Ivan Flores, from Streamwood, Illinois, told the Elgin Courier News. Ivan is in Kimberly Scanlon's second-grade class at Hanover Countryside Elementary School. Mrs. Scanlon's class adopted Knox as part of the No Excuses University program, which encourages elementary school children to think about college. They call themselves the Knox Class of 2023.
Brian Gawor '98, associate director of the Knox Fund, and I met Ivan and his classmates in December, when we visited Mrs. Scanlon's classroom to talk about Knox and give them Knox T-shirts. I told them my own story of how Knox changed my life. And I also taught them the Knox Fight Song, which they sang with gusto.
By the time we left, Ivan wasn't the only student excited about Knox. Since our visit, the students have sent me dozens of thank-you cards, posters, and handmade Christmas cards. Nearly every one of them says they are coming to Knox.
It would be wonderful if some of Mrs. Scanlon's class did come to Knox. Whether or not they do, I am convinced that from here on out, each time someone mentions going to college, these young folks will immediately think about Knox. They might even remember singing the Fight Song.
Knox will play a role in their lives, just as Knox has played a role in the lives of its alumni. We might not have known about Knox as second-graders, but each of us has "grown up Knox." The lessons we've learned here or the people we've met have stayed with us as we've navigated our lives. And that's what this issue of Knox Magazine is about.
On the following pages, you'll learn about a few Knox legacies and alumni who followed a relative to Knox, some of whom literally grew up on campus. You'll find out what first-year students brought with them to ease their transition to college, one of life's great adventures. You'll meet alumni whose Knox education helped them find new, and sometimes surprising, careers. And you might be surprised to learn that Knox's Fifty Year Club -- now the FYC -- is much younger than you think.
After reading these stories, I do hope that Ivan Flores decides to "grow up Knox." If he does, he's in for a great adventure.
Roger Talyor '63
Letter from the Editor
Remember how big the world looked when you were a kid? Or how long it took for the school year to end? Or how old you believed your parents or grandparents to be? It's simply part of growing up. What seemed long or huge or old to us at 8, 9, or 10 seems short or small or young to us now.
This idea kept coming to mind as I began working on this issue, especially the story Fifty Makes Way for Feisty: Meet the New Knox-Lombard Fifty Year Club. When I first started working at Knox, Owen '63 and Laurie (Susan) Hall Muelder '63 told me about one of the first times they saw the Fifty Year Club (FYC).
It was the fall of 1962. Owen and Laurie were seniors at Knox, and they happened upon the FYC luncheon at Homecoming. At that time, members of the FYC were from the Class of 1912 and earlier. When Owen and Laurie saw the luncheon, all they could think about was how old the FYC seemed. It was unfathomable to them that they would ever become -- or want to become -- members of that club. Now, they know current FYC members and will soon join their ranks -- happily, I might add.
And I'm sure Owen and Laurie aren't alone in their perceptions -- both old and new -- of the FYC, which is why we decided to include a story on the club in our "Growing Up Knox" issue. And it's why we decided to have Cigi Ross '06 write it. Who better than one of Knox's most recent graduates to cover those celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation.
What Cigi discovers in her story isn't surprising. Fifty and above might sound ancient at 20, but it's really not so bad. It might even be fun. As a member of the FYC recently said, "It's the Feisty Young Club."
Megan Scott '96
Letters to the Editor
I thought the fall issue was great and afforded insight into the campus side of the election. My days at Knox included the '48 Truman victory, but many of us were vets and not really into the political scene.
Congratulations on "Decision 2008." -- Robert Willett '50
The Knox Magazine is just wonderful! The recent issue on the 2008 election and Knox was especially good. Keep up the good work!
We look forward to each issue with great anticipation.-- Jim Albrecht '54
I greatly appreciated the article on Voluntary Simplicity. My church, Spirit of Peace UCC in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, had an adult forum studying consumerism and its alternatives. Your article offered very practical ways to implement what we learned. -- Jay Reeve '73
In Memory of Dr. Jay Minn
Those of us who were fortunate enough to go to Besançon owe a significant debt of gratitude to Dr. Jay Minn, who was instrumental in both establishing and running the program during his tenure at Knox. For all of us, it served to broaden our horizons, our palates, and our taste for adventure. For some of us, it was completely life changing. I know of several cases -- self included -- where, thanks to the Besançon experience, we have wound up working, marrying, and living abroad. Without the program -- and without Dr. Minn's involvement -- life would have been much, much different.
Jay Minn passed away in fall 2007, but he deserves to be remembered. We have discovered a portrait of Jay and Niki, his beloved wife, which hung in their home in Knoxville. We arranged to have it cleaned and shipped from Arizona, where Jay spent his last years, back to Galesburg, and Knox has agreed to hang it in an appropriate place in memory of his work and the warm relationship he had with his students. Our intent is to present the portrait to Knox during Homecoming 2011, when a group of Class of '71 Besançon buddies will be back on campus. But our homage to Jay shouldn't be limited to just the Class of '71. Jay taught at Knox from 1964 to 1988, and we would like to present the portrait in the name of all of those classes and the students he helped guide.
On behalf of Les Bisontains, merci d'avance! -- Izzie Dimitrov Burik '71, Ted Fagerburg '71, Jane Langer McGuire '71, Mary Alice Schlenker Serafini '69, Charley Sloan '71, Bob '58 & Louise Bost Wolf '59
The following error appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of Knox Magazine. In her letter to the editor on Jane Austen, Valerie Saks Kihslinger was incorrectly listed as a graduate of the Class of 1990; she actually graduated from Knox in 1999. Knox Magazine regrets this error.