Taylor Elected to Board of Illinois Humanities Council

Panel promotes promote public knowledge and appreciation of fields such as history, language, and literature

July 27, 2009

Knox College President Roger Taylor has been elected to a statewide panel of distinguished Illinois civic leaders who promote public knowledge and appreciation of fields such as history, language, and literature. Taylor's selection to the Illinois Humanities Council Board of Directors became effective July 1.

"I hope my perspective as a resident of West-Central Illinois and former resident of Chicago will help the Illinois Humanities Council plan programming that taps into our state's fascinating history and culture," Taylor said. "The Illinois Humanities Council supports important projects that enlighten our communities, and it is a privilege for me to serve on its board," Taylor added.

The Illinois Humanities Council is a nonprofit educational organization affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities and supported by state, federal, and private funds. The Council awards grants to programs and organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities.

According to Pam VanKirk, director of the Galesburg Public Library, "Galesburg is fortunate to have a seat at the table with the Illinois Humanities Council. And Roger Taylor is a wonderful ambassador for our community."

Taylor serves on several other boards and commissions, including the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, Federation of Illinois Independent Colleges & Universities, Associated Colleges of Illinois, and the Galesburg Regional Economic Development Agency.

According to the Illinois Humanities Council, also newly elected to the 33-member board were architect Rodrigo del Canto, historian Adam P. Green, retired business executive Thomas E. Kallen, and financial manager Kay Torshen.

"We are so pleased to add Rodrigo, Adam, Thomas, Roger, and Kay to our board of directors," said Kristina A. Valaitis, IHC Executive Director. "They each bring a deep appreciation of the humanities, as well as creativity and individual expertise to the IHC."

Roger Taylor has served as President of Knox College since 2002, having previously been chair of the College's Board of Trustees, and a member of the board since 1988. An experienced trial lawyer, Taylor retired in 1999 as a partner of the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis, where he practiced for 30 years and remains Of Counsel. A native of Fulton County, Illinois, Taylor is a 1959 graduate of Cuba High School and a 1963 graduate of Knox College, earning his bachelor's degree in English. He served in the United States Navy for three and one-half years, including a year in Vietnam, before entering Northwestern University School of Law in 1968.

Rodrigo del Canto is a noted architect in the areas of urban design, architecture, community development and economic development, as well as redevelopment planning and historic preservation. He has held several senior positions in the City of Chicago Departments of Planning, Development and the Mayor's Office.

Adam P. Green is associate professor of American history at the University of Chicago. His fields of study are modern U.S. history, African American history, urban history, comparative racial politics, and cultural economy.

Thomas E. Kallen retired after 35 years as chairman and chief executive officer of Bake-Line Products, Inc., the largest private label manufacturer of cookies in the United States, with volume exceeding $100 million dollars annually. Kallen is a founding member of the Paul H. Berger Graduate Fellowship Fund and teaches part-time in the Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management Department of Columbia College.

Kay Torshen is President and Managing Member of Torshen Capital Management, LLC. She has been a professional trader of equities and derivatives for over twenty years. Torshen is the author of numerous articles and a book on educational psychology, The Mastery Approach to Competence-Based Education.

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 47 states and 48 countries. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.