The Class of 2016 Matriculates at McKendree University

Lebanon, Ill. - Most of them were born in 1994, the year that O.J. Simpson fled L.A. in a white Bronco, Lisa Marie Presley married Michael Jackson, and figure skater Nancy Kerrigan got bashed in the kneecap.

They are the Class of 2016, whose students have arrived at McKendree University with their e-readers, smart phones, tablets, iPods and mp3 players. They have come from cities, small towns and suburbs in 18 states and every hemisphere. While most - 79 percent of 305 first-year students - call Illinois their home, others are citizens of Canada, Tajikistan, Ghana, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Like their predecessors, they are academic achievers, with an average grade point of 3.5. Over half of McKendree freshmen graduated in the upper 30 percent of their high school graduating class and 76 percent received an academic scholarship. Fourteen percent have a parent, grandparent or sibling who attended McKendree.

Nine out of ten first-year students - as well as nearly half of the 135 transfer students from community colleges and other four-year institutions—have chosen to live on campus.

On Aug. 23, the new students signed the matricula - an official document that starts their college career - during the opening convocation, a McKendree tradition.

Just a few months ago, these students celebrated high school graduation with family and friends; now school is new and unfamiliar once more. The first-year students will meet new friends quickly, however, during three full days of orientation, fun activities and “Into the Streets” community service. Classes resume on Aug. 27.

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