Thursday, April 29, 2004

Lincoln University Presents 145th Commencement, Sunday, May 2
U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige will be the Keynote Speaker. The University will Award Honorary Degrees to Three Distinguished Achievers: Chief Secretary to the Treasury of Britain; IBM Executive and Former Lincoln Board Chair; and a Pioneer Veterinarian and last Living Member of the U.S. Army’s Elite “Buffalo Soldiers.”

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA (www.lincoln.edu) -- Lincoln University, celebrating its sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary as America's first Historically Black University, will present its 145th commencement on Sunday, May 2, 2004, at 2:00 p.m., on the infield of the University’s track and field complex in southern Chester County, Pennsylvania. One hundred and sixty-five seniors will receive baccalaureate degrees and 157 students will be awarded their master's degrees. Lincoln’s commencement will be highlighted by a keynote address from the Honorable Dr. Rod Paige, U.S. Secretary of Education. The University will also present honorary degrees to the following three distinguished awardees: Adrienne G. Rhone, a 1976 cum laude Lincoln graduate, and chair of the Lincoln Board of Trustees from 1999-2003; the Honorable Paul Boateng, Chief Secretary to the Treasury of Britain; and pioneer veterinarian Dr. William Henry Waddell, a 1931 Lincoln graduate, and member of the U.S. Army’s elite, all-Black Cavalry unit, the “Buffalo Soldiers.”

~ The Honorable Dr. Rod Paige ~
2004 Commencement Speaker

On January 21, 2001, the United States Senate confirmed Dr. Rod Paige as the 7th U.S. Secretary of Education. For Paige, the son of a principal and a librarian in Mississippi public schools, that day was the crowning achievement of a long career in education. He earned a bachelor's degree from Jackson State University in his home state. He then earned both a master's and a doctoral degree from Indiana University. Paige began working with students early in his career as a teacher and a coach. He then served for a decade as dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University (TSU). Elected in 1989, Dr. Paige was sworn in as a trustee and an officer of the Board of Education of the Houston Independent School District (HISD) in January 1990, in which capacities he served until 1994.

In 1994, Dr. Paige left TSU to become superintendent of HISD, the nation's seventh largest school district. His vast experience as a practitioner—from the blackboard to the boardroom—paid off during the long hours of work needed to pass President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Now he is leading the charge—in partnership with states and districts—to implement these historic reforms. The law will give local districts the tools and resources they need to help every child learn, regardless of the color of their skin or the accent of their speech. The driving force behind his work as Secretary is his shared belief with President Bush that education is a civil right, just like the right to vote or to be treated equally.

~ The Honorable Paul Boateng---Doctor of Laws Honorary Degree ~

The Honorable Paul Boateng, Chief Secretary to the Treasury of Britain, was born in Accra, Ghana in 1951, the son of Kwaku Boateng, a distinguished barrister and evangelist and member of President Kwame Nkrumah’s cabinet 1961-1966 and his Scottish wife, Eleanor, a Quaker teacher. He was educated at Ghana International School and Accra Academy until 1966 when he and his mother fled to Britain after his father was imprisoned by the perpetrators of the military coup against Nkrumah. Nkrumah, a 1939 Lincoln graduate, was Ghana’s first president.

By the early 1980s, Mr. Boateng became a partner in a distinguished London law firm, but continued his tireless advocacy on behalf of young Britons of color against the apartheid regime in South Africa. In 1981, he entered public life as an elected member of the Greater London Council where he served from 1981 to 1986. There, he served as chairman of the Police Committee and vice chairman of the Ethnic Minorities Committee. From 1989 through 1997, Boateng worked in the British Parliament where he served as a spokesman on treasury, economic and legal affairs. In 1998, Mr. Boateng was promoted to become Minister of State at the Home Office (the equivalent of the U.S. Justice Department) with responsibilities for policing. In 1999, he was promoted again to become Deputy Home Secretary with additional responsibility for prisons and probations policy. In June 2001, he was promoted to Financial Secretary to the Treasury and also was made a member of Her Majesty’s Privy Council.

~ Adrienne G. Rhone ’76---Doctor of Humane Letters Honorary Degree ~

Adrienne G. Rhone, a 1976 cum laude graduate of Lincoln University with a B.A. in English, is the Manager of Government Relations for the International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation, Governmental Programs office, located in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Rhone manages a team of government relations professionals focused on the breadth of public policy issues affecting the company (tax, market access, intellectual property, e-commerce, R&D investment, and human resources). Mrs. Rhone has progressed through a range of opportunities in her 16-year career with IBM. Mrs. Rhone is the first woman to chair Lincoln University's Board of Trustees (1999 to 2003). She is a life member of the General Alumni Association of Lincoln University and a past officer of the D.C. Alumni Chapter.

Prior to IBM, she worked for seven years on Capitol Hill as the press secretary to the Honorable Louis Stokes, (D-OH). During that stint, the former Rep. Stokes chaired the House Assassinations Committee, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, the House Intelligence Committee, the House HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, as well as Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Dean of the Ohio Congressional Delegation. In 1996, she was a recipient of an Alumni Achievement Award from Lincoln’s General Alumni Association.

~ Dr. William Henry Waddell, IV ‘31---Doctor of Science Honorary Degree ~

Dr. William Henry Waddell, IV ’31 is a pioneer in the field of veterinary medicine. One of the first blacks to practice veterinary medicine in the United States, Dr. Waddell is co-founder of the Tuskegee Institute School of Veterinary Medicine. In between his collegiate and veterinarian careers, Dr. Waddell served honorably as a member of the U.S. Army’s heralded “Buffalo Soldiers” from 1941-1946 in North Africa. Originally established by Congress as the U.S. Army’s 9th and 10th Cavalries after the Civil War, the Buffalo Soldiers were an all-black, mounted regiment who protected work crews installing telegraph and railroad lines across the Western Frontier.

Dr. Waddell went on to earn numerous national and state accolades, including citations from the governors of West Virginia and North Dakota for diagnosis and eradication of tuberculosis in cattle. Dr. Waddell, a 1931 graduate of Lincoln University, became a board certified veterinarian in Pennsylvania after receiving his doctorate of veterinarian medicine from the University of Pennsylvania in 1935. Dr. Waddell was the first black to practice veterinary medicine in West Virginia. Dr. Waddell is the first black member of the American Veterinary Medicine Association and the first black commissioned member of the Officer Reserve Veterinary Corps.

Founded in 1854, Lincoln is America's first Historically Black University and 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. The University is in the midst of a yearlong celebration of its sesquicentennial. Lincoln enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students. For more information on the University, please log onto our Web site, www. lincoln.edu. Contact: Howard G. Kelly, Jr., assistant director, Office of Marketing & Communications. (610) 721-3829 (mobile). * * * *

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