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Knox Service Awards 2023: Valerie Blevins '86, Maurice McDavid '10, Eric Z. Williams '85

The Knox Service Award, established in 1987, is given to members of the Knox community in recognition of outstanding volunteer service benefiting Knox College. Awards are presented during the Homecoming Convocation. Annual nominations are due by February 1.

2023 Recipients

Valerie Blevins graduated in 1986, majoring in Economics. Valerie serves as Senior Counsel at Shook, Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P. in Kansas City. After graduation from Knox Valerie obtained her law degree from the University of Nebraska. She has been employed at Shook, Hardy & Bacon for 29 years.

Valerie’s service to Knox spans decades. She has been a Knox Proud Day Volunteer, Reunion organizer for the Class of 1986, chair of the Alumni Council, Kansas City Knox Club leader, and member of the K Club Engagement Council. As a student, Valerie was an inaugural member of the Senior Challenge Committee. She has also served as a mentor and speaker for the career center, as well as a general trustee. Valerie finds it most rewarding to connect and advise Knox students through mock interviews, networking receptions, and panel discussions. 

Maurice McDavid graduated in 2010, majoring in Educational Studies. Maurice pursued educational administration after Knox and currently serves as principal for Turner Elementary School and assistant pastor at the United Pentecostal Church of DeKalb. In addition, he is the founder of Culture, Identity, and Multilingual Advocacy (CIMA) of Illinois.

He has served Knox in many capacities: K Club Engagement Council Member and fundraiser, Applicant Review Committee for the Head Football Coach Search,panelist for Center for Intercultural Life Black History Month event, speaker-student-athletes as part of the ‘Forever Fire’ career development program, and Prairie Fire football team recruiter. Maurice continues to promote Knox and Knox athletics to prospective students and has worked with athletics staff, coaches, and students about race relations and social justice.

Eric Z. Williams graduated in 1985, with a double major in Classics and Political Science. He has been a committed member of the Knox community ever since he was a student—as a resident advisor, A.B.L.E. leader, and advocate for increasing diversity of the faculty and staff. He serves as a K Club advocate, member and leader within Black Alumni Network (BAN) and Black Alumni Association of Knox College (BAAKC). He served on the Alumni Council as representative of both groups.

He has organized meetings and events, and he has traveled to expose secondary school students to Knox and college in general. He is also a visible advocate for Knox College among colleagues and educational leaders.

Eric serves as the Postsecondary Strategist for Chicago Public Schools.

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Printed on Saturday, May 18, 2024