Knox College Commencement 2009

Knox College Commencement 2009

Degrees awarded, dignitaries honored, showers ignored

June 06, 2009

Prosecuting organized criminals and international terrorists "was hard work, but it wasn't sacrifice," said U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in his Commencement Address to the Knox College Class of 2009. Fitzgerald urged Knox graduates not to look down on public service as "a great thing -- for somebody else to do."

After Fitzgerald spoke through a summer shower, Knox President Roger Taylor stepped to the podium and asked graduates whether they wanted to disperse, take cover and get their diplomas later... or continue with Commencement on the south lawn of Old Main. By voice vote, the 266 graduates chose to continue with the College's 164th awarding of bachelor's degrees.

Knox awarded Fitzgerald the honorary degree of doctor of laws, in recognition of his work as a federal attorney who has prosecuted high-profile charges of terrorism, organized crime and political corruption.

Knox awarded the honorary degree of doctor of science to renowned geneticist Bill Geer, Clara A. Abbott Professor Emeritus of Biology, a member of the Knox faculty from 1963 to 2000.

The College awarded the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters to author Garry Wills, who was unable to attend due to illness.

Knox College Commencement

Grand Marshal Heather Hoffmann, professor of psychology, checks the time moments before the ceremony.

Knox College Commencement

The Class of 2009, families and guests.

Knox College Commencement

President Roger Taylor '63.

Knox College Commencement

Chair of the Board of Trustees Jan Koran '71.

Knox College Commencement

Senior Class Speaker Sean Bullock

Knox College Commencement

 

"And when you finally graduate from college.... [rain begins] I should have worn the hat.... When you finally graduate from college, you might think, I should take that opportunity (based solely on how much the job pays). And what I learned, over the course of time, is that was a mistaken way of looking at things. [rain intensifies] ....I'll shorten my remarks..." -- Commencement Speaker Patrick Fitzgerald

 

Knox College Commencement

President Taylor recognizes David Jeff Walton '29, attending his 80th class reunion

Knox College Commencement

Dennis Schneider, professor of mathematics, receives the Caterpillar Faculty Achievement Award from S.C. Banwart, vice president of human services division, Caterpillar Inc.

Knox College Commencement

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald gives the Commencement Address

Knox College Commencement

Rain failed to interrupt the ceremonies.

Knox College Commencement

"We have had the freedom to flourish and, despite a few missteps, we have done so." -- Senior Class Speaker Sean Bullock

Knox College Commencement

Honorary degree recipient Professor Emeritus of Biology Bill Geer "synthesized the early history and foundations of biology with modern coverage that leads up to the cutting edge. Bill is soft spoken with a delightful sense of humor that holds students attention to the content of his classroom lectures." -- Citation read by Professor Linda Dybas. In the photo, left, environmental studies-biology major Quinn Palar.

Knox College Commencement

 

Video, Audio, and Transcripts of Commencement Address by Patrick Fitzgerald and Other Commencement Speakers

Honorary Degree Citations:
Citation for Patrick Fitzgerald
Citation for Garry Wills
Citation for Bill Geer

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Commencement photography by Evan Temchin, John Baillie, Peter Bailley