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Alumni > Knox Magazine > Knox Magazine & More > Knox Magazine Archives > Spring 2016

Spring 2016 Letters


Megan Scott

Editor, Knox Magazine

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999


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Students walking on the south side of Old Main

A New Fire Is Burning

Megan Scott '96One of the things I love most about my job at Knox (aside from editing Knox Magazine, of course) is encountering new projects each year. During my time here, I've overseen the launch of a new website, helped to produce the College's first livestream broadcast, welcomed a sitting U.S. president to campus, learned more about hashtags and social media analytics than I ever thought possible, and, most recently, helped to roll out a new logo for Prairie Fire athletics. Of all of these projects, I think I learned the most-and had the most fun-on the Prairie Fire logo.

Now I'm not known to be a huge sports enthusiast. I appreciate a good baseball game, particularly if I'm at the ballpark with a beer and some peanuts, and I will partake in the annual ritual known as March Madness, especially if Michigan State makes the tournament (my love of the MSU Spartans makes little sense, but runs deep). And between my oldest daughter's participation in youth soccer and the Prairie Fire soccer teams' amazing seasons, my love of the sport is growing. But participating in the logo redesign process helped me truly appreciate the importance of athletics for a school like Knox.

It made me think about what an athletics logo-and the athletics program itself-represents for the College and our community: history, tradition, excellence, community, and pride. I worked more closely with our athletics department than ever before and came to better understand the process behind ordering uniforms and outfitting our courts and fields. I experienced firsthand the excitement of our studentathletes when they first saw a version of the new logo. And I watched as an energized crowd decked out in flame hats cheered on the men's and women's basketball teams on the day of the logo reveal. (My family even joined me for the event, flame hats proudly displayed.) 

I'm proud of the new Prairie Fire logo. It's bold; it's exciting; it looks like a prairie fire! I'm proud of the work that went into its creation and promotion. And I'm especially proud of those flame hats-seeing a crowd of purple, yellow, and orange flames was pretty impressive. Go Fire!

—Megan Scott '96

From the President

Knox College President Teresa AmottNew Thinking for the 21st Century
Two blocks from Old Main, the steel skeleton of the Whitcomb Art Building has been taking shape over the winter months. I well remember the very beginning of this project, when I first walked the site with Professor Mark Holmes from the art department, and we imagined a beautiful, technologically innovative space for studio art and art history at Knox. In the intervening years of planning and fundraising, I have taken as inspiration the late Steve Jobs' wonderful observation: "It's technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our hearts sing."

And our hearts have sung as we watched a tall crane carefully maneuvering into place the giant steel beams that form the bones of the building. The Whitcomb Art Building features a bold and contemporary design, and my favorite feature is the sawtooth roof, pitched to capture desirable north light for studio art. Dating back to the 19th century, sawtooth roofs were originally designed to bring sun into large-scaled spaces, and they are making a comeback in today's environmentally conscious times. Nothing like this building exists anywhere in Galesburg today, and we are very excited to see the building take shape as it moves from the two dimensions of flat construction documents into a three-dimensional entity that soars over its site on the east side of campus.

The building will, of course, house all the elements of the College's art program: painting, printmaking, design, sculpture, ceramics, drawing, metalworking and woodworking, and art history. A two-story critique hall will provide a gallery-like setting in which to view and analyze student artwork. This will not only transform the teaching and making of art on campus, but it holds the promise of introducing Knox students to new ways of thinking that are especially suited to the 21st century.

We hear much today about the need for creative problem-solving for the many challenges we face in the 21st century, and the potential that "design thinking" holds of addressing those challenges. What is design thinking? Richard Buchanan, professor of design, management and information systems at Case Western Reserve University, has called it "the new liberal arts of technological culture," arguing that "there is no area of contemporary life where design-the plan, project, or working hypothesis which constitutes the ‘intention' in intentional operations-is not a significant factor of shaping human experience." He describes four broad areas in which
design is manifest in contemporary life: design of symbolic and visual communications (think graphic design), design of material objects (think industrial design), design of activities and organized services (think organizational management), and design of complex systems or environments for living, working, playing, and learning (think urban planning). Design thinking in all of these realms integrates multiple and interdisciplinary perspectives to bring into being an invention that is the answer to a question, the response to a need, or the solution to a problem. Recognizing this new liberal art, the College has just approved a design minor, an integrated suite of courses that will develop our students' capacity for design thinking.

Design thinking is especially well suited to identifying solutions to what are called "wicked" problems. The great problems of the 21st century fall into this category, including climate change, income inequality, and massive refugee movements. These problems are ill-defined, involve many stakeholders with conflicting perspectives, and are often symptoms of other problems. As the Whitcomb Art Building takes shape, I grow ever more eager to experience the many ways in which our new space will spark and feed the creativity that Knox students will bring to the wicked problems of the 21st century!

—Teresa L. Amott

Letters to the Editor

Fall 2015 Knox MagazineMissing Background Color
Great photo essay on the Monument Valley/Four Corners area in your fall 2015 publication. But missing was some background color-Knox College owned the famous landmark Goulding's Trading Post for about a year (1988-89)or so. Not mentioned in the article and forgotten by many, just a side note tothe essay.
David Riske '73

Editor's Note: Mr. Riske reminds us of a fascinating connection in Knox's history. Harry Goulding and his wife, Leone (also known as Mike), were good friends of beloved Knox professor Samuel Moon and transferred ownership of the famous Goulding Lodge, where John Ford filmed many Westerns, to Knox in 1962. You can read more about the history of Goulding's Lodge in Samuel Moon's Tall Sheep: Harry Goulding, Monument Valley Trader. The lodge was sold to new owners in 1981 and, upon their passing in 1993, the Gouldings established the Goulding Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarship assistance to Navajo students for students living in the Four Corners regional of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. The fund also supports the teaching on the Navajo Reservation immersive program, in which Knox students spend two weeks with Navajo teachers and students in reservation elementary schools.

Class Notes, Fountain of Youth?
Well done! I read and enjoyed every page of the latest Knox Magazine that arrived in today's mail. Of course, the Class Notes was indeed a highlight! The content, layout, photography, and inserts were exceptional. I liked the "Transformative Moment" insert.

Best news yet, the Class of '76 is back beyond the staple! I had told fellow alumni that I knew that I was getting older when our Class Notes section fell before the center staple! Your latest issue made me feel young(er)!
—Ann Feldman Perille '76

Kudos & Fond Memories
Just wanted to commend you for a great recent edition of your mag. Chock full of fascinating substance. Very well done.

I am not an alum but have taught in poli sci on and off over the decades, have many dear friends at Ol' Siwash, many of whom, like Seibert, R. Anderson, Steckley, and others are fading from the scene.
Jim Nowlan

From One Editor to Another
Dear Editor,
A very smart editorial. Like you, I loved class notes until I was responsible for them, then I hated them. Now, of course, I love them again!
Susan "Laurie" Hall Muelder '63

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Times President Obama visited

Once after winning the Democratic nomination to the US Senate, next as a commencement speaker in 2005 and lastly, in July 2013 to address the economy.

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Printed on Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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