McKendree University Welcomes the Class of 2025

Class of 2025 PhotoFirst-Year and Transfer Students Represent 29 States, 23 Countries


(LEBANON, Ill., August 20, 2021) – McKendree University welcomes the Class of 2025 to campus, as 375 first-year students and 96 transfer students arrived on campus this week.

Continuing a trend from recent years, an increasing number of new Bearcats are from out of state. While 57 percent of the Class of 2025 have come from throughout Illinois, others represent 28 additional states, as well as 23 other countries. International students have arrived from Austria, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, England, Germany, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Northern Ireland, Norway, Peru, Poland, Scotland, Serbia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The Class of 2025 has a collective high school grade point average of 3.6, and 85 percent of first-year Bearcats are living on campus this fall. Ten percent of students are legacy students, meaning they have had a parent, grandparent or a sibling attend the University in the past.

At the traditional opening convocation on August 18, President Daniel Dobbins told the students, “Convocation is the bookend of your academic journey at the start, with your commencement and graduation as the end of your McKendree student experience, which then marks the beginning of your McKendree alumni experience. You come to McKendree with a family already, the one you’ve known throughout your lives, and today you formally join a new family – the McKendree family – the family I’m proud to belong to and lead as its president. You are indeed an important member of this family, the family we call One McKendree. Dream big, work hard, be humble – good things will happen.”

Also appearing to greet the incoming class and offer advice to the new students were Emmanuel Segbedzi, Student Government Association representative; Ryan Furniss, Alumni Association president; and Dr. Ann Collins, professor of political science and winner of the 2021 William Norman Grandy faculty award. Segbedzi encouraged students to bloom wherever they are planted and live the One McKendree mission while Furniss charged the first-years to challenge themselves, take every opportunity to learn everything they can, get involved and develop grit to set themselves up for success in their lives. Meanwhile, Dr. Collins stressed the importance of friendship to the incoming students. “Feed your soul with friends, and tap into the strength that got you this far,” she said. “Obviously, we see something in you – what do you see in yourself?”

Bogey at ConvocationContinuing a longstanding McKendree tradition, each new student signed the Matricula, a document that signifies their enrollment and becomes an official, permanent University record. They will participate in three days of orientation, activities and “Into the Streets” volunteer service in Lebanon before classes begin on Mon., August 23.

Two faculty members were also surprised with awards from Provost Dr. Tami Eggleston during convocation. Dr. Lauren Thompson, associate professor of history, was awarded the Samuel Hedding Deneen and Charles Samuel Deneen Memorial Professorship of Early American History. Dr. Brenda Boudreau, professor of English, was awarded the James M. Hammill Chair of English award.

The ceremony ended with students, faculty and staff singing the McKendree Fight Song with the help of students Bradley Eston and Elizabeth Coady, the McKendree spirit band, football team, volleyball team and Bogey the Bearcat.