Lindenwood University – Belleville has announced that it will be shutting down its undergrad programs next spring and consolidating with the main Lindenwood University campus in St. Charles, Missouri. That includes the Lindenwood Belleville athletic department and its swimming & diving teams, which will be discontinued.
Lindenwood announced the move earlier this month. Lindenwood reached across the border to Illinois in 2003, acquiring the campus in Belleville, Illinois. It originally housed many of Lindenwood’s graduate programs and accelerated evening programs. In 2009, the school added undergraduate day programs to the Belleville campus, along with athletics programs.
But at the conclusion of the 2019-2020 school year, the Belleville campus will discontinue those additions, consolidating its undergraduate programs with the main Lindenwood campus in St. Charles. The athletic department will shut down and the Belleville campus will return to housing only graduate-level programs and accelerated evening programs. Local media reported that the school cited financial underperforming by the Belleville campus: a school representative said the school has lost $2.5 million to $3 million each year, and that millions of dollars in maintenance had been deferred.
The Lindenwood press release says that “all undergraduate students attending the Belleville campus at that time will be able to complete their degrees at the St. Charles campus with all scholarship packages fully intact, including athletic scholarships.” That would suggest that swimmers at Lindenwood Belleville could jump to the main Lindenwood program in St. Charles.
The Lindenwood – Belleville Lynx competed in the Mid-South Conference and in the NAIA. Their men finished 3rd nationally in the NAIA (out of 18 teams), and their women finished 9th of 25 teams in 2019. The remaining Lindenwood campus in St. Charles also has men’s and women’s swimming & diving: the Lindenwood Lions compete in the New South Intercollegiate Swim Conference and the NCAA’s Division II. The men were 7th nationally and the women 9th this past year.