President Daniel C. Dobbins ONE McKENDREE


We are One McKendree!

In February 2021, the McKendree community celebrated the inauguration of Daniel C. Dobbins '81 as the 33rd president of McKendree University!



Watch the Presidential Installation 

Click to watch the installation or view it below.




Inauguration Program

Download the Inauguration Program or view it below.




Letters of Congratulations

Download the Letters of Congratulations or view it below.


In the spirit of welcoming President Dobbins to McKendree, please consider a gift that can help change lives by providing access to a high quality education. Learn more and give online.




Watch the Celebration Chapel Service

Click to watch chapel service or view it below. Browse the program booklet.



President Dobbins and Academic Mace



On Jan. 1, 2020, Daniel C. Dobbins ’81 became McKendree University’s 33rd president, succeeding Dr. Jim Dennis, who retired after 26 years.

President Dobbins’ McKendree story is one of loyalty, leadership and love, a journey from the classroom to the boardroom. The 6' 8" student from the west-central farming community of Pittsfield, Ill., studied business administration, played forward and center for the Bearcats, and met his college sweetheart, the petite and outgoing Michaelene “Mickey” Macaluso, on the Lebanon campus. The couple earned their bachelor’s degrees in 1981 and married that year. Mickey worked in McKendree’s Office of Admission, while Dan became an accountant and pursued his CPA and MBA, graduating from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1985.

Inspired by gratitude, the Dobbinses became stewards of McKendree as volunteers and donors immediately after graduation. In 1987, Dan was elected president of the Alumni Association Board and, by virtue of that position, a member of the Board of Trustees. In 1999, the Alumni Association rewarded him with its most prestigious honor—the Peter Akers Award. In 32 years as a trustee, he chaired the Resource Development and Financial Affairs Committees, and served as treasurer (1998-2005), vice chair (2005-2007), and board chair (2007-2015). The University conferred on him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the 2015 Commencement ceremony to recognize his years of service and leadership as board chair. He has truly given his time, talent and treasure to McKendree.

President Dobbins’ business acumen and experience, supported by years of service and commitment to his alma mater, guide him in his new role. He is the former president of Fiber Bond Corporation, an air filtration products manufacturing company in Michigan City, Ind.

He views the opportunity to lead McKendree forward as a continued call to service. “I am deeply committed to the mission of this great University and it has been a privilege for me to work on behalf of its students and all of the members of the McKendree community as a volunteer,” he said. “As I begin this new chapter in my relationship with the University, I am deeply humbled and excited by the opportunity to continue that service as president and I am grateful for the strong and enduring leadership of Jim Dennis, who has left a lasting legacy on which we have the opportunity to build.”



Academic Ceremony

Academic MaceMcKendree University Mace

The tradition of the academic mace dates from the late 14th century when two ancient instruments, the royal scepter and the battle mace, were combined to form a symbol of the authority of the leader of a university. Noblemen carried the battle mace as weapon and as a staff of command.

Today the academic mace indicates that the president of a university or college is the embodiment of the power, authority, autonomy, and sovereignty of the institution.  The McKendree mace was fashioned from a white oak tree planted near Wildy Hall at a time near the founding of the college in 1828. The tree was felled in 2004 by a summer storm, and the McKendree Board of Trustees, in recognition of the tenth anniversary of the presidency of Dr. James M. Dennis, commissioned the creation of the McKendree mace.

The images represented on the mace are 1828, the year of McKendree's founding, a likeness of Bishop William McKendree, the Lamp of Knowledge, Bothwell Chapel, the symbol of the United Methodist Church, and the seal of the University.

Doctoral Gown
Academic Dress

The attire of the platform party for this inauguration is rooted in medieval times, and has evolved from the medieval universities of Paris, Bologna, Oxford, and Cambridge.

The precise beginnings of the several parts of the academic regalia are difficult to determine.  Because medieval students enjoyed the status of clerics during their university years, it is believed that their attire found its inspiration in the clerical dress of the times. The gown is an adaptation of the robe of the friar or priest; the hood, of the friar’s cowl; and the mortarboard cap, of the skull cap, which protected tonsured heads against the drafts of medieval classrooms.

In the 1890s when McKendree College was in her seventh decade, academic attire first began to appear in the United States. Its use now is common for college and university functions, and its pattern is uniform.

The Gown

The flowing gown comes from the 12th century.  While it originally may have been worn as protection form the chill of unheated buildings, today it symbolizes the democracy of scholarship, covering any trappings of rank or social standing underneath.

Three types of gowns are worn for McKendree University Commencement exercises: the bachelor’s, the master’s, and the doctor’s. The bachelor’s gown is a yoked, closed-front garment with long, pointed sleeves. The master’s gown has long, closed sleeves slit just above the elbow, permitting the forearms to protrude. The doctor’s gown has full, bell-shaped sleeves and is trimmed with velvet panels down the front and three velvet bars on each sleeve. Black trim is acceptable for all gowns of the doctorate. The color of the panels and sleeves varies to indicate the doctoral degree held. The color of the gown designates colors of the college or university where the degree was earned.

The Hood

The hood was originally worn over the head and attached to the gown. When the skull cap was introduced, the hood was retained but detached. Today it is worn around the front of the neck, draped over the shoulders and hung down the back of the gown. Each graduate degree (master’s and doctorate) has its special hood, which varies in length and, with the doctorate, in pattern.

Colors lining the hood are those of the institution granting the degree. McKendree displays white chevrons on a purple background. The colored velvet binding on the hood, which differs in width for master’s or doctor’s degree, indicates the degree or the major area of study represented by the degree.

The Cap

The mortarboard is the accepted headdress in institutions of higher learning in the United States, whereas many European institutions retain their own distinctive styles of cap. The doctor might wear a gold tassel on his or her mortarboard; the bachelor or master usually wears black, although the color sometimes varies.

The Medallion

A medallion or seal of office worn by the head of an educational institution is a practice that also dates to the Middle Ages.  In those times, a seal was used to mark documents as official.  Possession of the seal was so important that it was usually worn around the neck for safekeeping.  The wearing of the seal eventually became the symbol of authority.  The medallion worn by McKendree University’s president bears and engraving of the University’s official seal.