Over the last 100 years, Knox’s alumni magazine has changed its format, its frequency, and even its name. But one thing has been consistent in practically every issue: Class Notes. Collectively, these alumni submissions tell the story of the last century, from World War I to the dawn of the Internet Age. Here are a few of our favorites from the last 11 decades.


Ellen Browning Scripps Class Note

Jesse A. Crafton, Class of 1912, was dragged away from a remarkable success in Galesburg's little theatre—the Prairie Playhouse—which Jesse founded, when war was declared. He is sergeant in the 123rd Heavy Artillery Band and is now stationed at Fort Logan, Houston, Texas. -1917

Reuben J. Erickson, Class of 1911, first lieutenant in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army, is stationed with the South Midland field ambulance British Expeditionary Forces in France. He writes: "I have been in France now five weeks and went through one of the most uncomfortable battles the English have had. All the men who did get back consider themselves lucky. I have learned what shells sound like and what dugout life is. The most picturesque experience so far was being fired at, at close range, by a Boche plane when out looking at the trenches with the colonel, who has since been killed. It is a great life! Also, rather dirty!" -1918

Franz L. Rickaby, Class of 1916, who spent the summer at Charlevoix, Michigan, took an 800 mile walk from that place to his home in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He carried no money and earned his way by playing the violin. -1919


On December 6, 1920, Congressman Edward J. King, Class of 1891, introduced in the House of Representatives a bill to provide for the independence of the Philippine Islands. The bill is now in the hands of the committee on insular affairs. –1920

Dr. Harry N. Torrey's, Class of 1900, $200,000 yacht Tamarack burned to the water's edge near Elizabeth City, North Carolina, some months ago. Dr. Torrey was on a duck-hunting expedition at the time, and no one aboard was injured. –1922

Greenwich, the winter home of Dr. Harry N. Torrey, Class of 1900, at Savannah, Georgia, was burned by flames which broke out in the early morning, completely destroying the fine old southern mansion and all of its furnishings. Dr. and Mrs. Torrey and their children are now living aboard the Torrey yacht, anchored in the Savannah harbor, whither they moved immediately after the fire. Dr. Torrey, members of his family, and the corps of servants were in the house when the fire was discovered about 3:30 o'clock in the morning. The loss is estimated at $500,000 including the house, furnishings, and Mrs. Torrey's jewels. –1923

L. Elizabeth Clark, Class of 1870, writes, "It is difficult to make the student of today understand how very different things were at Knox 55 years ago. That girls were competent to recite or compete with boys in any study was at best a morbid question. For the first two years girls recited all lessons at ‘The Sem.' (Whiting Hall)—so, you see, we did not know the boys of those years any more than if they had been going to another school." –1924

Emma Haigh Fisher, Class of 1877, has spent time since last May with her daughter in Tunghsein Peking, China. Her home in Tokyo, Japan, was destroyed by the great earthquake of September 1923. Fortunately Mrs. Fisher at the time was spending a few days in the mountains and felt the quake only a little. –1925

Although this information will seem trivial ten years from now, Roy C. Ingersoll, Class of 1908, went from Galesburg to Chicago in one hour and six minutes—by airplane, of course! -1928

Nelson Dean Jay, Class of 1905, was among the financial experts who assisted the official American delegates, Owen D. Young and J.P. Morgan, at the Reparations Conference held in Paris to fix Germany's annual payments to the Allies of the World War. –1929


Tinkering with an old Ford while he was an undergraduate helped to qualify him for the job of manufacturing the mechanical "gadgets" which furnish the background noises for radio drama, according to N. Ray Kelley '28, who presides over the National Broadcasting Company's sound effects laboratory. –1930

George H. Cameron, Class of 1912, of River Forest, Illinois, recently won $1,000 as the winner of the word building contest conducted by the makers of Dutch Master cigars. He submitted a list of 1,102 common English words made of the words "Dutch Masters." –1932

Two recent issues of the American Mathematics Monthly give credit to Elisabeth Giles '34 of Galesburg for solutions submitted to certain mathematical problems proposed last year in the pages of that magazine. –1934

After an absence of some years, Bill Senn, ex-’26, returned to Knox early in January with the intention of completing the work for his degree by June of this year. Bill has lately been playing professional football with the Chicago Bears. –1931

Toshi Yamamoto ’34 has been appointed to the consulate of the Japanese empire at Nanking, China. After graduating from Knox, Tosh entered the employ of a large importing and exporting house and later served as interpreter for the English manager of large tin mines in Japan, but in the present crisis he is one of those selected for civil government service and in that capacity has been sent to China. –1938

Harold N. Graves, Class of 1908, who is an assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury, is the government official in charge of working out plans for the decentralization of the Internal Revenue Bureau. ... Those fortunate persons who pay enough income tax to the government to get into arguments about said tax will not have to chase down to Washington when their reports are questioned, but can settle the argument at the closest divisional office. –1939


M.H. “Max” Harrison, Class of 1913, says that life is much as usual in India despite the war. Some rise in prices was suffered and there is much indignation in India against Hitler, so that many men of that country are enlisting as soldiers, some to serve in Europe. –1940

Russell Duncan Brown ’42 is Knox’s first top-flight hero of the war. Bombardier Brown has been identified as the gallant gunner who distinguished himself on the epic flight of Captain Whaless, as described in President Roosevelt’s report to the nation. Despite a wounded hand, Brown kept guns blazing from both sides of the stricken plane. He has been awarded the Order of the Purple Heart. –1942

Lt. Stanley Schrieber ’40 was killed in an airplane accident somewhere in the Pacific this month. –1943

Capt. James H. Runyon ’40 met two Knox men on a trip to Paris. On Easter Sunday he attended church there with Dean Jay, Class of 1905 and Knox trustee, of the Bank of Morgan in Paris. On another occasion he met Lt. Harold Hawkins, ex-’38, and together the Knoxians saw the big parade when the colors were given back to the French Army. –1945

Hermann Muelder ’27 is addressing groups of German prisoners of war at Fort Sheridan and Camp Grant. The lectures are part of a series started at the request of the former Nazi soldiers and are paid for by the prisoners themselves. Mr. Muelder is tracing the growth of democracy in America. –1946

Galesburg will have a new drive-in theatre this spring. It is now under construction as a projected started by Al Christiansen ’40, who plans to operate it as soon as it is completed next month. –1949

The Fifties

Among the first mail that the United States has sent by jet aircraft was a letter from Lt. Col. Max Stubbs ’40, who is stationed at Hickam Air Base in Hawaii, to his parents in Monmouth. The envelope, especially designed for the historic occasion, had on it printed “Carried by U.S. Air Force B-47 Stratojet.” –1951

When residents of Elmhurst see Charles B.Johnson ’31 going to work with an umbrella under his arm, they are sure rain is on the way. Mr. Johnson, who has been with the Chicago weather office since 1951, is chief service officer for the bureau which has hit the nail on the head 87 percent of the time in their forecasting during the past year. –1953

In addition to her teaching duties at the Indianapolis branch of Purdue University, Mary Dilworth Mendiones ’36 finds time to write successful magazine articles. In the May issue of Charm, Dr. Mendiones tells how to spend a week in New York for $50 in “New York—A Vacation Bargain.” –1954

the Body Snatchers movie poster

Walter Braden (Jack) Finney ’34 has just published a new book, The Body Snatchers, which will be available at your favorite newsstand in a Dell Publications edition for 25 cents. All readers, please note. –1955

Mary Lyon Ferry '44 is production and promotion manager with Zephyr Records in Hollywood, California, and is currently planning a tour of military installations with troupes of recording artists. –1956

Kenneth W. Freese '42 is now working in the engineering drafting department of the Liquid Rocket Plant of Aerojet General Corp. in Sacramento, California, the supplier of motive power for the second stage of Vanguard, the earth satellite to be launched as part of the International Geophysical Year. -1957

Now living at Blue Hill, Nebraska, Thomas McSpadden '18 is a "poet of the plains" as an avocation. He recently wrote eight stanzas for President Eisenhower on "The Cold War Christian" to arouse church folk to perils of communism. -1959


Mary Ann Ruzecki ’55 is a weather analyst for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Her present task is recording messages and gyrations of Tiros, the 270-pound weather-eye satellite, which circles the Earth 14 times daily. –1960

Homer “Duke” Harlan ’40 was on the instructional staff of the first U.S. Peace Corps group to go overseas. “We’ll send 20 surveyors, four civil engineers, and five geologists to Tanganyika. They put in a 66-hour week and still hang around after classes with arguments and questions. Very stimulating, and every college teacher should have it so good!” –1961

Mary Lee Patterson ’51 is in the middle of a baseball career, working on the business staff of the Kansas City Athletics. –1963

William Wedan ’49, en route home from Iran, where he had been on assignment for Morrison-Knudsen Construction Co., met a Knox student in Tokyo—Takashi Kurisaka ’64. In a city of nine million, this accidental meeting astonished all concerned. –1964

Joyce Witcraft ’64 is a digital computer programmer at U.S. Naval Supply Depot, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She is in a group studying requisition processing for naval supplies.She writes: “I was happy to see that Knox has added a major in computer science.” –1965

C. Robert Woolsey ’63, veteran of four years of ROTC at Knox, is now also a veteran of Vietnam. After training ... he became assistant constructive engineer for the First Logistical Command and volunteered for Asian service with the 864th Engineers. He worked on projects at Cam Ranh Bay, 155 miles north of Saigon, also near Nha Trang, sometimes under attack. –1966

Robert A. Borzello ’58 is editor of the National Insider and The
Heretics, tabloid sellers on newsstands. Both papers are slanted
toward “sensational controversy,” according to the Chicago
Sun-Times, which quoted Borzello: “We’re for free expression of
all ideas … the kind of stuff you used to see in the Hearst days.
Spicy divorces. Pin-up girls. Hollywood stars … Then the daily
newspapers went respectable.” –1967

C. James Burkhart ’65 heads the mathematics staff at the newly formed Carl Sandburg Junior College, Galesburg. –1968


Joseph J. Sisco ’40, U.S. assistant secretary of state, was a key figure in the day-to-day maneuvers that led to the cease-fire negotiations between Israel and the United Arab Republic. –1970

Army Major Kenneth Townsend ’60 received his second award of the Bronze Star Medal in Vietnam in January. He is executive officer of the 7th Battalion, 8th Field Artillery, near Bien Hoa. –1971

Emmett F. Butler ’23 spoke at the annual Credit Women International Boss Night in April. His topic was “How to Confuse People without Really Trying.” –1973

G. Kirby Holland ’63 writes, "Of course we see Bob Seibert ’63, who recently became chairman (he says ‘chairperson’) of the Knox Political Science Department.” –1974

ATTENTION CLASS CORRESPONDENTS: Several of you have sent in class notes which just missed the deadline for this issue (mainly because we adhered to the deadline for the first time in recent memory). –1976

Susan Rusk Holland ’67 is president and founder of S.R. Holland, Inc., a Chicago-based executive search firm specializing in the placement of women in management. Holland has been manager of recruiting services for the past two years at Women’s Inc., the first executive search firm for women in management. –1978

Nancy Cane Beelman '58 reports, "Homecoming Saturday began with a coffee before we were ‘treated' to the event of the weekend-the 1958 Class Movie! I was quite right in thinking that we should all join forces and buy the thing to start a reunion bonfire. Ahggggs! We sat there watching the silent screen and suddenly the film broke. The projectionist announced that she was trying to fix it but that we had to understand that it was very old film...." -1979


Christine Herbes ’70 is producing for television a dramatic series on great American women. The first program, Under This Sky: Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Kansas, was broadcast in November 1979. Herbes plans to produce dramatizations based on the lives of Margaret Fuller, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Mother Jones. –1980

Barb Davis Warman ’71 wrote from Managua, Nicaragua, where she is probably doing the low crawl to her desk. Barb is working there part-time as a maternal and child health care advisor for the Agency for International Development (AID) developing programs in sex education, program management, and general family planning. –1981

Cheryl Spangler Scott ’70, Des Moines, has left Better Homes and Gardens magazine and now works for Woodsmith, a magazine for wood-workers, which was founded in her basement four years ago. –1983

Gary H. Moerke ’56 is an extra in feature films and television shows. He recently played the pilot of the Carringtons’ private jet in an episode of Dynasty and will appear in a Dr. Pepper commercial to air soon. –1984

Kathryn Calvert Bloomberg ’62 is the first female mayor of Brookfield, Wisconsin. Bloomberg has previously worked as a high school mathematics teacher and started a summer theatre camp in Massachusetts for children with acting skills. She later entered manufacturing when she came up with the idea for Shrinky Dinks, a plastic toy on which children draw and then shrink and harden in the oven. –1988

Dr. Patricia Gronemeyer Carrell ’62 received the Paul Pimsleur Award for Research in Foreign Language Education at the Annual Meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) in New York City. She is associate dean of the graduate school, professor of linguistics, and professor of psychology at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. –1986

Irene Bowman Landis ’36 and husband Howard went to Mesa, Arizona, for the Cubs’ spring training and exhibition games. Irene is a “Die-Hard” and fears another year of suffering is coming to all Cubs fans. –1987

Jeff McCasland ’82 writes, “I am a government marketing consultant for Dun and Bradstreet, live about a mile from Washington, D.C. (in Takoma Park), and am a struggling standup comedian at night. I got my hair cut, and I wear suits.” –1989


Richard Hoover ’69, Los Angeles, California, is the production designer for Twin Peaks. He was also art director for the miniseries The Family of Spies and production designer for Torch Song Trilogy. –1990

Marcia Hammond Basichis ’69 is vice president of development for Spelling Television. Marcia was responsible for developing Beverly Hills 90210, as well as five new series. She resides in Sherman Oaks, California. –1992

Wendy Scherwat Ducourneau ’72 writes [following the Class of 1972’s 20th Reunion]: “Campus as a whole looks pretty good. I had forgotten the brick sidewalks, and was amazed at how difficult it can be to walk on them in heels. Most of the out-houses are gone, as well as the health center. It looks like thermal-pane windows have been installed on Old Main, and apparently some work has been done on Alumni Hall. In speaking with Owen Muelder ’63, he says it includes a new roof and some window repair— basically just enough work to keep the building from further deterioration. Renovation of Alumni is supposedly next on the list—great news for those of us who spent 90 percent of our Knox years inside its walls!” –1993

Anne Rennison Ng ’63, physics major, got an M.S. in physics at Emory, did housewifing and kid raising, and is now a “Silicon Valley nerd,” writing test programs for a small startup firm. –1994

John Podesta ’71 is leaving his post as aide and democratic operative to the Clinton administration in order to become a visiting professor at Georgetown University law school. At Georgetown, he will teach a course on congressional investigations, another on legislation, and he’ll work with Public Defender’s Office in Chicago. –1995

Jackie Crooks Murnane ’77 writes: “So here’s the deal. I agreed to become a Class Correspondent for the Knox Alumnus a long, long time ago, but after sending in my first letter, there was no publication for a long, long time. I tried not to take this personally. I mean, this is the 90s— right? I understand all that bureaucratic restructuring stuff. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard from anyone in the Class of ’77. I am also trying not to take this personally, but it cost me a whole session with my therapist. I mean, this is the 90s—right?” –1996

Scott Gibbons ’91 is involved with the music scene, having released several albums with his band, Lilith, as well as getting one track from his new post-industrial band, Orbitronik, on a compilation CD entitled Into Topographical Space, that came out in October on World Domination Records. –1997


A.T. “Tom” McMaster ’40, former Illinois state representative, was instrumental in converting Snakeden Hollow State Fish and Wildlife Area in Victoria, Illinois, from a strip mine to a state hunting and fishing preserve. Snakeden Hollow Lake was recently renamed “McMaster Lake” in his honor. –2000

Jim Dunlevey ’54 states that he has not succumbed to the use of email because (1) “he has no need for instant communication with anyone” and (2) “the absence of email saves him from becoming a cantankerous old crank that is constantly foisting his ideas on others.” –2001

Our pal Casey (do we actually need her last name?) Kremer ’73 wrote of her intentions to “kick some purple and gold butt” at the Harley Knosher Golf Outing this summer. We cannot verify whose butts were bloodied; no scorecard was ever sent in for publication. –2002

Charles Donaldson ’48 sent a brief email: “At the age of 80, if anything unusual, exciting, or for that matter, even immoral happens, I’m happy to have somewhere to brag about it.” –2004

Bob Rothe ’56 is now retired from his job as critical mass physicist at Rock Flats (Colorado) Nuclear Weapons Plant. He has just completed a book on the history of the Critical Mass Laboratory at Rocky Flats. Bob built 1,700 critical assemblies using plutonium and enriched uranium during his professional career. –2005

Donna Quasthoff Herendeen ’82 writes, “Of all the places I have gone to school, my fondest memories are of Knox. My senior picture was taken at a Green Oaks Prairie Burn. Dr. Peter Schramm, biology, introduced his students to prairie vegetation in his classes. I went on to write a thesis on a native grass at Michigan State. I have prairie plants—lead plant, switchgrass, and prairie dock—growing in my East Coast front yard just to remind me of the ‘real’ vegetation in Illinois.” –2006

Julia di Liberti ’85 writes, “I teach humanities at the College of DuPage. I have entered the curmudgeon phase of my career and spend much time lamenting the skills and capacities of today’s students while dramatically wagging my finger to anyone who will listen as I intone, ‘See, THIS is what No Child Left Behind has done.’” –2008

John (Scott) Luthy ’78 held forth as usual at the Reunion and is global products manager for Molex, Incorporated. We did not get a full explanation on why he had to change his name to John. –2009


Susan Payne Etheridge ’83 reports that “I am still in Utah, working as a pediatric cardiologist at the children’s hospital. I am part of a group of M.D.s who travel to West Africa and Central America to teach subspecialty pediatrics to general pediatricians, residents, and medical students. I am married, have two stepchildren, three dogs, and a cat. I have learned to ski adequately.” –2011

Mary Jacobson ’66: “I’ve been trying to clear my basement of nearly 50 years of saved ‘treasures,’ including every piece of paper my daughter ever touched, every Christmas and birthday card I ever received, and on and on. ... I was moving along expeditiously until I reached the Knox collection: my diploma, letters from special people, photographs, and a few term papers that earned good grades. I sat down and looked at every piece with quiet attention. I was amazed at the care taken by my professors in critiquing my papers—detailed, honest, constructive, respectful. And I looked at the photos and reread the letters and was so grateful, all over again, for having those people in my life.” –2012

Graham Troyer-Joy ’08 is doing standup comedy, writing for blogs, and developing age-related knee pain. –2014

James Sheppard ’14 currently teaches English in Austria and thinks a lot about rhubarb. –2016