Discourse / Editorials / Teresa Amott / May 9, 2012

Thoughts from the Embers: An open letter to Amott

Dear Teresa Amott,

This past weekend you were formally installed as the 19th president of Knox College. Over the past ten months we have seen just the start of your plans for Knox. If this school year has shown us anything, with this same effort we will likely be seeing great strides for this institution in the years to come that will make us undoubtedly proud to say that we are Knox alums.

President Amott, your work ethic and diligence for the difficult issues that face the college is outstanding. The effort to restore Alumni Hall and beginning a capital campaign has been a great step forward for a college that has been stuck in a world of tight budgets and stagnated facilities. Your undoubtedly long weekly schedule and frequent trips in hopes to bring in large donations will soon begin to payoff in big ways, and we look forward to seeing these payoffs to improve our college.

The work of President Emeritus Roger Taylor has helped build the foundation for your presidency, and that should not be forgotten. The Board of Trustees was able to notice where the college stood and where it needed to be, and made a choice that best fits our institutional needs.

Your frank realism is refreshing for a post that can be hidden in secrecy and ambiguity. This improves not only the life of our staff, but improves the rest of the Knox community as well. You have been an action president, providing actual results to your four goals you set out with ten months ago. Your ability to raise a large part of the money needed for Alumni Hall and starting the external renovations on the building is the most concrete achievement of these goals.

Your efforts to get to know everyone and set aside time to meet with individual students don’t go unnoticed. Your ambition to improve the Knox and Galesburg community has inspired many in the student body and community to not become temporary actors in the community, but to encourage them to leave a lasting mark in the area.

President Amott, you may not be an alumna, but you have certainly been able to absorb the ethos that makes Knox special and different. The ability to understand and respect the ins and outs of Knox will undoubtedly help you improve the school in a direction that follows the heartfelt beliefs of students, staff, faculty and alumni. Your plan to carefully increase the enrollment will help us grow while keeping the community tight. In addition, your effort to highlight this special ethos will move us forward as a proud institution.

You have set out broad and diplomatic goals for the coming years that will move us forward. Your KnoxCorps program will bring a tighter connection while improving the community that surrounds us. We encourage you not to lose sight of the little things and we hope you put equal effort into the day-to-day wellbeing of the Knox community and into the long-term goals that will move us forward in the coming decades.

President Amott, we thank you for your dedication and service that you have put in over the past ten months and we hope you continue this diligent work over the years to come. We urge you not to forget the little things that make Knox special. We hope you can move the college forward and return Knox to being a vital part of the Galesburg community and a beacon of higher education in this country.

The TKS Editorial board

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