Class of 2017 is Largest First-Year Enrollment at McKendree University

At 400 strong, the Class of 2017 is making its mark as McKendree University’s largest incoming class in 185 years. At the Lebanon, Ill., campus, first-year enrollment is up by 30 percent over last year, resulting in a record number of 1,450 undergraduates.

A thousand of them are living in residential campus housing this year. To accommodate this growth, the university has expanded student housing to include an apartment building on Hunter Street, an addition to the McKendree West complex on College Road, and several leased apartments on Perryman Street in Lebanon.

The university also welcomes 165 transfer students from 53 different schools. The new Bearcats have arrived on campus from cities, small towns and suburbs in 25 states; most (73 percent of the first-year students) are from Illinois. Others are citizens of Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine.

Like their upperclassmen, they are academic achievers, with an average grade point of 3.46 and an average ACT score of 23.2. Almost half of McKendree first-year students graduated in the top 25 percent of their high school graduating class and 83 percent received an academic scholarship. Twelve percent have an alumni connection through a parent, grandparent or sibling who attended McKendree.

At the Lebanon campus on Aug. 22, new students signed the matricula—an official document that starts their college career—during the opening convocation, a McKendree tradition. They participated in three full days of orientation, activities and “Into the Streets” volunteer service in Lebanon and nearby communities. Classes resume on Aug. 26.