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Monday, November 4, 2002

Lincoln University Presents All-University Convocation on November 6; Event to Focus on Student Pursuit of Goals Keynote Speaker to Use Lincoln Alum Langston Hughes’ Poem as Theme

Lincoln University, PA --- Lincoln University, the nation’s first Historically Black University, will hold a University-wide Convocation on Wednesday, November 6 at 4 p.m. The event will take place at Lincoln’s historic Mary Dod Brown Memorial Chapel.

Following the traditional processional of University faculty and opening remarks from Lincoln President Ivory V. Nelson, Ph.D., Dr. Jackie Thomas, professor of English and director of university scholars program, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, will make the keynote address. Appropriately, Dr. Thomas’ theme for the Convocation is “Hold Fast to Your Dreams,” the first line from Dreams, a 1932 poem by Lincoln alum and famed poet Langston Hughes ’29. The poem appeared in Hughes’ book, Dream Keeper. Dr. Thomas will also address the ancestral significance of attending an Historically Black University as well as student responsibility, the socialization aspects of college life and how students can receive “the right peer pressure.”

“I really want to encourage students to hold fast to their dreams and pursue their education,” stated Dr. Thomas.

The University-wide Convocation comes at a key time in Lincoln’s history. Lincoln, which has an enrollment of 1,998 students, is in the midst of a resurgence that is returning the University to its long-time position of academic prominence among the nation’s premier universities.

This fall, Lincoln received more than 4,000 admission applications, the highest number of student applications in the University’s 149-year history. Lincoln is also poised to celebrate its sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary during 2003-2004 with a wide array of initiatives and events that capture the University’s rich history and strategic enrollment management plan to proactively market the University as a “world-class” higher education institution, and “Institution of Choice” for students, staff and contributors.

For the current 2002-2003 school year, Lincoln saw improvement in the SAT scores and grade point averages among its first-year students. The average SAT score for incoming Lincoln students was 864---26 points above the University’s average last year and 31 points higher than the national average for African Americans.

The University has long been recognized as a major producer of African Americans with undergraduate degrees in the physical sciences (biology, chemistry and physics); computer and information sciences; and biological and life sciences. The Lincoln legacy also includes a long list of influential and famous graduates, including world-acclaimed poet Langston Hughes ’29; and Thurgood Marshall ’30, a renowned civil rights attorney and the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Hughes and Marshall have the distinction of being honored with U.S. commemorative stamps.

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 students living in a highly technological and global society. In addition, Lincoln is ranked first in Pennsylvania in the same categories.

From April 2003 through May 2004, the University will celebrate its 150th anniversary, with an array of campus and external events, activities and announcements. For more information about Lincoln University, please visit us on the Web at

For more information, contact:
Samuel W. Pressley, Director
Howard G. Kelly, Jr. Assistant Director
Lincoln University's Office of Marketing & Communications,
610-932-1094; e-mail:; home: 856-582-9574;

Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
1570 Baltimore Pike, P.O. Box 179, Lincoln University, PA 19352 (484) 365-8000
Contact Admissions.

Producing Leaders to Shape A New Millennium