The McKendrean Magazine for McKendree Univeristy - Winter 2023

The McKendrean Winter 2024

President Dan Dobbins
A Message from President Dobbins

There has been so much to celebrate at McKendree lately. For the past two years, our institution has seen the direct results of our Clear Path initiative with increased enrollment across the board. This fall we welcomed the second largest class in school history – a class that has already demonstrated its academic prowess and potential with 30 percent of our new students receiving honors scholarships. Our continued success can be attributed to various factors, especially our Clear Path initiative, which began in the fall of 2021.



Alan Woodruff with a Biology Student
Learning Lessons Beyond the Classroom

McKendree’s latest strategic plan, U.N.I.T.E.D., is in full swing, and the university is already seeing strong, positive results ahead of the bicentennial. The six-pronged plan, which will allow the university to enter its third century united as One McKendree, focuses on six singular ideas and goals, each representing a letter in the word “united.” In this edition of The McKendrean, we will highlight how the university is regularly engaging our Bearcats on campus and beyond through the strategic plan’s fifth pillar, Engagement.


Maria Salomao
Welcome to Maria's McKendree

Taking that first step in attending a college of your choice can feel both exciting and daunting, even for a local student. As an international student, however, the experience often involves a speeding rollercoaster of emotions – the thrill and challenge of gaining an education in an all-new country coupled with overwhelming homesickness. It takes a lot of courage and heart to step outside of the borders one calls home, which is just what senior Maria Vitoria Salomao has done.


2024 McKendree University Homecoming
That 70s Homecoming

Were you not able to make it to Homecoming this year? We’ve got the skinny about That 70s Homecoming, a funkified and far-out event for Bearcats young and old. Read more about it here!


2024 McKendree University Alumni Awards
Alumni Awards

On October 21, 2023, McKendree University honored several of its accomplished alumni at its annual award dinner at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch. Chosen by the alumni board, the 2023 awardees have made their mark in their professions, communities, and their alma mater. See who this year’s recipients were here!


Students Gather at Convocation 2023
Say Hello to the Second Largest Class in McK History!

An infectious joy could be felt in the air as more than 500 students from the class of 2027 arrived on campus, moved into their all-new rooms, and signed the matricula on Aug. 16. Smiles, peals of laughter, and an overwhelmingly positive energy permeated the campus, especially as new students lined up in front of Stevenson House for convocation – their very first formal event they would experience at McKendree.


Green Container Alternatives at McKendree
Purple is Going Green!

If you pop into Ames or the 1828 Café, you might now notice students and other members of the McKendree community carrying green boxes full of food. If so, you’re witnessing one of the university’s latest green initiatives in action – our bento boxes!


Music Education Major Brad Eston
Music Education Brad Eston is This Year's Student Laureate

A highly devoted student. A beacon of inspiration to his peers. A natural leader who fosters others. These are just a few descriptors that McKendree’s faculty have used to describe this year’s Student Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, Brad Eston. A senior from Quincy, Ill., Brad is majoring in music education (instrumental emphasis) and plans to become a band director. His goal as a soon-to-be teacher is to give his future students a way to express themselves and also educate them about musicians who are people of color.


Dr. LaMora

Excellence is a Science with This Year's Emerson Award Winner!

Dr. Angie LaMora, an associate professor of biology at McKendree, is this year’s recipient of the 2023 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award – and for good reason. She is known throughout campus not only as a passionate educator but also as an efficient, tactful leader and liaison between faculty and administration as they navigate the path toward a renewal of Voigt Science Hall.


Joni Bastian
5 Minutes with a McKendrean

Throughout the years, McKendree’s faculty and staff members make their own unique mark on the university and the community, shaping students’ lives and helping them on the path to success. Dr. Joni Bastian, vice president for student affairs and one of the university’s most beloved staff members, has been serving the campus community and making plenty of positive changes for 34 years.


Anna Stiffler


Anna Stiffler: Keeping Her Eyes on the Prize

Senior Anna Stiffler remembers watching soccer since she was a young child, especially because of her brothers. She would always go to their games before she could play any of her own and cheered them on. Now that she’s a forward on the McKendree women’s soccer team, her family often inspires her to do her best on the field.


McKendree University Basketball Featurette
McKendree Basketball Lives Up to the Hoopla

Take a walk through McKendree’s idyllic campus on any given day, and you’re bound to run into students, faculty, and staff walking calmly with a smile on their faces. You may hear hushed conversations and quick call-outs to friends across the Quad as they make their way to and from class. But when it’s game day, the purple is out, the Bearcats get loud, and the fans are ready to show off their school spirit.



McKendree University Women's Golf
McKendree Women's Golf Team is in the Zone!

The women’s golf team has been notching some serious wins this season. For the first time, the team won back-to-back tournaments, including the Kansas City Cup and Flyer Intercollegiate Tournament. Two first-year students, Waritsara Rungrojanaluk and Chiara Bortolotti, won three individual titles total, and the team’s leader, senior Martina Hicks, earned four top-eight finishes, including second place behind Waritsara. The team concluded their season by finishing in the top five teams at the Bill Crabtree Invitational at The Pearl Club in Owensboro, Ky.



Tina (Napper) Tebbe '08
From the Editor

Even before McKendree became a university, this institution has always been one to reach out and show its students that it cared and was interested in giving them the best education possible. Think back to the time when you were a student. In what ways did McKendree make you feel engaged and heard? How did the university make you feel like your thoughts and achievements mattered? How were you and your classmates celebrated in ordinary and extraordinary ways?


Purple Friday Visits
It's Purple Friday!

Did we catch you wearing purple? See who the Alumni Association visited and recognized this time!


Jim Pehle '82
All Aboard the Bogey Bus!

Before becoming a Bearcat, Jim Pehle ‘82 spent some time serving our nation in the Air Force and met his wife, Brenda (Maine) Pehle ’79, who was a student at McKendree at the time. She later worked in the alumni office after graduation, which presented Jim with the opportunity to finish his last two years of college and obtain a business administration in marketing degree at McKendree. Fast-forward 41 years later and Jim is back on campus helping students get to their classes, practices, and meet-ups through the Bogey Bus.