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August 28, 2001
The Freshmen Class Is the Largest First-Year Class Since 1996 with Approximately 500 Students

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA - Classes for undergraduates at Lincoln University for the 2001-2002 academic year started Wednesday, August 29 at the campus in Southern Chester County. The approximate 500 freshmen class represents the largest entering freshmen class at the University since 1996 when 570 first-year students were enrolled. The exact amount of new freshmen will be determined in September. Last fall, the University enrolled a freshman class of 340.

"Lincoln University is excited and pleased that an increasing number of new students has chosen the University as their first choice to receive an undergraduate education," said President Ivory V. Nelson.

President Nelson added: "The University -- nationally ranked among 3,500 colleges and universities -- is achieving great results and is increasing its efforts to inform future generations of students, parents and the public-at-large about Lincoln's points of distinction and commitment to academic excellence. "

According to 1999-2000 data compiled by the U.S. Department of Education, Lincoln University ranks:

  • second in the nation in graduating African Americans with baccalaureate degrees in the physical sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics).
  • 12th in the nation among colleges and universities in graduating all minorities with baccalaureate degrees in the physical sciences.
  • in the top 2 percent in the nation in graduating African Americans with baccalaureate degrees in computer and information sciences.
  • in the top 2 percent in the nation in graduating African Americans with baccalaureate degrees in biological and life sciences.
  • in the top 3 percent in the nation in graduating African Americans in all academic disciplines.

In addition, Lincoln is ranked first in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in graduating African Americans with baccalaureate degrees in the physical sciences. Lincoln also is the only university in the state and one of but 20 universities nationwide where 40 percent or more of its physics graduates are women.

Students composing the Lincoln University Class of 2005 received a jump on adjusting successfully to campus life and the rigorous academic requirements as they arrived at the University on August 19 to attend Freshman Orientation Week. The campus orientation program included workshops and lectures ranging from use of the facilities and tips on achieving good study habits to the importance of maintaining common courtesy. Coordinated by Lincoln's Office of Residence Life, the program began August 19; it concluded August 27.

Founded in 1854 in Southern Chester County, Lincoln University is a nationally acclaimed institution of higher learning that provides the best elements of a liberal arts and sciences-based undergraduate core curriculum and selected graduate programs to meet the needs of students living in a highly technological and global society. During its 2000-2001 academic year, Lincoln enrolled 1,850 undergraduate and graduate students.

Besides its main campus, the University also operates the Lincoln University Graduate Center for Continuing Education in the City of Philadelphia. Orientation sessions and opening-day classes for graduate students, which began August 18 and 25, respectively, will continue through September 5

Lincoln University is the newest of the state-related universities, having joined the Commonwealth System of Higher Education in 1972. During its 147-year history, Lincoln University has educated an impressive list of luminaries who have distinguished themselves in many professions, including as doctors, lawyers, educators, businesspersons, entrepreneurs, literary figures, theologians, heads of state, political and military leaders. Major figures include Kwame Nkrumah, class of 1939, first president of Ghana in 1960, following independence from colonial domination; Thurgood Marshall, noted civil rights attorney and first African-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, class of 1930; Nnamdi Azikiwe, class of 1930, Nigeria's first president in 1963, after independence; world-acclaimed poet Langston Hughes, class of 1929; and Dr. Hildrus A. Poindexter, internationally recognized authority on tropical diseases, class of 1924.

More recent and notable Lincoln University graduates include:

  • Eric C. Webb '91, award-winning author, poet and editor-in-chief of Souls of People.
  • LeAnna M. Washington M.H.S. '89 (master's degree in human services), member of the Pennsylvania State Legislature from Philadelphia, and first woman to chair the state's Legislative Black Caucus.
  • Sibusio Nkomo '81, chair of the National Policy Institute of South Africa.
  • Jacqueline Allen '74, Municipal Court judge in the City of Philadelphia.
  • Lillian E. Fishburne '71, is the first African-American woman promoted to the rank of rear admiral in the U.S. Navy. Rear Admiral (ret.) Fishburne also served as the Commencement speaker and received an honorary doctorate in science from Lincoln on May 6, 2001.

For more information, contact
Samuel W. Pressley,
Director, Lincoln University's Office of Marketing & Communications,
610-932-1094
e-mail: spressley@lu.lincoln.edu
home: 856-582-9574.
(This press release was prepared with the assistance of Staff Writer Terri Heard.)
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