The McKendrean: Official Magazine of McKendree University - Winter 2022

Bidding a Fond Farewell to Dr. Jackie Simmons '88

Dr. Jackie (Kemp) Simmons ’88A 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.

Throughout her time at McKendree, Jackie won several prestigious awards, including the Norman Grandy Faculty Award in 2003, and traveled to Japan in 2009 with two students as part of Technos International Education Week. She has authored many publications and has given several presentations on a local, national and global level – even in places as far-flung as London, Rome, Tokyo and Granada, Spain. She has also participated in dozens of on-campus services, which added to her understanding of what it takes to become a well-rounded and effective professor, including Student Affairs, the Minority Affairs Committee, First-Year Experience and many more.

As she reflects on her McKendree career, Jackie fondly recalls each graduation day when Bearcats walked across the platform to receive their diplomas. “I have always loved the pomp and circumstances of graduation, but more importantly knowing that our students are beginning a new phase of their lives brings me so much joy and peace,” she said. “I am grateful to God for granting me the privilege to make a difference in the lives of so many students.”

In addition to seeing McKendree graduates receive their hard-earned degrees, Jackie will miss engaging with the campus community. “I will miss spending personal time with my students because those moments enriched my life, and I will miss daily interactions with my colleagues in Carnegie Hall and others on campus,” she noted. “I thank them most sincerely for their love and support.”

Her final words of wisdom that she’d like to impart with her students and colleagues? “Continue to enrich the lives of everyone you meet,” she said. The University community congratulates and thanks Jackie, who taught our Bearcats the ins and outs of psychology and served our campus community for 21 years!