Tom Wilson: Ageless master of listening spoke at Knox College

From the Register Mail:

Illinois and the world lost the ageless wonder of listening and speaking Oct. 31 with the passing of Louis “Studs” Terkel of Chicago at the age of 96. The flamboyant author, historian, actor and broadcaster was best known for his oral histories of common Americans.

Knox College called upon Studs Terkel to be its commencement speaker in 1976. The 131st graduation ceremony was conducted at 7 p.m. on the south lawn of Old Main on the Knox College campus. More than 2,000 relatives, friends and area residents witnessed 245 Knox students receive diplomas.

During Terkel’s commencement speech and at a smaller gathering of parents and students he shared his thoughts about the Great Depression. “There was a sense of sharing during the Depression: if you snuffed out a cigarette, you handed it to the man next to you, you gave streetcar transfers to people waiting in line and you passed on a newspaper when you were done with it,” Terkel said….

Terkel returned to the Knox College Campus on Jan. 29, 1978, as part of the 100th birthday celebration of Galesburg poet and Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg. The month-long celebration included appearances of the Sandburg daughters, nationally known news commentator Howard K. Smith and folk singer and movie star Burl Ives.