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Academic Excellence


Beverly Holmes

Vice President for Advancement

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401- 4999


888-566-9265 (Toll Free)

Fax: 309-341-7770


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Knox is—and has been for nearly 200 years—a learning community deeply rooted in place with a scholarly faculty at its core. As technology continues to evolve and the world becomes ever more connected, our students need an education that exposes them to new sources of information and new ways of interacting with each other and the world. To do this, Knox faculty will continue to embrace this new world, teaching in a manner that is more interactive and participatory than ever before, and Knox will continue to attract faculty who will become leaders in new and emerging fields. We must provide our faculty and students with a campus and facilities that reflect both our historic past and our emerging future.

Help take a Knox education Above & Beyond by supporting the following projects:

Attracting and Retaining The Best Faculty

Close faculty-student interaction defines the way we teach. As we recruit the next generation of teacher-scholars, we want to continue to attract the best and brightest, who are fluent in contemporary educational technologies. These funds will support faculty chairs; research, innovation, and travel funds; and scholars-in-residence. Over the past decade, donors have endowed 10 new faculty chairs in disciplines like modern languages, English, history and religious studies. The goal is 10 to 12 additional chairs—ranging from $1.5 million for existing disciplines and $2 million for new areas of study.

Learn more about supporting Knox faculty. 

A New Life for the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center (Phase 1)

Now, more than ever, students need to understand the science behind a whole host of issues and realities—climate change, infectious diseases, biodiversity, informatics, and human motivation. Working with and mentored by talented Knox faculty in the natural and physical sciences, mathematics, and computer science, students are ready to meet these challenges in creative and collaborative ways. We rank among the top 4% of colleges in the U.S. sending graduates to research Ph.D. programs; our graduates go on to careers with some of the leading technology, manufacturing, and healthcare organizations in the country. Despite these successes, Knox is growing in danger of losing the most promising students and faculty to other institutions. Knox's science building, the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center (SMC) is more than 40 years old, the oldest among our peer institutions in the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, and older than the facilities at many other national liberal arts colleges.

It is time to move forward with renovations that re-envision Knox's science facility to ensure that our faculty and students can continue to do transformative teaching and learning. We are taking a phased approach that will deliver immediate improvements to the student experience within the core of the building, while laying the groundwork for improvements to each of SMC's wings. Phase 1 of the renovation, costing around $13 million, will add a vibrant entrance to the sciences by adding a two-story, glass-walled atrium to the east side of the building; create a central science commons that offer a full range of technology-rich study areas, individual study carrels, study rooms, and a seminar room; and dedicate the second floor of the building to teaching and learning  by transforming the current science library into six modernized classrooms. 

Learn more about Renovation of the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center.

Green Oaks Laboratory & Residential Community

Our own Green Oaks is the country's second oldest tallgrass prairie restoration site and a living laboratory for faculty and student research across the curriculum, from biology and environmental studies to painting, philosophy, ethics, and dance. It is the site of one of our most popular immersion terms, Green Oaks Term, integrating courses on natural history, creative writing, and ecology. Just as the site, once despoiled by mining, has been brought back to health, the College will transform Green Oaks once again, at a cost of about $6 million, by adding a contemporary, multi-disciplinary teaching laboratory with modern technology and a net-zero residential learning community built to take advantage of the site year-round for education and community outreach. As we re-imagine the Umbeck Science and Mathematics Center, we are looking for a lead donor to commit to this project.

Learn more about the revitalization of Green Oaks.

Whitcomb Art Center

We believe every student should be exposed to making or experiencing art during their four years on campus. Today's students have grown up in a highly designed, technologically innovative environment, and contemporary art and art history must be taught in all dimensions—2D, 3D, and multi-media. To teach art to today's students, Knox recently opened a new facility for studio art and art history.

Thanks to a lead gift of $5 million from Dick '57 and Joan Whitcomb '56, combined with gifts from more than 170 other donors, Knox created the new Whitcomb Art Center, where Knox faculty and students can study, create, and share art. A few fundraising opportunities remain; please contact Advancement if you'd like to contribute to this innovative new home for art and art history. 

With newly available space, we are currently exploring plans to renovate our existing Ford Center for Fine Arts into a performance center for music, theatre, and dance.

Humanities and Social Sciences

Six million dollars is needed to revitalize Old Main, George Davis Hall and Seymour Library to ensure that Knox's historic facilities will be outfitted to serve today's and tomorrow's students. Elevators in Old Main and George Davis Hall will make these buildings fully accessible, and both of these buildings, as well as Seymour Library, will be enhanced with state-of-the-art classrooms and teaching forums, to meet evolving teaching needs.

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Printed on Tuesday, October 23, 2018