McKendree's Economic Impact in Illinois Exceeded $140 Million in 2018

(LEBANON, Ill., April 4, 2019) — McKendree University generated more than $140 million for the Illinois economy in 2018—including an estimated $128 million in local economic activity—according to a model developed by the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities (FICU).

The FICU Economic Impact Summary traces and analyzes linkages between various economic sectors and communities. Using this tool, McKendree’s overall economic impact to the State of Illinois was measured at $140,136,012—an increase of nearly $45 million from a decade ago ($95M in 2008). The study calculates economic activity resulting from the operation of the university, including employment, earnings, tax revenue and expenditures.

“This study helps us to better understand the depth and breadth of McKendree’s far-reaching effect on the well-being of our community, region and state,” said Dr. James Dennis, university president. “We continue to be a valuable community partner in Lebanon and St. Clair County and to play an important role in our region’s economic prosperity. Our significant economic impact is a byproduct of our core commitment to education.”

The university employs 483 full and part-time staff and faculty members. Payroll deposits to financial institutions, and purchases made by employees and their families, help to drive the local and regional economy. Based on direct expenditures, the university supported an estimated total of 1,248 jobs in Illinois in 2018, according to the FICU model.

Now celebrating its 191st year, McKendree University’s total enrollment of more than 3,100 students includes 1,500 undergraduates at its Lebanon, Ill., campus, as well as students at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., a campus in Radcliff, Ky., and online. The university offers doctoral degrees in nursing and education, and master’s degrees in education, clinical mental health counseling, business administration, nursing and criminal justice. Its online MBA, education and nursing master’s degree programs were among U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Online Programs” for 2018.

The university plays a vital role in helping to develop, train and maintain an educated workforce. Recently added majors such as cybersecurity, cyber defense, data analytics and entrepreneurship prepare students for emerging jobs in technology and business. In 2018, 97 percent of McKendree graduates were working or in graduate school within six months of receiving their degree.

McKendree’s arts and athletics programs support the local economy by attracting visitors and recognition to the area. The 488-seat Hettenhausen Center for the Arts (“The Hett”) is Southern Illinois’ premier performing arts venue, presenting music, dance, drama, films, and guest speakers. The McKendree Bearcats men’s and women’s athletic teams compete in 34 sports, most at the NCAA Division II level.