President McGadney

As I write this, the academic year is beginning and I’m excited for this new start. I remain humbled to begin my second year as president of this great institution. Over the next several weeks, I will continue to partner with the College community to finalize details of our strategic planning framework, which will serve as a resource to guide our work over the next three to five years. The themes, ideas, and initiatives in the framework capture our ambition to grow and sustain Knox through creativity and innovation. The cadence of projects and priorities will be influenced by the external market and environment, resource availability, risk tolerance, and impact. Given that the fall is a key time for the admission application cycle, I want to focus this letter on one of the strategic priorities agreed upon by the Board of Trustees in the summer of 2021—increasing admission and enrollment.

This past enrollment cycle, we introduced innovative new initiatives to increase enrollment, including the Prairie Promise, our new program to recruit more students from Illinois by meeting full demonstrated need; bringing independent counselors to campus; and providing incentives for accepted students to visit campus. The College continues to explore and implement creative strategies to increase enrollment at Knox. One example is our successful counselor fly-in program, a strategy to get the word out to these key influencers about Knox. In May, almost 30 independent educational counselors, high school counselors, and communitybased organization representatives visited the College. Attendees overall rated the visit very positively, sharing specific feedback such as, “An exceptional college visit,” “Knox College completely hit it out of the park,” and “I had the pleasure of spending the last day and a half on the campus of Knox College and wow. Just wow.”

The goal is to grow enrollment from approximately 1,200 students to more than 1,450 over the next five years. To do this, the College is investing in key, high-impact initiatives that include increasing our outreach to school and independent counselors; entering new markets; enhancing the Office of Admission staff; and focusing on the institutional brand strategy, messaging, and creative campaigns that will differentiate Knox from our competitors, enhance our national reputation, and effectively package our academic programs and unique student experience for applicants. The brand strategy will provide consistency of messaging throughout each student’s journey, from prospective student to current student to alumnus.

As alumni, you are the best ambassadors for how Knox transforms lives. Partnering with the Prospective Student Engagement Committee of the Knox College Alumni Council will further encourage admissions referrals with our alumni. There is a form on our website that you can use to easily recommend students; it can be found at You probably already know at least one high school student within your network who would thrive at our College. Please talk to this student about your Knox experience and make the referral to our Admission team.

You can also tell us about your Knox experience and how it changed your life. Our Office of Communications welcomes suggestions for alumni to profile. If you have suggestions, you can email our Office of Communications directly at In addition, the team working on our brand strategy will be reaching out to some of you to gain insights for its work.

In closing, I want to thank the members of the Knox community for your warm welcome, encouraging correspondence filled with great ideas and thoughtful comments, and for the opportunity to engage with you on and off campus. I am excited to expand my outreach this coming year and look forward to developing additional strategies that will enable our students to thrive, achieve postgraduate success, and fulfill their potential.

With Warmest Regards,

Andy M.