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James "Sherman" Nordin '67

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."