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May 7, 2006


LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA. - Pennsylvania lawmaker Dwight Evans told Lincoln University graduates to give of themselves without expecting a reward at the institution’s 147th commencement Sunday.

Lincoln conferred degrees to 430 undergraduate and graduate students on a balmy afternoon as a crowd of about 7,000 listened to the veteran Pennsylvania lawmaker and loudly cheered the graduates when their names were called to receive their degrees.

“Your life is not predetermined,” Evans said. “Not every situation follows the rules you have been taught. You can be pragmatic without being cynical. You can contribute without expecting a return.”

Evans became an honorary member of the class as he received one of five honorary degrees. A Democrat in the House of Representatives, Evans received an honorary doctor of laws degree.

“The only way to hold on to your dreams is to take ownership of the world around you,” Evans said. “That means knowing who you are, knowing what you want in life and working hard to get there. Create a balance between making a living and making a life.”

In his remarks, university President Ivory V. Nelson affirmed the capabilities of the graduates.

“You are today’s new generation of leaders, graduates of Lincoln University,” President Nelson said. “You have the talent to build an exciting future for yourself, for your loved ones, for your communities and for your University in these very challenging times.

“You will be called upon to use all of your talent and intelligence, and all of your diligence and team-building skills to tackle the incredible complex challenges ahead of us.  And, you will begin to work the magic you have worked here.

“You have the special vantage to see what might be. And you have the special quality of leadership to make it happen.  Go for it!  You go with our admiration and our aspirations for the future.” 

Lincoln also honored Philadelphia Councilwoman Marian Tasco with an honorary doctor of laws degree. Trustee emeritus Theodore Robb received an honorary doctor of humanities, alumnus Dr. Edward Lee received a honorary doctor of science and Dr. Peter Odili, governor of Rivers State, Nigeria, received a honorary doctor of science.

Darren Robert Dolly, a biology major from Trinidad, addressed the crowd as the top honor graduate. He graduated with a 4.1 grade-point average on an A-plus scale.  Dolly encouraged his classmates to make a difference in their chosen profession. He said the nation has a long list of issues that need their attention.
President Nelson presented the Hildrus A. Poindexter Distinguished Research Award to professor Susan Safford and the Henry G. Cornwell Distinguished Teaching Award to professor Zoran Milovanovich.

Founded in 1854 and accredited by Middle States, Lincoln is the first degree granting historically black university and counts former Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall and renowned poet Langston Hughes among its graduates.

Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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