Linda Cassens Receives McKendree's 2018 Friend of the University Award

Honors Commitment to Education, Philanthropy, Cancer Research

(LEBANON, Ill., February 21, 2018) — McKendree University presented its 2018 Friend of the University Award to Dr. Linda Cassens, of Edwardsville, Ill., for her commitment to education, cancer research and philanthropy in the region. She was honored at the university’s 190th anniversary Founders’ Day celebration on Feb. 20 at the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts.

Established in 2002, the award recognizes organizations or individuals who are not McKendree alumni but who have consistently given exemplary service to the university. Service can be expressed as volunteer support, assisting in the recruitment of students, fund raising, and maintaining a positive influence on the image and direction of the university.

“Linda Cassens has been a friend to McKendree University for more than 20 years,” said Dr. James Dennis, McKendree University president. “We are honored to recognize her as an individual committed to the well-being of the broader community and a Friend of the University.”

A retired licensed psychologist, Cassens spent the majority of her career helping others, particularly families who were struggling and in need of professional counseling. She supported her late husband Allen’s 18-year tenure on the McKendree University board and became a trustee herself in 2017, serving on the Resource Development Committee. As a long-time donor, she has supported the construction of major facilities on campus, including the Piper Academic Center and the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts. Currently she is working to make the renovation and addition of Voigt Science Center a reality.

Scholarship funds from the Allison Cassens Community Foundation have enabled students to become special education teachers in accordance with the wishes of the Cassens’ late daughter, Allison. The couple honored her memory by establishing Allison’s Friends of Hope to raise resources for the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center in Dallas. When Allen Cassens lost his own battle with cancer in 2014, Linda Cassens continued the work they had started together.

President Dennis closed the Founders’ Day program with his annual “State of the University” address, introduced several successful student teams, and shared a video slide show documenting McKendree’s 190-year history.


Dr. Linda Cassens Receiving an Award

Dr. Linda Cassens accepts the 2018 Friend of the University Award from Dr. James Dennis, McKendree University president, at the Founders’ Day 190th anniversary celebration on Feb. 20 at the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts on campus.