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Benjamin Dolezal '20 with sister Marcella Dolezal '24, an incoming member of the Class of 2024, brandishing a #KnoxProud banner.


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Following in Their Families' Footsteps, "Legacy" Students Join Knox Community

Benjamin Dolezal '20 with sister Marcella Dolezal '24, an incoming member of the Class of 2024, brandishing a #KnoxProud banner.

Students Marcella Dolezal, Logan Durr-Nijensohn, and Olivia Grace Hukel are three of the newest members of the Knox College community, and they're also members of another, smaller group—“legacy” students with at least one relative who attended Knox before them. A total of 22 legacy students began their studies at Knox during the 2020 fall term.

While growing up, Dolezal often visited sister Rose Dolezal ’14 and brother Benjamin Dolezal ’20 when they were studying at Knox.

“My siblings only had good things to say about Knox, and they really seemed to flourish in this environment. They talked about amazing classes, trips, programs, and the amazing people they befriended,” said Marcella Dolezal, a first-year student from Columbia, Missouri. “I've always loved the vibes of the town and the people seemed so cool. Galesburg felt like a second home, and Knox specifically felt familiar but like such an exciting adventure.” 

When it was her turn to decide where to go to college, the choice was clear.

“I chose Knox because I feel happy and independent here, and this school has so many opportunities for me,” she said. “I'm looking forward to learning more, becoming a better person, and finding what I want to do through classes and life at Knox!”

Logan Durr-Nijensohn '23 of Oak Park, Illinois, represents the second consecutive generation of their family to attend Knox. Their parents are Paul Nijensohn '92 and Lindsay Durr '93.

"I am a transfer student, and one of the main things I was looking for in a new college was a sense of community and rigorous academics. I looked into Knox and it seemed to check all the boxes!" said Durr-Nijensohn, a sophomore. "I look forward to making new friends and joining new and interesting clubs."

Hukel, a first-year student from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, is following her stepfather, Nate Thomas ’05, as a Knox student and Prairie Fire athlete. Thomas played football, and Hukel plays volleyball.

“I knew my stepfather went to Knox College, but I knew little to nothing about the school,” she said. “During a volleyball showcase, I met the head volleyball coach for Knox, and he invited me to tour campus. After touring campus, I did more research on Knox and fell in love with it!”

During a campus visit, she met members of the volleyball team and learned more about opportunities that Knox offers. 

Team members were “incredibly welcoming and filled me in on things like where to get the best food on campus and what professors are the coolest,” Hukel recalled. “After talking with advisors, I learned about the many study abroad programs and school organizations—two things that are very important to me. I was also very impressed with the academics and how kind the staff and student tour leaders were.”

Hukel said she is enjoying getting to know other Knox students, and she realizes that her first-year experience on campus is different because of pandemic-related safeguards.

“Although what you can do on campus is limited, I have still managed to meet new friends and participate in activities like socially distanced UNO in the quad and volleyball in the grass with my teammates,” she said. “The Knox staff has gone above and beyond to make sure students stay safe and healthy but also have a good college experience.”

Pictured above: Benjamin Dolezal '20 with sister Marcella Dolezal, a member of the Class of 2024. In lieu of the traditional group photo, view a gallery of photos from Class of 2024 legacy students and their families.)

Class of 2024 Legacy Students

  • Rand Al Baka
  • Hunter Douglas Anderson
  • Andrei Armstrong
  • Andrew William Brown
  • Keylan Iolanda Cortes
  • Nicholas James Dechow
  • Marcella Joy Dolezal
  • Francine Marie Dupre
  • Jacob Marshall Etienne
  • Adam Les Gadiel
  • Nathan Brenner Hill
  • Olivia Grace Hukel
  • Marjanai Jackson
  • Creed Izaak Justice
  • Mohammed Maeez Maksud Ahmed Lahori
  • Timothy J. Lorenz
  • Anna Murphy Mendonca
  • Logan Miguel Durr-Nijensohn
  • Jaaliyah Jade Richardson
  • Priyanka Shrestha
  • Mercedes Lea Swinney
  • Cyrus Xavier Tallman

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Printed on Saturday, October 24, 2020