Knox Faculty celebrated its 185th birthday with the normal picket cake and varied occasions, together with a dialog with previous and current athletic administrators, a presentation on the Underground Railroad by historian Owen Muelder ’63, and a library exhibit concerning the Faculty’s abolitionist historical past.
Throughout a virtual ceremony on February 15, Faculty President C. Andrew McGadney famous that he was celebrating his first Founders Day at Knox. “Everyone knows effectively that our historical past right here at Knox is constructed on daring concepts and arduous work that lead to transformational change,” he stated. “Over 185 years, Knox neighborhood members have created an establishment that continues to coach a number of the most artistic, justice-minded, and selfless residents of the world. At our core, Knox may be very a lot the identical establishment at present that we had been at our founding nearly 200 years in the past.”
Provost and Dean Michael Schneider identified that “this 12 months of Founders Day does have a particular weight” due to the lately introduced $1.2 million grant that Knox has obtained from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
“The grant will fund initiatives starting from archival-based analysis programs to experiential studying alternatives, all with the aim of understanding historic and modern social justice points,” he stated. “The grant will fund the creation of what we’re calling the Abolition for All Time Humanities Lab, or Abolition Lab for brief. This lab will function the design and growth platform for brand spanking new programs that join humanistic examine with college students’ civic and neighborhood engagement.”
The ceremony additionally featured Semenya McCord ’71, who portrayed the Nineteenth-century historic determine Susan Richardson, also called “Aunt Sukey.” Whereas in character, McCord described Richardson’s story of escaping slavery and fleeing to Knox County, Illinois. She later opened a laundry in Knoxville, Illinois, and helped others escape slavery by the Underground Railroad.
Knox observes Founders Day each February 15. The Faculty was formally established on February 15, 1837, when the Illinois Normal Meeting—whose members included Abraham Lincoln—granted a constitution to what then was Knox Guide Labor Faculty. The Rev. George Washington Gale and different social reformers had moved from upstate New York to discovered the Faculty and the town of Galesburg.
Right here’s a recap of a number of the different occasions from the 2022 Founders Week. Recordings of a number of of them might be seen online.
Owen Muelder ’63, director of the Underground Railroad Freedom Middle on the Knox campus, introduced a lecture on “The Anti-Slavery Motion, the Underground Railroad, and Knox Faculty.”
“Knox Faculty was a western anchor of the abolitionist motion and the Underground Railroad, probably the most essential chapters in our nation’s historical past,” he stated. “All of us who’ve a connection to Knox, I hope, will often take time to cease and contemplate the truth that our college performed a central function in what was the primary built-in social motion in American historical past. We are able to all take nice satisfaction in that.”
Director of Athletics Daniella Irle, together with former athletic administrators Harley Knosher, Dan Calandro ’77, and Chad Eisele ’93, shared Knox recollections and experiences in a virtual event referred to as “Knox Faculty Athletics by the Years.”
As an example, they talked about what led them to Knox and why they stayed. Knosher stated he got here to Knox due to the chance to be a head basketball coach, and he stayed as a result of the individuals “are second to none.” Irle stated she joined the Knox neighborhood as a result of “I used to be on the lookout for a spot that actually put the coed first.” Calandro and Eisele, each Knox graduates, spoke about how Knosher, now a longtime good friend and mentor, inspired them to come back to Knox—first as college students and later as athletic administrators.
A particular exhibit of historic artifacts associated to the founding of Knox Faculty and the town of Galesburg is on show in Seymour Library by mid-March. The exhibit, which explores what it means to be an abolitionist establishment up to now and the current, consists of things from the library’s Particular Collections and Archives. Highlights embody a compass and a map of Illinois utilized by Knox’s founders, antislavery society pamphlets, and the diaries of abolitionist Samuel Wright.
The short-term exhibit, situated on the primary ground of Seymour Library, is open to the general public. All Knox guests should observe the Faculty’s Knox Together guidelines.
(Picture at high of the web page: College students faux to blow out candles on the celebratory picket cake. Photographs under: College students pose with a cutout determine of George Washington Gale, one among Knox’s founders, at a pop-up picture sales space; and the library exhibit objects embody a compass and map utilized by the founders of Knox Faculty and the town of Galesburg.)