Commencement 2017

Parent and Family Information


Karrie Heartlein

Director of Government & Community Relations

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



The Knox Shop
Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Parent and Family Information for Commencement

We look forward to seeing you on campus in celebration of your student's graduation! Parents, families, and friends are invited to take part in events throughout Commencement Weekend. We also hope the information below will help answer questions you may have about the ceremony, tickets, accommodations, and more.

Ceremony and Picnic Lunch

The Commencement ceremony is held outside on the South Lawn of Old Main and lasts from 10:00 a.m. to around noon. Please join us on Saturday for a day of special events designed to highlight your student's accomplishments, followed by a special Knox-Galesburg Symphony Concert on the Lawn, the President's Dessert Reception for seniors, and fireworks. Seating is open, so arrive early to grab your seats! Refer to the directions to campus, detour map, and campus parking map for more details.

Following the ceremony, a picnic lunch will be served on the South Lawn. Tickets are available online from the Alumni Relations office. Graduates receive a free lunch. 

Severe Weather Hotline

You may call our official weather hotline at 309-341-8008 to see if the ceremony will be moved indoors (T. Fleming Fieldhouse) due to severe weather.

Disability Services

Please contact the Commencement Office at 309-341-7340 if you need special accommodations or wheelchairs for yourself or a family member.


Personal photography is allowed. After your graduate walks off the stage, there will be a roped off area for you to snap a few photos. We ask that everyone be quick and considerate so the area remains uncrowded for those in the audience.

A professional photographer will capture each graduate as they receive their diploma. Photos of your graduate receiving their diploma will be available for purchase from Grad Images. You will receive a proof in the mail shortly after the ceremony.

Flowers & More

Mortar Board will be selling flower bundles for graduates. They will be available for purchase on the Gizmo patio near the Information Station. In addition, the Knox College bookstore will have an auxiliary site open for purchase of last minute alumni memorabilia and apparel.


Rolls, coffee, tea, and water will be available for Commencement guests prior to the ceremony. A picnic lunch will be served after the ceremony on the lawn south of Seymour Union. In the event of severe weather, the picnic will be held in Seymour Union.

Tickets will be available for purchase in the weeks prior to graduation. Graduates' meals are free, but reservations are required. 

You are also welcome to eat lunch off campus at one of the many Galesburg restaurants.

Dress Code

There is no formal dress code. Because the ceremony is held outdoors, rain or shine, please remember to come prepared for any kind of weather (sweaters, raincoats, umbrellas, etc.), and be sure to wear shoes appropriate for damp, grassy terrain. The ceremony will be held indoors only if the weather poses a danger (lightning, thunderstorms, etc.).

Announcements and Memorabilia

Commencement memorabilia -- from class rings, diploma frames, and graduation announcements -- are available for purchase through With Honors Graduation Services. The site will become available in late November, 2016.

Waste Free Commencement

The class of 2017 and their families will likely notice the many ways Knox honors its commitment to sustainability throughout Commencement weekend. The following are a few of the sustainable features of Knox's Commencement:

  • All materials consumed during the event have a dedicated end-use, other than the landfill. For example, all lunch dishes and drink containers are compostable, recyclable, or washable, and appropriate collection receptacles are available for each option. You'll have to look hard to find a trash can!
  • All the caps and gowns are made from 100% recycled polyethylene. For every one of these gowns manufactured, the equivalent of 29 plastic bottles are recovered.
  • After the ceremony, graduates can place their gown in a dedicated collection bin, and it will be turned into a new polyethylene product. This also yields a small income, which the Class of 2017 can allocate to a charity project of their choice.
  • Many of the 2017 graduates will wear green ribbons among their Commencement regalia. This signifies that they have signed the Graduation Pledge for Social and Environmental Sustainability. Look for the poster of their signatures, on display during the celebration.
  • As always, vegetarian options will be available at lunch, for those wishing to reduce the environmental impact of their food consumption.

Residence Hall Check-Out

Seniors must check out of their residence hall/apartment by 5:00 p.m. Sunday, June 4. Keys are returned to Campus Security.


Commencement 2017 will be available to be viewed over livestream at our YouTube Channel.

More Questions? Need Help?

Contact the Commencement Office at 309-341-7340.

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Printed on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

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