-->By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
Gloria Dulan-Wilson PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION BELOW TO SAVE TIME HONORED BUILDINGS AT LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, WHICH JUST CELEBRATED ITS 160TH ANNIVERSARY:
There is indeed a petition here, and I definitely want you to sign it and circulate it to all your friends, relatives, political officials, well wishers, as soon as possible.
The efforts to negotiate in good faith with the recently hired LU president, Robert Jennings, have been to no avail; with my classmates using the best of their professional abilities, and maintaining civility in what is an emotionally charged situation, and those of you who have been loyal followers of my blog are probably saying, uh-oh, this looks king of familiar - haven't we been here before?
And I have to respond, indeed, we have - it's been just a little over a year since Medgar Evers College finally rid itself of a similar prototype in William Pollard.
And, being the kind of person I am, when I smell sulphur, I don't wait to see the horns. It took Medgar Evers four years to finally rid themselves of Pollard, and the damage was devastating. Lincoln should not go through a similar struggle.
And, while I'm at it, Lincoln as well as other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are facing similar trials and tribulations at the hands of pseudo administrators who are actually there to dismantle the schools as opposed to saving and expanding it. They talk a good game, but their actions are patently the opposite of what they claim to be about - and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. While the board of trustees are looking at PhD's as being the measure of a good president, it would be better to look at where the person's heart, mind and actions are - if they're offensive and divisive, they are clearly not in the best interest of a school whose very nature is about cohesiveness, success and cooperative efforts. And if we're not careful, Lincoln will end up being an elite subdivision, after having been driven into the ground and stripped of its best faculty and staff. It's happened with other Black schools - Morris Brown should be a good example of what we face if we don't act quickly, decisively and with determination.
I know that we Lincolnians like to keep thing discreet - we tend to assume that we're dealing with "reasonable" people. We don't want scandal or issues to come to the front; we want to handle things behind the scenes - and that is precisely how we lost the BARNES ART COLLECTION - because we did not raise holy hell when the sellout was happening. We trusted the previous administrator and lost a legacy that was specifically designated for Lincoln University - bequeathed to us by Arthur Barnes himself. This is no time to be diplomatic or cute or discreet; it's time to open up our mouths and be heard. As they say in New York City: IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING!!!
- Time to pull off the gloves and get down and dirty - when you've got a snake in the grass, you have to deal with it the way it is - and while petitions are good, we definitely have to take much more stringent measures - so I'm calling a spade a spade - literally. Lincoln University has been saddled with an ersatz president, Robert Jennings, who has made it patently clear that he has absolutely no regard, respect or care for the school, the alumni or the history. JENNINGS MUST GO!!!
The insult is that there were several other great candidates for President of Lincoln University, who would not only have been more in keeping with the traditions that made it great, and would have not come in under the guise of blackness, while systematically dismantling and demoralizing the moral of the faculty, staff, students and loyal alumni. From the outset, Jennings has made a concerted effort to block the Alumni Association's access to the campus and its facilities.
Jennings, who arrived at Lincoln shortly before the commencement in 2012, stated that "everybody thought that what he was doing was great." An interesting statement, since he had made it clear that he was planning to cancel the annual 155 year old Alumni week tradition where Lincoln Alumni return to Lincoln to welcome graduating students, reunite, hold fundraisers and sponsor an awards dinner. He made good his threat in 2013, and has since moved to block Alumni members access to facilities that had heretofore been open to them. JENNINGS MUST GO
In May of this year, at the first Lincoln University Alumni Summit Conference, the Alumni Association voted to send Jennings a vote of NO CONFIDENCE" letter, detailing the many egregious actions leveled against the school and the alumni - the most pronounced of which is the threat to bulldoze 160 year old buildings that were hand built and part of the original campus - a campus, I might add that produced Langston Hughes, Thurgood Marshall, Nnamde Azikewe, Kwame Nkruman, Cab Calloway, Gil Scott Heron - to build an unnecessary "welcome center." The buildings on the campus are of historic value and should be deemed as landmarks. JENNINGS MUST GO
Jennings also expelled 300+ students from Lincoln because of financial difficulties - something that has never happened in the entire history of the school, which has always had a reputation of working with students to ensure they receive an education. To send home 300 students is unconscionable, demoralizing, and shows there is no feeling, understanding or concern for the Black students whose care has been entrusted to him. JENNINGS MUST GO:
He has launched a so-called $10 Million fundraising campaign, demanding $1 Million from the very Alumni he has been disrespecting; and simultaneously continuing to pour good money after bad into events and activities that could have been better utilized to assist those 300 students who now face an uncertain future. He has demanded that before a student can be accepted into Lincoln 80% of their tuition has to already be paid up - clearly not someone who is working in the behalf of the Black student. JENNINGS MUST GO
Having recently gone through getting rid of William Pollard, an ersatz president at Medgar Evers college in Brooklyn, it is patently clear that Lincoln University has been saddled with a similar personage in Jennings; he has been specifically sent to dismantle the college - and he, like William Pollard, is doing a very effective job. But it is our job as Alumni, citizens, residents and Black good people in general to not let that happen - to not deliver our HBCU - indeed the grandmother of all HBCU's into the hands of a hired assassin - JENNINGS MUST GO
Not one building is to be destroyed, not one more student to be expelled, not one more Alumni member to be insulted by the likes of ROBERT JENNINGS - as I have stated before Alumni are forever, Presidents are hired, can be fired, and are temporary - our buildings are part of the living, enduring legacy and culture that is Lincoln University, and must stay. The integrity of Lincoln University must be protected from those who would enter into our gates with malice aforethought - and think they would be able to destroy under the guise of progress, what so many have given their life's blood to build, grow and protect. JENNINGS MUST GO!!! REPLACE HIM WITH A PRESIDENT WHO WILL BE RESPONSIVE AND RESPONSIBLE FOR SUSTAINING A WONDERFUL TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE INTO THE 21ST CENTURY - HAIL! HAIL! LINCOLN!!!
SIGN THE PETITION TO SAVE OUR BUILDINGS - You do not have to be an alumnus to do so - please share this petition with others - and make it viral - we have to be about helping each other individually and collectively in our struggles.
via Carol Black (Remove)
Save Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall at Lincoln University (PA)!
Urgent! Please sign the petition to save Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall and let the Lincoln Univerity Board of Trustees know that you are outraged that they are willing to destroy the physical cultural heritage of the oldest Black college in America. The LU alumni group, Lincoln University Heritage Initiative (LUHI), learned last week that the Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall would be demolished in 5 or 6 weeks so that a new Welcome Center can be erected on that spot. The information was confirmed by Valerie Harrison, Esq., Lincoln University counsel on June 10, 2014. LUHI has intervened and the demolition is currently on hold. Your voices need to be heard NOW. Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall is the oldest building on our campus, erected in 1866 when the University was known as Ashmun Institute. In 1985 it was determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places because of its significance as the landmark of the first HBCU in America. A welcome center, if needed, should be placed near the center of the campus which is now further south on Baltimore Pike near the stadium, gymnasium, security entrance and plenty of parking. LUHI questions the use of taxpayer money to demolish a historic building and build a new, public welcome center at likely three to five times the cost of repairing a historic building that is part of our common legacy. If the Board is bent on spending money, let it be for conservation of resources and enhanced student scholarships, faculty and academic programs. Let the Board of Trustees know that you are opposed to the demolition of Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall!
Stay Blessed &
SIGN THE PETITION BELOWstudent scholarships, faculty and academic programs. Let the Board of Trustees know that you are opposed to the demolition of Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall!
Thanks for signing the petition - Now we want your support in searching for a new President for Lincoln University - if you have any recommendations or credentials you want to present - please either email me - Gloria Dulan-Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org; or forward them to Bob Ingram, president of the Lincoln University Alumni Association - JENNINGS MUST GO
The following speech was delivered at National LU Alumni Association Summit from Dr. Meta H. Timmons, LU '79
Speech at the meeting of the National Alumni Association
of Lincoln University, Saturday, May 3, 2014
Good Evening. I am Dr. Meta H. Timmons, Lincoln
University, 1979. My Grandfather, Hal H. Timmons was in
the Class of 1928, My Uncle, Dr. Walter C. Levi, in the
Class of 1951, and next week my son, Jerel Evans will
graduate as a member of the Class of 2014.
Yes, four generations of my family have studied, sacrificed and
survived on the campus of Lincoln University. Most
importantly, each of us grew and were nurtured here; by
the professors, the cafeteria workers, the custodial staff,
security staff and others. We all established relationships
with those individuals and more importantly with fellow
students that did ….have, and will….. last for a life time.
When I left Lincoln, I assumed I would never return, never
support Lincoln. My disappointment was primarily that
others were unaware or unconcerned about policies and
changes which were being affected by the administration;
yes, even back then. It seemed as if we could not get the
support of the Alumni or Trustees, no one to stand up for
us. Sadly this has been a consistent failing in our history.
When I left, I focused on the unnecessary obstacles of
student life that during my four years seemingly had
detracted from my experience. I soon found however, the
further I got away from Lincoln, the closer I became to it;
the more I needed it as a haven from the real world. It
was my portal to return to what I came to understand as
one of the best times of my life. As I matured, I began to
focus on things that I could attribute to my success. I
could not deny the preparation and support given to me at
Over the years since, administrations changed, i.e.,
Presidents, new and interim, have come and gone. Some
things changed. Some things got better……got worse……
got better…….and now again things have gotten worse.
Detracted by children, aging parents, and my career, I
stood on the sidelines and watched unable to give the
support Lincoln needed. But today I stand before you in a
position that allows me to give of myself…….a position
that prompts me to say I (and I would dare to say you as
well) am not happy with the many changes nor the
direction our school is being taken by Dr. Jennings. A
fellow alumnus of Dr. Jennings’ Morehouse College, Dr.
Martin Luther King said,
“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere
ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
I speak to you from not only the perspective of a Lincoln
alum but also as a parent of a student at Lincoln. In
talking with some of the upcoming graduates, the
sentiment is much like that held by me some 35 years
ago. Degree, goodbye - I’m gone…….don‘t call me.
I attended a Board of Trustees meeting about two weeks
ago as a spectator and was stunned in all but one or two
instances by the Board’s willingness to pretty much rubber
stamp everything that was said/presented. I dare to say I
was truly disappointed in the lack of desire to challenge
items put before the Board if for no other reason than
healthy and artful debate.
Granted Dr. Jennings appears to be a charismatic personality
…..a smooth talker if you will. He has an answer for almost everything
as perhaps he should, but my admonition to the Board would be “If
you don’t stand for something you fall for everything.” It
was difficult for me not to feel that the Board worked for
the President and not vice versa. Something just did not
I believe we are coming into a new era of Alumni activism.
As an alert to this administration, sleeping Lions can be
evermore dangerous when startled awake. We must be
more aggressive in working to “restore our traditions….to
take back our Lincoln.”
As much as Dr. Jennings wants
to acknowledge our firsts, he failed to realize we probably
had one of the first commencements in the graduation
cycle particularly amongst the HBCU’s when he stopped
this long standing tradition.
Our Alumni weekend……gone.
We are not Morehouse. We are not Alabama A & M. We
are not thee Lincoln. We are Lincoln! Look at the Charter.
I have a copy if anyone needs to see it. Someone
explained that the addition of the grammatical article “the”
in front of Lincoln was initially a marketing ploy particularly
for the athletic program. The rebranding has since crept
into everything. Call the campus operator. Look at the
banners across this campus. Don’t want it; didn’t need it.
You insult my Grandfather and Uncle. You disappoint my
son and me. We have been duped into believing we are
strengthening our legacy while in essence we have
cheapened it. We must not, I repeat must not, allow our
legacy to be cheapened!
Again we must keep what we know. We are capable of
not being buried by the past and yet in still build upon our
future. We must grow the Lincoln that can attract, sustain
and produce the leaders of the future. We must grow a
Lincoln that has an Alumni base that wants to, and will
give back. Someone once said, I’d rather be at the end of
a dying tradition, which I admire, than at the beginning of a
tradition which I deplore.
We must be there for the students. We must protect, we
must encourage, and we must mentor.
Harriet Tubman was quoted as saying, “I could have freed
more people if they had realized they were slaves.” I
stand before to say ENOUGH. Be a slave no longer to this
administration or its ill-conceived ideologies. They are
misplaced here at Lincoln.
Many of my fellow Alumni have been very diplomatic in their
efforts to interact with Dr. Jennings but he has continued with
his agenda particularly to the disregard and alienation of the
Alumni. They have offered to find middle ground and to compromise
to no avail.
Perhaps a physical conservative, his overall agenda
seems to be money. Money is important. Understandably,
Lincoln cannot be operational without finances. But what
will it mean if you have a campus and buildings without
students,…….. without staff, AND……… without Alumni.
Lincoln may still be a viable entity but an entity without a
soul….without its Founder’s purpose. I will remind you
that trees without roots fall over. We are the roots of this
Institution. Ideally we will be here long after Dr. Jennings
has exited from the scene. But can the same be said for
the Lincoln we have come to know and love?
To the Board of Trustees I say, “you’ve been had, you’ve
been took, you’ve been hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Led
astray! Run amok!” The morale of the staff is low. The
students have one agenda, to leave a quickly as possible.
Are you as connected and accessible as you think you
We must take a new course of action. I fear if we do not
act accordingly, the environment of Lincoln will continue to
deteriorate to the detriment if not demise of the University.
Let us not look to one another dumbfounded when we are
in irreversible peril and ask, “What happened, why did it
happen?” We must stand; we must stand together as an
Association, and mount an aggressive campaign against
the policies of this President. “When everything goes to
hell, the people who stand by you without flinching -- are
your family.” We are family……..stand for Lincoln and
with this Association.
I close with two quotes. To Dr. Jennings I leave one from
former President of the United States, John F. Kennedy,
"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie,
deliberate, contrived and dishonest; but the myth, persistent,
persuasive and unrealistic."
And to the Board of Trustees,
The greatest harm can result from the best intentions-
This weekend, amongst the many actions, I ask you at
some point to take a vote of “No Confidence” in Dr.
Jennings as the President of Lincoln University. Let us
send a message to our Board of Trustees and to Governor
Corbett in Harrisburg. Stand with the Alumni Association,
Stand for Lincoln, Stand with me…………..Thank you!NOW THAT YOU KNOW, WHAT WILL YOU DO?STAY BLESSED &ECLECTICALLY BLACKGloria Dulan-Wilson LU '67