Gifts of Time, Talent and Treasure

Nothing speaks more highly of a university than alumni, friends and patrons who enthusiastically serve and support it. McKendree University and its Alumni Association offer a variety of ways to reconnect, serve and give back. Two alumni and one very special gift have made—and continue to make—a lasting impact on the lives of our students and graduates.


A. Maria (Stallings) Page ’89, M.A.Ed. ’06
Time: A. Maria (Stallings) Page ’89, M.A.Ed. ’06

Maria has given countless hours to her alma mater as a volunteer over the years. She was one of the youngest students admitted to McKendree (at age 15) and participated in the Student Government Association. She has continued to serve her alma mater, including two terms as president of the McKendree University Alumni Association. Prior to leading as president, she served in several other roles on the alumni board during her tenure. Now a member of the University Board of Trustees, Maria continues to contribute her time in that role.


Dr. Sara Frank ’06
Talent: Dr. Sara Frank ’06

Sara is using her talent in a very special way as an assistant professor of speech communication. As a graduate of McKendree’s communication studies department, she was active in Lambda Pi Eta honor society and other communication clubs and organizations. She went on to complete her master’s and doctorate and in 2018, was hired to come back and teach where she once learned. Sara’s knowledge, ability and talent now educate the next generation of students who now sit where she did. In her brief full-time tenure she has increasingly gained the respect of her campus partners, colleagues and students.


The Hett
Treasure: The Hett

The Hettenhausen Center for the Arts is truly a treasure for current students, alumni and the community. Since its opening in 2006, “The Hett” has become Southern Illinois’ premier performing arts venue, presenting world class dance, drama, classical music and jazz. It is named for the late Russel E. and Fern M. Hettenhausen, who shared a lifelong love for the arts. Following Russel’s death, Fern sought a way to memorialize him in a fitting manner. She stepped forward with the lead gift of five and a half million dollars and jump-started the effort to construct a new arts center at McKendree. Her gift is a lasting tribute to her husband and her commitment to the arts and to those who study here.