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Old Main and the South Lawn viewed from above in May 2020, while campus was largely empty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A handicap parking space on Cherry Street outside of George Davis Hall.

The Year without a Commencement

Members of the Class of 2020 complete their degrees far from Galesburg

Old Main and the South Lawn viewed from above in May 2020, while campus was largely empty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The South Lawn was entirely empty. There were no clusters of families picking their way through the grass to the rows of waiting chairs. No bells ringing. No seniors making last-minute adjustments to their wobbling mortarboards. No Commencement speaker whose speech people would watch on YouTube for years to come. But even without the usual pomp and circumstance, Sunday, June 7, did mark the completion of approximately 275 Knox students’ undergraduate careers.

"I don’t see you, but I can feel you," said President Teresa Amott through a video sent to seniors as the day dawned on the other side of the globe. "I can feel your energy and your pride. I can feel your passion and your readiness to the next step of your amazing lives."

The end of the 2019-2020 academic year featured most of the same activities as any other: awards presentations, the Senior Toast, Senior Pumphandle, and, finally, the conferring of degrees. The difference this year is that all of these activities, like the spring term that preceded them, took place virtually.

The Class of 2020 will eventually come together to celebrate a traditional Commencement in June 2021, complete with academic regalia, fireworks, and parties. But, at the end of a year like no other, the College did what it could to ensure the achievements of this group of graduating seniors assume a special place in Knox history.


Fast Facts about the Class of 2020

  • Students earning Bachelor of Arts degrees: 228
  • Students earning Bachelor of Science degrees: 47
  • Students earning Latin honors: 131
  • Students completing Honors projects: 19
  • Students completing double majors: 53
  • Students completing double minors: 65
  • Most popular majors:
    • Creative Writing (37)
    • Biology (32)
    • Integrative Business & Management (29)
    • Psychology (21)
  • Most popular minors:
    • Anthropology & Sociology (19)
    • Psychology (17)
    • Spanish (16)
    • Business & Management (15)
  • Students pursuing the ultimate liberal arts experience (majors and minors that included a science, a humanity, and an art): 2

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Printed on Wednesday, July 15, 2020