Knox Community Engages with Galesburg, Launches New Year

Students volunteer, take tours, join traditional Pumphandle event

September 12, 2013

Pumphandle 2013

Knox College students, faculty, and staff celebrated everyone's return to campus by exploring and engaging with the Galesburg community, volunteering their time and talent, and participating in the traditional Pumphandle ceremony for the 2013-14 academic year. Fall 2013 classes started Thursday, September 12.

Students who wanted to become more familiar with Galesburg-area sights could choose from several activities on Wednesday, including a local food tour, an arts and culture tour, a bike tour, and a tour of Knox's Green Oaks Biological Field Station. (Photo below left: Knox students take a bike tour of Galesburg.)

Students also volunteered for a wide range of organizations: FISH Food Pantry, Gale School, Knox Prairie Community Kitchen, World Vision, Galesburg Civic Art Center, Hope Cemetery, and The Purple Hanger. (Photo at right: Students help clean Hope Cemetery, which sustained recent storm damage.)Community Service: Students Clean Hope Cemetery

"One of the things we really want people to do is to get out into the community," President Teresa Amott told the students, many of them newly arrived at Knox, shortly before they ventured out. "We would like to get you out to experience Galesburg and its surroundings," engage with its residents, and serve the community.

Students appreciated the opportunity.

"I have a general passion for community service. ‘Service above self,' I like that phrase," said Elyssa Glenn, a first-year student from Magnolia, Illinois.

She was one of roughly 50 students who volunteered at The Purple Hanger, a resale shop that donates all proceeds to the Safe Harbor Family Crisis Center in Galesburg. The Knox students' services are invaluable, said Hope Pendleton, the shop's volunteer coordinator.

"I have always been into arts," added Leslie Wiltscheck, a first-year student from New Ulm, Minnesota, who volunteered at the Galesburg Civic Art Center. "I wanted to see an art gallery in Galesburg, and if I could help out, great."

After completing the local tours and community service projects, students returned to campus for Knox's traditional Pumphandle. During the event, members of the Knox community greet and shake hands with one another while gradually forming a giant, twisting line of people.

Pumphandle was followed by the All-Campus Picnic.

Check out more of our photos from the local tours and community service projects and from Pumphandle.