Founders Day Convocation, Feb. 20

Leaders in the fields of business, sustainability, and media studies will receive Knox College Alumni Achievement Awards on Friday, February 20 at the 2015 Founders Day Convocation. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be at 5:30 p.m. in the Muelder Reading Room, Seymour Library.

Receiving awards will be James Doyle ’44, Bryan Quinn ’00, and Indira Somani ’92.

The convocation marks the 178th anniversary of Knox’s founding in 1837. The College’s formal charter was ratified by the Illinois Legislature on February 15, 1837. Knox and the City of Galesburg were established by a group of anti-slavery pioneers from upstate New York led by the Rev. George Washington Gale, after whom the city was named.

Here’s a look at the 2015 Alumni Achievement Award winners:


A native of Galesburg, Illinois, Doyle started his college career at Knox, and then left to go fight in World War II. He fought in the Battle of the Siegfried Line, was wounded twice, and received the Bronze Star. He returned to Knox to finish his degree in 1946, and later earned an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School at Northwestern.

Doyle started his business career with Armour and Company, where he helped coin the slogan “Round the Clock Protection” for Dial deodorant soap. Doyle was president of Watkins Products Inc.; president of Sarah Coventry International; a principal in A.T. Kearney International, a management consulting firm; and co-founder and director of R.A. Schoeneberger & Associates Ltd.

After retiring, he taught at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, and later at Simon School of Business at University of Rochester. An executive professor of business administration, he lectured in several areas, including marketing, general management, and entrepreneurship. During his time at the Simon School, he oversaw the Kauffman Entrepreneurial Internship Program, which matched second-year M.B.A. students with local start-up or entrepreneurial companies.

In addition to teaching at the Simon School, Doyle taught at Alfred University, Richmond College in London, and the Kensington, England, campus of Huron University. After his second “retirement” in 2008, the Simon School honored Doyle by endowing an entrepreneurship professorship in his name.


Bryan Quinn, who now serves as founder and principal owner of landscape design firm One Nature, graduated from Knox in 2000 as a philosophy major.

He initially planned to pursue a career in academia, but his focus shifted to addressing the environmental impact of human development. He credits a five-term sequence at Knox with helping put him on track for much of his current work. During that time period, he took three consecutive terms of ecology classes and then studied off-campus for two terms at remote biological research stations.

Quinn joined the Peace Corps after graduating from Knox, and he spent two years in Malawi, living in an agrarian community on the edge of a disappearing forest.

After completing his Peace Corps service, he then earned a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design. He also worked as an environmental consultant.

Deciding to pursue a more entrepreneurial path, Quinn founded One Nature in 2005. The design-build company provides internationally recognized design, planning, and scientific consulting services while remaining committed to environmental ethics.

The company focuses on creating landscapes that contribute to the environment, rather than taking away from it. Some of the company’s projects have included developing a master plan for an urban estuary, creating public parks, and reclaiming contaminated landscapes in urban areas.


Indira Somani graduated from Knox in 1992 with an independent major in Media, Race and Gender. She earned a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. from the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland.

Somani, a former television news producer, spent 10 years at regional stations in the Midwest and then moved to the East Coast, where she worked at WJLA-TV in Washington D.C. and CNBC. She also has been a leader of the South Asian Journalists Association.

Now an assistant professor in the Department of Media, Journalism and Film at Howard University, Somani studies the effects of satellite television on the Indian diaspora, specifically the generation of the Asian Indians who migrated to the U.S. between 1960 and 1972.

She also has taught at Washington and Lee University and American University’s School of Communication. Her work has been published in several research journals, including the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication and the Asian Journal of Communication. In 2011, Somani received a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship to study the Western influence of Indian programming in India.

Somani is also an independent producer and director of documentaries examining how Asian Indians maintain and preserve their cultural identity. Her documentary Crossing Lines has won numerous awards, including a Gracie Allen Award for “Outstanding Documentary-Short Format” from American Women in Radio & Television.