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Elizabeth Gentry '13: Thank You McKendree

By Nick Watt '13

McKendree University is an institution that gives so much to so many. It is for this reason that Elizabeth Gentry ’13 a marketing major from Carbondale, Ill., took on the position of co-chair of the Senior Class Gift committee (SCG).

The SCG is a group of graduating students committed to giving back to the University and ensuring the same positive experiences enjoyed by them will be shared by future classes. Elizabeth believes that with the senior class gift that her and the committee are working on, there is the opportunity for students to leave a lasting legacy with the institution. “McKendree University is unique in a way that we never leave this campus; we will continue to make our mark for generations,” she said. “When you walk through the buildings whether it be the buildings name or the dedicated classrooms, those were individual’s way of saying “Thank You”. The senior class gift is a way for senior students to say, “Thank you McKendree; thank you for my experience.” It is a way to open the doors for future bearcats to have their own experience, to make their own mark.”

Coming to McKendree as a transfer student was an easy transition and a meaningful experience for Elizabeth. “My time at McKendree University may have been shorter than others, but the impact it made on me will last a lifetime,” she said. “This campus may be small in size but the opportunities, the learning experiences, and the memories I obtained here are countless.”

Elizabeth is a key member of the McKendree women’s golf team and cites her involvement in capturing a team championship at the University of Illinois-Springfield Fall Invitational in 2012 as one of her greatest achievements while at McKendree, along with upholding a 3.9 GPA.

When discussing her biggest influences since arriving at McKendree, her success on the course is credited to Garry Henson, head coach for both the men and women’s golf teams. “Coach Henson is a phenomenal golf instructor and a great mentor,” she said. “He has helped me more than just with golf; he has helped me grow into the professional young woman I am today. He is changing the Bearcat golf program to not only be better athletically but to also develop young college students into professional adults. I feel honored to be a part of that.” In her academic career, Elizabeth points to Dr. Jean Sampson as being her main source for guidance and inspiration. “Dr. Sampson has been a true role model for me,” she said. “She has taught me the keys for success and much more than you could ever find in a textbook. She has also inspired me to one day become a business professor and model her ways of teaching young business students.”

After graduating Elizabeth hopes to work in the marketing field before going on to pursue her master’s degree, and eventually a doctorate degree in marketing.

“McKendree University is a place with many doors, many dreams, but most importantly, the chance for endless opportunities,” she said. “Therefore, I see it as my duty to pay it forward, by giving to the annual fund, in order for others to have the chance to achieve their hopes, dreams and desires here at McK!”

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