McKendree University Welcomes Largest First-Year and Transfer Class

Class of 2020 Represents 28 States, 20 Countries

(LEBANON, Ill., August 24, 2016) — McKendree University welcomes the largest and most diverse student body in its 188-year history, with the arrival of 470 new first-year students and 120 new transfer students.

An increasing number of new Bearcats have come from out of state. While two-thirds, or 66 percent, of the Class of 2020 are from throughout Illinois—a record low in-state percentage for the second consecutive year—others represent 28 states and 20 countries. Five percent are international students, having arrived from Canada, Nigeria, France, Netherlands, Ukraine, Belarus, Belgium, Zimbabwe, India, Italy, Hong Kong, Sweden, United Kingdom, Cayman Islands, Switzerland, Rwanda, Germany, Serbia, South Africa and the Philippines.

Eighty percent of McKendree University first-year students have received an academic scholarship; 47 percent graduated in the top fourth of their high school class. Collectively, the Class of 2020 has a high school grade point average of 3.5. Continuing a trend from recent years, most McKendree first-year students—91 percent—are living in campus housing.

At the opening convocation on Aug. 24, President James Dennis told the Class of 2020 to take advantage of their outstanding academic opportunities and to visualize their graduation. New students then signed the Matricula—an official document that signifies the start of their McKendree University career. They will participate in three days of orientation, activities and “Into the Streets” volunteer service in local communities before classes start on Aug. 29.

Photos of Convocation, New Student Orientation groups, moving in, and the welcome luncheon may be viewed online at