Since arriving on campus this summer, the new President of the College Teresa Amott has had a full schedule settling in, traveling and starting her four new goals as president.
Amott has kept busy taking trips from Colorado to New York and places in between and has begun her four new goals that she set during Opening Convocation on Sept. 8.
“[The travels were to] hear what people’s hopes are for Knox at this stage in its history and begin to talk to people about the need to really call on the Knox community for a capital campaign that will both boost the endowment as well as facilities improvements and enhancements,” Amott said.
The four goals presented to the campus at Opening Convocation were the repair of Alumni Hall, growing sustainability on campus, growing the connection between Knox and the Galesburg community and developing a strategic plan for the college in the coming years.
The repair of Alumni Hall will be a major task involving millions of funds, mostly gained through increased donation efforts by Amott and the school, as well as months of planning before the project can be started.
While the plans for the building are not yet set in stone, Amott has a sense of what it will generally house.
“Alumni Hall will become both the arrival point on the campus … and then it is the departure point,” Amott said.
Amott seems optimistic about the ability to raise funds for the project through mainly alumni donations.
“We can’t start it until I have raised the money,” she said. “I think we are beginning to get some interest from people. I could imagine having 10 million dollars to do the building sometime in the next 18 months.”
Sustainability on campus has already been a strong point for years before Amott arrived on campus, but she hopes to continue the move towards being a green school.
Amott believes that the repair of Alumni Hall can help make the building become a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building.
The LEED program website states that the program provides, “… a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.”
“I would be taking my lead [about other sustainability projects] from the Task Force, but we have not met yet,” said Amott.
The Sustainability Taskforce will have their first meeting at the last week of Sept. or the first week of Oct. and until then Alumni Hall is Amott’s main priority to make the campus green.
The strategic plan that Amott announced will go along with the Alumni Hall renovation plan and the hopes to grow the capital funds of the school.
The capital fund growth will help better fund staff and faculty on campus as well as improve buildings and teaching spaces.
In addition Amott hopes to help out many student services on campus including the Career Center and the Health Center, which have staff doing the job of two people, stated Amott.
With this plan for Alumni Hall and the growth in the College’s endowment, fundraising will become a large focus of Amott’s first year at Knox.
Amott hopes to give people more reasons to give back to Knox and feel good about doing so.
Giving people more reasons to give back to Knox and feel good about doing so will be vital to raising the money, Amott believes.
The final goal for Amott is the connection between Knox and the Galesburg community. She plans on increasing volunteer work as well as using the academic knowledge of the college to help the community.
Amott looks for community service “to mean not just going out and painting a daycare center or something like that, which is what we should do, but things like using the research capabilities of our students to answers questions that are facing Galesburg,” Amott said.
While Amott has begun to get to know alumni and the community, she will continue to work at getting to know the students. She has begun to plan “Pizza with the President” events and other informal get-togethers at the Ingersoll House in the coming weeks to help accelerate this process.
The busy summer for Amott will continue into the school year with more meeting, more travel and meeting students in hopes to settle in at her new post.