As the cold continues in Galesburg, this type of springtime fun seems harder and harder to imagine. This is a shot of students enjoying playing Frisbee on the south lawn of Alumni Hall in 1965. This view seems more familiar to us in February, though.
Knox College is fortunate to have a number of authentic connections to Abraham Lincoln. As a young man, Lincoln was a member of the Illinois legislature that granted the institution its charter in 1837. Twenty-one years later, the east side of a brand new Main building on the Knox campus was the site of Lincoln’s fifth debate in the famous series with Stephen A. Douglas. And Knox bestowed the first academic honor of any kind to the self-educated Lincoln with the awarding of an honorary doctorate to the presidential candidate in 1860.
Lincoln continues to be a part of Knox College through the Lincoln Studies Center, which is devoted to the study of Lincoln’s life and work. Its principal focus is on producing scholarly editions that make significant primary source material more accessible. In addition, the Center seeks to broaden the understanding of Lincoln and his legacy through a variety of activities, including sponsorship of cooperative research and publication, Internet archives, lectures, conferences, and classroom instruction. Learn more about the Lincoln Studies Center.
From tutoring school children and repairing homes to preparing meals for those in need, Knox students are looking to the broader world beyond campus and making a positive difference in the Galesburg community. Those efforts are coordinated through the Mark and Jeannette Kleine Center for Community Service. The Center matches the interests of Knox students, clubs, and organizations to the needs of the Galesburg and the Knox County area. The Center also works with academic departments to implement experiential learning components of the academic program, with the goal of making every student a responsible steward of the environment and a responsible citizen. Last year, Knox students volunteered more than 16,500 hours of their time to benefit the community. Learn more about the Mark and Jeannette Kleine Center for Community Service.
A worker from general contractor PJ Hoerr checks drawings during the installation of temporary steel scaffolding, visible in the background in the central section of Alumni Hall. A low-res composite panorama of this area is available on photosynth.net
No college education is complete unless it helps students understand the world in which they live and the people and issues they are certain to encounter as their lives unfold. And Knox firmly believes in a global education, with approximately 50% of Knox students studying off campus before they graduate. Knox offers 31 off-campus programs located in 18 countries, as well as the United States.
The Eleanor Stellyes Center for Global Studies facilitates a global education by coordinating study abroad and off-campus programs, sponsoring distinguished guest speakers and scholars-in-residence who bring international perspectives to campus, promoting international travel and research, and integrating the experiences of students who have studied abroad into the life of the community. Learn more about the Eleanor Stellyes Center for Global Studies.
While current students find their mail in the lower level of Seymour Union, it wasn’t always that way. The mail room used to call the basement of Alumni Hall home, just like the Gizmo.
We love hearing from alumni who remember Alumni Hall during its years of use as we explore its past. Dorothy Wharton ’55 has been an active commenter on the blog, sharing her memories with us, and this little bit she recalled inspired us to dig up this photo from the Archives: “We got our mail, in little cubbies, down there too, so there it was quite a mob scene at times.” Looks like the photographer caught the basement mail room in a calmer period here. Thanks for your comment, Dorothy!
If you are an alumnus with a story about Alumni Hall, check out our Share Your Memories page. We would love to hear from you!
Stay tuned for more on the many uses of the basement through the years: Alumni Hall’s lower level was home to much more than just the Gizmo and mail room.
Independent research, scholarship, and creative work are the hallmark of Knox’s educational program. An estimated 85 percent of Knox students complete an independent research or creative project by the time they graduate, and 53 percent report working on a research project with a faculty member outside of course or program requirements, compared to 37 percent reported at peer institutions.
The Gerald and Carol Vovis Center for Research and Advanced Study is the place where research, scholarship, and creative work will be showcased. The Center oversees a wide range of programs that support advanced work in the natural and social sciences, humanities, and creative and performing arts. The Center also coordinates nearly $250,000 awarded annually to Knox students for approximately 350 independent study and research projects. Learn more about the Gerald and Carol Vovis Center for Research and Advanced Study.
For those who did not experience Alumni Hall, it’s hard to imagine what a typical classroom looked like when the sides of the building used as classrooms currently look like this. This photo dates near the end of Alumni Hall’s tenure as an academic building, the 1970s. At this time, the foreign language department, the art department, the philosophy department, and a few other humanities classes had called these classroom spaces home.