FORWARD: The Campaign for McKendree University

Campaign Goal Chart
The McKendree community has continued to show extraordinary support for Forward: The Campaign for McKendree University. Over $30 million has been donated as part of the Campaign so far. Gifts will support:


  • A renovation and addition to Voigt Science Hall

  • A renovation of Holman Library

  • Revitalization and renovation of our classroom facilities in Clark, Carnegie and Old Main, including improvements to technology

  • The raising of additional funds for endowed scholarships and endowed faculty positions

  • And, funding for general use where it is needed the most

Watch the FORWARD campaign video or make a gift.




McKendree West


The University received a multi-million dollar gift of property at the McKendree West student apartment complex. Two of the 10 buildings and the 2.83 acres of real estate on which they are located, valued at nearly $4 million, were given to the University by Locust Hills Village LLC. “The partnership we have enjoyed with Locust Hills Village members, Jerry and Mary Helen Phillips, and Deborah and the late Harold Belsheim, over the years has been remarkable and this gift is an affirmation of their strong commitment to the University and higher education in this region,” said Dr. James Dennis, president.

For information on how you can support FORWARD: The Campaign for McKendree University call (618) 537-6456.



Ed and Jeanne McGlynn 


A member of the McKendree Board of Trustees, Ed McGlynn ’68 and his wife, Jeanne ’70, have been loyal supporters of their alma mater for almost 50 years. Ed and Jeanne met at McKendree on the way to a classmate’s engagement party in 1967. Ed was studying history and Jeanne was working on her elementary education degree. After a year of courting, they were married in June of 1968 and two years later they moved to New Jersey. Ed went on to graduate from Seton Hall University Law School and in the 1980’s was Chief of Staff to former New Jersey Governor Thomas H. Kean. For 20 years, he operated his own consulting firm, ERM Government Affairs, Inc., before joining the Kaufman Zita Group as senior counsel for legislative and regulatory affairs in 2016. In 2003, Ed joined the McKendree Board of Trustees and is currently serving as the chair of the resource development committee.

Q: What impact has McKendree had on your life?

Ed: We would not be together if it wasn’t for McKendree. I am from New Jersey and Jeanne’s from Virden, Illinois. When we came here, this was a very, very small college. There were about 350 in the entire campus. So to watch it grow over the years and be able to be a part of that growth, it is a very vibrant institution today and one that I am very proud to say is my alma mater. We love coming back. It is part of why I am so happy to serve on the Board of Trustees. It brings us back here.


Q: Why did you commit to support the University like you have?

Ed: College is all about the students. It is about the experience. It is not necessarily just the classroom; it is about the experience you have on campus. Jeanne and I want to make that experience as pleasing as possible for the students, but that is not possible without people like us who are willing to contribute back to the University. The idea of giving and the idea of helping a student who is now at the University is very satisfying.

Jeanne: You do not have to say too much to either one of us for us to say “Let’s give, let’s help the school.” We get an awful lot of pleasure in coming here and pleasure in seeing new things all the time.

Q: Tell us about the impact supporters, like you, have had on McKendree University.

Ed: I can’t imagine what McKendree would be like if over the years there weren’t donors who were willing to step up to the plate to contribute for things such as the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts, the Convocation Center and the Piper Academic Center.

Q: Why did you become financially involved in supporting the construction of The Hettenhausen Center for the Arts?

Ed: The Hett to me is what brought McKendree to university status from college. We became financially invested in it because we thought it was the way for the University to get renowned people to come to the campus and it became the metropolitan center of Southern Illinois as an art center.”

Q: Why is the renovation and addition to Voigt Science Hall so important?

Ed: I graduated from McKendree in 1968 and I watched that building being built. We have the ability to have a great science program. We are doing well now, but with a first-class science hall, McKendree will be able to attract even more high quality students. You have to have the building for students to want to come and study here.

Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking about supporting Forward: The Campaign for McKendree University?

Ed: McKendree cannot remain static. We need to move forward just like we have done for the past 20 years. This cannot be done without donors contributing to the University and giving whatever they can afford. McKendree has had a tremendous impact on both Jeanne and myself. We would love to see new structures, new buildings and a solid financial footing going forward and we would ask that you consider a pledge to the university or a contribution to the university for the future.




Caresse Hollendoner '17
Biology graduate Caresse Hollendoner ’17 received a national Sigma Zeta Student Research Award for her research project entitled “The effect of rarity on plantpollinator communities.” Caresse is working with Dr. Michele Schutzenhofer ’03, associate professor of biology, to collect data on pollinator visitation, pollen limitation, and seed set on rare and common plant species this summer. She is sampling the plant-pollinator community at Clifftop’s Paul Wightman Subterranean Nature Preserve in Fults, Ill., which is a 306-acre tract that contains hundreds of acres of prairie restoration. She will present the results of her research at the 2018 National Sigma Zeta Convention at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo.
Lexi Nash '17
Biology graduate Lexi Nash ‘17 was involved with several research projects, including the Bearcat Beehive Pollination Project and Northern Copperhead Snake Spatial Ecology Project. The president of McKendree’s Sigma Zeta chapter, she organized and ran the national Sigma Zeta convention in 2016 and received a National Sigma Zeta Honor Award. While developing her skills in the classroom and on campus, Lexi began job shadowing professional dentists as well. Her passion for exploring the real life aspects of her field led her to not only intern at Markarian and Diliberto Endodontics in Swansea, Ill., but also earn a position as a full-time dental assistant. “It was important to me to attend a university where i would receive a strong education in the biological sciences needed to prepare me for the challenging curriculum of dental school,” Lexi said. She has been accepted into Southern Illinois University’s Dental School.