Featured / Sports / The Prairie Fire / April 23, 2014

Prairie Fire Profile: Walter Palmer

Hometown: Wilmette, Ill.

Major: Economics

Minors: Psychology, Business

Sport: Tennis

Post-graduation, what are you planning on doing with your degree?

I am planning on entering the world of finance, and hopefully both my major and minors will help with that goal. This summer I will be interning at Geneva Investment Management in Chicago, doing equity analysis. I am hoping to work on the analytical side of investing, and this internship should be a good starting point.

How have athletics and academics melded for you while at Knox?

Athletics and academics have worked well for me. While sometimes the coursework and tennis can create busy days, overall it has been a great experience. I know that if something is going poorly in one of my classes or if I’m just stressed out from working, I’ll be able to get a good practice in. Also, during the weeks I can look forward to matches on Saturdays to help me get through the week.

m_tennis_monmouth01Favorite (and least favorite, if one exists) thing about Knox?

My favorite part of Knox is that you can really be whoever you want to be and do whatever you want to do, without too much judgment from other people. Everyone changes while at Knox, so even if you come in believing you’re a certain type of person, over the course of your four years you will definitely grow and change as a person. As for a least favorite thing, nothing really stands out; these have been the best three years of my life.

Favorite memories at Knox?

It’s hard to pick my favorite tennis memory, but it would have to be my doubles win with Karl Ruzgas against Grinnell this year. Grinnell has won something like 16 straight conference championships so they are a natural rival, and coming into this year Grinnell was the only school I hadn’t yet beaten in a match. Karl and I played our best doubles match of our Knox careers and pulled out an 8-6 victory.

My favorite non-athletic memory would be the entirety of first term freshman year. There are too many small moments to pick one. I made some great friends and I just enjoyed college life.

How do you see Knox as being different from other colleges and universities?

What’s great about is that you can make it be whatever you want it to be. There’s no one pushing you to take certain classes or get locked into a major early. The fact that you don’t have to declare a major until the end of your second year is very beneficial in my opinion. I have a friend who didn’t decide he wanted to be a teacher until halfway through his sophomore year. It gives you the opportunity to try and experience all of what Knox has to offer before you have to declare. As for extracurriculars, I like the fact that if you want to make a club you can just do it, and people will most likely join in.

What will you miss most about the school?

It’s probably a clichŽ, but I’ll miss the people the most. I’ve made great friends through classes and through tennis, and I love the general attitude of people at Knox. My first day back this year I was waiting by the courts to hit and a girl walked up to me, handed me a piece of paper that said “I hope everything’s all right and that you have a nice day,” and walked away. I have no idea who she was, but the fact that that kind of person exists at Knox is wonderful.

In a word, describe your athletic experience at Knox.


How do you feel Knox as a whole has prepared you to go out into the world after graduation?

I feel Knox has given me more than I need to succeed once I graduate. Knox teaches you to analyze the world, which means that even after I graduate I’ll still be learning thanks to Knox. I don’t feel worried about leaving Knox, and I think that’s the best signal that Knox has prepared me.

Tags:  karl ruzgas knox men's tennis walter palmer

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Jackson White
Jackson White is a senior double majoring in political science and secondary education. This is his third year as a sports editor for TKS. Over the course of the 2010-2011 academic year, Jackson worked for cornbeltbaseball.com, writing feature stories and columns about high school and college baseball in central Illinois. Outside of the Publications Office, he is an information assistant for the Knox College Sports Information Department and a two-time all-Midwest Conference baseball player. Jackson is the recipient of five awards from the Illinois College Press Association, including two first place awards for sports game coverage and sports page design.

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