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Alumni Achievement Awards


College Engagement, Office of Advancement

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401


888-566-9265 (Toll Free)


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Knox celebrated the presentation of Alumni Achievement Awards on Friday, May 5, 2023

2023 Alumni Achievement Award Recipients: Brenda Bulter '71, Jeremy Butler '95, Christopher DeWald '83, and Ladipo Lawani '08

2023 Alumni Achievement Award Presentations

Brenda Butler ’71

  • Brenda reflects on her Knox experience.
  • Journalist with more than 30 years of experience as a reporter, copy editor, and senior features editor.
  • First African American at the Chicago Tribune to hold the position of associate managing editor where she was involved in the conception and development of award-winning newspaper sections and magazines.
  • Served as Executive Director of Columbia College–Columbia Links, a Chicago public high school journalism and media literacy program.
  • Three-term president of the National Association of Black Journalists–Chicago Chapter.
  • Volunteers regularly for Knox, providing professional mentoring and career advisement to students.

Jeremy Butler ’95

  • Jeremy reflects on his Knox experience.
  • CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), whose mission is to support and empower post 9/11 veterans, including combating veteran suicide, modernizing the VA, and supporting women veterans.
  • Served as an officer in the United States Navy, graduating from the U.S. Naval War College with a master's degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.
  • Served in the Persian Gulf War after 9/11 up until the end of combat operations in Iraq.
  • Later worked for the Department of Homeland Security, the Joint Staff, and the Department of the Navy.
  • Regularly interviewed as an expert regarding veteran's affairs and racial injustice.

Christopher DeWald ’83

  • Christopher reflects on his Knox experience.
  • A board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in spinal deformity and scoliosis surgical procedures for both pediatric and adult patients.
  • Mentor to Knox students pursuing medical careers, and host for several job shadowing clinics allowing students to work with medical staff and engage with patients.
  • Lectured both nationally and internationally on advanced techniques in spinal surgery.
  • Served as a fellow in the elite Chicago Spine Fellowship with responsibilities to both Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center and Shriner's Hospital for Children.
  • Voted among the top 15% of Top Doctors in America by U.S. News & World Report.

2023 Young Alumni Achievement Award Presentations

Ladipo Lawani ’08

  • Ladipo reflects on his Knox experience.
  • Named one of Forbes Africa 30 under 30 as one of Africa's "most promising young change-makers."
  • Founder of L&L Foods, a food processing and packaging company focusing on the Nigerian market, sourcing products from local farmers.
  • Winner of the 2016 Columbia Business School Shark Tank Competition and the 2017 Nigerian Economic Summit startup competition.
  • Board member of Bethesda Child Support Agency, which provides free quality education to orphans and vulnerable children.

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Printed on Saturday, February 24, 2024