Office of Admission and Class of 1963 Office of Financial Aid

A Knox Admission Student Ambassador gives a tour to prospective students.Admission counselors travel the globe, attending college fairs and meeting with students to share all that Knox has to offer and to help prospective students determine if Knox is the best fit for their goals and aspirations. But nothing can help these students determine if Knox is their best choice like a visit to the Knox campus. Almost 60% of students admitted to Knox say that their visit “sealed the deal.”

Alumni Hall will be the jumping-off point to experiencing life as a Knox student. Prospective students will meet with professors, coaches, and counselors. They will be drawn into the life of the College, where they will tour campus, attend classes, watch performances, and eat lunch in the Hard Knox Café, learning about the Knox experience. Learn more about the Office of Admission and Financial Aid.

Alumni Hall as a Theatre

Tommy - 1930
Recent photos posted on this blog have been showing the dismantling of the balcony and ceiling in Alumni Hall — both essential parts of the building during its time as Knox’s theatre.

The same central part between the two literary society buildings that once served as a library was also the College’s theatre from 1928, when the library collection was moved to Seymour Library, until 1965, when the Ford Center for Fine Arts opened.

The photo above is of a play put on in 1930 called Tommy.

Once the books were removed, the seats were restored to the theatre. The floor had a capacity of 625 people, and the balcony held 225 people. The quiet library changed to a resonant theatre with the help of some new paint and acoustic tiles. A 1929 issue of The Knox Student reported on the space’s new “harmonious yellow tint” and “side lights of attractive decorative nature.”

Future renovations, mostly safety-based, took place later. The theatre was prone to fires, and there was a rewiring in 1948 and a major overhaul in 1963. A memo from 1962 reports a careless student lit some drapes on fire. And the memo writer was not pleased: “May I point out this is our second experience with a fire that could’ve been dangerous. The third time, we may not be so lucky.”

The 1963 renovation added a state-of-the-art light board, four dressing rooms, a sewing room, extra closet areas for costumes, a light room, and a makeup room, as well as fire-safety measures.

When the Center for Fine Arts was constructed, Harbach Theatre became the main stage for the College’s productions, although the stage and seating in Alumni Hall continued to be used as a general-purpose meeting area and alternate theatre.

The stars of the Alumni Hall stage were immortalized by the graffiti that each cast member left after a show along the inside walls of the theatre and on the ceiling above the catwalk. Graffiti left over the years can be seen in this video.

Make Your Tax-Deductible Gift to Alumni Hall Now

As the year comes to a close, we want to thank the many donors who are making the renovation of Alumni Hall possible.

The gifts of nine donors have truly been transformational.  Their gifts alone totaled $7.4 million or 63% of the $11.7 million needed for the project.  We are grateful for their leadership, dedication and generosity. These donors are:

·         Gerald ’65 and Carol Klail Vovis ’65

·         Richard ’57 and Joan Whitney Whitcomb ’56

·         Joseph ’67 and Diane Bastian

·         Mark and Jeannette Kleine

·         Duke ’74 and Nancy Petrovich

·         Bud ’63 and Mary Jo Potter ’62

·         Robert ’56 and Kathleen Sparks

·         Two anonymous donors

Of the total donors to Alumni Hall, 54 are members of the Knox College Board of Trustees.  The board in total gave $7.2 million or 62% of the dollars for the project.

Thank you to all the donors who are helping to transform Alumni Hall for future students.

If you haven’t made a gift for Alumni Hall in 2013, there are just a few days remaining to make your tax-deductible donation. Please give now.

Donors Make Transformation Possible

Demolition is almost complete within Alumni Hall with the removal of all floors, the theater balcony and mezzanine, and all wall and ceiling plaster. Repairs are now being made to the ceiling trusses prior to the arrival of steel, which will begin the renovation of Alumni Hall for future generations of Knox students.

Just $113,796 remains to be raised for the $11.7 million total renovation budget for the project. The work on Alumni Hall would not be underway without the tremendous support of the 583 donors who have made gifts to the Alumni Hall renovation over the past 30 months.

It’s not too late to make your tax-deductible donation to Alumni Hall for 2013. Please give now.

By joining together, Knox alumni, faculty and staff, parents, and friends from Galesburg and around the world, life is coming back to this central part of the Knox campus.

Send Reinforcements!

Above, a worker tightens a nut on a bolt through one of the steel plates installed to reinforce wooden beams just below the roof. Below, after drilling, a worker on the other side of the beam clears sawdust from the hole.

Alumni Hall as a Library

Alumni Hall - Library

As seen in recent construction update shots, the center hall of Alumni Hall is a large area with a stage and space for seats — an auditorium. It was originally intended to be a chapel, but over its tenure thus far, it has also been an auditorium, a theatre, and a library.

The original Knox College library was housed in Old Main, while Alumni Hall’s center hall was serving as a chapel. After Beecher Chapel was acquired by the school and the need for a larger library was realized, the books were moved to Alumni Hall in 1909.

This wasn’t the first time a library was in Alumni Hall. Both literary societies, Adelphi and Gnothautii, had separate libraries on their sides, starting sometime around 1892. Once the College’s library was moved to Alumni Hall, the literary societies combined their books and contributed to the centralized collection.

The library featured not only books, but two large tapestries from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. They framed the stage, as seen in the photo below.

Flooring was laid down from the lobby to the stage to level out the slope intended for auditorium seating. Two staircases were installed to reach from the bottom floor to the top balcony where Dr. Elder, the librarian, had an office and additional stacks were housed.

The center hall of Alumni Hall remained this way until the completion of Seymour Library, which still houses Knox’s collection of books and library materials, in 1928.

As seen in the photo above, books lined the back walls of the lower level, and tables, chairs, and even statues decorated the area. It wasn’t intended to look makeshift, although it was a temporary solution. From the convincing looks of it, it probably fooled a few students between 1909 and 1928 who would’ve never known it was an auditorium space.

Alumni Hall’s library viewed from the balcony, featuring tapestries from the 1893 World Exposition over the stage.