Knox Club Events
Homecoming 2011

More Than 1,200 Come Back for Homecoming

More than 1,200 Knox College alumni and friends turned out for Homecoming 2011 -- the largest Homecoming in the history of the College -- and the 175th anniversary celebration for Knox College and the City of Galesburg. In addition to setting an attendance record, Knox set two other records over Homecoming weekend -- the Class of 1961 raised the largest Reunion gift in the College's history, and Gerald '65 and Carol Klail Vovis '65 made the largest gift to date for the renovation of Alumni Hall.

Knox alumni and friends had dozens of Homecoming activities to choose from, including the Community Pumphandle, Homecoming Convocation, and Taste of Galesburg All-Class Reception.

Gerald Vovis '65Transforming Alumni Hall

At Friday evening’s President’s Circle reception, President Teresa Amott announced that the College has received $2 million in new gifts for the renovation of Alumni Hall. Trustee Gerald '65 and Carol Klail Vovis '65 have donated $1.5 million to the renovation of the 122-year-old building, the largest gift received for Alumni Hall to date. In their honor, the College will name one of its signature programs, the Center for Research and Advanced Study, now located in Old Main, the Gerald and Carol Vovis Center for Research and Advanced Study. The center will relocate to Alumni Hall upon its renovation. A gift of $500,000 from Richard '57 and Joan Whitney Whitcomb '56 also will support the renovation of Alumni Hall.

"Thanks to the Vovises and the Whitcombs, current gifts and pledge support for renovating Alumni Hall now stand at approximately $3 million," Amott said. Read more about the gifts for Alumni Hall.

Alumni Celebrate Reunions, Receive Recognition for Achievements

An alumnus holds 175th anniversary balloons at the "Taste of Galesburg" All-Class Reception.Classes ending in "1" and "6" celebrated Reunions over the weekend. The Class of 1976 kicked things off on Friday with a discussion of then and now with professors Roy Andersen, Lance Factor, Dennis Schneider, Lane Sunderland, and Kevin Hastings ’76. Friday evening found the Class of 1981 bowling, the Class of 2006 playing games, and the Classes of 1986 and 2001 meeting at local drinking establishments. On Saturday, the Class of 1961 was inducted into the FYC and the Classes of 1981, 1986, 2001, and 2006 tailgated before the game. All in all, it was a great weekend for hundreds of alumni to reconnect and make new memories. 
Three Reunion classes were recognized at Homecoming Convocation:

  • Knox College President Teresa Amott receives a check from the Class of 1961.The Class of 1961 presented the College with a check for $3,429, 607, the largest 50th Reunion gift the College has ever received.
  • The Ralph Walter Prize for the class with the greatest percent giving participation was won by the Class of 1951 with 51.5% participation.
  • The Class of 1971 won the Homecoming Attendance Award with more than 60 classmates returning to Knox.

Interested in organizing a Reunion next year? Classes ending in "2" and "7" will celebrate Reunions in 2012 -- October 19-21. Contact Carol Brown '99, director of alumni programs, at or 309-341-7980.

Reunion class photos may still be purchased at a cost of $20.00 each by contacting Dickerson's Photography, 193 West Main Street, Galesburg, IL, 61401, 309-342-3512.

Senior Sam Brownson '12 Debuts Original Song at Homecoming Convocation

Sam Brownson '12 and friends perform "On the Steps of Old Main" at Homecoming Convocation.In honor of the 175th anniversary of the College, Sam Brownson '12 composed an original song celebrating Knox's rich history and beloved Landmark, Old Main. Inspired by Carl Sandburg's address at Knox's Centennial celebration, "On the Steps of Old Main" invokes Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln, the railroads, prairies, and cherished memories of college days. Brownson debuted the song at Homecoming convocation, receiving a standing ovation from Knox alumni, students, faculty, and staff. Brownson, on guitar and lead vocals, was accompanied by Harrison Graham '13 on violin, Nathaniel Beck '13 on percussion and vocals, and Oliver Horton '12 on bass and vocals. Watch the debut performance of "On the Steps of Old Main."

Centennial Bell Ringer Robert Pennington '49 Rings in 175th Celebrations

Robert Cassens '12 and his grandfather, Robert Pennington '49.It’s not just any man that can say he’s had a protracted relationship with a bell -- but Robert Pennington ’49 is not just any man. Pennington first rang the Knox bell in 1937 during the College’s centennial celebrations. “I think it was after a football game,” recalls Pennington. “I must have been between nine and 11. I pulled on the rope, and, of course, as the bell came back, it pulled me right off the ground. My dad caught me.”

Pennington, whose father J. Wilson Pennington served as Knox’s auditor for 32 years, returned for Homecoming to ring Old Main’s bell, officially beginning the Community Pumphandle. It was a family affair since Pennington’s grandson, senior Robert Cassens, joined him in doing the honors. Read more about Robert Pennington.

Alumni Receive Knox Service Awards

Rick '83 and Mary Filosa Brown '82, Brooks Goedeker '02, and David '70 and Judy Waggoner Lambert '71Knox Service Awards were presented to five alumni during Homecoming Convocation. Rick ’83 and Mary Filosa Brown ’82 were honored for their 20 years as club leaders for the North Carolina Knox Club; Brooks Goedeker ’02 was recognized for his involvement in the St. Louis Knox Club; and David ’70 and Judy Waggoner Lambert ’71 were honored for their work with their fraternity and sorority, the career center, and their class. Read more about the Knox Service Award Recipients.

Three Receive Scrolls of Honor

Marjorie Stuart Waters ’52 receives her award.During Saturday's FYC luncheon, three alumni were awarded Scrolls of Honor in recognition of their lifetime achievements in the service of their community, society, or humanity. The 2011 recipients are activist Jane Denninger Erickson ’50, Peace Corps volunteer Janet Drew Larsen ’60, and volunteer Marjorie Stuart Waters ’52. Read more about the Scroll of Honor Inductees.

Four Inducted into Knox-Lombard Athletic Hall of Fame

Fran Paradise '77, Ryan Stuffelbeam '98, and David Wood '72Four individuals were inducted into the Knox-Lombard Athletic Hall of Fame, which recognizes Knox's greatest athletes and teams. Pictured are the inductees, from left: Fran Paradise ’77, the only quarterback in Knox Football history to be named to the All-Midwest Conference First-Team twice; football and baseball standout Ryan Stuffelbeam ’98; and Dave Wood ’72, who led the basketball team in both scoring and rebounding the three years he played at Knox. Not pictured is William Jenkins ’55, a seven-time letter winner who played four years of baseball, three years of basketball, and became a hall of fame coach. Read more about the Hall of Fame inductees.

2011 Homecoming Survey

If you attended Homecoming this year, please fill out the Homecoming survey. Your feedback helps us make sure that future Homecomings continue to appeal to Knox alumni and friends. Fill out the survey.

175th Anniversary logo175th Anniversary T-Shirts Available

If you didn't get a chance to pick up a 175th anniversary t-shirt while you were on campus for Homecoming, they are still available through the Knox College Bookstore online, along with polo shirts and coffee mugs. See what's available through the online bookstore.

Leave Something Behind?

We've found a few items that were left behind over Homecoming weekend. If you're missing something and want to find out if we've got it, please contact Alumni Relations at or 309-341-7238.

175th Anniversary

Knox Links

Knox Events

October 27, 2011
The Nest Lounge
October 29, 2011
Library of Congress
December 01, 2011
Symphony Center

Save the date for Homecoming 2012, October 19-21.


Knox College 175th Anniversary All-Campus K Photo

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Knox College Office of Advancement
2 East South Street
Galesburg, Illinois 61401-4999
309-341-7100 Phone
800-678-KNOX Toll-free