BY BRITTANY ANSPACH
In the past two years McKendree has welcomed the biggest classes in the college’s history. Like many other students, I wonder, what’s next?
Due to the number of students being accepted to the university, the campus will continue to grow to accommodate the needs of the growing student body. In recent years, McKendree has built a new resident building and rented other apartment buildings and housing to help provide lodging for its students. The school also added a new fitness center and plans are in the works for an updated science building, renovations to the library, and an athletic and recreational building for students and trainers.
On a bigger scale, McKendree has come a long way. When the college started in 1828, it was called Lebanon Seminary and the enrollment was at 72 students with classes taking place in two rented sheds. In years following that the name was changed to McKendree College and many acres of land were deeded by Bishop William McKendree to help support the college. In 2007 the school became McKendree University. Today, there are 3,027 undergraduate and graduate students attending with 98 full time faculty members along with other part-time faculty according to the university’s website.
If enrollment continues to climb yearly, then how will these numbers change?
Many things will need to be added to the campus for increasing number of students. The campus will need to add more parking lots, more residence halls, more academic buildings, and faculty.
When asked about expanding, McKendree’s President, James Dennis said, “Our eventual goal in our strategic plan is to have 1700 undergraduate Lebanon students. Technically this would be about 190 more than we have this semester. Of course, we will have to expand housing, parking, student services and faculty positions to make this happen. It will be a long process.”
Along with the expansion of the campus also comes the question, where are the new additions to the campus going to go?
There are a couple different places. The first possibility are the homes that the campus purchases. As many students have probably noticed, the college has purchased many of the houses surrounding the campus and uses them as offices for a variety of McKendree’s employees ranging from professors offices to the nurse to Public Safety. The second place that McKendree will use to expand will be the golf course. The 109-acre golf course was purchased by the University for the land that it possesses. This land will eventually be used for housing, recreational courts, parking, or whatever the university sees fit according to President Dennis.
After all the gossip and questioning about the future of McKendree, It would seem that the University, although changing in stature, will continue to maintain traditional values and continue to stay the small, close knit university that we all chose to attend.