Knox College Commencement 2009

Knox College Commencement 2010

White House Aide Tina Tchen: If you aren't changing, you aren't growing

June 05, 2010

"Change is important -- it takes you out of your comfort zone," said Tina Tchen, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, in her address to graduating seniors at Knox College. It was Knox's 165th Commencement Exercises -- for the first time in more than 20 years, held indoors due to weather.

"If you aren't changing, you aren't growing," said Tchen, who told graduates that she left a 30-year legal career in Chicago to lead the office that describes itself as "the open front door to the White House."

Knox awarded honorary degrees to Tchen, Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Owens, and poet Kwame Dawes, who was unable to attend due to weather.

Knox College Commencement 2010
Professor Heather Hoffmann leads the processional, followed by, from left, Dean Lawrence Breitborde, political science professor Andrew Civettini, business professor John Spittell, Trustee Chair Jan Koran, commencement speaker Tina Tchen, trustees and faculty.

Knox College Commencement 2010 Knox College Commencement 2010

Above left, President Roger Taylor presents honorary doctorate to Tina Tchen; above right, Tchen addresses the Class of 2010.

Knox College Commencement 2010
Knox College Commencement 2010 Knox College Commencement 2010

Stats on the Class of 2010: 344 receiving diplomas; from 18 countries and 25 states; 34 inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, 34 inducted into Mortar Board; three will study abroad next year with Fulbright Fellowships; 24 earned College Honors for their advanced research or creative projects. And they have a few thousand friends, see below.

Knox College Commencement 2010
Knox College Commencement 2010

Left, Nancy Eberhardt, professor of anthropology, is congratulated by Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Owens, after Owens presented Eberhardt with the 2010 Caterpillar Faculty Achievement Award, in recognition of her scholarship and service to the college. The award winner is selected by the college. The honorarium is provided by a gift from the Caterpillar Foundation.

Knox College Commencement 2010 Knox College Commencement 2010

Above right, Senior Class Speaker Maurice McDavid. -- Text of Maurice McDavid's Senior Class Address

Knox College Commencement 2010 Knox College Commencement 2010

Above left, business professor John Spittell and Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens talk prior to the ceremony; above right, arriving at the last minute, a student dashes upstairs to join the line of graduating seniors.

Knox College Commencement 2010 Knox College Commencement 2010

After reading names, honors and awards for more than 300 graduates, Dean Lawrence Breitborde ended with "Last but not least, Oliwia Wiktoria Zurek, cum laude" -- who responded with a salute to the audience, above left. President Taylor then greeted the Class of 2010 as the newest alumni of the college.