The McKendrean: Official Magazine of McKendree University - Winter 2022

McKendree University Welcomes the Class of 2025 In Person

Class of 2025 PhotoIn 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. International students arrived from many far-flung lands, including Austria, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, England, Germany, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Northern Ireland, Norway, Peru, Poland, Scotland, Serbia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, and Trinidad and Tobago.

At the traditional opening convocation on the beautiful front lawn of campus, President Daniel Dobbins ’81 told the students, “Convocation is the bookend of your academic journey at the start, with your commencement and graduation as the end of your McKendree student experience, which then marks the beginning of your McKendree alumni experience. You come to McKendree with a family already, the one you’ve known throughout your lives, and today you formally join a new family – the McKendree family – the family I’m proud to belong to and lead as its president. You are indeed an important member of this family, the family we call One McKendree. Dream big, work hard, be humble – good things will happen.”

Also appearing to greet the incoming class and offer advice to the new students were junior Emmanuel Segbedzi, Student Government Association representative; Ryan Furniss ’00, Alumni Association president; and Dr. Ann Collins, professor of political science and winner of the 2021 William Norman Grandy faculty award. Emmanuel encouraged students to bloom wherever they’re planted and live the One McKendree mission while Ryan charged the first-years to challenge themselves, get involved and develop grit to set themselves up for success. Meanwhile, Ann stressed the importance of friendship to the incoming students. “Feed your souls with friends, and tap into the strength that got you this far,” she said. “Obviously, we see something in you – what do you see in yourself?”

As students signed their names to the Matricula, the hushed crowd of parents, friends, faculty, staff and fellow peers looked on with quiet pride, with only the steady chiming of Bothwell Chapel’s bell and the cadence of the summer cicadas cutting through the reverent silence. Convocation ended on a high note as students, faculty and staff sang the McKendree Fight Song with the help of junior music education majors Bradley Eston and Elizabeth Coady, the McKendree spirit band, football team, volleyball team and Bogey the Bearcat.