Lincoln News

Lincoln To Participate In National HBCU Commencement Celebration On May 16, 2020

Four graduates from Lincoln University’s Class of 2020.
Four graduates from Lincoln University’s Class of 2020.

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, Pa. – In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis that has forced Lincoln University and countless other institutions to postpone their commencement celebrations, LU President Brenda A. Allen announced today the University’s participation in the National HBCU Commencement Celebration on Saturday, May 16, 2020.

“The Class of 2020 has earned this moment to celebrate their achievements with their classmates, faculty members, and loved ones,” said Allen. “They have endured interruptions to their academic year, learned to transition to online courses, and mourned the cancellation of many important end-of-college rituals. I hope this celebration is an opportunity to rally together as a Lincoln family and HBCU community to recognize their achievements.”

A coalition of HBCU leaders, advocacy organizations, and corporate partners have come together to host the celebration featuring celebrity hosts, motivational speakers, musical performances, and the profiles of HBCU valedictorians and other graduates. The virtual event will be live-streamed internationally on ESSENCE Studios.

In addition to highlighting this year’s graduates and their institutions, the event will raise funds for participating HBCUs and their students.

The celebration is being organized by Paul Quinn College, Howard University, The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, Thurgood Marshal College Fund, and the United Negro College Fund. The event is being supported by several partners, including ESSENCE, JPMorgan Chase, and the National Basketball Association.

“We are excited that graduates from our member-schools will receive the public recognition that they earned and deserved,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, President and CEO of TMCF, which represents 47 member-schools. “This celebratory event is an effort to lift up all of our students and to let them know that we are proud of their hard work and perseverance, especially during these difficult times.”

Dr. Michael Lomax, President, and CEO of UNCF praised the event and said that the celebration will reinforce the importance and history of HBCUs.

“For 76 years, UNCF has helped more than half a million students graduate from college, and our mission remains the same even as we grapple with the impact of COVID-19,” said Lomax. “Students who receive a UNCF scholarship have a 70% graduation rate. I hope this program inspires viewers to support students to become college graduates.”

Funds raised during the event will go into an emergency fund to support HBCU students and will be distributed by TMCF and UNCF. These dollars will go a long way in helping students who have been impacted by COVID-19.

While Lincoln’s campus Commencement ceremony has been postponed, Allen has said that the University will announce soon the rescheduled date.


Lincoln University has found creative ways to recognize and celebrate the Class of 2020 including the recent Senior Sunday virtual chapel service, digital graduation announcements, and a class photo gallery.