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A Legacy
of Producing


May 5, 2008


LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA (May 4) ~ Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree Jr. challenged the graduates of Lincoln University to carry on its inspiring legacy at the institution’s 149th Commencement exercise on Sunday.

“You have an obligation to advance the wonderful legacy of Lincoln University,” the distinguished law professor said. “I have never encountered an institution with so much distinctions and accomplishments.”

“Like those who have gone before you, you must use your intellect to change the world. Lincoln’s legacy is a clear lesson of struggle and progress and let the nation count on you to move us forward.”

Ogletree cited, as examples, the amazing careers of two of the university’s most notable graduates, U. S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and renowned poet Langston Hughes.  He said they made a difference in their own right, Marshall in the struggle for racial equality and Hughes through his thoughtful and insightful poetry.

President Ivory V. Nelson conferred 470 undergraduate and graduate degrees on a balmy afternoon in front of thousands of onlookers, including parents of the graduates, alumni and friends of the university.

The top two graduates were Matthew E. Jones and Rumbidzai Tabvuma. Jones, who hails from Detroit, Mich., majored in accounting with a 4.03 grade-point-average; Tabvumba, a native of Redcliff, Zimbabwe, majored in French with a 4.02 GPA.

President Nelson also presented recipients of the Board of Trustees faculty awards.  The winners were Robert Allen, assistant professor of business and information technology, for the Soraya M. Coley Distinguished Service Award; Dr. Alvin Amos, professor of visual and performing arts, for the Henry G. Cornwell Distinguished Teaching Award; and Dr. Anna Hull, Assistant Director of Biology, for the Hildrus A. Poindexter Distinguished Research Award.

In addition to Ogletree, who received an honorary doctor of laws, the university honored Dr. Ernie Levister and Bishop Nathan Baxter with an honorary doctor of science and doctor of humane letters, respectively.

Dr. Ernest C. Levister Jr. is one of the nation’s leading physicians, practicing internal and occupational medicine.  A 1958 graduate of Lincoln University who served on its Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2007, Dr. Levister has been a powerful advocate for medical reform, particularly for the elimination of disparities in health care.

He is the great-grandson of Thomas Hunter Amos, who was a member of the first class of Lincoln University.

Baxter was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania two years ago. Prior to his election, he was rector of historic Saint James Episcopal Church of Lancaster, Pa., the largest parish in the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania.  During his tenure there, he served as chair of Diocesan Deputation to the 2003 National General Convention. 

The Diocese of Central Pennsylvania consists of 70 parishes, many dating back to the mid-eighteenth century as part of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, the first in the Episcopal Church.

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 has an enrollment of 2,423 undergraduate and graduate students.

Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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