To officially begin Knox’s 174th academic year Thursday morning, Knox’s 19th and first woman President Teresa Amott said, “I officially proclaim it, begun.”
The hour-long ceremony, for which Amott gave a welcome address and the main convocation address, included awards for faculty, staff and students, introduction of new faculty and a proclamation from the city council by Galesburg Mayor Salvador Garza that the week of Feb. 13-18, 2012, will be Knox College Week in Galesburg.
During her address, Amott outlined her four goals for the upcoming school year, the first of which is “to make Alumni Hall a beautiful, functional and transformative space … [and] a true gateway to Knox and to the world.”
She pledged her “most vigorous efforts” to work with Trustee and chair of the Alumni Hall Task Force Mark Kleine to secure the funding to make this project possible.
Amott’s second goal largely concerns making connections between the college and the city, which are both approaching the 175th year of their founding.
“We can and we must do more to bring Knox into the community and the community into Knox,” Amott said.
She mentioned the Gale Scholars Program as a positive tool for this. The program provides scholarship awards to outgoing Galesburg High School (GHS) students for two years at Carl Sandburg College and entry into Knox after that, or for four years at Knox in a new direct entry program.
Amott’s remarks about city-college relations echoed those of Garza, who urged new and returning students to engage with the Galesburg community outside the college.
“We offer open arms to anyone that wants to contribute any level of value to not only this community, but to this great organization that we call Knox College,” Garza said.
Third, Amott pledged commitment to environmental sustainability at Knox, mentioning the composting project in dining services as a step in the right direction.
Lastly, Amott talked about a “strategic plan that will unite previous efforts in campus space planning,” a project which may be tied into the renovation of Alumni Hall. Amott said this plan will allow the college to focus on fulfilling the three goals set in motion by former president Roger Taylor, ’63.