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Spring 2021 Magazine

Photo of President Dan Dobbins
Daniel C. Dobbins is Installed as McKendree’s 33rd President »

For President Daniel C. Dobbins ’81, the call to lead his alma mater was not only about what he could accomplish singularly but also his desire to unite the talents, determination and resilient spirit of all those who make up the University community, as “One McKendree.”

President Dobbins began his new role on Jan. 1, 2020, but it was not until the Founders Day observance on Feb. 19, 2021.


Giving Tuesday 2020
Giving Tuesday 2020 »

Thank you for making #GivingTuesday 2020 a great success for McKendree University!

In just 24 hours, the University received 551 gifts, exceeding the goal of 501 to unlock $25,000 for the University's Annual Fund. The University was able to raise $126,744.44 total in the short period of time.

Along with that, two other challenges were also met by the McKendree community!


Commencment »

This year, the Classes of 2020 and 2021 commencements were divided into six smaller, socially distanced ceremonies. On May 7, McKendree fulfilled its promise to the 2020 graduates, many of whom eagerly accepted the invitation to return for their traditional ceremony delayed by the coronavirus a year ago. The Class of 2021 graduates received their diplomas on May 8. Smiling behind face masks, with congratulatory fist bumps replacing handshakes and hugs.


Eggleston Succeeds Bahr as Provost
Eggleston Succeeds Bahr as Provost »

Dr. Tami Eggleston became McKendree University’s chief academic officer on Jan. 1, following a rigorous national search to succeed Dr. Christine Bahr, who retired as provost on Dec. 31, 2020.

Chris, who served the University since 2008, developed academic retreats and the Academic Excellence Celebration.


Greetings to New Trustees
Greetings to New Trustees »

he Board of Trustees has welcomed four new members in 2021. Richard Lloyd, of Lebanon, Ill., was sworn in on May 1. He is a retired Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.

Deborah Belsheim, of Venice, Fla., and O’Fallon, Ill., was appointed to the board in March. Deborah has enjoyed a long relationship with the University as a donor and a partner with Locust Hills Village LLC, which gifted two of its McKendree West student apartment buildings and real estate to the University in 2017.


Fond Farewells to New Retirees
Fond Farewells to New Retirees »

First a student and then an employee, Shirley Baugh ’78 never expected to find herself back on campus nearly two decades after graduating, however she quickly became an essential part of the University.

Shirley worked in real estate and at a credit union before taking a few years away from the workplace to raise her children.



Campus Pivots in Response to COVID-19
Campus Pivots in Response to COVID-19 »

Minimizing the risk of coronavirus among the University community has required a comprehensive and ongoing effort by the COVID-19 Response Team, health services, the Bearcat athletics program, Hettenhausen Center for the Arts, Sodexo food and facilities management, and others across the campus. Many faculty members continued to teach virtually or in a hybrid model combining classroom and remote learning.


Special Education Major if Lincoln Academy Student Laureate
Special Education Major if Lincoln Academy Student Laureate »

Inspired by his faith and desire to make a positive impact, a call to service has been a key part of the college experience for Caleb Shipley ’21. The elementary and special education major is McKendree University’s Student Laureate, the state’s highest student honor for leadership, service and excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.


MLK Awards
Awards »

Seniors Shelby Benn and Gigi Hopkins were presented with the 2021 MLK Humanitarian Award.  Dr. Pamela Manning and Dr. Martha Patterson received the 2021 McKendree University MLK Humanitarian Award winners. Dr. Patterson dedicated her award to Dr. J.L. Simmons ’88 for her commitment to diversity and inclusion, her service to the university and region, and her devotion as a mentor to young people.


A Skull, a Screen, and a Quarantine: Teaching Shakespeare during the Pandemic

A Skull, a Screen, and a Quarantine: Teaching Shakespeare during the Pandemic »

In more than a decade of teaching Romeo and Juliet at my small liberal arts college, I’d never had a student walk through class wearing only a towel. Then again, I’d never taught Shakespeare during a pandemic before.

Like many first-time remote instructors, I prepped my fall semester by researching best practices in synchronous online education, fretting about bandwidth and Zoom fatigue.


A Sister Bell
A Sister Bell »

Since 1859, the Bothwell Chapel bell has rung out across the campus to mark the time and special occasions such as commencement and weddings. Cast in Spain in the eighth century, it was brought to the U.S., and later purchased for McKendree in 1855 by President Nelson Cobleigh and Risdon Moore, an 1850 graduate, mathematics professor and Army colonel in the Civil War.


Hett Virtual Events

Hett Virtual Events »

The Hettenhausen Center for the Arts used alternate platforms this season to entertain audiences in safe, innovative ways. Socially distanced crowds enjoyed the U.S. Air Force Band Starlifter and The Jorrells from their vehicles, drive-in style via FM transmission. The Traveling Salvation Show delivered an energetic, Neil Diamond tribute in a virtual concert to conclude #GivingTuesday on Dec. 1.


Helping at the Holidays

Helping at the Holidays »

The generosity of many McKendreans brightened the holiday season for local residents who faced an especially challenging year in 2020. The University joined with the ministerial alliance to support 48 families, including 113 children, in surrounding communities for the annual Christmas Families Project. The McKendree community contributed $2,008 in cash, checks and gift cards to the collaborative effort of other groups and churches to help those in need.


Athlete Spotlights
Athlete Spotlights »

Cameron Guerin is a first-year biology major and wrestler on the Bearcats’ squad. Although she hasn’t been a Bearcat for long, her talent and determination have allowed her to accomplish so much already. The reigning National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Champion at 130 lbs., she also won the United World Wrestling Junior championship in November and qualified for the 2020 Olympic Trials in April, where she fell just short of making Team USA.


National Highlights & Conference Players of the Year
National Highlights & Conference Players of the Year »

Sophomore Fabio Dalu was named the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Division II Swimmer of the Year and GLVC Men’s Swimmer of the Year. Fabio captured his second consecutive 1000 freestyle national championship, along with national titles in the 500 freestyle, 1650 freestyle and 400 IM. He broke two NCAA national records in the 1000 freestyle with a time of 8:54.10 and 1650 freestyle with a time of 14:55.12.


Gifts of Time, Talent and Treasure
Gifts of Time, Talent and Treasure »

Since joining the ranks of alumni, Bobbie Schweiger has worked to make a positive impact on future generations of McKendree students. She has returned to campus to volunteer to recruit students during scholarship days, congratulate graduates at commencement and welcome alumni during homecoming weekend. Bobbie has also served as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.


Meet the New Alumni Director
Meet the New Alumni Director »

Brandi Brown-Harris, M.A. ’10 has joined the Office of Development, Alumni and Parent Relations as the Director of Alumni Relations. For the past eight years, Brandi has worked as an Academic Advisor in Student Support Services, first at Tennessee State University, and more recently at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, Ill. She has worked closely with students, faculty and staff in the academic community through personal contact and participation in campus-wide events.


In Memoriam
In Memoriam »

Evelyn Bean passed away on April 16, 2021. Arriving at McKendree in 1997, she spent more than 18 years coaching softball and volleyball. She was a three-time American Midwest Conference Coach of the Year and two-time NAIA Region Coach of the Year. She left the field and joined Student Affairs in 2015 as McKendree’s first Student Success Mentor. She is survived by her wife Sue, daughters Kristen Schmidt and Katelyn (Craig) Richert, and grandchildren Harper & Bennett Richert.


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