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Fall 2016 Letters

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Megan Scott

Editor, Knox Magazine

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999

309-341-7760

Fax: 309-341-7770

mscott@​knox.edu

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Editor's Note

Megan Scott '96Is there a special connection between Knox College and years ending in seven? 

A little over a year ago, we started talking about how to mark the 100th anniversary of Knox Magazine, which published its first issue in the fall of 1917. Shortly after we began our discussions, we learned that the Program in Creative Writing turned 50 this year. How great is that, I thought. We can celebrate a year of writing and the literary arts.

My next realization was that Knox and Galesburg were founded 180 years ago in 1837 and that KnoxCorps celebrates its fifth birthday in May (and so the origin of this magazine's theme is revealed). But it doesn't stop there. I was contacted by the FIJIs last spring about their 150th anniversary celebrations in 2017, followed by the Knox chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, which will welcome its 100th class in June. Recently, it hit us that Knox signed an agreement with the Peace Corps to start the nation's first Peace Corps Prep Program 10 years ago. And just now (I'm serious, I just thought of this as I'm writing this letter), it dawned on me that Old Main turns 160 this year as well.

I wish we could cover all of these anniversaries in Knox Magazine, but I promise that we'll try our best to make sure Knox recognizes them in other ways-in news stories, Gizmogram mentions, or social media posts. In the meantime, let the celebrations begin!

#KnoxProud,
Megan Scott '96

P.S. If you're curious, here's a guide to the anniversaries being celebrated in 2017:

KnoxCorps: 5
Peace Corps Prep Program: 10
Program in Creative Writing: 50
Knox Magazine: 100
Phi Beta Kappa @ Knox: 100
FIJI: 150
Old Main: 160
Knox College & Galesburg: 180

P.P.S. Don't be shy; if we're missing an anniversary, please let us know. E-mail us at knoxmag@knox.edu.

President's Note

Knox College President Teresa AmottBuilding Bridges Between Knox and Galesburg

Over the past year, countless words have been written about how colleges and universities are out of touch with mainstream America. It's a topic of discussion at recent conferences that I've attended, as well as in the offices and hallways here at Knox. In fact, the most recent Survey of College and University Presidents by Inside Higher Ed shows that the majority of presidents believe the 2016 election exposed a disconnect between academe and much of American society. Nearly seven in 10 presidents perceive that anti-intellectual sentiment is growing in the country.

I'm not surprised by these findings, but I am concerned. Knox and Galesburg were jointly founded by George Washington Gale more than 180 years ago, and, together, we've experienced prosperity, war, depressions, and all the events in between. But that doesn't mean that the relationship between college and town is seamless. Knox, like many residential liberal arts colleges, is located in a small community struggling to find its stride after a decline in its manufacturing base. The day after the election, close to 200 Knox students marched in downtown Galesburg, expressing their frustrations-and even anger-with the presidential election results. It was clear that not all of Galesburg appreciated their vehicle for expression or understood their anger and frustration. Nor did all of the marchers understand the response they received from local residents and from some of their fellow students, who clearly did not agree with them. On that day, we witnessed first-hand this perceived disconnect between our college and our hometown.

I have often worried about this disconnect, as both president of Knox College and a Galesburg resident. How do we bridge the great divide between town and college? How do we challenge the widespread perception that Knox students are out of touch with the community that is their second home for four years? How do we help our students better understand and respect the people who live in our surrounding rural community? I believe that service-based engagement is essential in strengthening our connections. In fact, it was that belief that first inspired Knox parent Gary Funk and me, with support from the Galesburg Community Foundation, to launch a new program, KnoxCorps.

A civic-engagement partnership that matches recent Knox graduates and current students with local nonprofit organizations to support existing projects, build new programs, and help meet the critical needs of the community, KnoxCorps is helping to build bridges across differences of age, color, and socioeconomic class. I announced the creation of KnoxCorps at my installation address in May 2012; since that time, more than 50 students and alumni have joined KnoxCorps, and two dozen local organizations have either offered financial support for the program or served as a participating agency. Members of KnoxCorps have helped create new programs in the Knox County Health Department, provided needed support for local food pantries and community kitchens, and bolstered the activities of the Galesburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

When you add in this good work to other ongoing volunteer and service hours provided by Knox students-our students furnished more than 80,000 hours of service work last year alone-just think about the number of interactions between Knox students and Galesburg residents taking place every day, week, or month. And if a long-time Galesburg resident and a current student can come together to collect food for Blessings in a Backpack in a church basement, we know that their shared dedication to a positive cause can help to overcome their differences.

I recognize that there still are and will be many challenges when it comes to establishing a more positive relationship between Knox and Galesburg, but I do firmly believe that programs like KnoxCorps and the work of the Kleine Center for Community Service are key to helping us address these challenges. I am confident that Knox and Galesburg will survive together as long as we continue to build bridges, work toward shared goals, and focus on the health and prosperity of the communities we call home.

—Teresa L. Amott


Letters to the Editor

Knox Magazine Fall 2016Reflecting on The Big Issue

My copy of Knox Magazine arrived on election day, and I read it on the 9th, including all of the comments in "The Big Issue." The serious comments reflect what could be expected from well-educated Knox graduates and faculty, although those issues may not be the ones that decided the election.

—Jim Dunlevey '54

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Printed on Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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