Values and Recent Accomplishments


Our Mission:

To provide a high quality educational experience to outstanding students. We guide our students in the pursuit of academic excellence, which will prepare them for leadership roles in our society. To achieve this end we encourage broader vision, enriched purpose, engagement with community, commitment to responsible citizenship, openness to new ideas and dedication to lifelong learning.

Our R-E-A-L Purpose:

To prepare students to value and exhibit Responsible Citizenship, Engagement, Academic Excellence and Lifelong Learning.

Our Promise:

To provide students an exceptional, personalized education in a vibrant and engaging academic community.

Our Values:


  • We are a values-based institution. We believe the best way to teach values is to model service, generosity, respect and acceptance through our behavior

  • We value students as individuals. We encourage open dialogue, free inquiry and mutual respect among students from diverse backgrounds

  • We value a holistic education. We nurture the development of the whole person — mind, body and spirit. We offer educational opportunities that develop our students’ intellect, analytical abilities, research capabilities, creativity and sense of identity. We cherish our historical relationship with the United Methodist Church

  • We value experiential and engaged learning. We encourage students to learn by doing, to study abroad, to take part in community service and to engage in our rich co-curricular programs

  • We value our community. We expect the members of our community to treat each other with mutual respect in all aspects of campus life. We strive to be good stewards of our students as we seek to weave them into our community. We want our students to be members of the “McKendree family.”




Academic Distinction:


Academic excellence is paramount to our mission. The University provides high quality academic programs distinctive in content, academic rigor, course delivery format and quality of instruction. Our faculty create curricula and educational experiences that require students to take an active role in their education; to think critically about the world in which they live; to integrate knowledge and skills across disciplines; and to apply what they learn in authentic environments. Our students will graduate with a solid foundation in the liberal arts, expertise in their chosen field of study and the skills and passion to fulfill their responsibilities as global citizens.


    • Teaching for Excellence Workshops provide opportunities for professional development in every facet of teaching, including active learning pedagogy.

    • Capstone experiences are hallmarks of our undergraduate academic program.

    • Student Engagement grants provide funds to support students to travel to scholarly conferences and conduct research.

    • Active Learning Centers are available to facilitate collaborative learning and group project activities.




Intellectual Climate:

We believe a college education should not be the final culmination of one’s educational pursuits; it should be a springboard to lifelong learning. We therefore seek not only to provide an excellent academic experience but also to offer a wide variety of intellectual opportunities beyond the classroom. Our students, faculty and staff come together as a community of scholars through lectures, theatre, film, art, music, literature and current topics to exchange ideas, express differing points of view or simply enjoy a work of art or a great performance. Our goal in creating this environment is to enrich the life of our campus and local community, and to inspire in our students the desire to continue to engage in intellectually stimulating activities beyond their formal academic experience.

    • The Academic Excellence Celebration annually brings the entire campus community together to celebrate the scholarly work of our students through poster presentations, concerts and recitals, research presentations, and a student art show. The day culminates in the Honors Convocation and inductions into academic honor society inductions.

    • McK Radio provides a variety of podcast-based programming and original content ranging from concerts and lectures to original content developed by faculty and students.

    • Speakers and performers at the Hett routinely interact with members of the campus community beyond their engagement on stage, to include participation in Brown Bag presentations, classroom lectures, and master classes.

    • Brown Bag lunch presentations, book study and discussions about social justice topics are held regularly.



The McKendree Experience:


McKendree provides a unique learning environment large enough to offer students a variety of quality academic options yet small enough to personalize opportunities for individual development, allowing students to “make their mark” in a broad variety of ways. While the “McKendree Experience” is different for each student, shared hallmarks include an extraordinary education, a collaborative environment, a strong sense of values and community, experiential learning, civic engagement and an atmosphere of inquiry and mutual respect.

    • The University Chaplain and the Director of the Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service collaborate to offer local outreach opportunities, domestic and international mission trips, educational service, and Global Awareness Week.

    • theHUB and Active Learning Center are state-of-the-art classroom and collaborative study spaces available to faculty and students to enhance their learning experience.

    • The McKendree MetroRecPlex and the Sports Performance Center enable student-athletes and non-athletes to exerciseand grow stronger.




Faculty Scholarship and Staff Development:


We take pride in the professional quality of our faculty and staff, and their sense of satisfaction as evidenced by The Chronicle of Higher Education's recognition as a “Great College to Work For.” We know opportunities for scholarship and development result in engaged employees that better serve our students and the University. We will continue to expand our current initiatives and expand avenues for professional growth and development for all faculty and staff.

    • A Faculty Colloquium series highlights the scholarly work of selected faculty.

    • The Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activities Report is published annually to celebrate and recognize excellent work by the faculty.

    • The Annual President’s Award for Professional Excellence is given each year to a staff member who is excelling in their role at the University.

    • Associate faculty members who teach for the University part-time participate in a special orientation program, McKendree Values Part-time Faculty (MVP), designed to help them transition to the McKendree community.




Sharing Our Story:


For nearly two centuries we have built a tradition of academic excellence, produced outstanding graduates and made important contributions to the community. The University is in the midst of a significant transformation. The University has experienced tremendous growth in academic and co-curricular activities, and in our graduate and online programs. This growth—coupled with challenges from competitors, the economy and government regulations—requires new and innovative methods to tell our story. All of us—faculty, students, staff, Board members, alumni and parents—are responsible for sharing the McKendree story. We have a lot to be proud of and a lot to share.

    • The University strategically hosts events to bring visitors and prospective students to the campus for a wide variety of programs including educational and athletic camps, arts events, and athletic competitions.

    • Members of the staff and faculty are active participants in local and state government.

    • Faculty and staff are engaged in a number of professional organizations specific to their academic discipline or professional responsibilities.

    • The McKendree brand has been strengthened through consistent use of marks, color, video production and storytelling on the website and in the marketplace more broadly.

    • The move to NCAA Division II athletics has increased the brand and name recognition of the University both in the Great Lakes Valley Athletic Conference (GLVC) and among college-aged prospective students.

    • The Bearcat Statue was completed.




Securing Our Future:


A well-maintained, aesthetically attractive and secure living and learning environment is essential to the educational process and conducive to our students’ success. We remain financially sound by strategically growing the student body, focusing on retention of current students, developing new degree programs and managing our endowment and resources strategically.

    • FORWARD: The Campaign for McKendree University is nearing completion, with more than $32 million raised toward a $40 million goal.

    • New extracurricular activities attract students who wish to continue participating in these activities at the collegiate level.

    • A new entryway monument and Bearcat statue were unveiled in recent years.