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Parent and Family Information


Karrie Heartlein

Director of Government & Community Relations

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Ford Center for the Fine Arts


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 find your seats! Refer to the directions to campus and 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 Office and here. Graduates receive a free lunch (reservations required). 

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.

Traffic and Parking

Please note that travel directions to campus on the day of Commencement will be altered due to the annual Run Galesburg Run in downtown Galesburg on Commencement day.

Detour directions and a parking map will be posted in April, 2019.

Parking is available in all campus lots and in the Knox County Courthouse lot at the corner of Cherry & South Streets.

Disability Services

Please contact the Commencement Office at 309-341-7340 if you need special accommodations or wheelchair assistance for yourself or a family member. Knox also will have an ASL interpreter.


Personal photography is allowed. After your graduate walks off the stage, there will be a small, marked 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. Graduates 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 be open for purchase of last minute alumni memorabilia and apparel.

Picnic Lunch

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 (tickets required). In the event of severe weather, the picnic will be held in Seymour Union.

Tickets for the picnic lunch will be available in April. 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, etc.—are available for purchase online through Oak Hall Graduation Services.

Commencement Sustainability

The class of 2019 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:

  • Food and beverage containers are reusable or recyclable, and appropriate collection receptacles are available.
  • 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.
  • Many of the 2019 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.

Residence Hall Check-Out

Seniors must check out of their residence hall/apartment by 5:00 p.m. Sunday, June 2. Keys are returned to Campus Security.


Commencement will be available to watch via live streaming. Watch the 2018 Knox College Commencement program

More Questions? Need Help?

Contact the Commencement Office at 309-341-7340.

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Printed on Sunday, May 19, 2019