Office of Communications
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401
Along with a hard-earned diploma, Knox College graduates in the Class of 2022 received a gift at the commencement ceremony held on June 5, 2022, on the Knox campus in Galesburg. Placed under each graduate’s chair was the latest book by the Commencement speaker, famed author Walter Mosley.
The book, The Awkward Black Man, is a collection of short stories. Mosley said his book aims to "show a Black protagonist in ways that they're not often shown in literature."
Mosley's address to almost 260 graduates and hundreds of guests noted that “It's a very complex and challenging world. War-torn, drug-infested, armed to the teeth, broken down, most clearly along the lines of the haves and the have-nots."
Unlike much of humanity's past, when change occurred at a slower pace, Mosley said, today's graduates "will be deeply challenged by the passage of time ... More change occurs in the life of a five-year-old child today than the entire world experienced between the 15th and 20th centuries."
Mosley was awarded an honorary doctorate of literature. Also receiving honorary doctorates were Dr. Joy Buolamwini, whose research discoveries have identified real-world examples of racial and gender bias in technological systems; and Barbara Stewart, who most recently served as chief executive officer of AmeriCorps.
The commencement is the 177th since the College's founding in 1837. Graduates represented 32 states and 22 countries. Bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees were awarded in 49 majors.
Tony Etz, chair of the Knox College Board of Trustees, said, "You're the first class where, as a trustee, I've known you from your first year to now, as graduates."
Knox College President C. Andrew McGadney told graduates that "your willingness to step forward each day, despite what you see and hear around you, is exactly what's needed for communities to thrive and prosper."
Sarah Wallenfelsz, a biology and computer science major from Galesburg, was selected by her classmates as Senior Class speaker. She noted that "Despite the COVID-19 challenge, including the stress of online classes, we did a massive amount of work during one of the most terrifying times in recent history. Through some of the worst times, we stayed connected."
Class of ’22 president Shuchita Poddar, a creative writing major from Gurgaon, India, closed the ceremony by observing that "in India, when we depart home for the day, we say something that translates to the feeling of 'I'll be back soon.' So this isn't our goodbye. It's our hope to see each other. Class of ’22, I'll see you soon."
Published on June 05, 2022