Commencement 2018

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

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 the detour & 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

Download the Detour Map (PDF)

Please note that travel directions to campus on the day of Commencement will be altered due to construction on  Main Street and the RunGalesburgRun in downtown Galesburg on Commencement day. Guests arriving from Highway 34 should exit at Henderson Street. Follow Henderson south to Main Street. Go east (left) on Main Street, then turn south (right) on Cherry Street. Follow Prairie to the Knox campus.

Guests arriving from I-74 will need to detour by taking Main Street to Allens Road. Turn turn south (left) on Allens, then west (right) on South Street.

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

Tickets 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, and graduation announcements -- are available for purchase through the Knox College bookstore.

Waste Free Commencement

The class of 2018 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.
  • Many of the 2018 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 3. Keys are returned to Campus Security.


Commencement will be available to watch via live streaming. Check back here for the link to watch Commencement Live.

More Questions? Need Help?

Contact the Commencement Office at 309-341-7340.

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Printed on Saturday, January 20, 2018

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