By Lorel Durant
Lincoln University begins a new tradition of hosting Founders Day separate from commencement this year.
It has been a longstanding tradition of Lincoln University to hold Founders Day and commencement ceremony within the same weekend. However, this weekend Founders Day will begin at 10 a.m. Friday morning, with a special convocation presentation by the Student Government Association.
In a letter written to Alumni last Spring President Jennings explained why the separation is critical to our legacy.
“Founders day is a special occasion for all institutions of higher learning, Jennings stated, “to combine it with commencement when all the focus is on the graduates does not do it justice or give it the kind of distinction that will help us garner new friends and supporters.”
Founder’s Day was originally celebrated in the month of April. Ashmun Institute was officially founded on April 29th, 1854 by Oxford resident John Miller Dickey. The university changed its name to Lincoln University after the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865.
In addition to the convocation, a luncheon will be served for alumni chapter officers and Board of Trustee members. The Honor Society will debate the Forensic Society in the Ware Center Theater at 3 p.m. and there will be a Board of Trustee meeting from 1-3p.m. in the International Cultural Center.
On Saturday the men and women’s basketball team will play rival Bowie University at 2 and 4 p.m.
As stated by former Lincolnian editor, Henry M. Lancaster II in his article titled “A Final Note,” Dickey believed that there was a sincere need for a school for Negroes. Dickey was connected with the United States representative for Liberia Jehudi Ashmun. Dickey honored Ashmun by proceeding to name the newly found university Ashmun Institute. It was his theory that educated black leaders could advance in colonizing Africa specifically Liberia. This was Dickey’s primary goal for the university.
Rev. Dickey is honored with university building named after him, Dickey Hall -home to the Education, History, and Psychology department.