Opening Convocation 2011

Knox President Teresa Amott Welcomes All, Lays Out Vision

September 08, 2011

Knox President Amott and Mayor GarzaBy Rana Tahir ‘13

"We must commit ourselves to the work ahead," Knox College President Teresa Amott said Thursday during Opening Convocation, the ceremony that marks the official start of the academic year.

Amott, who became Knox's president in July, welcomed what she called "my class" -- the students in the class of 2015 -- along with other students, faculty, and staff.

Noting that the 2011-12 school year will be the 175th anniversary of Knox College and the city of Galesburg, Amott said this is a time to "celebrate the past and stand on the threshold of our future."

Galesburg Mayor Salvador Garza (shown in photo at right) also was invited to speak at the Opening Convocation. He stressed the need for Galesburg and Knox College to work together.Mayor Salvador Garza

"If you see me walking, grab me by the collar, and let me know what's going on in your life," he said. "I'll let you know what's going on in the Galesburg community."

The mayor also presented Amott (both shown in photo at top) with a proclamation that designates February 13-18, 2012, as Knox College Week, "in recognition of the (college's) past and ongoing contributions to this community."

Amott read an excerpt of The Brain is Wider than the Sky, a poem by Emily Dickinson. Amott said this poem demonstrates the power of Knox College.

"Knox is infinite because of the power of imagination, reason, invention," she said.

Amott listed four initiatives for Knox in the coming year.

  •   "Honor our alumni" with vigorous efforts to secure funding to renovate Alumni Hall, which has long been closed for repair, and make it a "true gateway to Knox and to the world."
  •   Bring Knox College and the Galesburg community closer together and "extend the vision of our founders."
  •   Continue environmental sustainability efforts. She pointed out that red wiggler worms -- being used to compost leftover food -- "arrived before me, to welcome me" to campus.
  •   Continue conversations about developing a strategic plan for the college.Janet Koran

Janet Koran '71, Chair of the Knox College Board of Trustees, also welcomed the crowd overflowing Harbach Theatre, recalling her time at Knox and her mixed feelings of joy and fear as she began her college education.

"May this academic year be one of learning, laughing, playing and giving," Koran (shown in photo at right) said.

Several awards were presented to Knox College students, staff, and faculty at Opening Convocation. Read more about them here.