Laurence Msall ’84
Photo by Peter Bailley ’74

Trustee Laurence Msall ’84 passed away on Saturday, February 4, 2023.

Msall headed the Civic Federation, a nonpartisan government research organization established in 1894 that promotes independent and evidence-based efforts to improve the effectiveness, financial sustainability, and transparency of state and local governments in Illinois.

A member of the Knox Board of Trustees since 2017, Msall served one year on the Committee on Academic Affairs and since 2019 had been a member of the Committee on Advancement and Committee on Facilities and Infrastructure. He served on the Honorary Degree Subcommittee from 2020 to 2021 and on the presidential search committee that resulted in the appointment of C. Andrew McGadney as the 20th president of Knox College.

“Since arriving at Knox, I have grown to count on Laurence as a trusted advisor, always quick with a text or phone call to help his alma mater and our entire leadership team,” said McGadney. “I have encountered few people with more passion for Knox, our great state of Illinois, and for improving the lives of others. Laurence will be missed but never forgotten.”

Msall received a B.A. in anthropology and sociology from Knox and a J.D. from Loyola University School of Law in 1992. While at Knox, he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and captain of the cross country team.

In Illinois politics, Msall was beloved and feared on both sides of the aisle for his straight talk on numbers. Gov. JB Pritzker, noting Msall had worked for Republican governors George Ryan and Jim Thompson, credited him with “advancing fiscal discourse in Illinois.”

Survivors include his wife, Dr. Nicola Hill-Cordell ’85, and his eight children, Lucy, Camille, Matilda, Alex, Samantha, Thomas, Tess, and Oscar.