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KNOXFRA Dinner celebrates residence community

Keynote speaker Ryan Janzen

At the 31st annual Knox Former Residents’ Association Dinner on November 3, current and former residents shared tales of their lives at Knox and celebrated the generations of community formed in the residence.

Keynote speaker Ryan Janzen, well-known in the Knox community, is a scientist, engineering researcher, and entrepreneur whose innovations have led to advances in acoustics, aerospace electronics, mathematics, and vehicle propulsion. Janzen talked about the indirect benefits of the Knox Residence, where people from diverse backgrounds thrive through interaction. He encourages environments like these, which allow naturally varied connections. Janzen called these interactions “antidisciplinary” as opposed to multidisciplinary; people combine knowledge and methods in ways that create something totally new.

Co-founder of aerospace company TransPod, Janzen is currently working on a next generation of 1000 km/h transportation – a “spacecraft that looks like a plane and operates like a train.” He strives to think holistically about the business, physics, and human experience elements of the project. At the KNOXFRA Dinner, he spoke on “Pushing the limits of science, engineering, and art: new frontiers in ultra-high-speed transportation, scientific research, and unexpected applications to music,” demonstrating his antidisciplinary approach firsthand.

Ruth and Lindsay Belch at centre, with Lynn and John Vissers

Also at the KNOXFRA Dinner, Dr. Lindsay A. Belch received the KNOXFRA Award of Honour. Dr. Belch lived in the Knox Residence from 1949 to 1951, and he generously served on the KNOXFRA Executive Committee for 15 years. He has been integral to welcoming new residents and getting them involved in College life; generations of students have felt his impact. The KNOXFRA Committee and Knox Community are grateful for his dedicated, dignified leadership. Dr. Belch’s distinguished 56-year career in medicine included 15 years as Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at North York General Hospital. He and Ruth have been married for 63 years. They have been lifelong members of The Presbyterian Church in Canada.

As he accepted the award, Dr. Belch referenced Knox College’s Latin motto, Verbum Dat Lucem (“The Word Gives Light”) and urged those present to “keep the lights on” in their lives and at Knox College.

KNOXFRA Committee members completing their terms: William MacEachern, who served for 30 years; Andrew Wood-Gaines, who served for 15 years; and Sheela Rupal.

At the KNOXFRA Annual General Meeting held in conjunction with the Dinner, Executive Committee members Sheela Rupal and William MacEachern concluded their terms; William MacEachern had generously served on the KNOXFRA Executive Committee since 1988. Also, Andrew Wood-Gaines, who had served as KNOXFRA President for 15 years, concluded his term as President. Committee member Ronald Benn will succeed Andrew Wood-Gaines in this role.

Find more photos from this year’s event on Knox’s Facebook page