The McKendrean: Official Magazine of McKendree University - Winter 2022

Winter 2022

President Dan Dobbins with Students
A Message from President Dobbins

It is hard to believe that we have already begun the spring semester and are eagerly anticipating all the new beginnings that come with the season. Here at McKendree, this spring means getting back on the path to the future. We have all recently faced challenges in living a normal life. Forward momentum has been difficult to accomplish and maintain.


Clear Path to McKendree
Clear Path: Southern Illinois Initiative

McKendree’s mission has always been about more than simply satisfying the academic requirements of a college education. With a bolder vision of success, the Bearcat family dares to dream big when it comes to what its students and alums can accomplish. McKendree’s tradition of providing an experience that educates the whole person has shaped graduates who go on to make a difference in the world, inspire others to succeed and bring important change to their communities.


New Bogey Mascot
It's a Bearcat!

In the early days of McKendree’s athletic teams, the mascot was actually and truly a bear. Long ago, a large cage sat about 20 feet to the northwest of Pearsons Hall, very close to where Voigt Hall is today. In that cage lived the real live mascot – a bear cub. Each year a student would be voted as the honorary “Keeper of the Bear,” a duty held in high esteem. The mascot, “Susie,” would often wander around campus with a long chain attached to her collar, pop in and out of classroom buildings, and even accompany Coach Glen Filley and the football, basketball and track teams on road trips.


Derwood “Woody” Derickson ’60
Homecoming Highlights

After celebrating Homecoming virtually last year during the pandemic, Bearcats from near and far were reunited on campus during this year’s Homecoming Weekend from October 22 to 24. On this beautiful fall weekend, alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of the University enjoyed a row of local food trucks, the much-loved parade, Bearcat football and, of course, plenty of time laughing, sharing stories and basking in one another’s presence.


Jessica Hoffmann is our 2021 Student Laureate
2021 Student Laureate

Jessica Hoffmann, who excels in mathematics and nurtures a passion for helping others, is our 2021 Student Lincoln Laureate. The Lincoln Academy awards the State of Illinois’ highest student  honor for leadership, service and excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities, and Jessica more than fits the bill.


Dr. Schutzenhofer Honored for Excellence in Teaching
Excellence in Teaching

An interactive and enthusiastic instructor who provides individualized attention to each student is McKendree’s 2021 recipient of the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Michele “Mickey” Schutzenhofer ’03, professor of biology, was among more than 80 St. Louis-area educators who were honored for their outstanding contribution to the teaching profession.



Class of 2025 Photo
Welcome Class of 2025

In the humid afternoon on Wednesday, Aug. 18, McKendree University welcomed the Class of 2025 to campus during Convocation, as 375 first-year students and 96 transfer students arrived on campus throughout the week.

Continuing a trend from recent years, an increasing number of new Bearcats hailed from out of state. While 57 percent of the Class of 2025 came from throughout Illinois, others represented 28 additional states, as well as 23 other countries.


Dr. Jackie Simmons ’88
Farewell Dr. Jackie Simmons ’88

A much-loved professor of psychology, who enlightened and enriched the lives of countless students within Carnegie Hall, is bidding farewell to her teaching days and beginning her much-deserved retirement. Dr. Jackie (Kemp) Simmons ’88 began her teaching career at McKendree in the fall of 2000. Her students will remember her as a teacher who worked diligently to improve both their professional and personal lives.


Student Financial Services
Student Financial Services

McKendree’s Student Financial Services is now every Bearcat’s one-stop department for everything regarding financial aid or student account needs. Now composed of both the Business Office and Financial Aid teams, Student Financial Services is located on the first floor of Wildy Hall. We’re proud to provide a variety of student services!


Dr. Lauren Thompson


McKendree Endows Two Faculty Members

During Convocation Dr. Tami Eggleston had a surprise up her sleeve as she presented Dr. Lauren Thompson, newly -promoted assistant professor of history, and Dr. Brenda Boudreau, professor of English, with endowed professorships.

“There are many things that make McKendree University such a special place, but the main reason is simple – it is the people and the connections that you can make here,” Tami said.


Women’s Soccer Team
Bearcats Unleashed

With a 12-2-2 regular season record, the women’s soccer team earned a fourth-straight GLVC regular season title. The No. 4 seeded Bearcats got an at-large bid to their fifth-straight NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament, before losing in the opening round to conference foe University of Indianapolis.

As a team this season, the Bearcats had 1.72 goals per match and outscored their opponents 31-15. The defense only allowed 7.3 shots per game and less than 50 percent of opposing shots to be on-goal.


Giving Tuesday 2021


Giving Tuesday 2021

We did it, Bearcats! Thank you to all who gave back and helped to make #GivingTuesday 2021 a huge success for McKendree University. The University participated in its 7th annual #GivingTuesday on November 30 and it was the largest #GivingTuesday in dollars raised to date. The collective contributions from this incredible community of alumni, faculty, staff, students, family and friends will create countless opportunities for our students and impact the future of this great institution.


Holman Library Renovation


Holman Library Renovations

Ever since its completion in 1969, Holman Library has been the home of the University’s countless books, several computers and quiet corners in which students tuck themselves away to study. Now, the library is getting some much-needed renovations to make it an even more student-friendly study space.


Alumni Board President
Alumni Board President

Now that we have entered into this new year, it is time to reunite with McKendree family, friends and alumni.

I was very pleased to see so many alumni during Homecoming Weekend. It was great to see the campus alive again.

The pandemic caused all of us to pause and put our health and safety of others at the forefront, which also led us to limit our alumni engagement activities.


Alumni Director
Alumni Director

I hope that all of you are healthy and staying safe as we have entered this new year. As the newly-appointed Director of Alumni Relations, I want to highlight a few events that the Office of Alumni Relations has successfully sponsored this academic year and update you on future events that might be of interest to you.


Alumni Purple Pride Gatherings
It's Friday... Get Your Purple On!

Anders CPAs + Advisors hosted a Purple Pride visit on Oct. 7. Pictured from l. to. r.: Alissa Fuhrmann, director of major and planned giving; Kailey Anderson ’20; Justin Sweeney ’19; Cole Foster ’19; Jordan Reichert ’20, MBA ’21; Lindsay (Lott) Suelmann ’05; Adam Prest ’05; Rob Berger ’01; Gretchen (Ulferts) Best ’09; Jenna (Morris) Cassity ’15 and Brandi Brown-Harris M.A. ’10, director of alumni relations.


Carl Draper '60
Time Talent & Treasure

Nothing speaks more highly of a university than alumni, friends and patrons who enthusiastically serve and support it. McKendree University and its Alumni Association offer a variety of ways to reconnect, serve and give back. One dedicated McKendrean, Carl Draper ’60, made an eternal commitment to McKendree that will impact the lives of students for generations to come.



Let's Get in Touch ...

Share your professional accomplishments, such as job changes, promotions and awards, or personal milestones, such as advanced degrees earned, marriages or births. There are two easy ways to submit your information.

1. Fill out the Class Notes Form:

2. Email a class note to and include your name (maiden name when applicable), class year, and relevant information.

Information submitted will be posted in The McKendrean (print and online editions) and news releases and information from published news clippings may also be used. Please note the information that is published may be subject to availability of space and editing.

... and Stay Connected!

Interested in Volunteering?

As an alumni volunteer, you can give of your time, talent and treasure in a variety of ways. You can help with a specific program, speak at a career workshop, work alongside students, provide leadership for alumni activities, serve on a committee or as a class agent, and/or serve on the Alumni Association Board of Directors. If you have a desire to serve your alma mater, please contact the Director of Alumni Relations.

Alumni Awards Call for Nominations

Nominations for the 2022 Alumni Awards ends April 15, 2022. The Alumni Association is looking for leaders—graduates of McKendree University who have shown strong leadership in their careers, outstanding service to the community, and success in athletics or other notable accomplishments. For more information or specific awards criteria, check out the Alumni Association webpage.