Caleb Shipley '21

Photo of Caleb Shipley ‘21


  • Elementary and Special Education major from Centralia, Illinois

  • Winner of the 2020 Lincoln Laureate Award

  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes President

  • Student Ambassador

  • Member of Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Societies

  • Football team

  • Coordinator for 2019 Fields of Faith event

  • Named to the President’s List

  • Earned Academic All-Conference Honors for the past three years

By Stephanie (Coartney) Dulaney '10

From mission trips to his dream job, Elementary and Special Education major Caleb Shipley ’21 strives to be a benefit to others in all he does. It was that spirit of servant leadership that recently earned him the State of Illinois’ highest student honor, the Lincoln Laureate Award.

Photo of President Dobbins and Caleb Shipley Presented with AwardEach year, a senior from every college and university in the state is selected as a Lincoln Laureate winner based on their leadership and service experience, as well as academic and extracurricular success. Caleb’s passion for working toward the good of others made him the perfect candidate to represent McKendree at the 46th annual Lincoln Academy Student Laureate ceremony this past November. “There have been so many respectable people that have received the award in the past, and I would have never expected to be recognized alongside of some of those names,” he said.

Quotation Graphic"Even to be given an award that simply bears President Lincoln’s name is special because of how much he did in his life to promote the well-being of others."

Inspired by his faith and the belief that everyone can do their part to change the world, Caleb has achieved much in his time at McKendree. In 2019, he brought the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ (FCA) nationwide event Fields of Faith to campus for the first time. Along with many of his fellow FCA members, Caleb led the coordination of a worship and testimonial service that nearly 100 people attended on Leemon Field.

Outside of McKendree, he has served his hometown as a member of the Centralia Youth Commission and participated in five church mission trips to Mexico. He also worked as a Rotary Youth Leadership camp counselor and takes part in the Legs for Life 5K run for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society each year.

Quotation Graphic"My grandma was my second-grade teacher, my mom teaches at the high school I attended, and my dad is the principal of that school. Seeing the impact that they had on their students motivated me to want to follow the same path."

He feels especially drawn to working with students with special needs and making it easier for them to reap the benefits of involvement in extracurricular activities. Caleb plans to teach and coach before going on to earn a Master’s and later Doctorate degree with the goal of becoming an education administrator.

Learn more about the School of Education and opportunities at McKendree University.



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