Spring 2012 Letters
From the Editor
This commemorative issue of Knox Magazine is dedicated to the rich and storied history of Knox College, but the simple sentence featured on the cover -- a message painted onto a recent graduate's mortar board -- epitomizes the past, present, and future of our college on the prairie:
This is only the beginning.
What is college if not a beginning? From the entering student who arrives on campus in September to the senior who leaves campus with a diploma in June; from the faculty member who introduces a new course for fall term to the staff member who readies the campus for a new academic year; from the parent who returns home after dropping his or her child on campus to the alumnus/a who returns to campus to celebrate a milestone Reunion, all share the hopes and fears that accompany new stages in their educations, careers, or lives.
This is only the beginning.
While it is the nature of milestone anniversaries like Knox's 175th to reflect upon its past, remember challenging moments, and celebrate its successes, these anniversaries are at their heart a look to the future, to new beginnings. We celebrate the past 175 years of Knox because they are the foundation upon which we build the next 175 years.
Knox College's history and the contributions of its faculty, staff, students, and alumni are recognized and celebrated worldwide. Many of the events that have taken place on campus have had local, national, and international impact. The people who have stood in its classrooms, played on its fields, sang in its auditoriums, or passed through its doorways have made lasting contributions to literature, the arts, sciences, humanities, business, and politics. These events, people, and places are what inspire current members of the Knox community -- students, faculty, staff, and alumni alike -- to pursue new feats of local, national, and international significance.
President Teresa L. Amott opens this commemorative issue of Knox Magazine with an essay on the vision of Knox's founders and the continuing importance of a liberal arts education. The articles that follow explore a few of the people, places, events, and traditions that have contributed to our storied history -- from long-lost campus traditions to an exploration of student activism on campus; from first-hand accounts of significant historical and athletic events to visions of the prairie, odes to pioneering alumni, and a guide to the final resting place of our founders. And, as President Amott says at the close of her essay, "may you be empowered by the idea that is Knox College."
In other words, this is only the beginning.
-- Megan Scott '96
I'd like to give special thanks to the Knox College Special Collections & Archives. Without the help of Carley Robison, Mary Jo McAndrew, Kay VanderMeulen, and numerous students, this issue wouldn't exist. From digging through old files, scanning hundreds of photos, and researching long past College stories and traditions, their help was invaluable to the production of this commemorative issue.
Letters to the Editor
In Support of General Fridovich on The Board
I, too, was extremely upset with Henry Rudolph's '65 letter criticizing the addition of General David Fridovich '74 to the Knox Board of Trustees.
I am a TKE fraternity brother and Knox football teammate of "Frido," and I can tell you that Mr. Randolph was way off base in his unfounded critique of a man that all Knox alumni should be proud of. Trust those of us who actually know him!
Dave Fridovich's character is beyond question. Some say the measure of a man is what his peers think of him, and I can vouch for those who know him that Frido is a man you want on your "team." He always "had our backs" on the football field as a great teammate, and was a true friend off of it.
One spring break, Frido and I hitch-hiked (very popular and legal back in the day) from Galesburg to San Diego, and I recall with gratitude how he had the presence of mind (at such a young age) to swiftly handle a very tough situation when one of our "ride's" drivers pulled a gun on us. Then again, he always did play great defense! He still does, for the USA!
Frido has served his country with pride and honor in a most dignified and loyal fashion since leaving Knox. Having been a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps after leaving Knox myself, I can tell you that you do not get to be a General without having the necessary qualifications and character. The Knox Board will truly benefit from his leadership qualities and knowledge.
-- Bob Bolier '73
I thought the letter from Mr. Randolph in the Spring 2011 issue of Knox Magazine was unfortunate: Knox always had a substantial ROTC group at the College, and, by now, quite a few of the College's alumni are ROTC graduates. I can't think of any reason why that considerable group of alumni ought not to be represented on the Board, although I suspect General Fridovich's appointment has to do with his personal achievements rather than his military career.
Mr. Randolph's description of General Fridovich as a "professional killer of executive rank" is inacccurate and mean-spirited. It is also foolish and myopic. By this standard, George Washington would be considered a professional killer of executive rank. So would President Abraham Lincoln, and so would President Barack Obama, both Commanders in Chief of the U.S. military. Describing members of the military as professional killers shows a formidable lack of understanding of what they do.
Very few members of the military achieve flag rank, which General Fridovich has done. Fewer yet are those military officers who do not come from one of the service academies, such as Annapolis or West Point, and become admirals or general officers. Even many officers with a lifetime of service do not achieve flag rank. It is a noteworthy achievement and speaks for a lifetime of not only dedication and work, which is expected of all military officers, but a lifetime of dedication and work with distinction.
-- Jim Rosenthal '72
Happy to See the Choir
Was happy to receive the "175" issue and was delighted to see that our 1958 Knox Choir tour to Europe and the Brussels World Fair made the "favorite things" list. It was indeed a grand adventure, a part of which my wife, Janet, and I relived this month in a return visit to Venice with an Elderhostel Road Scholar program. Thanks.
-- John Norton '58
Dorothea Tanning, Woman President, and Charitable Giving
I am a member of the Class of 1962 and my dad, Merritt H. Moore, taught philosophy at Knox in the '30s and '40s. I just wanted to say I do enjoy the magazine, and I took special note of the article on the Dorothea Tanning symposium. I worked a few years ago with a man who knew her personally and who , in fact, married a close relative of hers, though I am not sure what the relationship was. In New York, where I live, her name is most likely to come up because of Max Ernst. But she certainly deserved to be recognized on her own merits.
On a different subject, I am pleased that Knox finally has a woman president. But I am not sure that the comment about the founders of the college being shocked at the prospect (Editor's note: Mr. Moore is referring to the last issue's Q & A with President Amott). Considering the strong abolitionist tenor of those early days and that the most important piece of sculpture in the park across from Whiting Hall was of a woman, Mother Bickerdyke, I would say some research and possible revisionism are in order.
Finally, yesterday as someone with a 20-year career as a professional development officer, I sent a very pointed e-mail to the College development office about the absence of mention of fundraising opportunities for alumni other than the cards encouraging us to find and support a student. In that e-mail, I mentioned that my grad school (chemistry) was UW-Madison, and in every publication they make it eminently clear how people my age can support the university. I have not done a survey of other good colleges, but I cannot imagine places like Carleton and Oberlin are so cautious. As you can see, I feel rather strongly about this.
Finally, why isn't your excellent magazine published on recycled paper?
Do enjoy reading it, keep up the good work.
-- Arthur Moore '62
In the notice of Jacqueline Haring's passing in the Spring 2011 issue of Knox Magazine, her role as College archivist was not mentioned. Mrs. Haring proudly served as Knox's archivist from 1968 to 1981. Thanks to Marc Wollman '70 for alerting us to this ommision.
There were two other errors in the class notes section of the Knox Magazine. In the 1957 note, Lynn Nelson was listed as being in the class of 1953. He graduated in 1957. The contact information for Ann Blaesing Elder '62 was also incorrect. Her e-mail address is email@example.com and her phone number is 970-203-0318.
The editors of Knox Magazine regret these errors.