Message from the President
I am truly honored to greet you as the 14th president of Lincoln University—the first degree-granting Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Since its founding in 1854, Lincoln University has solidified its legacy as an institution that fosters an environment for students to grow and contribute to society as business men and women, regional and global leaders, innovators, and educators. I am pleased to re-join this history as we seek to prepare our students to meet the complex challenges of the 21st century.
Since my arrival on campus, I have been revisiting, reviewing, and reflecting in order to gain a better understanding of Lincoln’s history and who we are now as a University. The records, history books, data and life stories reveal that, like many institutions of higher learning, Lincoln University has made progress over the years while facing many challenges. Our campus now boasts new and newly renovated residence halls and living-learning facilities to support a new generation of students in a highly technological and social culture. In addition, first-year and transfer student enrollments have increased significantly over the past three years and our total enrollment continues to climb. However, there are real challenges that must be addressed in order to position the University to not only succeed, but to thrive well into the future.
As president of Lincoln, I have begun a very collaborative strategic planning process designed to identify areas of concerns and define a strategic direction to reimagine our roots as well as use our available resources to expand our reach to both traditional and non-traditional students.
As the world navigates unprecedented market shifts, we as an institution of higher learning must graduate students who can work well on diverse teams; make decisions and solve problems; plan, organize and prioritize; imagine, create and see connections; and are proficient with computers and technology – all qualities sought after by employers. Our students need skills such as critical thinking, written communication, quantitative literacy, oral communication, scientific literacy and information literacy to compete for the top jobs in today’s society. Re-adopting a liberal arts philosophy, the founding principle upon which Lincoln University was established and on which its success and legacy were built, can provide a platform from which students 1) acquire broad and specific content knowledge, 2) develop intellectual and interpersonal skills that transfer across career and personal contexts, and 3) have opportunities to engage important questions within disciplines, communities and society at large.
I believe also, that the institution is poised to expand its reach in adult and graduate education at our 3020 Market Street facility in Philadelphia. To do so will require a clear mission, a diverse revenue source, and programs with a distinctive market niche.
It is up to us to take calculated steps to ensure the retention and successful matriculation and graduation of students who are equipped with the institution’s founding principles of scholarship, diligence, prudence, zeal, influence and eloquence - principles that enabled its past graduates to compete and succeed in all arenas of our global society. It will take a defined strategic direction supported by increased and diverse revenue streams, eager and engaged students, committed faculty, staff, alumni and friends, and effective institutional leadership and governance to define our niche in the 21st century and build an even stronger foundation that will foster greater success for our students and Lincoln University well into the future.
Brenda A. Allen