Quick links
You are here: Home » News » For the Common Good – KNOXFRA Dinner celebrates 30 yearsSee our image gallery

For the Common Good – KNOXFRA Dinner celebrates 30 years

Former and current Knox College residents gathered on Saturday, November 4, 2017, for the annual KNOXFRA (Knox Former Residents’ Association) Dinner and Annual General Meeting, celebrating 30 years of KNOXFRA.

The evening featured Clive Veroni, author of Spin: how politics has the power to turn marketing on its head, speaking on “The Widening Gyre: Political Discourse in a Divided Age.” Also at the dinner, W.A. ‘Sandy’ Henderson received the KNOXFRA Award of Honour.

Veroni’s keynote speech focused on the current social and political climate and its effects on society. “The disappearing middle ground in debate, the rise of anti-intellectualism in pop culture, and the disintegration of facts,” said Veroni, “are posing, in my view, a significant threat to the central organizing principle of modern, western societies. That is, democracy.”

He said, “It used to be that we could agree on the basic facts but disagree about causes and solutions. Left and right could look at the same fact but view it from different perspectives. Like looking at the same coin from different sides. Nowadays we can’t even agree that it’s a coin we’re looking at.”

“What are we left with, when there is no longer common agreement on basic facts, when we no longer share a common intellectual foundation, and when the common ground that most people used to gravitate towards has fallen away? . . . When all three of these things start to unravel, we can be forgiven for feeling a sense of dislocation and disillusionment.”

In, conclusion, he challenged listeners: “Perhaps now is the time for us to stand up from our pews (hard or soft as they may be) and say that intellectual inquiry still means something, that truth and facts still mean something, that the common good and common purpose are still the best organizing principles for human society. Surely now is the time for the best among us to be full of passionate intensity.”

The event also celebrated commitment to the common good through the recognition of W.A. ‘Sandy’ Henderson. Henderson’s commitment to Knox residents and the broader University of Toronto community through his long career at Hart House, and his role as a founding and long-time dedicated member of KNOXFRA, spurred his nomination and choice as award recipient.

Henderson lived at Knox from 1970 to 1979 while completing his Bachelor of Physical Education and Bachelor of Education degrees. During his years at Knox, he served as a don and played on the Knox hockey team. Henderson had a large impact on others while living at Knox and has always shown a strong commitment to the Knox Community. In 1987, he was one of the founding members of the Knox Former Residents’ Association and served on the committee for almost 30 years, including several years as treasurer.

KNOXFRA Award of Honour nominees may be recognized in: innovation; public, community, and business leadership; arts, literature, and athletics; mission and international development; or philanthropy. Honorees’ names are displayed on the KNOXFRA Wall of Honour, located in the St. George Street foyer of Knox College, Toronto. KNOXFRA formed in 1987 to develop and maintain long-lasting friendship among residents and the broader Knox College community.

See more photos of the KNOXFRA Dinner, and a video of the Knox Yell, on Knox College’s Facebook page.

Learn more about the KNOXFRA Award of Honour and complete your 2018 award nominations here.