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Knox Together: A Plan for 2020-21 Visitor Policy Give Now
Bell Tower of Old Main in Spring

Fall Term Preparations


Dean of the College

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999


Fax: 309-341-7166


Ford Center for the Fine Arts

April 30, 2020

Dear Knox Community,

It’s hard to believe it’s only been about a month since the College decided it would move to remote learning for the entirety of spring term. With midterms now completed, I continue to be impressed by how well our faculty, students, and staff have made the transition. I suspect many of us will look back upon spring term 2020 as one of the most valuable learning experiences of our lifetimes—if not one that we hope to repeat.

With that in mind, I want to update you on our current plans for fall term and the issues under consideration.

First of all, it is our expectation that Knox College will welcome students back for the start of in-person classes this fall. In planning for the fall term, we have looked to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, for guidance. Earlier this month, he predicted that the United States should be “in good shape” to reopen schools in the fall. But to do so, schools and colleges will need to have measures in place to control the spread of the pandemic, including expanded access to testing and contact tracing of people who test positive for COVID-19. 

Second, I realize there is a possibility that a second wave of the virus could interfere with the College’s plans. In anticipation of such challenges, our senior administrators and faculty leadership are developing contingency plans to ensure the continuity of instruction, including a remote option for students who cannot be in a classroom due to health concerns or travel restrictions. 

As we engage in additional preparations to ensure a successful fall term at Knox, you can be certain of the following:

  1. Our top priority is protecting the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. We will continue to follow federal, state, and local guidelines regarding social distancing, sheltering in place, testing, and best practices regarding the use of face masks, handwashing, and sanitizing of facilities.
  2. Human-powered, one-on-one learning remains a hallmark of a Knox education. The intellectual partnerships between students and faculty, as well as the energy and creativity that come from living and learning among a diverse community of insatiably curious people, are an essential part of the work we do here. 
  3. We are gratified by the generosity and empathy shared by Knox alumni, parents, and friends as they have readily reached out with words of encouragement for Knox students, especially seniors, and with increased gifts for the College overall and to help students hit hardest by this crisis.
  4. We are making plans for the return of students to campus. This fall, the College will launch a new major in data science and welcome students back to fully completed improvements to the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center’s A-Core. While our traditional Pumphandle will likely change (I don’t think Dr. Fauci would condone shaking hands with 1,200 people), the close-knit community it represents will be as strong as ever.

One of the most valuable lessons the College has learned this spring is that our small size and our resourcefulness have been advantages in weathering this crisis. Going forward—and with the luxury of more than two weeks to plan—I am confident that the experience our students have this fall will be both personally and intellectually rewarding.

I look forward to seeing you again in Galesburg.

Teresa L. Amott

Knox College

Printed on Tuesday, January 19, 2021