Knox College Students Return to Campus for the Start of the 2020-21 Academic Year
Knox College welcomed students, faculty, and staff for the launch of the 2020-21 academic year, which promises to be unlike any other in the College’s 183-year history.
The annual ritual of move-in, for example, looked familiar in some ways and quite different in others. What was familiar: Families and returning Knox students helped incoming first-year students carry belongings into their new homes in the residence halls. What was different: Upon arrival to campus, all students were tested for COVID-19, and they received a kit containing two face masks, a mask filter, a face shield, and a refillable bottle of hand sanitizer.
Students remained in quarantine while awaiting their COVID test results, leaving their rooms only for specific purposes, such as picking up the meals that Dining Services is providing from outdoor tents. Many of the New Student Orientation activities took place online.
Classes started according to schedule on Monday, September 14. Students and faculty are meeting online only through September 20 to ensure enough time to receive all COVID testing results. In-person classes and activities are scheduled to begin on September 21.
Other COVID-related precautions are in place, too. All members of the campus community have been required to sign the Knox Together pledge, which acknowledges the role that each individual plays in safeguarding the well-being of others. Everyone on campus also must wear a mask at all times except when in their individual residence hall rooms, in their private offices, or when outdoors and able to maintain at least six feet of physical distancing.
While final fall enrollment numbers aren't available yet, the incoming Class of 2024 includes about 300 students, plus approximately 25 others who have deferred their enrollment until a future term. The College estimates that about one in five of its entire student body will study remotely from locations outside of Galesburg this term.
Even with all of the changes resulting from the pandemic, Knox’s newest students said they’re happy to finally be on campus. Here’s what a few of them had to say:
- “Everyone here is super welcoming and happy to help or be there for you. I am mostly looking forward to the opportunities that Knox can bring me during my time here as well as when my time is up. During my time here at Knox, I hope to join many clubs and be really involved with the school while taking classes and earning credits to become an orthopedic surgeon.“ —Haylee Carpenter '24 from Santa Paula, California.
- “Coming from a small town where there is almost no diversity, it's a bit different to see such a diverse population. The campus is amazing and everyone here is very welcoming.” —Hunter Anderson '24 from Paxton, Illinois.
- “What I am looking forward to the most in being a Knox student is being able to make new friends and playing sports. I am so thankful to be part of the Knox family.” — Darling Harris '24 from El Paso, Texas.
- “I’m excited to just be part of the Knox community. I think this college is doing so well in the circumstances. I definitely feel safe here.” —Leah Wheatley '24 from West Chicago, Illinois.
- “The people here are really nice and kind, and I can talk to anyone.” —Sarina Dacio '24 from San Diego, California.
- “Everyone says hi. I like that.” —Saverio Scumaci '24 from Orland Hills, Illinois.
- "I'm really excited to just get going. I'm excited to meet new people and start the next chapter of my life. Everyone so far has been really welcoming and kind." —Nick Henning '24 from Seattle, Washington.
- “So far, I absolutely love the people here, even though I don't know too many yet." — Taylor Scamman '24 from Twentynine Palms, California.
- “What I am looking forward to and excited about is pursuing my degree in business here at Knox to one day work for the NFL or one of the 32 teams. I am also excited about being a part of the Prairie Fire football team.” —Keegen Hodges '24 from Freeport, Illinois.
- “I definitely want to check out Galesburg restaurants and explore the town.” —Jake Eggen '24 from Chandler, Arizona.
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Photo at top of the page: Students walk on campus on the first day of class. Photos above: Students chat near Seymour Library on the first day of class; students move into the residence halls; Blaze the Prairie Fire fox masks up; Knox students and employees help students with the move-in and check-in processes.
Published on September 16, 2020