May 27, 2020
Dear Class of 2020,
It has been clear for some time now that you would have an experience for the history books, unlike that of any senior class at Knox in its long history. When I wrote to you in April, I let you know that we would make a decision no later than May 28 regarding whether or not we could hold an in-person Commencement in August. I know that an in-person event is deeply important to you and your families. It is also important to all of us at Knox who greeted you when you first arrived on campus and have marveled at your achievements since then.
Unfortunately, public health experts suggest that it may be some time before it is safe to hold large-scale gatherings like Knox Commencement, which typically involves 3,000 people gathering from all points of the planet. Travel, particularly international travel, remains sharply limited. In the face of these realities, we recognize with deep regret that an August Commencement is not attainable. We believe that the most responsible way to hold a meaningful, inclusive ceremony is to schedule it for June 2021, when we will hold an historic stand-alone graduation ceremony distinct from the celebrations of the class of 2021. We will confirm a specific date as public health guidance and Illinois public policy become clearer.
Your official graduation date remains June 7, 2020. You can add your degree to your résumé and applications, tell your friends and family, and join a worldwide community of Knox alumni—you did it!
While your class expressed a clear preference for an in-person Commencement later, as opposed to a virtual ceremony now, we can’t let your graduation day go by without some fanfare. Please join President Amott and Provost Schneider as they confer your degrees here. This recording will be accessible beginning at 10:00 pm CDT on Saturday, June 6 so that Knox seniors can participate in that moment no matter where on the planet they are currently residing.
We are all so very proud of what you have achieved in your Knox journey and how you have risen to the global challenge of a pandemic that altered life on earth in so many ways. I can’t wait to see you in person on campus for a beautiful and celebratory Commencement next spring.
Congratulations, Class of 2020!
TERESA L. AMOTT