Year in Review 2013: Southwestern Illinois
McKendree’s new entryway has a monumental impact on campus life
McKendree University in Lebanon has been leading its students down new paths since it first was founded. An entryway completed in late 2013 will serve to even more boldly and significantly mark the beginning of new journey down life’s paths for its current and future students.
The entryway’s design features a large brick structure with three archways that reads “McKendree University” and “1828” noting the institution’s name as well as the year the university was founded. In front of the archway is a circular patio constructed out of brick pavers. There are two entries to the patio, one with stairs and one with a ramp for accessibility.
There’s also a “dancing” fountain that projects jets of water upward intermittently. Landscape plants border the front and sides of the patio, with full plantings to be finalized as the winter season unfolds. Arcturis of St. Louis was the designer on this project; the entryway was constructed by Holland Construction Services Inc. The project was financed by donor funds.
The new entryway is at the corner of Alton and St. Louis streets. It is anticipated to become a major focal point as visitors arrive on campus coming from St. Louis Street to the east or Belleville Street to the west. The location is the former site of two houses that the university had previously purchased and had razed this past summer.
The area will be an important new hotspot within the campus community, where individual, group, or class photos will be taken — and where the lineup for commencement may start in 2014.
“The new entryway monument will make a bold statement to visitors and welcome them to McKendree University,” said President Dr. James Dennis.
McKendree University was established in 1828 by pioneer Methodists. First called “Lebanon Seminary,” it is the oldest college in Illinois, and the oldest in the nation with continuous ties to the United Methodist Church. In July 2007 McKendree College officially became McKendree University.