June 1, 1998
Contact: Peter Bailley
Knox College will honor three alumni for their distinguished contributions to the field of public service, as it awards bachelor's degrees to graduating seniors in the Class of 1998 on Saturday, June 6. Honorary degrees will be awarded to John Podesta of Washington, DC, a 1971 graduate who is an assistant to the President of the United States and deputy chief of staff in the White House; to Michael Lawrence of Carbondale, IL, a 1964 graduate and associate director of the Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale; and to Willabell Hall Williams of Galesburg, IL, a 1964 graduate and retired educator in Galesburg. All three will be awarded the degree of honorary doctor of laws.
Podesta, who has worked in President Clinton's administration and as a congressional aide, will deliver the commencement address at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 6, on the south lawn of Knox's historic Old Main. The outdoor ceremonies are free and open to the public. In case of rain, the ceremonies will be held in Memorial Gymnasium and, due to limited seating, admission is limited to graduates and invited guests.
Knox College's class of 1998 comprises 236 students from 27 states and 13 countries. Several have won prestigious post-graduate fellowships, including Jennifer Grindstaff of Macomb, IL, winner of a National Science Foundation Research Fellowship; and Gavrielle Rosenthal, recipient of a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. Twenty-four in the class have been elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the national academic honor society.
Also at the commencement ceremony, Knox will present Alumni Achievement Awards to Barbara Young of Baltimore, MD, a 1942 graduate, psychiatrist and professional photographer; Homer Price of St. Charles, IL, a 1948 graduate and retired president of Sub-Zero Freezer Company; and Daniel P. Kimble of Eugene, OR, a 1956 graduate and professor of psychology at the University of Oregon.
Knox College was chartered by the Illinois legislature in 1837 and graduated its first class of nine students in 1846. Today, Knox is a nationally ranked, independent, four-year liberal arts college with 1,100 students from 42 states and 33 nations, and more than 14,000 alumni world-wide. Knox's Old Main, a National Historic Landmark, is the only building that remains as a site of one of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858.
1998 Honorary Degree Recipients
Michael Lawrence, a Galesburg native, graduated from Knox College in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in English. His career in journalism began immediately upon graduation, covering state and local government for the Galesburg Register-Mail. From 1966 to 1986 he held a series of reporting, editorial and management positions with Lee Enterprises, which owns newspapers and broadcast companies in several states, including Illinois. He was associate editor and managing editor of the Quad City Times and served as Lee's bureau chief in Springfield, covering state government and writing a weekly column syndicated to more than 40 newspapers throughout Illinois.
After serving as Illinois State House bureau chief for the Chicago Sun Times during 1986-87, Lawrence was named press secretary for Jim Edgar, then Illinois Secretary of State. Following Edgar's election as Governor of Illinois, Lawrence was named press secretary to the Governor in 1991. In 1997, Lawrence left state government to join the Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, where he is associate director and professor of journalism. A member of Phi Gamma Delta, Lawrence has served on the Knox College Board of Trustees and the board of the Illinois State Historical Society.
John Podesta received a bachelor's degree in psychology at Knox College in 1971 and a law degree at Georgetown University Law Center in 1976. He served as a trial attorney in the Justice Department's Land and Natural Resources Division; as a special assistant to the director of ACTION, the federal volunteer agency. In 1979 he joined the staff of United States Senator Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) and served as a chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, with special expertise in the areas of privacy, technology and information-gathering. In 1987 he was named chief counsel to the Senate Agriculture Committee.
In 1988 Podesta joined his brother Anthony to create Podesta Associates, a Washington, DC, consulting firm that worked in both the Dukakis and Clinton presidential campaigns. After Clinton's election, Podesta was named assistant to the President and White House staff secretary and in 1996 was named Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff. His work for the White House has included coordination of senior staff advice, managing the flow of documents to and from the President and helping draft the administration's position on renewal of the Freedom of Information Act.
Willabell Hall Williams received her bachelor's degree in history and sociology at Knox College in 1961, completing her degree over a five-year period while working full-time as director and assistant director of the Carver Community Center in Galesburg. In 1962 she began her career in education as a social studies teacher at Churchill Junior High School in Galesburg. She earned a master's degree at Western Illinois University in 1972, serving as a counselor at Lombard Junior High School from 1970 to 1982, then at Galesburg Senior High School from 1982 until her retirement in 1986. During 1991 Williams was an academic counselor at Knox College.
Williams has served on Galesburg School District 205 Board of Education, the Galesburg Police and Fire Commission and the Galesburg Public Library Board. She has been involved in numerous other civic organizations, including American Red Cross, Girl Scouts, Knox County Area Project, Knox County YMCA, and Knox County United Way. In recognition of her achievements in education, she was awarded a Knox College Founders Day Teacher Recognition Certificate, and for her life-long contributions to the Galesburg community, she was given the 1996 Thomas B. Herring Community Service Award by the Galesburg Chamber of Commerce.
1998 Alumni Achievement Awards
Daniel Kimble, a native of Chicago, received his bachelor's degree in chemistry at Knox College in 1956, winning a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to the University of Michigan, where he completed his Ph.D. in 1961. He was awarded Michigan's Horace Rackham Fellowship and a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University.
Kimble has taught psychology at the University of Oregon since 1963, conducted pioneering work on the role of the hippocampus in learning. He has published eleven textbooks and more than 70 articles, two of which the Institute of Scientific Information has named "citation classics." Kimble has won Oregon's Ersted Award for distinguished teaching by junior faculty, a National Science Foundation Science Faculty Fellowship to Oxford University and a Burlington-Northern Award for Teaching Excellence by Senior Faculty. Kimble is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and member of the American Psychological Society.
Homer Price was born in Elgin, Illinois and completed his bachelor's degree at Knox in 1948, following service in World War II as an Army Air Corps Flight Officer. An art major and member of Phi Gamma Delta at Knox, Price is now retired, after a successful career in advertising, design and marketing.
Price served as assistant art director with Ross, Roye, Fogarty in Chicago; vice-president of marketing at St. Charles Kitchens; and graphic artist and copy editor with the David Burnap Agency in Dayton, Ohio. In 1972 he joined Sub-Zero Freezer Company of Madison, Wisconsin as vice-president of marketing and sales, and was subsequently named president of the company, which manufactures built-in, top-of-the-line refrigerator and freezer combinations.
Now retired, Price and his wife, Shirlee Johnson Price, a member of the Knox Class of 1949, live in St. Charles, Illinois.
Barbara Young, a native of Chicago who grew up in Galesburg, received the bachelor's degree in biology from Knox College in 1942 and the MD at Johns Hopkins University in 1945. Since 1951 she has had a private psychiatric practice in Baltimore, MD. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychology and Neurology and member of Phi Beta Kappa, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the Baltimore-Washington Psychoanalytic Society. She helped establish the Barbara Young Fund for Psychotherapy at Johns Hopkins University, and is currently Assistant Professor Emerita in psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute.
As a photographer, Young had her first solo show in 1960. Her photographs have won numerous awards and have been exhibited throughout the United States, including New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, Santa Barbara Museum, the International Museum of Photography in Rochester, New York, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. She is the author of "The Plop-a-lop Tree: The Story of a Community," a book about a village in the Bahamas that she has visited repeatedly for the past 30 years.