The McKendrean Magazine - Summer 2023

The McKendrean - Summer 2023

President Dan Dobbins with Emmanuel Segbedzi
A Message from President Dobbins

This past semester has proved to be an exciting time for the university. So far, we have celebrated our tenth-annual Academic Excellence Day, conferred 548 degrees to our graduating students, and started offering new programs to help paraprofessionals become full-fledged teachers in the state of Illinois.


Thinking Outside the Box
Thinking Outside the Box

As McKendree continues carrying out its latest strategic plan, U.N.I.T.E.D., in anticipation of its bicentennial in 2028, the university is constantly empowering, educating, and nurturing its campus community. The six-pronged plan focuses on six singular ideas and goals, each representing a letter in the word “united.”

In this edition of The McKendrean, we will spotlight how the university is making the strategic plan’s third pillar, Intellectual Experience, shine and enrich Bearcats in and outside of the classroom.


The True Hett Experience
The True Hett Experience

McKendree student Hailey Rose '24 shares her unique experience as she attended Ethereal Visions: A Sight and Sound Creative Journey, one of the many amazing shows the Hett brought to the stage this past year. Read on to immerse yourself in this treat for the senses, and consider buying tickets to future events at the Hett!





Where Are They Now?
Where Are They Now?

Have you ever wondered what your favorite retired faculty and staff members are up to these days? Now you can read up on how the people who formed your life at McKendree are doing in our “Where Are They Now?” feature! In this edition, we caught up with Dr. Ron Black, retired professor of English, and Dr. Phil Neale, retired professor of philosophy, to see what they’ve been up to lately!


Founders Week Celebration
McKendree Celebrates First-Ever Founders Week!

Founders Day? More like Founders Week! In anticipation of McKendree’s impending bicentennial in 2028, the campus community celebrated its 195th birthday like it’s never been celebrated before: with an entire week of fun, gratitude, philanthropy, and – of course – cake.


Commencement 2023
Congratulations, Class of 2023!

Cheers, claps, whistles, chants, and proud parents yelling, “That’s my daughter!” or, “That’s my son!” rang through the air as the McKendree community celebrated commencement on Friday, May 12. The Bearcat spirit was very much present on this cloudy yet temperate day as the university proudly conferred a total of 548 degrees with 103 students graduating with Latin honors.


Dan Lett Honorary Degree
Dan Lett '91 Presented with Doctor of Humane Letters Honorary Degree

A Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree was conferred to Dan Lett ’91, outgoing Board of Trustees chairman, for his service, insight, leadership, philanthropic support and commitment to his alma mater. He was board chair for eight years and will continue to serve on the board as a member.


Peyton Osgood Wins Technos International Prize
Peyton Osgood Wins Technos International Prize

Peyton Osgood ’23 of Crest Hill, Ill., is this year’s recipient of the Technos International Prize. The award was presented on May 12 during the undergraduate commencement ceremony, where Peyton graduated with a degree in psychology with minors in history and clinical and counseling psychology. Peyton accepted the award amid a wild round of applause from peers, faculty, staff, and family members alike.


George Fero Retires

"It's Been a Great Ride!" Dr. George Fero Retires

A professor of education and previous chair of the Division of Education, Health and Human Performance, George was a key leader who helped launch the university’s graduate programs and oversaw a transformation period in education, including the creation of eight new educational programs and more. He taught graduate-level coursework and advocated for technology in the classroom.

Read more about George here!


5 Minutes With a McKendrean: Dr. Sara (Trask) Frank '05
5 Minutes with a McKendrean: Dr. Sara (Trask) Frank '05

McKendree has never been short of amazing professors; it’s one of the reasons why so many choose to attend the university in the first place. Many times, the university finds a way into its students’ hearts and calls them back to serve future Bearcats as either faculty or staff. This is true of faculty members like Sara (Trask) Frank ’05, associate professor of communications, who joined McKendree as a faculty member in 2018. She also serves as the Provost Fellow for Communication and is one of McKendree’s most fervent cheerleaders.


Bearcats Visit Japan for Technos Week

Bearcats Visit Japan During Technos Week

Juniors Anna Leitner and Aaron Brown, along with Joe Blasdel, director of speech and debate at McKendree University, explored contemporary and traditional Japanese life and connected with students from around the world in June as guests of Technos International College in Tokyo. This is the first time since students have met in person for the annual event since 2019, due to the coronavirus pandemic.



Bearcats Unleashed!
Bearcats Unleashed!

Catch up on what McKendree Athletics has been up to during the spring 2023 season! Read all about men's basketball, football, women's bowling, and many more here.


Letter from the Editor
Letter from the Editor

Serving McKendree as an alum has been a true joy and always conjures happy memories of my time as a Bearcat. What has McKendree done for you? Tell us about your most memorable experience at McKendree, and your story could be featured in future editions of The McKendrean.


Bearcats Serving Our Nation
Bearcats Serving Our Nation: Hayden Schaefer '21

Hayden Schaefer ’21 has always had a desire to make a positive impact on the country and help people, and going into public service seemed like the best way he could accomplish his goals. Hayden set his sights on joining the United States Secret Service – a job that always greatly interested him and would allow him to easily see the difference he was making each day.