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An open laptop displays a videoconference in progress with the Class of 2011 and President Teresa Amott.


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Donors Give Nearly $1.4 Million in Just 24 Hours

Virtual celebrations, record fundraising, mark second annual #KnoxProud Day

An open laptop displays a videoconference in progress with the Class of 2011 and President Teresa Amott.

#KnoxProud Day is still a new experience for members of the Knox community, but all indications are that it will be with us for years to come. The event brings together alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends to reconnect and reminisce about their Knox experiences, celebrate the things that make Knox special, and raise money for financial aid and scholarships, student research, and other College priorities.

In 2019, a highlight of the celebration was a series of Knox events in more than a dozen U.S. cities. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic first required the College to reschedule the event from April to June, then to adapt in-person gatherings for a virtual environment. 

In lieu of sharing live highlights from students and faculty on campus, the Office of Alumni Engagement created a day full of virtual content, including a morning yoga session, a seminar on improving your LinkedIn profile from the Bastian Family Center for Career Success, a live Q&A with President Teresa Amott, and a presentation on Knox’s response to the 1918 flu pandemic told through materials from the Seymour Library archives.

Neither the move to online programming nor the current economic uncertainty surrounding the pandemic seemed to dampen the enthusiasm of participants. This year, more than 330 people attended nearly two dozen separate get-togethers, ranging from local Knox club happy hours and informal class reunions to professional networking events and even an Ultimate Frisbee gathering. See an album of event photos. 

“I was completely blown away by the response to our second #KnoxProud Day,” said Sarah Byrd, executive director of annual giving and alumni engagement, whose team provided live updates on social media throughout the day. “Many of us on campus couldn’t even keep up with how fast the day was moving! It was truly so exciting and inspiring to witness and be part of.”

Aware of the significant financial strain the COVID-19 pandemic had placed on the College and on current students and their families, alumni were eager to help shoulder the burden. In 24 hours, nearly 2,700 people gave to Knox, raising over $1.4 million, including over half a million dollars in challenge gifts. Each gift was also matched with $250 from an anonymous challenger. Altogether, #KnoxProud Day giving in 2020 exceeded the 2019 event by more than 1,000 participating donors and $1 million in new monies raised.

“The most important thing we’re doing with #KnoxProud Day is helping students,” said President Amott. “Helping students come back to Knox. Helping them graduate from Knox. Helping them be the first in their families to graduate from Knox, because we were able to provide the assistance that they really need. Every dollar means something we can do for students. It’s very energizing, and I’m so grateful.”

Special Thanks to Our Challenge Donors

  • Dave Mitchell ’83
  • Nyerere Billups ’99
  • Doug ’66 and Maria Bayer
  • Jane Crawford ’68 and Herb Walker 
  • Rick ’79 and Anne Johnson ’80 Veague  
  • Tom ’66 and Sue Fuerst Anderson ’71
  • Kyle ’83 and Laura Winning
  • Chuck Smith ’84
  • Knox College Trustees 
  • Anonymous (3)

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Printed on Sunday, August 1, 2021