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Parent & 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 will take place on the South Lawn of Old Main. The ceremony is held outdoors, rain or shine. If the weather is dangerous, the ceremony will be held in the T. Fleming Fieldhouse. Commencement begins at 10:00 a.m., lasting approximately two hours. Please join your senior on Saturday for a day of special events designed to highlight their accomplishments, followed by 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 in the Seymour Union Dining Facilities. Tickets are available online from the Alumni Office (reservations required). Graduates receive a free lunch (reservations required). 

Ordering Caps & Gowns

Graduates participating in the Commencement ceremony are required to wear a cap & gown. 

Potential graduates will receive information about ordering their caps & gowns in early January. They may order a new cap & gown from Oak Hall Graduation Services or reserve a clean, previously worn gown from Knox Sustainability, along with a new cap & tassle.

NOTE: There are a limited number of gowns available, and any graduate who does not order a gown or reserve a sustainability gown by the posted deadlines will be required to purchase a new gown from the bookstore before graduation.

Severe Weather Hotline

Should severe weather require a change of venue, the ceremony will be held in the T. Fleming Fieldhouse. The picnic lunch will be held indoors in the Seymour Union dining facilities. The Knox College main switchboard will update attendees on the venue change 309-341-7340.

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.

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.

Accessible parking will be available on Berrien St. behind Seymour Library and in the Cherry St. parking lot. Golf carts will be available to assist guests to the ceremony venue.


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 considerate of guests in the 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 Plomin Terrace  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 south lawn of Seymour Union (Rain location: Inside Seymour Union).

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

Dress Code

There is no formal dress code. Graduates are required to wear and cap & gown.

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 2020 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 2020 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 7. Keys are returned to Campus Security.


Commencement will be available to watch via live streaming. Watch the 2019 Knox College Commencement program

More Questions? Need Help?

Contact the Commencement Office at 309-341-7340.

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Printed on Wednesday, February 26, 2020