Knox Homecoming Sets Records for Donations and Attendance

1,200 celebrate on campus; $2 million for Alumni Hall; $3.4 million from the Class of 1961

October 19, 2011

Knox College Homecoming 2011
Knox President Teresa Amott announces $2 million in gifts toward renovation of Alumni Hall

Knox College celebrated a record-setting Homecoming this year in three areas: attendance, donations toward renovation of Alumni Hall, and gifts from a reunion class to support student scholarships, research and an endowed faculty chair.

Teresa Amott at Knox CollegeThis year's festivities, October 14-16, drew more than 1,200 alumni -- the largest attendance on record, according to the College's Office of Alumni Relations. Alumni went to classes with students on Friday, and celebrated at reunions throughout the weekend. Special reunions were held by alumni who participated in ROTC at Knox, and by fraternities, sororities, athletic teams, academic departments and student clubs and organizations.

The Homecoming Convocation filled Kresge Hall for remarks from President Amott, right; class speakers Tyler O'Neill '12 and Frank Kerous '61 (bottom of page). Alumni honored with Knox Service Award presentations were Rick '83 and Mary Filosa Brown '82, Brooks Goedeker '02, and David '70 and Judy '71 Waggoner.

The weekend also was marked by two major announcements of gifts and pledges totalling more than $5 million to support student and faculty work, and renovation of the College's historic Alumni Hall.

Knox College Homecoming 2011 ConvocationKnox College President Teresa Amott announced on Friday gifts totalling $2-million from two alumni couples to support renovation of Alumni Hall. The total includes $1.5 million from Trustee Gerald '65 and Carol Klail Vovis '65, the largest gift made so far toward the renovation of the 122-year-old building; along with a renovation gift of $500,000 from Richard '57 and Joan Whitney Whitcomb '56.

President Amott announced that the Center for Research and Advanced Study, one of Knox's signature programs,  now located in Old Main, will be named the Gerald and Carol Vovis Center for Research and Advanced Study and relocate to Alumni Hall upon its renovation.

On Saturday, Amott received a check for $3.4 million from the Class of 1961 to celebrate its 50th reunion. The donation from 75 members of the class is the largest reunion gift in Knox's history. Representing the class were Suzannne Summers Knauss '61 and Carol Semmerling Beeftink '61, above right, presenting their class check to President Amott.

Knox College Homecoming 2011 PumphandleThe contributions from the Class of 1961 will support student scholarships, a research fellowship, and a faculty position in mathematics that will be named in honor of long-time Knox professor Rothwell Stephens.

President Amott and Galesburg Mayor Sal Garza (right) led the greeting line at the first ever joint campus-community Pumphandle on Friday. A Knox tradition for more than 100 years, this year's Homecoming Pumphandle was expanded to mark the 175th anniversary of the founding of Knox College and the City of Galesburg. Both the College and the City were established in 1837 by founders led by the Rev. George Washington Gale.

More Homecoming snapshots:

Knox College Homecoming 2011 Knox College Homecoming 2011

The week's student activities included a bonfire (above left), and, in T. Fleming Fieldhouse, a tug o' war and other games.

Knox College Homecoming 2011 Convocation Frank Kerous at Knox College Homecoming Convocation

At the Homecoming Convocation, senior Sam Brownson '12 (above left, with guitar, rehearsing with his band) debuted an original song written for the College's 175th anniversary, "On the Steps of Old Main." The song received a standing ovation.peakers including Life Trustee Frank Kerous '61 (above right, displaying a shoe he claims to have kept from the scramble held during his first week on campus in 1957). Alumni in record numbers attended the all-class reception (below left) and the reunion dinner (below right) where President Amott led a toast to the 175th anniversary of the founding of Knox and Galesburg in 1837.

Knox College Homecoming 2011 Knox College Homecoming 2011

More photos and videos are posted and linked on the Knox Facebook page and alumni home page.