Under the open skies of west-central Illinois sits the 82-acre Knox campus. Built on prairieland, its broad lawns and big trees offer plenty of prime spots to study, play or simply relax and enjoy. Days are generally clear and sunny, with warm springs and colorful falls. Knox's nearby Green Oaks Biological Field Station offers an additional 700 acres of restored prairie, woods, and waterways to explore.
Campus buildings are a blend of histories, old and new. The stone hewn, wood-paneled Seymour Library is a favorite study spot. Old Main, with its working bell, well-worn marble steps, and grand Alumni Room (featuring Lincoln's chair) is Knox's oldest building. Students, faculty, and staff also "hang out" at Seymour Union in the Gizmo café, on the boardwalk patio, or in the new student lounge, with its game room and stage.
Life at Knox encompasses a deeply woven sense of community, where professors and students can freely meet and share ideas. Most faculty live nearby and nearly all seniors have been to their professor's home.
More than 95% of Knox students live on campus in a unique array of historic houses, apartments, suites and traditional residence halls. Fraternity houses and theme houses such as International House, Casa Latina, ABLE Center for Black Culture, Jazz House, and Eco House are fixtures.
Joining the Knox community means meeting everyone before your first day of class. That's when Knox holds its Pumphandle tradition. Students, faculty, and staff gather at Old Main to meet one another, eventually forming a meandering line on the lawn (and through buildings) as everyone shakes hands with everyone else.
Campus Facilities & Equipment
Knox College provides about $250,000 annually to support independent study, creative projects, and Honors projects, as well as student access to superior research resources and equipment.
Libraries: Knox College maintains three libraries: Seymour Library, the Science-Mathematics Library, and the Ford Center for Fine Arts music library. Seymour, the main library, houses more than 350,000 volumes, and the Special Collections and Archives – which contains primary source materials used by students, faculty, and researchers from around the world.
Arts: Ford Center for the Fine Arts – a comprehensive facility for the visual arts, theatre, dance, and music – features the 600-seat Harbach theatre with its rotating stage and the 325-seat Kresge Recital Hall. Other resources include the Studio Theatre, the 360-degree Art Gallery and Round Room, and numerous art and music studios.
Science: Major grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, help Knox continue to expand an equipment roster that includes electron microscopes, NMR, ESR, GC-MS, other spectrometers and chromatographs, X-ray, laser labs, experimental psychology labs, four computer labs, and a greenhouse.
Green Oaks Biological Field Station, near the Spoon River about 20 miles east of Knox, encompasses 700 acres of forest, aquatic habitat, and North America's second-oldest restored tall-grass prairie.
Athletics: The 50,000 sq. ft. Fleming Fieldhouse provides an indoor six-lane 200-meter track, and court space for numerous activities. Andrew Fitness Center offers separate cardio/weight machine, and free-weight floors. Knosher Bowl, a true bowl stadium, features artificial turf and one of the best playing surfaces in Division III football. Blodgett Field, a pro-level baseball diamond, features its own sprinkler system and special soil composition. Knox also maintains a main gym and basketball court, a 6-lane outdoor track, softball and soccer fields, tennis courts, a wrestling complex, and natatorium. Golf is played at a nearby private 18-hole course.
Galesburg was established by the founders of Knox in 1837, and shares the College's roots of diversity and freedom it was a key center for the Underground Railroad in Illinois. In town you'll find the same Midwest generosity that gives the Knox campus such an easy-going atmosphere.
The city's many historic charms include brick streets and an abundance of Victorian and Craftsman architecture. Within walking distance from campus, downtown Galesburg offers shops, restaurants, and many venues for live entertainment. Its historic Seminary Street district features quaint cafes and boutiques and the train station with daily Amtrak service to and from Chicago.
The arts and culture scene has always thrived in Galesburg, and includes the award-winning Knox-Galesburg Symphony, Prairie Players Civic Theatre, Discovery Depot Children's Museum, Civic Art Center, and restored Orpheum Theatre. The city's daily newspaper, The Register Mail, is near campus.
Knox students also work closely with the community in volunteer and internship capacities for schools, hospitals, and neighborhood agencies.
About 45 minutes in either direction are the urban centers of Peoria and Moline, with access to airports, shopping, museums, galleries and attractions on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.
Student Organizations & Activities
Student Clubs and Organizations: The more than 100 student-run organizations on campus provide an outlet for everything from academics, such as chemistry or physics, to the arts 13 music and dance ensembles to social and community concerns to national fraternities and sororities. Clubs such as Common Ground, Model United Nations, Alliance for Peaceful Action, Asian Student Association, and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, focus on identity, culture, and politics. Knox is the national headquarters of the Association of Black Culture Centers (ABCC).
Prairie Fire Athletics: The Athletic Program at Knox has been building a winning tradition for more than a century. Knox is a member of the NCAA Division III and the Midwest Conference (MWC), one of the oldest conferences in the nation. Competition in the conference is intense and spirited, including the local rivalry between Knox and Monmouth College the sixth-oldest athletic rivalry in the country. As a Knox student-athlete, you'll train in some of the best athletic facilities, and your coaches will challenge you to grow and achieve at even higher levels than you might have expected.
Club and Intramural Sports: Intramural sports are organized in student-directed leagues. Regular offerings include volleyball, basketball, indoor soccer, dodgeball, and softball. Our competitive club sports include co-ed and women's water polo (the team placed 10th in national competition); men's and women's lacrosse; fencing; and co-ed, men's, and women's Ultimate Frisbee.
Student Governance: Getting involved is a key principle of a Knox liberal arts education. Knox prides itself on an active and self-governing student body students sit on all committees. The Honor Code, initiated by students in 1951, continues to anchor the sense of responsibility and self-direction that is central to intellectual life at Knox.
Popular manners of relaxation and recreation include intramural sports, campus organizations, and “artistic expression, be it poetry, visual art, performance art, music.” Students “go to parties, play games, dance, etc., just like any other college campus. The difference is, our fraternity parties are open to the entire campus and do not serve alcohol.” Parties here “are places where you generally know everyone there, you have a good time and no one steals your coat or purse.” Undergrads here are also very creative. “When we want to do something fun we typically organize it ourselves.” A much-anticipated event is “Flunk Day, a day every spring when classes are canceled and the entire campus goes out on the lawn and plays games, eats great food and enjoys free entertainment.” Union Board “brings films, entertainers, concerts, and other groups to campus, including Second City,” and the Gizmo is “one of the best places to socialize and eat some late night food.” Wandering off-campus a bit is also fun. Undergrads say “Galesburg is a charming town...you just have to look a little bit.” “McGillacuddy’s has amazing burgers, and Knox’s music department hosts Jazz Nights there on Thursdays.” Students enjoy the town’s intimate, relaxing atmosphere. “Good coffee shops, a really nice park with a lake, and many beautiful old historic buildings,” and “an annual Chocolate Festival.” A twenty-four-hour diner is nearby, and “students can also drive to Peoria or take the train to Chicago.”