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Fond Farewells to New Retirees

The University community congratulates and thanks these longtime faculty and staff members who, collectively, represent 138 years of service to McKendree!



Shirley Baugh ’78


Shirley Baugh ’78

Director of Human Resources, 1997-2021

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. When she was ready for a change again, she noticed McKendree had a payroll position open and jumped on the opportunity. “I was hired by the first director of human resources in McKendree’s history,” she said. “His name was Hugh Place, and he was my mentor. He had a way of encouraging and empowering me that gave me confidence.” Thanks to his urging, Shirley returned to the classroom to earn her Human Resources certificate and master’s degree, preparing her for the role she would one day fill.  

Since becoming the director of human resources in 2005, Shirley has helped hundreds of McKendree employees navigate life issues related to health insurance and benefits, as well as personal and professional concerns.

Her McKendree memories span over four decades, from living on campus with her twin sister, Sheila (Baugh) Smith '78, as a college student to being on stage at commencement when her son, Keith Jacob '07, accepted his McKendree diploma. Even the academic mace holds special significance for her because she witnessed the entire process of its creation, from selecting the tree for its wood to the first time it was used. “I just remember thinking I have witnessed history in the making,” she said.

Shirley now plans to enjoy one of her favorite hobbies, golf, as well as lots of quality time with her grandchildren. She hopes the McKendree community remembers her as a helpful and positive person devoted to her alma mater and its people.



Deanne Riess, Ph.D.
Deanne Riess, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Health and Physical Education, 2002-2021

Dr. Deanne Riess’ teaching career spanned more than 40 years, almost half of which she spent guiding and shaping a generation of McKendree students. In April she was named the 2021 United Methodist Exemplary Teacher of the Year, an award given by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. It recognizes excellence in teaching, civility and concern for students and colleagues, commitment to value-centered education, and service to students, the institution and the community.

In her courses, Deanne focused on topics to benefit students’ wellbeing and give them a strong foundation to serve them in their future careers, whether in education or health sciences. Her areas of expertise include wellness, holistic teaching and learning, motor development, and the use of technology to enhance learning.

While she loved her time in the classroom, some of Deanne’s most memorable experiences involved serving with students in the McKendree community. “One of my favorite memories was working the Special Olympics time trials each spring,” she said. “Experiencing competition with these athletes provided so many positive moments, not to mention incredible joy. Our students also gained an invaluable experience and lifelong memories working the event.”

Deanne looks forward to new adventures in retirement and says she will miss her friendships of nearly 20 years and time with students the most. She hopes to be remembered on campus simply as someone who loved to teach and learn.

“I have truly enjoyed the journey and have been blessed to have had the opportunity to meet and touch so many lives,” she said. “I believe teaching and learning are reciprocal events, and both require passion and dedication. My two-cents’ worth of wisdom is to love what you do and to respect others. The rest, most times, will take care of itself.”

For her years of service to McKendree, she was named Professor Emerita at the 2021 commencement ceremony.



Sara Bolten
Sara Bolten, M.S., R.N., C.N.E.

Senior Instructor of Nursing, 1997-2021

Sara Bolten began nursing at the Kentucky campus nearly 25 years ago, and while the times have changed, her love for the McKendree environment has not.

“At that time, we offered nursing classes one day per week at the Louisville campus and one day per week at the Radcliff campus,” she said. “Our classes tended to be large—often 30-plus students—and most students took three nursing courses and one general education course on that day, so those class days were intense for all of us.”

The hard work was most rewarding, however, when Sara met the families of her students on graduation day. Seeing the pride in the eyes of parents, grandparents and children made her remember why teaching is her passion.

Nursing history is also an area of interest for Sara, and she plans to continue her research in this field during retirement. This fall she will present a paper she co-wrote with former McKendree professor Dr. Mary Ann Thompson at the American Association for the History of Nursing conference.

Sara plans to travel abroad in her retirement and spend lots of time rocking her newborn grandson. She will miss the moments shared with her students and fellow faculty members. “I am most thankful for the opportunities McKendree has afforded me through the years and for the chance to work with so many caring and kind-hearted people,” she said. “I hope I have added to the McKendree experience in a positive way here in Kentucky.”



Reverend Dr. B. Tim Harrison


Reverend Dr. B. Tim Harrison

Chaplain and Director of Church Relations, 1998-2021

For the last 23 years, the Reverend Dr. Tim Harrison has been as constant and defining a feature on the McKendree campus as Bothwell Chapel itself. Not only has he brought meaningful spiritual enrichment to campus, but he has also supported students individually, encouraging them through some of the best or toughest moments in their lives.

Tim has had a passion for teaching since he earned his undergraduate degree in elementary and special education. After seminary and time spent serving as a minister, he found the perfect way to unite his love for ministry and teaching young people. “It has always been my desire to help young people during young adulthood in this important and transitional time of their faith journey,” he said.

During his time as chaplain, Tim has touched countless lives and created powerful memories, from holding an impromptu gathering and service in the chapel following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack to leading dozens of immersion trips locally and abroad to give students a broader world view. His work to further social justice issues and encourage inclusion and diversity on campus has made McKendree a better place for those from all backgrounds.

Tim was honored to be named a Presidential Excellence for Professional Service Award winner and grateful to have met his wife, Danielle, at McKendree. He looks forward to returning to church ministry after his retirement from McKendree. “I will miss the excitement in young people as I assisted in their discovery of new things about the world, about themselves, and about their faith,” he said. “I hope that I will be thought of as a servant leader and one who tried to work for the good of others and bring them an understanding of God’s love and grace in their lives. I hope that each person I came in contact with felt and knew that they were important and that they matter to God and to me, regardless of their job title, where they were from, or their faith or non-faith identity.”



Jill M. Weil


Jill M. Weil

Assistant Director of Information Technology, 1972-December 2020

Jill M. Weil began working for McKendree in 1972, the year she graduated from high school. In December, she retired after 48 years of service. “I tell people, ‘I came to work at McKendree and forgot to leave,’” she jokes. Around campus she was known for her impressive Bearcat spirit, love of purple, and passion for the people and place to which she dedicated her entire professional life.

A native of Lebanon, Ill., Jill grew up on Merrill Street, just a few steps away from campus front lawn. She graduated from Lebanon High School and was hired as a secretary for McKendree’s director of institutional research. “There were no computers when I started,” she said. “My boss became the vice president for finance and planning. Then we got computers, and the programmers arrived in November of ’77. Shortly thereafter I moved down there. Training was hands-on. The disk plates were huge.”

Jill’s position transitioned from the Finance Department to what would become the Information Technology Office. Although the technology itself has evolved immensely over the years, one task she continued to do throughout her entire career was IPEDS, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System state and federal reporting of enrollment statistics. She recalls keeping track of student data on blue index cards when technology was in its early stages on campus.

Some of Jill’s fondest memories of McKendree took place during the times she became involved in campus life. She loved working the door for men’s and women’s basketball games, wrestling matches, and volleyball games when competitions were held in the old Bearcat Gym. Jill’s presence on campus was a constant for all who knew her and benefitted from her wit, good humor and kind spirit.