Lincoln, Dear Lincoln - Class of 2022 Arrives at Lincoln U - IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR!!!

By Gloria Dulan-Wilson

Hello All:

 Well,   on Saturday, August 11, 2018, Lincoln University welcomed    535 Freshmen Students for the Fall  Semester.   And what a great day it was!   An estimated 2,000 family members also came all over to witness this wonderful milestone as they helped their students settle in  - the beginning of the Lincoln U Class of 2022.

This was the first year, also that the Lincoln University Alumni organization, LIONSPEAK,  came together to organize a welcome committee for the new students.  Carol Black,  head of the organization, along with 30 volunteers, in conjunction with Sr. Vice President of Student Success, Dr. Lenetta Lee,  either positioned themselves at the various entries to the campus to provide refreshments, directions, and meet and greet our new students - providing snacks, water, wisdom, love; or much needed shuttle service via golf carts to help transport much of the heavier gear to the various dorms.

Freshmen Class of 2018 Arrive at Lincoln U

All in all, it was truly a family affair!!

Dr. Brenda Allen (3rd from right), and Alumni and LU Technical staff on hand to greet incoming freshman class

Arriving early onto the campus at about 9:30AM Saturday morning, we ran into Lincoln U's 14th President, Dr,  Brenda Allen, doing her daily powerwalk around the campus before the onslaught of  the new students.  Later the parking lot would be inundated with vans, carts, and other moving gear winding their way to their assigned dorms - being assisted by the athletic department, volunteer church groups from the surrounding community - all there to assist parents and students in settling in and meeting their new room mates.

Well represented were students from Philadelphia (of course), New Jersey, Maryland,  Boston, and New York - and as far away as Oklahoma (yay!), Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.  Students from Africa - Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, etc; and of course, the Caribbean - Jamaica, Trinidad, etc.

They arrived with practically everything under the sun - so much so, that many of us joked with them as to whether they had left anything at home for their parents to enjoy - refridgerators, printers, TVs, computers, couches, microwave ovens, and a goodly supply of snacks, water and food items - all the comforts of home to tide them over the "tough" times.

Those of us who had attended LU, Black in the old days had to laugh - none of the luxuries being transported were available to us when we at LU during the 60's.   I personally remember arriving on the campus with 7 suitcases and a trunk, and being deposited across the road from the campus, facing a huge cornfield, and trying to figure out how I was going to get all my stuff across the road.  Fortunately, the registrar at the time, Dr. Kuehner, had arranged for two students to meet and help me take my things to my room at the Alumni House.  Those guys and I are still friends to this day - communicating regularly via FaceBook and emails.  As are most of my classmates who attended Lincoln during those heady times - from New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC; and from Africa  - Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Namibia, and of course, Ghana. 

L-R Kim Blaney-Bivens, Sandra Marigna Harmon

Incoming Freshman signing up for raffle

One of the few Ques who came to help despite Que weekend picnic

Lincoln is 164 years old, founded in 1854, before the Civil War, specifically to provide college educations to Black  male students - at a time when it was illegal to educate Black people.  Over next 163 years,  Lincoln has nurtured and produced some of the most prominent, creative, talented, avant garde leaders, inventors, ever - such as Kwame Nkrumah, Thurgood Marshall, Nnamde Azikewe, Langston Hughes, Anthony Montiero, Gil Scott Heron, Leon Dash, Dr. Samuel E. Anderson, Cab Calloway,  Carol Black, Dr. Brenda Allen - among so many others - and continues to do so.  As students, these individuals have  bonded for life, cross pollinating their talents, skills, abilities and interests with each other and have continued to maintain mutual friendships and alliances long after completing their education at LU. Many have come back to share what they've learned for the benefit of other future classmates.

These friendships are what our new Freshmen can look forward to, as well as great support and mentoring from the faculty and administration to ensure their successful matriculation,  graduation, well unto their career choices.  Lincoln grads are poised to have an impact on the world regardless of their major or career choice.  

Equally important and compelling is the long history of illustrious faculty, staff and administrators who have likewise become legends in their time because of their level of commitment to the success of we students.  It is the love for Lincoln and those days we spent there that made us come together to make sure our new students had the same opportunity.  

So there we were in the hot sun (93 degrees); and later under the pouring rain that ensued for the better part of the afternoon, handing out snacks, signing students up for a free raffle to win $50.00; sharing wit and wisdom with anxious, but proud parents, happily sending their kids off to the next level of achievement.  Many had worked long and hard to save the funds, encouraging them to stay the course, praying for them to make it through high school, despite the many odds against them and succeed so they could arrive at the day that they could say they were now college students. 

I  lightly teased them about lugging all the heavy furnishings for their kids - telling them the secret was to get them there, and then let them do the heavy lifting from that point forward.  But it was clearly a labor of love - one they will look back on in four years, realizing that it had all been worth it.  And as they advance through their four years at Lincoln, Dear Lincoln, they will, perhaps, look back with fondness at the members of Lincoln's Alumni, who cared so much for them, that they took the week end to come out, greet them and make them welcome to the Lincoln Family.

President Allen hosted a catered VIP reception for the parents at the ICC Building, and welcomed them as partners for the next four years as their students successfully advance to the  Class of 2022. 

Dr. Brenda Allen and Gloria Dulan-Wilson (me) at Parent's VIP Reception

On Wednesday, August 15 at 7:00 PM Lincoln will host a panel discussion, “Will You Be Here When the Grass Turns Green?”  Ironically this is based on a talk our professors used to give us at the beginning of the school year back in the day.   We were told to look at our classmates to the right and left of us - and then were told that some of us would not be here at the end of the four years.  It was a combination challenge and pep talk.  It was commonly known as "hitting the Pike," or "washing out," when a student doesn't make it.  Years later we still remember that little opening speech, that has been handed down from year to year.   

Then on Thursday, August 16,  following a day of testing and freshmen orientation, they will host an  Ice-Cream Social at 7:00 PM

On Friday, August 17, (also Marcus Garvey's Birthday),  the day before upper class students return, is a day filled with activities starting off the day with LIONSPEAKS Legacy Walks, followed by Rock The Runway Show, sponsored by the LU Staff; and culminating in a Talent Showcase, which features the Freshmen Students. 

Saturday the returning students arrive on campus and the school year begins the following Monday, August 21, commencing Lincoln University's 163rd School Year.

Three parents - all Deltas - who brought their students to Lincoln - Carol Black and I are in the Center


Thanks to the members of LIONSPEAK who  participated on Saturday and Sunday, making the weekend a major success:  

Robert Allen, David Baker, Bruce Benson, Khalisha Benson, Genelle Betsey, Carol Black, Kim Blaney-Bivens, John Coats, Lorella Dicks, Gloria Dulan-Wilson, Roxanne Evans, Chrystal Faison, Shelley Freytas, Sandra Harmon, Gloria Hartwell, Deborah Herbert, Henry Lancaster, Rev. Frances Paul, Kenneth Poole, Dot Smallwood, Stan Smallwood, Sopehia Sotilleo, Seitu Stephens, Leon Sutton, Meta Timmons, Joe Williams, Stephanie Wilson-Benson; as well as to the host of volunteers from the local community, faculty and staff.

Lincoln Lioness, Carol Black, LU '67, took some great photos and shared her links with me, below:
If you were unable to attend and would like to donate for the cost of snacks and ice-cream for over 500 students, here’s the link:  https://form.jotform.com/cblack7830/aalu-chesco-donation-form

Hail, Hail, Lincoln!
Carol A. Black ’67 for
“LionSpeak” Lincoln University Alumni Speakers Bureau Committee
(215) 820-1164

As you can see, bonds of  our Lincoln Family are deep, strong and everlasting.  Our grounds are sacred, blessed and historical  - that  have nurtured and supported generations of geniuses - and continues to be fertile soil for legends of the future.  

This is truly A FAMILY AFFAIR!

Hail! Hail! Lincoln!!!

Stay Blessed &