Lincoln News

Lion - Fall 2018 - Capital Connections

President Brenda A. Allen met with key lawmakers at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex in Harrisburg in June with a clear goal in mind: to extend Lincoln's influence and presence.

Hon. Sen. Vincent Hughes (left) with President Brenda A. Allen. Hughes received an honorary degree at Lincoln’s Commencement in May 2018.

Why is the state legislature crucial to Lincoln's long-term health? Lincoln University has been a member of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education since 1972. As a state-related institution, the Commonwealth provides the University with an annual financial appropriation in exchange for offering tuition discounts to students who are residents of Pennsylvania.

Nearly 50 percent of all University students are Commonwealth citizens. The University's state appropriation represents nearly 25 percent of Lincoln's annual operating budget (an increase from 17.5 percent in 2012).

The University also receives financial assistance for capital projects. In recent years, there has been much debate among state legislators regarding funding the state-related universities which—in addition to Lincoln University—include Penn State, Pittsburgh and Temple universities. The debates have often caused delays in the passing of the state budget. While there appears to be great support for Lincoln University at the local and state levels, state investment in higher education is decreasing nationwide. This trend must be considered as the University plans for its strategic investments over the
next five years.

During the visit to Harrisburg, Allen discussed the role of Lincoln University in improving the livelihood and social mobility of Pennsylvania residents with the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. She also discussed ways to strengthen Lincoln's relationship with the Pennsylvania Department of Higher Education with Pedro Rivera, the state secretary of education.

As the guest of the Hon. John Lawrence, whose district encompasses Lincoln's main campus, during her address to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Allen stressed the need for increased state funding for the University and highlighted its strengths and theme: "Learn. Liberate. Lead."

Due to the gracious efforts of Hon. Senator Vincent Hughes, Allen also received an official recognition from the Pennsylvania Senate.

Hon. W. Curtis Thomas and Hon. Harry Lewis, both Lincoln Board of Trustees members and state representatives, welcomed Allen and Dr. Mellissia Zanjani, CFRE, vice president of institutional advancement; Dr. Dorcas Colvin, senior advisor to the president; and Seitu Stephens, director of the new Office of Community & Government Relations.

This story originally appeared in the Fall 2018 Lion.