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Distinguished Service Medallion 2023


Board Meeting
May 18, 2023


The Trustees’ Distinguished Service Medallion was created to recognize individuals whose contributions to the growth and development of the University of Illinois, through extraordinary service or benefaction, have been of unusual significance.

It is now recommended that the Distinguished Service Medallion be awarded to Gregory J. Knott, secretary of the Board of Trustees and of the University, and his name be added to our esteemed roster of medallion recipients.

Mr. Knott has been associated with the University for more than three decades, first as a student and then beginning his professional career at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2002 in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.  From 2006 until 2013, he held a dual appointment in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and as the associate director for budget and human resources at the Center for Advanced Bio-Energy Research in Urbana.  He was part of the team that established the center, now known as the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory.  In September 2013, Mr. Knott assumed the role of assistant dean for business operations, University Library, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  He oversaw fiscal operations and human resources for one of the largest public university libraries in the world.

Mr. Knott is a two-time alumnus of the University of Illinois System, earning a Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois Springfield in 1995 and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2017.

On June 1, 2020, Mr. Knott was appointed as secretary of the Board of Trustees and of the University, having been approved as designate in January 2020. Much of his tenure included guiding the Board of Trustees and the president through the barriers to business and regular processes presented during the COVID-19 pandemic, embracing technology and adaptability.  Despite this time of historic challenges, the business of the Board continued without interruption while Mr. Knott effectively led staff in maintaining the standard of excellence for which the Board of Trustees office is well known.  

In gratitude for his innumerable contributions and long career of leadership and service, the Board of Trustees takes great pride in presenting the Trustees’ Distinguished Service Medallion to Gregory J. Knott, a dedicated, admired alumnus and esteemed colleague of the University of Illinois.