Knox will celebrate the installation of Teresa Amott as 19th president of Knox College with a formal ceremony, community service activities at non-profit agencies around Galesburg, and a series of events highlighting student achievement in scholarship and creative work.
The formal installation ceremony is at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 5, on the south lawn of Knox’s historic Old Main. In case of inclement weather, it will be held in T. Fleming Fieldhouse.
The installation of Amott, the first woman to lead the 175-year-old institution, will bring delegates to Knox from more than 50 colleges and universities throughout the United States.
The installation will include remarks by Mark Gearan, president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, former director of the Peace Corps and former White House Deputy Chief of Staff; and representatives of Knox College students, faculty, staff, alumni and the Galesburg community.
The representatives of Knox and the community will present Amott with a bound volume containing aspirations for the future of the College. Earlier this spring, Amott asked Knox students, employees and alumni for their thoughts on “how we can be an even more transformative place for students and an even more inclusive community for all who work and live here.”
Also speaking at the ceremony will be Janet M. Koran ’71, chair of the Knox College Board of Trustees; Lawrence Breitborde, dean of the College and vice president for academic affairs; James Thrall, Knight Distinguished Assistant Professor for the Study of Religion and Culture; and Lori Sundberg ’95, president of Carl Sandburg College.
The Knox Choir, directed by Laura Lane, will give the world premiere performance of “Youth & Pioneers: An Ode,” composed by Daniel Godsil of the Knox music faculty in celebration of Amott’s installation and the 175th anniversary of Knox College. The composition is based on Carl Sandburg’s remarks at the re-dedication of Old Main and celebration of Knox’s 100th anniversary in 1937.
In addition to the installation ceremony, Amott is spearheading a “Day of Service” community initiative involving Knox students, faculty and staff. On Sunday, May 6, volunteers from Knox will engage in clean-up projects at six locations in Galesburg — YMCA Kid Care Station, St. Mary’s Square Living Center, Discovery Depot, Galesburg Public Library, Knox College Community Garden and Orpheum Theatre. Also in honor of the installation, the College will sponsor the Knox Prairie Community Kitchen’s Community Dinner on Thursday, May 3, in Central Congregational Church.
In the week leading up to and following the installation, Knox also will highlight student work in a series of events, “Horizons: A Celebration of Student Inquiry, Imagination, and Creativity.” Presentations, performances, and exhibits will feature the exemplary independent research, scholarship, and creative work of Knox students from all academic fields.
Prior to assuming her post at Knox, President Amott spent six years as provost and dean of the faculty at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS) in Geneva, New York. At HWS, she helped design and implement the strategic plan focused on expanding the academic program and faculty, increasing faculty diversity, and renovating the academic facilities. She also helped formulate and execute HWS’s $200 million campaign to construct a new performing arts center, renovate the student center and athletics facilities, and enhance information technology services.
President Amott helped build a unique collaboration between HWS and the Geneva community to develop community-based research projects to improve the area. Projects covered such diverse areas as energy efficiency, neighborhood revitalization, and childhood obesity. She has been active in the Boys & Girls Club and is an enthusiastic volunteer in the local community, supporting efforts to advocate for those in need.
Before joining HWS, she was vice provost at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, from 2000-2005. She has held academic appointments at Bucknell University, Harvard University, University of Massachusetts – Boston and Amherst, and Wellesley College.
Educated in economics, President Amott holds a Ph.D. from Boston College and a B.A. from Smith College. Her research has focused on the labor market experiences of women and people of color. She is co-author, with Julie Matthaei, of “Race, Gender, and Work: A Multicultural Economic History of Women in the United States.”
President Amott brings a unique global perspective to Knox. Born in Bolivia to a Brazilian mother and a United States Foreign Service father, she lived and studied abroad much of her childhood.