Welcome to McKendree University!



New Student Orientation (NSO)

So you’re ready to move away from home and start life as a Bearcat? The excitement is building, but with that comes nerves as well. We want to make your college transition as smooth as possible. To help with the process, all new students experience New Student Orientation. This five-day program, scheduled prior to the first day of class, is designed so you can experience all that McKendree has to offer. You’ll be grouped with your fellow classmates, an older peer mentor, and a McKendree staff member. Together, you’ll navigate through various activities and McKendree traditions such as Convocation, Playfair, and Into the Streets. You will have the chance to ask all of those nerve-racking college questions, and gain insight from someone who has been in your shoes. Who’s ready to become a Bearcat?




Opening Convocation (Academic Ceremony)

Photo of Opening ConvocationJust as graduation signifies the end of your college career, convocation signifies the beginning. Convocation is a McKendree tradition that is deeply valued and cherished. As a new student, you and your family will come together for this ceremony. After a welcome address from our University President, every new Bearcat will sign the matricula, etching your place in McKendree history forever. The matricula is an official document of the University that marks the beginning of your time at McKendree, and is held in our official archives indefinitely. If you don’t already, you’ll definitely feel like a true Bearcat after convocation.




Into the Streets (Service Projects)

Photo of Students Working at Into the Streets EventDuring NSO weekend, you and your classmates will have the opportunity to help others and make a difference in the communities around you. Into the Streets is our yearly program held on the Saturday of NSO. In a group, you'll be assigned to a local organization to volunteer for the day. Some organizations we support include the Christian Activity Center, the NICE foundation, and Stray Rescue. The hope is that through a day of service, you will learn about the work of not-for-profit organizations and the reason these organizations exist, increasing your desire to serve throughout college and become engaged citizens and lifelong learners. As a Bearcat, you'll be given many opportunities to help others through the Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service.




You'll Like McKendree

Play the McKendree University Overview Video button
About McKendree University

New Student Orientation (NSO)

Campus Map

Campus Activities

Student Involvement

Residence Halls

University 101

Center for Community Service

Bearcat Benefits

Apply to Become a Bearcat



Make It McKendree