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Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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Knox welcomes the school year with first-ever online convocation

Knox+welcomes+the+school+year+with+first-ever+online+convocation

View of Old Main on an empty campus. (Robert Nguyen/TKS)


View of Old Main on an empty campus. (Robert Nguyen/TKS)


Despite the physical distance, the Knox community received a warm welcome at the year’s convocation ceremony.

The very action of “attending” the 183rd convocation of Knox College brought into focus the “turbulent, tumultuous times” that Randell Strickland ‘90 highlighted in his keynote address that culminated the virtual event. 

Instead of hundreds of individuals gathered in close quarters to welcome the coming year, students were  forced to restrict their identities to “little squares on a screen” as put by Knox President Teresa Amott

In Vice President for Student Development Anne Ehrlich’s opening remarks, she focused on the community and that despite the pandemic it holds true and continues to be defined by the incredible individuals who choose to be a part of it. 

“[The Knox community] is an ever changing dynamic that is defined and redefined on a daily basis by all of us,” Ehrlich said. “To our new students, you redefine the Knox community simply by showing up.”

As Provost Michael Schneider, President Amott, and Associate Dean Tim Foster recognized award recipients, the fabric that composes the Knox community showed itself in the flesh. 

Assistant Professor of Modern Languages Anne Schaefer, Assistant Professor of Classics Mitchell Parks, and business chair John Spittell received the Philip Green College Prizes for Distinguished Teaching. 

Seniors Marion Frank and Isaac Hughes had the honor of being elected into Phi Beta Kappa as juniors last academic year for high academic achievement. 

Senior Frances Santiago received the Elbridge Pierce Prize for greatest scholastic improvement since the end of the first year at Knox, and senior Bhumika Gupta was awarded the faculty scholarship prize, the highest honor awarded to a student for distinguished academic ability with significant participation in extracurricular activities.

Finally, Amott awarded the Janet C. Hunter prizes for exemplary service to the college to Office Coordinator of Dining Services Jaimie Avery for the hourly position and Director of User Services and Instructional Technology Emily Frakes for the salaried position. She noted that they have “truly met the moment”. 

Despite the differences that plague this year, this display and Ehrlich’s beginning remarks affirmed that “while a great deal will be different, rest assured that the values that ground our community are not.”

In the name of preserving the Knox community, Amott requested that the Knox Together Pledge be taken seriously through wearing masks and observing physical distancing and social solidarity.

Finally, in his convocation address “Do Not Be Silent. Do Not Forget. Say Their Names.”, Strickland expanded from the community at Knox to the disturbances happening in the rest of the country and world. He noted individuals should vote, agitate and live their truth unapologetically through “plate shifts in culture and political trauma.”  

Strickland touched on the importance of suspending biases, having an open mind and developing one’s own truth in his charge to the college body for the coming year. Ultimately, his message implored listeners to stay hopeful in attempts to make positive change, redefine themselves and the world as they want, and do not be silent in the face of injustice.

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