Knox senior and Gale Scholar paves path for brother

From the Register-Mail:

As Richard Kowalski watched Garry Barton speak to a group of prominent contributors at Knox College, he was impressed by the young man’s poise.

The audience could be intimidating to some 21-year-olds, but not Barton.

Kowalski made it a point to exchange numbers with the George Washington Gale Scholar before parting ways that night.

“He came across as being bright, articulate,” said Kowalski, the president and CEO at OSF St. Mary Medical Center. “I thought, ‘There’s somebody who could be a good, potential intern.’”

He was proven right the following summer.

Throughout the internship, Kowalski exposed Barton to as many aspects of the hospital as possible. And Barton rewarded his confidence by updating a study on the community impact of the hospital.

On June 6, Barton will be one of four Gale Scholars to graduate from Knox, eight years after he began his affiliation with the program that helps students with certain qualifications attend Carl Sandburg College then Knox College tuition-free.

He will become the first person in his family to earn a bachelor’s degree.