Summer 2017 Magazine for McKendree Cover

Spring 2017 Magazine


Photo of President Dr. Dennis & Dr. Cynthia Cherrey
President's Message »

I have enjoyed the opportunity from time to time to share some personal news in this column, and I wanted you to know in keeping with our Campaign theme, I moved my life FORWARD in a significant way this winter. If you look closely, you will note a different picture in the column. I am pleased to share with the community that Dr. Cynthia Cherrey and I were married on December 28, 2016. I hope that as you visit the campus in the coming months you will have the opportunity to meet her and welcome her to McKendree!


FORWARD: The Campaign for McKendree University Logo
FORWARD: The Campaign for McKendree University »

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.


US Route 50 Road Sign
Coast to Coast »

Time magazine called it “The Backbone of America,” one of the longest and oldest travel routes to traverse the country. Running from Ocean City, Md., to Sacramento, Calif., it winds 3,073 miles across 12 states and through innumerable towns. It crosses two major mountain ranges, passes Lake Tahoe and Great Basin National Park in Nevada, meanders over hundreds of miles of desert and farmland, and cuts straight through the heart of the nation’s capital on its way to the ocean.


Jazz Band
All That Jazz »

On February 26, 1917, a quintet known as the original dixieland Jazz band walked into victor recording studios in New York City and launched what would be one of the greatest music traditions to stand the test of time. It was something new, something uniquely american, a blend of rhythms and expressions that reflected the cultural and racial melting pot of the country. It was jazz.


McKendree Metro Rec Plex Ice Rink
McKendree Metro Rec Plex »

One of the newest and largest additions to the Metro East region, the recently opened McKendree Metro Rec Plex is an impressive full-service sports complex for visitors and members of all ages. It’s also home to McKendree’s latest athletic teams: ice hockey, water polo, and swimming and diving.


McKendree Women’s Bowling Team
Twice as Nice! The Women's Bowling Team Captured Two National Championships In One Week »

On April 16, they won their first-ever NCAA Women’s Bowling National Championship at the Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, La., by sweeping five-time NCAA champion University of Nebraska. Just seven days later, they battled to a 3-2 victory over Webber International University in the title match of the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Intercollegiate Team Championships (ITC) in the same facility in Baton Rouge.


Lucky Baar ’17
Beyond Lucky »

Lucky Baar ’17 was a four-year starter at defensive end for the bearcats, and continually rewrote the record books. Lucky’s success with football began in high school when he played for Morgan Park in Chicago,Ill. His senior year, he was a first-team All-City selection. “When I was playing high school ball, I clearly remember a coach saying to me I was barely good enough to play college ball,” said Lucky. As it turns out, Lucky not only proved to himself that he indeed was good enough to play collegiate football, but he also proved that coach to be very wrong.


Dr. Brian Frederking
Things are Getting Better. Really. »

The above title may be difficult to believe given the partisan rhetoric and media narratives that fill our daily lives. Emphasizing doom and gloom is profitable for the media and beneficial to politicians. We seem to be hardwired to focus on short-term threats and crises, and that obsession fuels everything from our dysfunctional, hyper-partisan political system to the fake news in our social media.


McKendree Graduates
Commencement »

Representing 26 states and eight countries, the Class of 2017 graduates received their diplomas during the 177th commencement exercises May 13 at the Lebanon, Ill., campus. The University conferred 827 degrees total this year - nine doctorates, eight education specialists, 236 master’s, 569 bachelor’s and five associate degrees - on those who completed their degree requirements in December 2016, and in May and July 2017. One-hundred-fifty-three students graduated with honors: 21 summa cum laude, 82 magna cum laude and 50 cum laude.


Dr. Shelly Lemons
History Professor Wins Grandy Award »

Dr. Shelly Lemons, associate professor of history, accepted the 2017 William Norman Grandy Faculty Award during the undergraduate commencement ceremony. Since 1981, the Alumni Association has honored one full-time faculty member for outstanding commitment to the University and its students. Since joining the faculty in 2010, Shelly has served as chair of the Honors Council, director of the Honors Program, a faculty-in-residence, faculty advisor for the McKendree Young Feminists student organization and interim chair of the Division of Social Sciences. Beyond the classroom, she serves as president of the Southwestern Historical Association and is a member of the Mother Jones Museum Board.


Dr. Greenfield
Dr. Greenfield Named Professor Emeritus »

The newest lifetime member of the University community is Dr. John Greenfield, who was granted Professor Emeritus status at the May 13 commencement ceremony.


City of O'Fallon, Illinois Logo
Proclamation: Recognizing the Relationship Between the City of O’Fallon and McKendree University »

On behalf of the O’Fallon City Council and the residents of O’Fallon, Illinois, I do hereby proclaim McKendree University as our “hometown University;” and urge the citizens of O’Fallon, Illinois to join me in recognizing the valuable contributions made by the University to our community and the region for 189 years; and reaffirm our desire as a City to continue to encourage and support the good work of McKendree University in this region.


Professional Nursing Honor Society Members
Professional Nursing Honor Society Charters Chapter »

Students and graduates of the McKendree University nursing degree programs who are leaders in their profession were inducted as charter members of the Psi Epsilon chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society on Oct. 2, 2016 at the Hettenhausen Center.


Diana Nevarez ’17, Courtney Logan ’08 and Dr. Ann Collins
MLK Humanitarian Awards »

Diana Nevarez ’17, Courtney Logan ’08 and Dr. Ann Collins received the 2017 Humanitarian Awards for their outstanding work to promote understanding and diversity. The annual award honors those who demonstrate the principles, ideals and philosophy of nonviolent social change advocated by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Acadia Reynolds ’17
Lincoln Laureate »

Her passionate dedication to service, social justice issues and academic achievement earned Acadia Reynolds ’17, the State of Illinois’ highest student honor, the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award, for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.


Lisa Brennan, Dr. Guy Boysen, and Daphne Behrmann ’92
Honors Convocation »

Over 80 academic achievers across all disciplines and five faculty and staff members were recognized at the April 27th Honors Convocation. Max Aviles ’17, was awarded the Tanaka Educational Trust Technos International Prize for academic achievement and international understanding. The international relations graduate participated in the Model U.N. program and went on two service-learning trips to Jamaica. Dr. Guy Boysen, associate professor of psychology, received the 2017 United Methodist Church Exemplary Teacher Award. Associate Faculty Awards for Excellence in Teaching were awarded to part-time instructors Lisa Brennan, who teaches English at the Lebanon campus, SAFB and online, and Daphne Behrmann ’92, who teaches graduate business classes online and on campus. Josie Blasdel, director of undergraduate admission, and Melissa Meeker ’93, M.A.Ed. ’06, associate dean of online programs, were presented the President’s Award for Professional Excellence.


Max Aviles ’17
Thomas R. Pickering Fellow »

Max Aviles ’17 is one of only 20 students in the U.S. to receive a prestigious Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship. it will provide funding for graduate school and professional development to prepare him for a career in foreign service with the U.S. Department of State. Max plans to earn his master’s in international relations at the University of San Diego.


Jessica Lirios ’17
Newman Civic Fellow

Junior Jessica Lirios ’17, a psychology major, was named the 2017 Newman Civic Fellow, an honor given by the Campus Compact national coalition of college and university presidents. Jessica is active on the McKendree Community action team and participated in the Spring Break Immersion Trip to the US-Mexico border in 2016.


Competitive Dance Team
NCA and NDA National Champions

McKendree’s spirit squad brought home three trophies from the National Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championships held in Daytona Beach, Fla. on April 6-8. Led by Coach Bob Oeth ’14, the purple and gold cheerleading squads finished in third place in the small coed cheer and intermediate small coed cheer categories among Division II schools. The competitive dance team finished in seventh place in its national debut.


Dr. Nichole DeWall
English Professor Wins Excellence in Teaching Award »

Dr. Nichole DeWall’s enthusiasm for literature and the works of Shakespeare inspire even non-English majors to seek out her classes, which fill up quickly. Students and colleagues admire her dedication, patience, fairness and inspired approach to teaching. The associate professor was among 100 St. Louis area educators chosen for a 2016 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award.


Curtis Lilly and Hailee Lilly ’16
Record-Setting Family »

Senior Curtis Lilly and current graduate student Hailee Lilly ’16 came to McKendree University unaware of their family connection. Curtis is from Rock Falls, Illinois and Hailee is from Sanford, N.C. The Lilly family is one of the largest families in the country, and each year they host a reunion in Flat Top, W.V. Their reunion held the Guinness World Record for largest family reunion for several years. Curtis has not yet been able to attend the reunion, but he definitely plans to one day. Curtis explained that his grandparents go every other year and sometimes run into famous Lilly’s. One year, “a football star, Bob Lilly, a defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys, was at the reunion.” Hailee attended the Lilly family reunion when she was ten years old. “I remember the reunion being on top of a mountain that was in West Virginia and all of my close relatives attending a huge dinner,” she said. “Afterwards I got to play with all the kids. We played with water balloons and did an egg toss. I also remember there were so many people, that there was no way we could have met everyone in just the one day that we were there.” Similar to Curtis’s family, Hailee’s grandparents attend the reunion every year.


PJ Thompson
Letter from the Alumni Director, PJ Thompson »

I hope you are enjoying all the campus news and updates on your fellow alumni included in this edition of The Magazine for McKendree. It is an amazing time at McKendree and we continue to move FORWARD making this an even better place. We would be unable to make this progress without all the support you provide. Thank you so much for all you do.


Bobbie Schweiger ’11, MBA ’13
Alumni Board Profile »

Bobbie Schweiger ’11, MBA ’13 knew from the moment she visited campus that there was something special about McKendree. Although she was not able to experience it until more than a decade later, she discovered the same tight-knit community was still waiting to welcome her when she returned as a nontraditional student in her 30s.


Make It McKendree