4.30.2014

APRIL 29, 1854 - APRIL 29 2014 LINCOLN UNIVERSITY ACHIEVES MILESTONE 160TH FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY

By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
LU '67

Hello All:

I've been writing this article in my heart and mind for weeks, but so many things have intervened in my actually getting them into the blog.  



It is with great pride and honor that I celebrate my Alma Mater, Lincoln University - nestled in the wilds of Pennsylvania for some 160 years now.  According to official history:  "In 1854 Rev. John Miller Dickey, a Presbyterian minister, and his wife, Sarah Emlen Cresson, a Quaker, founded Ashmun Institute, later named Lincoln University. They named it after Jehudi Ashmun, a religious leader and social reformer. They founded the school for the education of African Americans, who had few opportunities for higher education. (Wikipedia)"  But according to other sources, it was established by white slave owners who wanted their Black male offspring to have a higher education and a better chance in life.  Once they graduated from Lincoln University, they could never return south, which was still laboring under slavery, but were to become men of influence among their people in the North.

Lincoln was established north of the Maryland/Pennsylvania State lines, outside the Macon/Dixon line, away from those who would have likely punished them for providing education for Black men, because during that time - prior to the Civil War, prior to President Lincoln's election, it was against the law to teach Black people to read and write.

In defiance of those heinous laws, Lincoln University --  which changed its name to Lincoln University form Ashmun Institute,  after the assassination of  the Great Emancipator, President Abraham Lincoln, in 1866 -- went way beyond just educating Black males - it established pride, values, courage, honor, integrity, and an abiding sense of brotherhood among its students.  Principles which stand to this day, despite the efforts of some to undermine and thwart them.  Many of the original buildings that were constructed in 1854 still stand today, a monument and testament to those who walked the hallowed halls of the campus.  {buildings by the way that also housed some pretty great contemporaries - and buildings that should have long ago been landmarked,  and are in the gunsights of contemporary administrators who know the cost of everything, and the value of nothing.  It's a serious bone of contention as we move forward - I seriously doubt that anyone would go to Harvard, Cornell, Columbia University, or any of the other Ivy League Colleges and determine to knock down one of the hallowed halls that grace their campus - but that's another story for another day}

I am proud to be a Lincoln University alumna - officially known as a Lincoln Lionness.  I am proud that I am part of the continuum that continues to give and give to Black people in particular, and the world in general.  I do not get tired of bragging about Lincoln.  And, yes, I know that some of you may be tired of hearing it.  But if you don't love where you come from, and lift it up before the world, who will?

Even with that said, I can't really say I "came" to Lincoln. It's more like Lincoln University saved my life.  I had been expelled from Hampton Institute for being too militant, and staging a sit in on the Administration - including then president Jerome "Brud" Holland - for not allowing us to participate in the march on Selma, Alabama.  It was so embarrassing, humiliating, and ignorant for a Black college to tell Black students that they could not participate in an event that was for and about Black people, that we decided to sit in on Hampton until they say it our way, and realized that we had the right and responsibility as Black students to stand up for our people.  Well, we won the battle - after three days, they finally acceded to our demands - including one, which said "no reprisals were to be taken against the demonstrators."  But in June, 1965, just after the commencement of the class of '65, we found ourselves locked our dorms, our bags and trunks had been packed, our parents had been called, and we had been expelled.  

If it had not been for Ja Jahannes, I just might have ended up still in Oklahoma City, OK, where my furious father vowed I would never, ever leave again as long as I lived.  Not something one wants to hear going into their Junior year in college - especially someone who had been part of the Civil Rights Movement since the age of 10.  But God is always working, and he worked through Ja, who had actually just graduated from Lincoln, himself, and could have been perfectly content to go his own way.  But when he heard what had happened to me, he took it upon himself to contact the registrar, Paul Kuehner, directly on my behalf.  School had already started - I was nearly a month late - but they called me and offered me a scholarship and financial aid.  It was at the time when  Lincoln had decided to go co-ed and I was the last female student admitted for the limited space on campus - I became one of the first sixteen coeds on a campus of 600 males!!! - Talk about heaven!!!  Talk about getting back double for your trouble!!  

Not only were these some of the Finest Black Men on the planet, they were also the smartest.  In order to qualify for Lincoln you had to have major brain and intelligence.  You had to be about it, because Lincoln University professors cut you no slack - and that went for the coeds as well as the guys.  I can honestly say that Lincoln University was the best thing that happened to me because there was a palpable pride in Blackness, there was a bond that still exists to this day among those of us who know that we stand on the shoulders of giants.   You may come to Lincoln not knowing who you were, but when you left you knew you were Black and you were proud and you know that no matter what your position or your title in life you had a mission to your people. 

Those who erroneously think that HBCU's are obsolete and no longer necessary need a reality check.  HBCU's are as important now as they were in the bad old days of Jim Crow, segregation, discrimination - in fact, those days are really still here.  And HBCU's not only give our Black students the academic excellence they require to succeed in society, they also are the continuity and keeper of our cultural imperatives that have undergirded us as a people through some of the most horrific times in human history.  I urge all Black students who were fortunate enough to have attended an HBCU to become actively and integrally involved with your alma mater, if you've not already done so.  Our Black schools are being deliberately targeted for extinction - through some very vile methods - that of hiring what we call "Trojan Horses" who look Black, but are being sent in by the meanstream to deliberately dismantle and water down the schools (Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn New York went through this for four years before finally being able to get rid of William Pollard, who was hired as an ersatz president - by the time he left, he hand cancelled contracts of key international faculty; cancelled contracts with Black vendors; dismantled key Black programs, and all but eviscerated 20 years of progress the school had been enjoying under previous president Edison O. Jackson.  If you see, hear, feel, smell, or taste anything like that happening in your school - do not take a "wait and see" attitude - you must act quickly - or you'll look up and find that your campus is targeted for condominium development for a group of people who do not look like you, or care who you are, or what you and your people have accomplished.  And even if you didn't attend a Black college, support one because it's a part of your people's heritage.  And note:  American will NEVER be "Post-Racial."  Try getting Jews to give up Yeshivas, or Caucasians to give up their "Ivy League" schools - we likewise should be supporting our own Black colleges and universities. 

Black in the day, Lincoln  was called the Black Princeton because it was so academically advanced. Lincoln has produced some of this nations greatest leaders, and precedent setting personalities  Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; Poet extraordinare, Langston Hughes; Journalist/Activist/Newspaper Publisher Wilbert "Bill" Tatum (The NY Amsterdam News); the Dynamic Cab Calloway; Urban Activist/Poet/Performer Gil Scott-Heron as well as Brian Jackson and Ade Knowles (members of the Midnight Band); Randy Cane of the Delphonics; we gave Africa two Presidents - Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Nnamde Azikewe of Nigeria.  Founder of Crossroads Africa, James H. Robinson, Judge Bruce "Turn 'em Loose Bruce" Wright, Philadelphia Judge, Paul Dandridge; Author/Activist/Educator Sam Anderson, Author/Educator Ja A. Jahannes, Barrister Carol Black Esq., Educator/Activist/Philospher Anthony Monteiro; Maryland Statesman Michael Mitchell (part of the Baltimore Mitchell Dynasty - Parren and Clarence Mitchell), Activist/PhotoJournalist/Writer/Blogger/Speaker Gloria Dulan-Wilson;  Philadelphia State Representative Cherrelle Parker; Publisher Robert Ingram, Horace Mann Bond (Julian Bond's father), former president of Lincoln University as well as Clarke Atlanta College; Dr. Melvin B. Tolson (the Great Debaters); James Usry, First Black mayor of Atlantic City, NJ; the Great Bishop David Evans of Bethany Baptist Church (former Board of Trustee Chair) -  among many others.  Talk about walking in High Cotton!!!

Lincoln  has also attracted some of the finest minds to its threshhold, including Albert Einstein, who loved the school so much he left many of his papers and letters to LU as a legacy.  And art collector, Albert Barnes, who, as a result of his friendship and admiration for LU President Horace Mann Bond, left his considerable art collection to us - worth more than $2 Billion dollars.  (Something that must not have sat well with the white powers that be, because the machinated and manipulated until they were able to challenge his will and have the work removed to Philadelphia - it is stated that governor Edward Rendell "brokered a deal"  that made this happen - I can just imagine what went down with that one - and you see the results).   

Dr. Charles V. Hamilton - Legal Council for SNCC, Chair of the Political Science Department, and later head of Columbia University's International Politics division, was both my mentor and my idol (yes, you guessed it, I have a thing for Smart Fine Black Men).  SNCC used to have strategy meetings at the campus - wow,  sitting with Stokely Carmichael and H. Rapp Brown in person!!!  We were the only Black college to offer asylum to African refugees from non-independent African countries - such as South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia (Southwest Africa) Congo Brazzaville and Kinshasha, Zimbabwe (Rhodesia),  Angola and Mozambique - as well as attending classes with brothers from all over the continent of Africa - Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania (Tanganiyika and Madagascar), Senegal, Egypt, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea,  Liberia, Algeria, Guinea Bissau, Sudan, as well as the Caribbean - Bermuda, Barbados, Trinidad, the Bahamas, and Jamaica; one student from China, and several Jewish classmates as well. 

Lincoln was a magnate for leaders who came regularly to the campus to interact with the students - Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., John Oliver Killens, former Ghanaian President Jerry John Rawlings and his wife, First Lady Nana Rawlings received dual doctorates from the school.  Bill Cosby, during the heyday of the Cosby Show would routinely wear sweaters with Lincoln University's insignia on in - in fact, he sent his TV daughter, "Vanessa," to Lincoln - where she met "Dabness," the custodian.   Tom Mboya, minister for Economics and Finance of Kenya, whose brother, Peter Ndiege, was a Lincoln Student.  Actor/Playwright/Producer, Ron Milner - What the Winesellers Will Buy, etc.  Sir Sidney Portier had twin nephews who attended and graduated from Lincoln and went back to assume roles of leadership in the Grand Bahamas Islands.   Stokely Carmichael, co-founder of SNCC was a frequent guest speaker, as was the great Ruby Dee.  

Lincoln had its own African Museum, which would receive gifts from Presidents Nkrumah and Azikiwe; as well as from the families of the many African students who had graduated from there and wanted to give back. As part of my college Work/Study Program, I was assistant curator, and had the honor of classifying the artifacts from Africa, and writing thank you letters to the donors.  Two African languages,  Swahili and Yoruba, were taught at LU; as well as East and West African Ethnology, African History, African Cosmology were taught as part of Lincoln's curriculum.   We had the first Naturally 66 All Natural Grandassa Models grace our space at the famed Mary Dodd Brown Chapel - our ersatz auditorium; and was one of the first campuses to have Black women wearing natural hair styles.  Still have mine - from that day to this. 

Lincoln University is revered in many African countries where students who graduated from our University returned home to share what they learned with their own people.  Some likewise have served in official capacities in the United Nations, as well as in other positions of power. 

Lincoln has withstood threats from outside its gates via the KKK and other hate-generated organizations.  I know this for a fact because they threatened to burn the school down during the time I was a student, and had the temerity and the gall to erect a burning cross down the road from the campus on the Baltimore Pike!!  We students took it in stride, armed ourselves, told them to bring it, and patroled the campus lest one of them decide to make good their threat.  

Lincoln has also survived those insipid enough to come to the school under the guise of leadership, thinking it could sell our legacy for a few cute words and sheckles to the highest bidder.  Maintaining its stability and integrity for 160 years has definitely not been easy especially in this age of "post racial" and the browning of those who don't want to be Black.  It's both aggravating and amusing to see the lengths to which some will go to effect their agenda.  But we didn't get 160 years by sleepwalking. 

We are looking forward from this 29th Day of April and on into the future;  and are embarking on our first ever Lincoln Alumni Summit Conference - a gathering of the Alumni who have a love for and a stake in the continued success and future of Lincoln University.

It is set for this upcoming weekend, May 2nd through May 4, and will be held at the campus, despite the fact that there is a hostile administration currently in charge of the campus.  The upcoming summit, which is being coordinated by Lincoln Graduates across the board, age spectrum, career involvement, geographical location - because we know that Alumni are forever. And if the Alumni don't take an active, hands on interest and involvement with their alma mater, it is their fault if the school falters - and we want Lincoln to be part of the legacy of our children, their children, and their children's children.  

I guess somewhere in here I should mention that as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, I am especially proud of the large population of young sorors on the campus distinguishing themselves in so many areas - but I'm just not sure where to say it.  And I would also be remiss if I don't at least wink an eye to all the Lincoln Rabble who continue to move forward and make their contribution to society. 

As a blogger, I am constantly writing about things that impact the ECLECTICALLY BLACK COMMUNITY - and Lincoln has a significant role to play.  I know that there are a zillion stories about Lincoln University that can be told in so may wonderful ways by Lincoln grads - stories that have endeared you to the school and the school to you them.  I'd like to commemorate them in an ongoing blog about who we are and what we did and why we love Lincoln.  You can email me at gloriadulanwilson@gmail.com.  And if you didn't attend Lincoln, but have a relative who did, and you want to share their story, likewise, please contact me.

I urge all my Lincoln Alumni  brothers and sisters, (and those who know them, to pass this on to them) - Urge them to attend the Summit Conference this weekend.  

This is but a small  tribute from me to Lincoln University - the little college that roars - not roared, but roars - and continues to do so.  Lincoln is not just my school, it's our school - and as the great Ossie Davis once said - "If not Us, Who?  And if not NOW, WHEN?  We are the past, present and future of Lincoln University the Mighty Orange and Blue.  It's time to let the Lions and Lionesses ROAR!!!

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY'S LEGACY 160 YEARS AND GOING STRONG - CELEBRATE!!

HAIL! HAIL! LINCOLN!!
Stay Blessed &  
ECLECTICALLY BLACK 
Gloria www.gloriadulanwilson.blogspot.com/ECLECTICALLY BLACK NEWS

Below is the Tentative Schedule for this weekend, which will, no doubt, be of interest on so many levels to our classmates across the board:  For more information, go on FaceBook for LU Groups call:  215-888-7712 - Darrell Braxton, Coordinator and Convener. 



Friday, May 2, 2014
6:00PM to 8:00PM Registration
Lincoln University
Science Building Lobby

Concurrent Sessions:
7:00PM to 8:30PM Reunion Class Meetings
PRESENTER TBD
Science Building, Room TBD

Fraternity and Sorority Advisory Council
PRESENTER TBD
Science Building, Room TBD

9:00PM to 12AM Midnight Opening Reception
Hosted by the AALU Executive Committee, AALU Summit Committee and Class Reunion Representatives
Hilton Wilmington/Christiana

Saturday, May 3, 2014
7:00AM to 9:30AM Breakfast
Hilton Wilmington/Christiana or Own Your Own

8:0AM to 12:00PM Registration
Lincoln University
Science Building Lobby

8:30AM to 8:45AM About the Alumni Summit
Mr. Michael C. Taylor, Sr., Summit Chair
Science Building Auditorium

Introductions & Greetings
Mr. Robert Ingram, AALU President
Ms. Frances Paul, Class Reunion Chair
Science Building Auditorium

8:45AM to 9:15AM Presidential Remarks
Dr. Robert R. Jennings, University President
Science Building Auditorium

9:20AM to 10:15AM Opening Plenary Session
The Good, Not So Good, and the Not Not So Good About the AALU
AALU Executive Committee
Science Building Auditorium


Saturday, May 3, 2014
Concurrent Sessions:
10:30AM to 11:15AM Building Membership: One Member at a Time/Double The Members, Double The Fun
Mr. Robert Ingram, AALU President
Dr. Anne Davis, AALU Membership Chair
Science Building Auditorium

Effective Chapter Programming/Maintaining Chapter Sustainability
PRESENTER TBD
Science Building, Room TBD

Recruiting Students to Lincoln
Lincoln University Undergraduate Admissions Department
Science Building, Room TBD

11:30AM to 12:15PM Donating, Increasing the Alumni Giving Percentage, and Effective Communications
Ms. Cheryl Thomas, Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Ms. Rita Dibble, Director of Alumni Relations
Mr. Eric Webb, Director of Communications
Science Building Auditorium

12:30PM to 1:45PM Lunch & Keynote Address
Black Philanthropy: Time, Talent & Treasures
Dr. M. Starita Boyce Ansari
Student Union Building, 2nd Floor

2:00PM to 2:45PM Panel Discussion: Alumni Association Sustainability (Guest Speakers: Representatives From Neighboring Alumni Associations)
PRESENTER TBD
Science Building Auditorium

2:50PM to 3:15PM Lincoln University Heritage Initiative (LUHI) Update

Ms. Carol Black, President of LUHI
Science Building Auditorium

3:20PM to 5:00PM AALU General Body Meeting Science Building Auditorium

7:00PM to 8:00PM Alumni Reception
Student Union Building, 1st Floor






Saturday, May 3, 2014
8:00PM to 10:00PM Life Member Banquet and Awards Ceremony
Multipurpose Room, Student Union Building

Awardees:
All AALU Life Members
John Miller Dickey Service Award
Horace Mann Bond Award
Lion Legacy Award
Alumni Achievement Award
Alumni Trustee of the Year
AALU Chapter of the Year
AALU Chapter President of the Year
Alumni Faculty Person of the Year
Alumni Staff Person of the Year

10:00pm to 2:00AM Orange and Blue Party
Student Union Building, 1st Floor

Sunday, May 4, 2014
7:00AM to 12:00PM Breakfast
Hilton Wilmington/Christiana or Own Your Own

Concurrent Sessions:
9:45AM to 10:45AM Chapter Presidents’ Caucus
Mr. Robert Ingram, AALU President
Science Building, Room TBD

IRS Chapter Filing Requirements & Treasurer’s Report
Mr. Darrell Braxton, AALU Treasurer
Mr. John Brisco, AALU Audit Committee Chair
Science Building, Room TBD

11:00AM to 12:00PM Conclusion: AALU President’s Closing Remarks
Mr. Robert Ingram, AALU President
Mr. Michael C. Taylor, Sr., Summit Chair
Science Building Auditorium








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