Following years of unprecedented growth, McKendree University is stronger today than
at any time in its history. Compelled by this strong momentum, McKendree seeks to
ensure its place among this region’s best liberal arts universities by providing an
excellent academic and co-curricular experience to students at the undergraduate and
To ensure its continued progress into the future, several key items that support student and faculty development and scholarship need to be addressed now. These new initiatives rise as a direct result of our progress as an institution over the past two decades. It is our responsibility to advance these initiatives, thereby fulfilling our promise to undergraduate and graduate students who choose McKendree for pursuit of their academic goals.
McKendree University was founded with the purpose of providing an education of the highest quality with an emphasis on strong values, enabling graduates of McKendree to become productive members of society. These same ideals are hallmarks of the McKendree experience today as academic excellence, student engagement, responsible citizenship, and the desire to participate in society as life-long learners mark the student experience.
Those entrusted with the leadership of this great University are excited and passionate about the future. Over the next decade McKendree is committed to ensuring that forward progress remains a cornerstone of the University. The new and renovated facilities outlined here represent important needs for advanced technology which will support high-quality academic experiences and an intellectually stimulating campus environment. They speak to the need to provide our students with a balanced educational experience mentally and physically, and they outline our plans for stewardship of the campus and our historic physical plant. Finally, they remind us of the importance of garnering resources for the University’s permanent endowment and the need for unrestricted gifts which support all that we do in the life of the University.
These are ambitious goals to be sure, but we are committed to them. Their achievement will enable us to provide the best possible education, to the best students, with the best faculty, in the best possible environment. We invite you to join us as together we ensure the ability of McKendree University to meet the opportunities ahead. We are confident that with your support McKendree will continue to advance boldly into the future.
Campaign Funding Priorities
One of the key aspects of a traditional liberal arts education is the existence of strong science offerings in the curriculum. As McKendree has attracted students with ever stronger academic credentials, the demand for expanding academic programs in the sciences and mathematics, and the need for state-of-the-art laboratory space and equipment, have increased. It is imperative that we provide students and the excellent faculty who teach in the sciences with the tools they need to excel and to continue to attract and retain the most academically talented students.
Voigt Science Hall requires significant renovation and/or a new science facility will be required to meet the needs of our students and to keep pace with the scientific advances that drive the curriculum in contemporary college science programs. The University seeks to create an environmentally sensitive space with sustainable features to include a rainwater collection system, native plant landscaping, energy-efficient roof coating, rooftop gardens, solar shading and access to natural light. LEED certification will be pursued for this project. Programs to be supported by the building include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, and a new interdisciplinary program in Environmental Studies. The building would feature a large lecture facility, smaller classrooms and labs, faculty offices, dedicated student research space, conference space, a rooftop observatory, and informal meeting spaces that will foster interdisciplinary work and collaboration among students and faculty.
The life of a traditional undergraduate student at McKendree University is active and engaged both academically and physically. Our students come to the University expecting to be able to exercise both the mind and body, and expect a rich academic and co-curricular program to accomplish those aspirations. Physical fitness and the ability to engage in exercise have never been more important to a generation of college-aged students than they are today.
The new Fitness Center will provide students a 24/7 environment to gather and participate in both individual and group fitness activities in a facility that will enhance the residential experience for students at McKendree. The Fitness Center will provide an active and engaged student body with a dedicated weight and fitness area, indoor track, racquet ball courts, and other multipurpose spaces for aerobic exercise and conditioning serving both athletes and non-athletes alike.
In addition, McKendree wishes to broaden the intercollegiate, as well as intramural and recreational, offerings it provides students through the addition of a competition swimming pool and diving well in the Fitness Center. The building would include a natatorium, with an 8-lane swimming facility, spectator seating, appropriate shower and locker room facilities, and supporting offices. The building will also include a dedicated wrestling facility.
Since Holman Library was originally built in 1969, library services have evolved dramatically. The services that modern college libraries must provide now go well beyond the books and periodicals historically found in traditional libraries. Technology has transformed libraries into hubs for the electronic exchange of information.
The renovation of the Holman Library will enhance the capabilities of the library in important new ways. Expanded computer lab facilities will provide an improved study and research environment for students and faculty, transforming the library into the center for the exchange of electronic data and information. The development of a state-of-the-art conference/lecture room with web access will allow for video conferencing and webinar capabilities for both student instruction and faculty training purposes.
With state-of-the-art technology and the expanded programs outlined above, the library will be the center for student and faculty research on campus and will provide McKendree students access to the tools they need to assist them in their studies.
One of the great legacies of McKendree University is its venerable history. We are indeed proud of our founding as the first college in Illinois and we cherish our rich history. Founded in 1828, three of our most significant structures on the front campus are in need of major renovation. Old Main, Clark Hall, and Carnegie Hall are not only iconic structures on the campus, but are heavily utilized every day as classroom and office facilities. The historical and vital nature of these buildings requires us to provide for their structural integrity now so that they can continue to meet the needs of coming generations of students.
In addition to the major renovations noted above, there are a number of renovations to existing buildings and major capital projects of smaller scale that need attention in the coming years. While not as glamorous as a new structure, the deferred maintenance and proper upkeep of our physical plant is imperative if we are to continue to be good stewards of the University’s physical assets that have served this institution and her students for well over 180 years. As we look toward the future we also acknowledge the need for upgrading of walkways, lighting, streets, and signage to ensure the safety and well-being of our campus community.
Scholarship funds for needy and worthy students are among the highest priorities of the University. Our commitment to seeking significantly more endowed scholarship funds is driven by our desire to ensure that rising tuition rates do not threaten to put a high quality, value centered liberal arts education like that offered by McKendree, out of reach for some families. At McKendree we are exceedingly proud to have been consistently recognized as a great value for students providing an excellent education at a tuition rate that is manageable financially. Nevertheless, as families continue to struggle in these economic times, students require greater financial assistance than ever before. The University must continue to provide support to academically talented students who are in need of financial aid to continue their education. Endowed scholarship funds provide both need-based and merit-based financial aid to help offset the cost of tuition. Through the Campaign, the University intends to increase the number of scholarships available to our students.
Gifts to the Annual Fund are crucial to the ongoing financial well-being of the University. Nothing is more vital to the operations of the University than unrestricted support that can be used to fund the programs and services of the highest priority, such as faculty and staff salaries, professional development, library acquisitions, classroom and laboratory equipment, and student co-curricular activities. With strong Annual Fund support, McKendree will be able to continue meeting its mission to “provide a high quality educational experience to outstanding students.”