McKendree Magazine - Summer 2018


A Place Where SCIENCE Is Mastered

Whether it is research to explore the use of herbs to treat major diseases; hands-on experiences as an intern with the Illinois State Police Missing Persons Unit; securing a career as a software engineer or pursuing a career in medicine, McKendree University students are making their mark in the sciences despite working in a building in need of renovation.

Campaign ChartSince Voigt Science Hall was constructed in 1965, both science and the way it is taught has evolved, so the University is answering the call to create a new, state-of-the-art space.

The University’s broadly based liberal arts curriculum requires all McKendree undergraduate students to complete at least one course in biology, chemistry, or physics. As a result, a re-engineered science center not only impacts students majoring in science, it will benefit absolutely every student on McKendree’s campus.

The University’s dedication to the renovation and addition to Voigt Science Hall will advance McKendree’s commitment to STEM education and the close collaboration between faculty and students. The complete renovation of the current building will utilize the space efficiently, effectively and safely. Space will be multi-purpose to maximize the efficiency of the building as a whole. Updating the laboratories and including laboratory preparation rooms will help ensure the safety of our students and faculty. The building will be able to address all of the University’s current needs while allowing the flexibility to expand in the future.

Faculty-student research collaboration has always been an important part of the McKendree experience. This renovation will feature dedicated space to be used as faculty-student research laboratories, ensuring student research does not have to compete for the same space with teaching and prep services, and creating a much improved situation for everyone.


• New Entrance and Lobby

• Large Lecture Facility

• Student Research Space

• Updated Labs and Lab Preparation Rooms


• Re-designed Classrooms

• Faculty Offices

• A Rooftop Observatory

• Informal Meeting Spaces to Promote Group Learning

Visit the campaign website to see how your support will move McKendree FORWARD.

(618) 537-6456






Cyril Curtis '43Expert physicist Cyril Curtis ’43, Ph.D., of Albion, Ill., had a professional career in the sciences that allowed him to experience many places in the United States and abroad, as well as impact countless lives through his research.

His journey all began in the fall of 1939 when he arrived to study at McKendree. As a student, Cyril filled his schedule with science and math courses. Because Cyril was scheduled to leave for his military service just short of completing his degree, he was able to complete a special exam that fulfilled his degree requirements. For this simple gesture, Cyril has been forever grateful to McKendree and has given back to his alma mater whenever possible.

While serving in the Army Air Corps, Cyril had the privilege of studying meteorology and applied those skills while working on the Manhattan Project at the atomic bomb laboratory near Los Alamos, N.M. Following his discharge from the military, Cyril received his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois. For nearly 40 years his career would involve the study of particle accelerator physics, which included stops at the Argonne National Laboratory to work on experiments for the power plant for the first nuclear powered submarine, the Nautilus; teaching physics at Vanderbilt University; and ultimately joining the Fermi Laboratory.

It was with the Fermi Laboratory that Cyril joined the battle against cancer. During this time, the Fermi Laboratory operated the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, which was designed for high energy physics research like that being done by Cyril and his colleagues. Together the team used the accelerator to research radiation therapy used for cancer treatment. In January 1985, Cyril was part of the research team selected to build a proton synchrotron specifically for cancer therapy. The proton radiation therapy developed by Cyril has helped treat countless people who have battled cancer. He retired in 1986 from the lab, but stayed on as a private consultant through 1989.

It was after retirement that Cyril reconnected with fellow McKendreans through alumni reunions. In 2013, he was awarded the University’s Peter Akers Award for professional success, outstanding service and loyalty to McKendree.

A loyal alum, he has actively supported his alma mater and directed a significant gift to the Heritage, Heart and Hope Campaign as a memorial to his wife, who passed away in 2003. As the need has arisen for an addition and a significant renovation to Voigt Science Hall, Cyril has once again committed his support to the University.

Quotation Graphic"When I attended McKendree, I focused on my studies in math, physics, chemistry and biology in addition to the general coursework. It is vital that we provide new and updated science resources to the students of McKendree so they can become the doctors, researchers and scientists of tomorrow. I ask others to do the same so we can continue to be proud of our McKendree." ~
Dr. Cyril Curtis ’43





It is defined as “onward so as to make progress” or “into a position of prominence or notice.”

At McKendree, FORWARD is also a feeling created after years of unprecedented growth.

It’s powerful.

Science CenterRenovation and Addition to Voigt Science Hall

The Voigt Science Hall renovation and addition will feature smaller classrooms and labs designed to allow the space to adapt to the needs of the course, dedicated student research space, conference space, a rooftop observatory, faculty offices, and a large lecture hall appropriate for guest lecturers and distinguished speakers that visit our campus.

Renovation of Holman Library

The renovation of the Holman Library will enhance the capabilities of the library in important new ways. Expanded computer lab facilities will provide an improved study and research environment for students and faculty, transforming the library into the center for the exchange of electronic data and information.

Campus-wide Capital Improvements

Old Main, Clark Hall and Carnegie Hall are not only iconic structures on the campus, but are heavily utilized every day as classroom and office facilities. The historical and vital nature of these buildings requires us to provide for their structural integrity now so that they can continue to meet the needs of coming generations of students.

The Annual Fund

Nothing is more vital to the operations of the University than unrestricted support that can be used to fund the programs and services of the highest priority, such as faculty and staff salaries, professional development, library acquisitions, classroom and laboratory equipment, and student co-curricular activities.

Endowed Scholarships

Scholarships provide access to academically talented students who otherwise would not be able to take advantage of a McKendree education.

We are committed to this FORWARD movement to provide the best possible education, to the best students, with the best faculty, in the best possible environment. Together, we will ensure McKendree University is ready to move FORWARD to meet the opportunities ahead.



FORWARD: The Campaign for McKendree University


Moving Forward