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Finley Society

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The John Huston Finley Society is an exclusive giving club created especially for Knox College young alumni members of the President's Circle. The President's Circle recognizes individuals, businesses, and organizations who give to Knox College at a leadership level, beginning with annual gifts of $1,837 or more. The Finley Society is designed to help young alumni plan ahead and take steps to prepare to reach President's Circle giving of $1,837 per year within 10 years after graduation.

There were 43 young alumni in the John Huston Finley Society in the 2021 fiscal giving year (July 1 to June 30). You can see the full list in the Honor Roll of Donors.

How does it work?

The society has graduated levels during your first 10 years after graduation. Below is the schedule for the 2019-2020 giving year (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020):

Your Graduation Year Gift Level Gift amount per month**
(assuming a 12 month pledge)
2022, 2021 $100 $8.34
2020 $200 $16.67
2019 $300 $25.00
2018 $400 $33.34
2017 $500 $41.67
2016 $600 $50.00
2015 $700 $58.34
2014 $800 $66.67
2013 $900 $75.00
2012 $1,000 $83.34

After 10 years, President's Circle recognition is awarded to alumni whose annual giving totals $1,837 or more.

**Gift giving at Knox is measured on a fiscal year cycle (July 1 to June 30). All gifts must be received by June 30 in order to count for the Finley Society for that particular fiscal year.

Do I need to make a pledge to join the Finley Society?

We are willing to work with you in any way to make your gift giving an easy process! You may set up a pledge or contribute the entire gift at one time. You may set up your gift by going online or by calling us at 1-888-566-9265.

If I am not currently in the Finley Society, may I still join?

Yes! Provided you have made the gift level required for your class, you will be listed as a Finley Society donor. Unlike our Star Donor program, which rewards alumni who have given each year since graduation, you may still join the Finley Society even if you have missed a year.

Make your gift to Knox today.

Who is John Huston Finley?

A native of Grand Ridge, Illinois, John Huston Finley graduated from Knox in 1887 and was named president of the College in 1892 at the age of 29 -- the youngest president in Knox history. Finley is credited with expanding and modernizing the College's curriculum. Under his tenure, Knox also inaugurated its annual Founders Day celebration and staged the first of many re-enactments of the Lincoln-Douglas debate held at Knox in 1858.

Finley left Knox in 1899 to join fellow Knox alumni at McClure's Magazine, one of the first "muckraking" journals of investigative reporting. In 1900, he accepted a teaching position at Princeton University and was elected president of City College of New York in 1903. In 1913, Finley was appointed a commissioner of education for the State of New York. After World War I, he headed an international Red Cross delegation to Palestine.

Finley joined the staff of the New York Times in 1921 and, in 1937, was named the newspaper's editor-in-chief. Finley lectured worldwide, wrote eight books and was awarded 32 honorary degrees. He died in 1940.

John Huston Finley lives on at Knox today in the Finley Collection in Seymour Library—an extraordinary collection of texts on the history of the Mississippi Valley and Midwest, given to Knox in Finley's honor by one of his colleagues, Edward Caldwell. Finley's extraordinary leadership and dedication to his alma mater made a significant difference in the life of the College. By joining the John Huston Finley Society, you follow in the footsteps of one of Knox's most notable young alumni.

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Printed on Sunday, June 23, 2024