McKendree University Welcomes 3,000 Students this Fall

More Are Coming from Beyond Illinois and Abroad

(LEBANON, Ill., August 26, 2015) - McKendree University welcomes 3,000 students this fall, one of the largest student bodies in its 187-year history.

Seventy-three percent of McKendree first-year students have received an academic scholarship; half of them graduated in the top 20 percent of their high school class and many were valedictorians. Collectively, the Class of 2019 has an average grade point of 3.5 and an average ACT composite score of 24. Thirteen percent have an alumni connection to McKendree through a parent, grandparent or sibling.

“You have arrived at McKendree as achievers and should be proud of your accomplishments,” President James Dennis told the Class of 2019 at the opening convocation on Aug. 26. “But now that you are here, it’s time to hit the reset button. You are all starting fresh and everything you do from here on is up to you.”

An increasing number of new Bearcats come from out of state. While 69 percent of the Class of 2019 are from Illinois, several others represent Missouri, Texas, Indiana, California and Florida. First-year international first-students have arrived from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.

University officials attribute the growth to McKendree’s expanding regional and national reputation; word-of-mouth recommendation; competition in NCAA Division II athletics; and a variety of new or successful programs, from show choir to women’s wrestling to a nationally prominent speech and debate team.

More McKendree students are living in campus housing than ever before - 93 percent of freshmen and 56 percent of transfers.

At the Lebanon, Ill., campus on Aug. 26, new students signed the matricula - an official document that signifies the start of their college career. They will participate in four days of orientation, activities and “Into the Streets” volunteer service in local communities before classes start on Aug. 31.

McKendree University remains among the top Midwest regional universities in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 “Best Colleges” edition, as well as a College of Distinction and one of “America’s 100 Best College Buys.” For more information, visit