Knox College is a community of individuals from diverse backgrounds challenging each other to explore, understand and improve ourselves, our society and our world. The commitment to put learning to use to accomplish both personal and social goals dates back to the founding of the College in 1837. We take particular pride in the College's early commitment to increase access to all qualified students of varied backgrounds, races and conditions, regardless of financial means.
Today, we continue to expand both the historic mission and the tradition of active liberal arts learning. We provide an environment where students and faculty work closely together and where teaching is characterized by inviting and expecting students to pursue fundamental questions in order to reach their own reflective but independent judgments.
The first thing college guides will tell you is that Knox College is a nationally ranked, private, residential liberal arts college of 1,400 undergraduate students located in Galesburg, Illinois. But to really get a feel for our campus, just consider this: Everything that happens at Knox -- both inside and outside of the classroom -- involves giving our students the freedom to flourish. Knox professors don't just stand in front of classes and "profess" their wisdom, and our students are not mere note takers. Instead, we value:
- Independent thinking. Our students choose their own path toward a degree, guided by scholar-teachers who encourage them to explore ideas and places, stretch their intellect and their talents, blend thought with action, and fuse imagination with initiative.
- Egalitarian spirit. Founded in 1837 by social reformers strongly opposed to slavery, Knox was one of the first colleges in the United States open to both women and people of color. And it was on our campus that Abraham Lincoln chose to denounce slavery on moral terms for the first time, during the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas Debate. A pervasive spirit of equality thrives on campus today in our commitment to giving every student a voice.
- Diverse perspectives. With a campus population that includes students from 47 states and 48 countries, 18% U.S. students of color, and individuals from every imaginable religious and socioeconomic background, members of the Knox community are actively challenged to broaden their points of view.
At Knox, the educational experience means being part of a community of individuals who challenge each other to explore, understand, and improve their world. That mission calls on a special sort of scholar-teacher, one who approaches the classroom, the College, and the community in a uniquely engaged way. Our faculty are top scholars - 98% of our full-time faculty have Ph.D.s or the highest degree in their field. They are active scholars with frequent work in leading academic publications and showcases of artistic and theatrical work in venues around the world. And they represent a wide range of academic disciplines, educational backgrounds, and cultural experiences. Just as important as their scholarly achievements and diverse backgrounds is how Knox professors bring all of that into the classroom. Our faculty make the classroom a forum for a shared pursuit of knowledge, a vibrant place for exploration and debate. You'll not only learn from your professors, you'll learn with them.
Walk into any class on campus and you'll find professors -- not graduate students - leading discussions. A Knox class is small - average size is 18 students - and it is anything but a passive one-way lecture or note-taking session. Our faculty are not shy about letting students know their own point of view on a subject; but they also expect-and assist-students to form and defend their own opinions and viewpoints in a wide range of coursework. They challenge assumptions and teach students to be independent thinkers.
Our faculty don't hide away in their offices. Their doors are open to work closely with students throughout their educational careers. Through one-on-one mentoring, professors help students plan their studies and even design their own majors and research projects.
At Knox, we never forget that life is about more than the books. Our faculty do more -- and breathe more -- than merely publish. They live in the community. And you'll find them cheering on the Prairie Fire athletic teams, playing on intramural sports teams, discussing current events at the dining hall, or enjoying jazz music with fellow faculty and students at a downtown club - or even performing on-stage. By being engaged scholars, Knox faculty instill a lifelong love of learning in their students and impart to them the skills and the drive to apply their education to their career, their community and their world.