During the closing remarks of the 2012 Homecoming Convocation, Ann Morgan ’62, a member of the 50-year reunion class, highlighted the lasting impact of a Knox education.
Prior to Morgan’s speech, the class of 1962 bestowed President Teresa Amott with a check for $2,733,681.
In organizing their gift, the class decided to support the Knox Fund as well as the renovation of Alumni Hall.
In his will, Vernon L. E. Stisser, Jr. ’62 left $1.6 million for the Prairie Fire Football program.
In addition to their gift, the class is moving towards the completion of a campaign to raise funds to name the first floor seminar room in Alumni Hall the Class of 1962 Lincoln-Douglas Room.
During their time here, Alumni Hall housed the bookstore, the mailroom and the theater.
Morgan’s speech gave perspective to senior class president Justin Steele’s address on his experience at Knox and his expectations for the future.
In addressing the importance of developing the ability to adapt to constantly changing circumstances, Morgan noted the flexible quality of her education.
“Knox let us go into the world without thinking we knew very much. We were prepared above all for what could not then have been foreseen,” Morgan said. “I think that Knox may have given us all something we were quite unaware of at the time.”
Alternative ways of approaching established theories and facts have broadened her understanding of how to approach and solve problems.
“We picked up ways of thinking around and beyond what we had been expected to put down in those blue test booklets — habits of mind that have served us well over the long haul,” Morgan said.
During her time at Knox, she grew to grasp the true value of original analysis.
“It was here that I realized that my thoughts and ideas could be taken seriously by others whose knowledge and wisdom I respected,” Morgan said.
Morgan talked about speaking to her first-year adviser, former Professor of English Jerome Wilkinson, who offered at times unanticipated advice.
“There in this monastic cubbyhole, he spoke about my future course of study as one that would prepare me to become a scholar. I was stupefied,” Morgan said.
It was her husband who brought a certain saying to her attention in saying, “True wisdom is knowing what you don’t know.”
Half-jokingly, she said, “A Knox education must therefore have provided much wisdom.”
In response to a classmate and fellow English major, Bruce Butterfield ’62, sending her a book titled “How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read,” Morgan said, “What else did our major do for us if not to develop a certain flexibility of mind?”
The convocation also featured the presentation of multiple awards, including three service awards given to Tom Crabtree ’72, Lil Maria Castro-Rosabal ’88 and H. James Farver ’61.
The homecoming attendance award was given to the class of 1972 with the class of 1952 receiving the Ralph Walter Prize for the class with greatest giving participation.
Amott welcomed everyone to the event, calling homecoming “the family reunions of small colleges.” Amott also announced that the $8 million dollar mark has been reached in terms of donations and gifts for Alumni Hall.