Retiring Roger Taylor talks about his tenure at Knox College

From the Register-Mail:

Just days after announcing plans to retire, Knox College President Roger Taylor said finances are in better shape than when he began his term. The outgoing president also said the recession means the college will likely provide more financial aid to students and that his biggest regret is not completing the renovation of Alumni Hall.

Taylor sat down for an interview in the conference room of his office in Old Main. With the sleeves of his white shirt rolled up, he was the picture of a working college president.

Taylor served as interim president of the liberal arts college beginning in 2001. He was selected as the college’s 18th president in February 2002…..

“Yes, I’d hoped to finish renovating Alumni Hall. That’s my biggest disappointment,” Taylor said. “I have not been able to persuade major donors to make major gifts. But, hey, I’ve still got a year left and I haven’t given up.”

History is valued at Knox. Old Main is the last remaining building where a Lincoln-Douglas debate took place. A picture of the Rev. George Washington Gale, who came to west-central Illinois with a group of settlers from New York to form a planned community around a college, hangs on the wall of the conference room. Knox College will celebrated its 175th anniversary Feb. 15, 2012.

The original circular and plan for the college hangs on the wall of a hallway in Old Main.

“It’s not a musty old document,” Taylor said. “Somewhere in the document it tells about providing access to a college education regardless of financial ability. That’s still part of the college’s mission.”