We Are Knox...
James "Sherman" Nordin '67
Senior Associate, Public Management Solutions
Founder of the Alpha Delta Epsilon (ADE) Scholarship
Political Science Major
"I entered Knox in 1963 as a National Merit Scholar, but I wound up barely
graduating. There were many reasons for my poor academic performance,
but my years at Knox shook my self concept as a 'good student.' Even though
I did have some good memories -- I was a member of Alpha Delta Epsilon (ADE) fraternity and wrestled -- I was embarrassed to associate myself with my alma mater. After graduation, I went to work, got married, had kids, and didn't think too much about Knox for a long time.
As I neared the end of my career, I decided to go back to school for a doctorate. As I was working on my dissertation, my wife of more than 30 years suddenly died. Devastated does not begin to describe how her death affected me.
As I slowly began to recover from my loss, I realized that I wanted to connect with the world again. With a doctor of public administration under my belt, I finally had some academic 'status' and was no longer embarrassed to come back to Knox. So, in 2002, I attended my 35th Reunion. It was great. I was thrilled to reconnect with old friends, especially my ADE brothers, and I discovered that not a single person knew or cared about my less than stellar academic performance.
I decided to use the insurance proceeds from my wife's death to memorialize her in some way. ADE had supported social equity by pledging an African-American student in 1953, and I felt that action deserved continued recognition. I pledged $100,000 to create an ADE scholarship and asked my ADE brothers to match that pledge. They did, and today the ADE scholarship is a reality.
Attending my 35th Reunion helped me reconnect with Knox in so many ways. I continue to keep in touch with my ADE brothers, and I have even volunteered to serve as Class Correspondent. I now know that it is never too late to connect with others or with Knox, and it is never too late to try to do some good."