From: The Register Mail (Galesburg, IL)
Knox College graduate BJ Hollars has first-hand experience of what it’s like to be in Barack Obama’s shoes. Like the current president, BJ had to follow a speech by former President Bill Clinton. Hollars was the student speaker when Clinton delivered the 2007 Knox College commencement address. Following Clinton’s keynote address at Wednesday night’s Democratic National Convention, [Register-Mail blogger Jay Redfern] asked BJ what he remembered about June 2, 2007.
[Hollars told the Register-Mail]:] “On graduation day, I remember staying so close to my 10-minute, carefully written speech, while President Clinton seemed to go up there and extemporize for half an hour without missing a beat,” said BJ. “Love him or hate him, it was a lesson in public speaking.” Now an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, BJ received degrees in English literature and educational studies and the Outstanding Senior Award for 2007… Read more…
From: Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL)
The chief prosecutor of five Guantanamo Bay prisoners charged in the Sept. 11 attacks has given the commencement address at Knox College in western Illinois. Brigadier Gen. Mark Martins spoke at Saturday’s commencement in Galesburg. The Register-Mail reports Martins told the more than 300 graduates to understand the importance of contrasting worlds. He says “sharp contrasts are the source of dramatic action.”
Martins also received an honorary degree, along with Lyric Opera of Chicago music director Sir Andrew Davis and Purdue University physical chemistry professor Joseph Francisco… Read more in the Tribune… Also reported by Fox TV News Chicago, Rockford Register-Star, West Point Connection and other media.
Knox College graduated 250 students Saturday and as Colin Davis put it, there were mixed emotions.
“It’s a really bittersweet moment, I mean a couple times you come close to loosing it emotionally during the ceremony because you’re going to miss this place so much, but at the same time you realize that Knox has given you quite a bit over the last four years and it’s really going to service you well for the future and you know you can come back any time.”
Fellow graduate Alison Spataro agrees.
“I’m feeling very sad. It’s been hard saying goodbye to so many people that I’ve grown so close with and this has really been my home for the past four years.” She says though, “Just thinking about it, I know that it’s time to move on. The speakers said you know, you need to take what you’ve learned here and move on and do what you can with it.”
The commencement speaker was Majora Carter, an advocate for sustainability who encouraged graduates to identify problems, perhaps within a community, but also find the solutions at a local level and with all parties involved.
Davis, from Canton, studied political science and hopes to work with the Illinois Senate. Spartaro double majored in French and elementary education and says she has some student teaching to finish but then the job hunt will begin.
Outgoing Knox College president Roger Taylor has made a promise once he retires at the end of the month.
“Ann and I will not be on campus for two years.”
Taylor says he personally told that to incoming president Teresa Amott. He tells the WGIL Morning News it’s like when the preacher leaves the church: when it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on.
But Taylor says he and his wife Ann have some plans once retirement starts, including continuing to serve on a state board.
“I’m still on the Illinois Humanities Council Board and Ann wants to travel, I’ve had enough travel to last me for awhile, my only plan is to drive my pickup often enough to keep the battery charged.”
Taylor has been Knox College president since 2002, and is a 1963 grad of the school. He says the next time anyone will see him or Ann on campus is for their 40th class reunion in 2013.
Knox graduates around 250 students Saturday during morning ceremonies on the lawn behind Old Main.