Jinglun Ding, Steffi Antony, Alejandro Beltran, Stephanie Cordero-Gonzalez, Emily Trevor, and Dakota Stipp

Three-hundred students (and one) received their diplomas on the beautiful Sunday morning of June 4 and of´Čücially entered the world as Knox graduates. Actor, philanthropist, and activist Eva Longoria delivered the Commencement address, reminding the graduates of the value of their degree.

"As hard as you worked to get here . . . an education like yours is still a privilege—a very rare privilege that not everyone gets to experience. When you receive your degrees today, you will be among the few in the world with such an education," she told them. "And as my mother never ceased to remind my sisters and me—‘to whom much is given, much is to be expected.'"

Living up to Longoria's expectations, members of the Class of 2017 have big plans post-Knox, from entering the workforce to pursuing graduate school and everything in between. Here's what's next for a few members of the class:

JINGLUN DING

Computer Science Major, Studio Art Minor

Full-Stack Software Developer at Argo Group, Chicago

"Knox gave me the chance to explore my interests and provided me with resources I never imagined possible that prepared me to face the real world challenge with confidence."

Jinglun Ding
Photo by Elena Iatropoulou-Bannat '18

STEFFI ANTONY

Anthropology & Sociology Major, Business Minor

Pursuing a Master's Degree in Nursing, University of Illinois

"Knox made me realize that growth begins at the end of my comfort zone."

Steffi Antony
Photo by Peter Bailley '17

ALEJANDRO BELTRAN

Chemistry Major

Pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Maryland

"I'm a first-gen, low-income [student]. I came to the United States when I was 10. Now, I have three fellowships and a stipend. Now, I'll be working with a Latino professor and representing minorities in a STEM field. It's exciting."

Alejandro Beltran
Photo by Peter Bailley '74

STEPHANIE CORDERO-GONZALEZ

Psychology, Interpersonal Communications (Self-Designed) Double Major

Elementary School Teacher through Teach for America, Gary, Indiana

"I wouldn't have had internships, gone abroad, or completed two off-campus studies without the resources we had here."

Stephanie Cordero-Gonzalez
Photo by Submitted

EMILY TREVOR

Arts Administration Self-Designed Major, Theatre Directing Minor

Account Manager at the Heart of Western Michigan United Way and Co-Founder of Fresh Water Performance Lab theatre company, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"Start-Up Term was incredibly helpful in learning what it actually takes to creating a business and running it."

Emily Trevor
Photo by Peter Bailley '74

DAKOTA STIPP

Computer Science Major; Music, Theatre Double Minor

Pursuing an MFA in Sound Design, Yale School of Drama

"Part of [my interest in sound design] comes from my experience as a sound designer in the theatre department, but computer science also really helped a lot."

Dakota Stipp
Photo by Peter Bailley '74