Knox Honors the Class of 2021's First-Generation Graduates
More than one-quarter of the Class of 2021 are students who are among the first in their families to earn a college degree.
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C. Andrew (Andy) McGadney, a visionary and innovative higher education leader, was appointed the 20th president of Knox College following a unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees on Saturday, February 13, 2021. The news was shared via video during a virtual gathering on Monday, February 15, 2021. McGadney will succeed President Teresa Amott on July 1, 2021, after she retires in June 2021.
“Andy has demonstrated an uncanny ability to build momentum through visionary leadership, a talent for creating and spearheading student-focused, innovative programs that deliver results, and a deep understanding of the need to inspire a college community to attain aggressive goals through collaboration,” said Chuck Smith ’84, Chair of the Knox College Board of Trustees. “His devotion to Knox providing a rigorous, highly personalized liberal arts education to an incredibly diverse student body will serve the College well now and in the future. We are delighted to welcome Andy to the Knox College community.”
“This is a very exciting time in Knox’s long and storied history,” said Teresa Amott, who has served as its 19th president since 2011. “We are fortunate indeed that Andy will bring his remarkable record of vision and leadership to Knox. The future is very bright for the College we love.”
“As a passionate advocate for the power of a liberal arts and science education, I am deeply honored and humbled to serve as the 20th president of Knox College,” said McGadney. “During the thoughtful search process, I engaged with members of the search committee, the full Board of Trustees, faculty, students, staff, and several members of the Galesburg community. The commitment and dedication for the College was felt from my initial conversations, and my interest continues to deepen with each and every interaction.”
“A special thanks to President Teresa Amott for her extraordinary leadership, grace, and many contributions to Knox,” continued McGadney. “Her generosity during the transition is also notable and greatly appreciated.”
A native of Connecticut, McGadney earned his B.A. at Wesleyan University, majoring in sociology and African American Studies. He later earned a master of public administration and policy degree from Columbia University and an Ed.D. in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, writing his dissertation on “Crisis Management at Small Liberal Arts Colleges: Perspectives on Presidential Decision Making.” He is currently vice president and dean of student advancement at Colby College, following three years as Colby’s vice president and secretary of the college, a role that made him the principal liaison to its Board of Trustees.
In his current appointment at Colby, McGadney has provided strategic vision for DavisConnects, a signature initiative at the College, which was funded with a $25 million donor gift. This new liberal arts model affords every Colby student a set of integrated research, internship and global experiences designed to enhance the academic experience and prepare students for post-graduate success. As part of his leadership, he also developed and launched the Pay It Northward initiative, which focused on securing post-graduate opportunities for Class of 2020 Colby graduates in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Colby’s vice president and secretary of the college, McGadney was responsible for implementing a series of complex strategic initiatives that emerged through the college’s planning process and promoted, facilitated, and supported governance practices across the college.
Previously, Andy was vice president for university advancement at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, a Colleges That Change Lives institution. In that role, he led fundraising efforts and instituted new infrastructure to plan, launch and execute a $125 million comprehensive campaign. He also led efforts to improve student and alumni affinity at Clark. Earlier, he began his work in higher education as director of development and a major gift officer at his alma mater, Wesleyan, on whose Board of Trustees he has served since 2018. He has also served on several community boards, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
The Knox College Presidential Search Committee, chaired by Tony Etz ’83, conducted an extensive and rigorous search. Trustees on the committee were Chuck Smith ’84, Board Chair; Barbara Baird ’73, Nyerere Billups Sr. ’99, Elzelien “Ellie” Hartog ’66, John Lawler ’88, Patrick St. Aubyn Lyn ’84, Laurence Msall ’84, Susan Plomin ’86, Julie Rademaker ’83, Laura Rosene ’90, Board Vice Chair; and Adam Vitale, Galesburg community representative. Additional search committee members were Mary Crawford ’89, Philip Sidney Post Professor of Chemistry; Todd Heidt, Associate Professor in Modern Languages–German; Nick Regiacorte, Associate Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing; Katie Stewart, Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations; Anne Ehrlich, Vice President for Student Development,; DeVone Eurales, Director of Admission; and students Bamise Afolabi ’21 and Saxon Alvarez ’23. The committee was advised by executive search firm C. V. O’Boyle Jr., LLC.
Andy will be joined in Galesburg by his wife, Camille A. McGadney, a Wesleyan alumna who has worked in career counseling at Wesleyan and three other institutions. Andy and Camille have three children.
Please join us in welcoming Andy and his family to the Knox College and the Galesburg community.
Published on February 15, 2021