McKendree University Recognized for Excellence in Student Voter Engagement

The University was awarded the Silver Seal from the ALL IN Challenge

(LEBANON, Ill., November 9, 2021) – On Monday, Nov. 8, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge hosted its third biennial awards ceremony to recognize select higher education institutions, educators and students for their extraordinary work in student voter engagement during the 2020 presidential election. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and most students learning virtually, the honorees ensured students across the country could cast their ballots.

The 2020 presidential election engaged the largest and most diverse group of college students in U.S. history. McKendree University received the 2021 Silver Seal for achieving a student voting rate between 60 and 69 percent, a sharp incline from 2018’s 30 to 39 percent. More than 840 institutions enrolling close to nine million students participate in the ALL IN Challenge.

Dr. Ann Collins, professor of political science, led the ALL IN Democracy Challenge and nonpartisan voter engagement activities on campus, along with Jennifer Funk, M.A.Ed. ’14, co-chair of the ALL IN Committee.

“We are happy to receive this national recognition,” Dr. Collins said. “Our students realize that their voices matter – at all levels of government. They’re getting out to vote because they know it’s important to their lives and to their futures.”

The 2020 election cycle saw unprecedented voter registration and turnout among college students, according to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), a research study of the Institute for Democracy in Higher Education (IDHE) at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University.

“The rise in voter participation and engagement for college students in last year’s presidential election amidst a global pandemic was tremendous and will undoubtedly be tied to the tireless efforts of the dedicated students, faculty, administrators and partner organizations that are part of the ALL IN Challenge network,” said Jen Domagal-Goldman, Executive Director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “The hard work of these trailblazing honorees will help support many of the country’s future leaders in fulfilling the equitable, engaged vision of democracy to which we aspire.”

The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a nonpartisan, national initiative recognizing and supporting campuses as they work to increase nonpartisan democratic engagement and full student voter participation. The Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, and make democratic participation a core value on their campus.

To learn more or see the full list of winning campuses, please visit