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Knox's Homecoming 2017 Brings Back Alumni and Friends

November 03, 2017

Knox Homecoming 2017

When longtime friends Kate Linquist Adams '67 and Anne Talley Turner '67 returned to campus for Homecoming this year, they made sure to visit the Finley Room in Seymour Library—a place that changed Adams' life.

"It was my top thing on the list, other than seeing all my buds," said Adams. "It was wonderful."

Adams recalled that she hadn't been an especially good student at Knox, but everything changed when she discovered the Finley Room, which then housed Knox's archives and special collections.

"It inspired my interest in history and launched me into a career in rare books for the rest of my life. I was an archivist and a rare books librarian at the University of Texas in Austin," she said. 

Turner had been a bit apprehensive about this campus visit, her first since the death of her husband, Jack Turner '67. They married a week after graduating from Knox.

"It's been very special to me to come back to Knox and be wrapped in hugs from our old friends," Turner said. "I had been a little worried that the memories would be sad, and it's not been true at all. It's been nourishing to be here."

Adams and Turner were among 1,000 or so alumni and friends attending Knox's 2017 Homecoming celebration on October 27-29. The weekend festivities featured more than 75 events, reunions, and receptions.

A sampling of the wide range of activities includes Prairie Fire football and volleyball games, the Knox-Lombard Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a faculty reading and reception marking the 50th anniversary of the Program in Creative Writing, and Homecoming Convocation. Current Knox students also organized some Homecoming events, such as pumpkin carving and a lip sync competition.

Alumni Memories

Dwight Johnson '13 enjoys Homecoming because he gets to see many familiar faces and reminisce about his days as a student. Some of his favorite Knox memories involve "just walking about the campus," Johnson said. "It's the small things like going to Uncle Billy's Bakery and walking around town."

Debra Banks '73 came back to campus for Homecoming because she Is working with BAN (Black Alumni Network) in gearing up for the 50th anniversary of ABLE (Allied Blacks for Liberty and Equality) next year.

Banks likes the Taste of Galesburg all-class reception at Homecoming. "I love it because I'm from Chicago, so I think it's a nice twist on Taste of Chicago," she said. "But more important, it's kind of a gathering place where I can catch up with people."

Tim Schmeling '11, Cat Manning Dodman '11, and Kati Stemple '16 drove to Galesburg together for Homecoming, which sounds like no big deal until you consider that Dodman lives in England and Stemple is a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco.

"The stars aligned, so I was able to come," said Stemple. "Coming home to the States wouldn't have felt like coming home if I didn't come back to Knox."

Schmeling and Dodman missed their five-year reunion in 2016 and made it a priority to come back this year.

"The four years I was here were just incredibly transformative for me as a person," said Schmeling. While at Knox, he grew "more confident with who I am, who I want to be, who I want to be friends with, and the life I want to live."

Maricruz Osorio '14, who is pursuing a doctorate at University of California at Riverside, returned to Knox for Homecoming because she was invited to speak at a reception celebrating the 25th anniversary of the McNair Program.

She said Knox is a special place because of its "strong sense of service." 

"A lot of people join the Peace Corps, or a lot of them take jobs as teachers or social workers. I'm doing my sense of service through my research and my academic endeavors," she said. "That's really special to Knox. We are really out to make a better world."

John Straus Jr. '73 visits campus at least once a year, and he says the overriding reason "is because it reminds me of what a special place Knox is. Visiting campus I see today's students and see first-hand how they shine." Reunion years are special, too, because they provide the opportunity to renew old friendships and forge new ones, he said.

Lula Hannes '07, who returned for her 10-year reunion, credited Knox with helping her develop as a person. "I came to Knox from a public school in Chicago, and I was definitely in my own bubble," she said. "Being at Knox with people from different cities and different backgrounds forced me to grow, and for that, I'm forever grateful."

Casey Jones '87, who works as a nurse in Uganda, said he returned to Knox this year "because this is my home. This was where I became the person I am."

Homecoming Awards

Homecoming Convocation on Saturday morning began with a processional by members of the Class of 1967, who entered Kresge Recital Hall as Ricky Dale and the Dreamers performed a cover of The Doors' song, "Light My Fire."

As part of Convocation, the Class of 1967, observing its 50-year reunion, presented Knox College with a giant check representing the classmates' combined contribution to the College. The amount was $1,326,885.

Other presentations announced at Homecoming Convocation were:

  • The Ralph Walter Prize to the Class of 1967 for highest percentage of alumni donating to the College.
  • The Homecoming Attendance Award to the Class of 1972 for having the largest number (60, as of Friday night) of registered class members at Homecoming.
  • Knox Service Awards to Maurice Harris '08, Nalini Prakash Hart '03, Joyce Hertko '82, and Gary Moses ‘65. Service Awards are given to members of the Knox community to recognize outstanding volunteer service benefiting the College.
  • The Steven Floyd Fellowship Award to Nicholas Nurre '18.

See more Homecoming 2017 photos on the Knox College Flickr page.

Check out the Storify about Homecoming 2017

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#"Being at Knox with people from different cities, different backgrounds forced me to grow, and for that, I'm forever grateful." - Lula Hannes '07

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https://www.knox.edu/news/knoxs-homecoming-2017-brings-back-alumni-and-friends

Printed on Sunday, November 19, 2017

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