Why do our students make a statement and make a difference? It's a long tradition.
Knox was established back in 1837 by a group of religious missionaries and social reformers who rejected the status quo, and as a result Knox was one of the first colleges in the U.S. open to both women and people of color. The pervasive spirit of equality on campus motivated Abraham Lincoln to use the occasion of his fifth U.S. Senate debate with Stephen Douglas, held on the Knox campus in 1858, to denounce slavery on moral terms for the first time.
This egalitarian legacy lives on today, as Knox is one of the most diverse colleges in the United States, and certainly between the coasts. Our student body is a remarkable mix of cultures and life experiences, with students coming from many different ethnic groups, from a wide variety of economic backgrounds, from the biggest cities as well as the smallest farming communities, from all across the country and nearly 50 other nations around the world.
It's a legacy of valuing all students' voices, and you see it still today in the free exchange of ideas on our campus. Our students participate as full voting members on College committees that decide a wide range of academic and residential issues, and they elect representatives to the Student Senate who spearhead student-sponsored initiatives that contribute to the evolution of the College.