May 16, 2005
for your goals and don’t be afraid to succeed.”
Gov. Edward G. Rendell Receives an Honorary Degree and Delivers
The 146th Commencement Address for Lincoln University.
Edward G. Rendell delivered the Commencement Address and also
received an honorary degree at Lincoln University’s 146th
Commencement on Sunday, May 1, 2005.
Governor Rendell praised the work
of President Ivory Nelson and told the 375 graduates and 6,000
guests that he was honored to speak at Lincoln University with
its rich history and wonderful legacy. He advised the graduates
that their journey is just beginning and that they should define
what is success for them. “If you love what you do you
will be successful each and every day.” He also urged
the graduates to “Shoot for the moon” and to try
to help the less fortunate.
“Lincoln University is honored
to have Governor Rendell as our Commencement Speaker,”
said University President Ivory V. Nelson, Ph.D., who presided
over the program. “Lincoln is equally pleased to present
the Governor with an honorary degree in recognition of his exemplary
achievements in public office and outstanding leadership of
the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
In addition to Gov. Rendell, three
other distinguished leaders received honorary degrees. Gwendolyn
E. Boyd, the former National President of Delta Sigma
Theta Sorority, Inc., an international service organization
composed of over 250,000 professional and educated women in
over 950 chapters throughout the world; Dr. Henry H.
Mitchell, a 19 41 Lincoln alumnus, noted theologian,
college professor and author of numerous books on religion;
and Wilbert A Tatum, a 1958 Lincoln alumnus,
noted journalist and successful businessman, who owns the NEW
YORK AMSTERDAM NEWS, and a partner in the Inner City Broadcasting
Corp., which operates consortium of radio stations in California,
Michigan, Texas, Indiana and New York.
2005 Commencement Speaker
The Honorable Edward G. Rendell: Doctor of Laws Honorary
Edward G. Rendell was
inaugurated as Pennsylvania's 45th Governor on January 21, 2003.
As Governor, Rendell serves as Chief Executive of the nation's
5th most populous state, and oversees a $21 billion budget.
From 1992 through1999, he served as Mayor of the City of Philadelphia.
Before serving as Mayor, Rendell was elected District Attorney
of Philadelphia for two terms, from 1978 through 1985. As Mayor,
his accomplishments included eliminating a $250 million deficit,
balancing the City's budget and generating five consecutive
The Governor, who served as General Chair
of the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 Presidential
election, has been active in the community through a variety
of memberships on boards. He also teaches two government and
politics courses at the University of Pennsylvania. An Army
veteran, he is also a graduate of Penn (B.A. 1965) and Villanova
Law School (J.D. 1968). He and his wife, Marjorie O. Rendell,
a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals, have a son, Jesse.
Gwendolyn E. Boyd: Doctor of Humane
Letters Honorary Degree
Gwendolyn Elizabeth Boyd,
an accomplished engineer, is the former National President of
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., an international service organization
composed of over 250,000 professional women in over 950 chapters
throughout the world. She is currently the Executive Assistant
to the Chief of Staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied
Physics Laboratory (APL). She graduated summa cum laude from
Alabama State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in
mathematics and a double minor in physics and music. Awarded
a fellowship to pursue graduate work at Yale University, she
became in May 1979 the first African American female to earn
a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from this
Ivy League institution.
Boyd has received numerous awards and honors,
including the 2005 Maynard Jackson Leadership Award from Alpha
Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; induction into the Black AIDS Institute
Hall of Fame 2004 for advocacy to promote education and awareness
about HIV/AIDS in the Black community in America and Africa;
and 2003 listed as one of the Most Distinguished Black College
and University Graduates by the editors of US Black Engineer
& Information Technology magazine.
Dr. Henry H. Mitchell ’41:
Doctor of Humane Letters Honorary Degree
Henry H. Mitchell, D.D.,
a 19 41 Lincoln alumnus, is a noted theologian, college professor
and author of numerous books on religion. He is author of three
textbooks, Black Preaching (Harper & Row, 1979;
Abingdon, 1990), The Recovery of Preaching (Harper,
1977; based on his 1974 Lyman Beecher Lectures at Yale University);
and Celebration and Experience in Preaching (Abingdon,
1990), which was designated by the American Academy of Parish
Clergy as one of the top 10 clergy books of 1991. His book,
Black Church Beginnings (1650-1900) - a radical rewrite
and correction of early Black Church history - was released
by Eerdmans Publishing Co. in October 2004.
Besides Lincoln University, Dr. Mitchell,
also holds a Bachelor of Divinity and Master’s degree
in Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, New York; Master’s
degree in linguistics from California State University at Fresno;
theology degree from Claremont School of Theology, California;
and honorary doctorate degree in divinity from The American
Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley. He has been married
for 60 years to his schoolmate of Union Seminary and Claremont
days, Dr. Ella P. Pearson Mitchell. They have three living children
and six grandchildren.
Wilbert A. Tatum ’58: Doctor
of Letters Honorary Degree
Noted journalist and businessman, Wilbert
“Bill” Tatum graduated from Lincoln University in
1958 before going on to attend Yale University as a National
Urban Fellow sponsored by the National League of Cities, the
United States Conference of Mayors and the Ford Foundation.
He received his Masters Degree in Urban Studies at Occidental
College in Los Angeles, California. In order to continue his
passion for journalism, Tatum had to leave America to follow
his dream due to the lack of substantive career opportunities
for African Americans at the time. He spent an extended period
of time in Europe where he worked as a reporter and columnist
for Stockholm’s TIDNIGEN in Sweden, and AKUELT in Copenhagen,
Denmark. He returned to America and in 1971, Mr. Tatum purchased
the NEW YORK AMSTERDAM NEWS with his partners. In 1972
they went on to purchase New York City radio stations WLIB and
WBLS: the flagship stations of the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation’s
consortium of stations in California, Michigan, Texas, Indiana
and New York. Mr. Tatum and his partners also own corporate
stock for the famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem. He and his wife,
Susan Kohn, have a daughter, Elinor, who serves as publisher
and editor-in-chief of the NEW YORK AMSTERDAM NEWS.
Founded in 1854, Lincoln University
is a premier, Historically Black University that combines the
best elements of a liberal arts and sciences-based undergraduate
core curriculum and selected graduate programs to meet the needs
of those living in a highly technological and global society.
The University is nationally recognized as a major producer
of African Americans with undergraduate degrees in the physical
sciences (biology, chemistry and physics); computer and informational
sciences; biological and life sciences. Lincoln enrolls 2,012
undergraduate and graduate students.
University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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