Associate Director of Communications
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
February 13, 2008
The south porch of Knox's landmark Old Main has greeted a number of political figures who have visited and spoken at Knox over the years. These include U.S. President Bill Clinton in 2007, U.S. Senator Barack Obama in 2005, as well as "brief" candidate Stephen Colbert in 2006. Their commencement addresses are available on the Knox website:
Behind education and business, politics is the third-highest field represented by commencement speakers at Knox in the post World War II era.
The first political leader to receive an honorary degree from Knox was Abraham Lincoln in 1860, two years after he had engaged in one of the historic Lincoln-Douglas Debates at Knox. Clinton was awarded an honorary degree in 2007, after leaving office. Obama was awarded an honorary degree prior to announcing his run for the presidency. Colbert received his degree in 2006 (actually degrees; one on paper, one engraved on fireproof metal), prior to his tongue-in-cheek, two-week-long presidential bid in the fall of 2007.
Prominent political figures who have visited Knox to lecture or receive an honorary degree include: