National Coming Out Day celebrated at LU

Students parade through MLK Hall during the annual National Coming Out Day for LGBTQ students. Oct. 11, 2021. (Photo by Clarion News)

By Clarion News staff

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – Students across the campus and country celebrated National Coming Out Day on Monday by holding events at Scruggs and parading across campus to celebrate the pride of the LGBTQ community.

Prof. Mara Arugete led students through several areas of the campus, including the distributing of free candy and stickers to professors and students. The annual event is designed to inform the community about the issues that LGBTQ students face and allow students to express their sexuality.

National Coming Out Day began in 1988 to celebrate and bring awareness to LGBTQ issues.

LU students brave the rain during the National Coming Out Day parade around campus. Oct. 11, 2021. (Photo by Clarion News)

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LU falls to Missouri Southern

LU running back Tori Hicks takes a hand-off from quarterback Zamar Brake during LU’s homecoming game. Oct. 9, 2021. (Photo by Tyree Stovall/Clarion News)

By Dan Carr/Asst. A.D. for Media Relations

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – Zamar Brake was responsible for four touchdowns, but the Lincoln football team fell to Missouri Southern, 52-32, in its annual Homecoming game on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 9).

Brake completed 19 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns, and he also scored on a five-yard run. Hosea Franklin rushed for 138 yards, posting his third-straight 100-yard performance in the process, and he scored Lincoln’s other touchdown on a six-yard run. Tori Hicks gained 47 yards on 10 carries, as the Blue Tigers averaged 4.2 yards per rush against the Lions.

Missouri Southern (2-4, 2-4 MIAA) scored on each of its first drives of the contest, but the Blue Tigers got on the board with 8:57 to play until halftime. Brake completed passes of 15 and 16 yards to Dre’Shon Alston and Samuel Ingoli, respectively, and a seven-yard run by Franklin moved the ball down to the Missouri Southern 16. Three plays later, Brake connected with Chrisshun Robinson on a 12-yard touchdown pass, cutting the MSSU lead to 24-6.

Piere’ Jones cut MSSU’s next drive short by intercepting a pass in the end zone, marking the first pick made by an opposing defense in 2021. On the ensuing possession, however, Missouri Southern got an interception of its own, and ran the ball back for a touchdown. On the next possession, a 43-yard sprint by Franklin would get the LU offense going again, and Brake’s scamper into the end zone pulled LU to within 31-12.

The Lions added another touchdown before halftime, but Lincoln (0-5, 0-5 MIAA) opened the scoring the scoring in the second half as Franklin’s scoring run led to another Blue Tiger touchdown. LU moved the ball methodically down the field on the 76-yard scoring drive, starting with an eight-yard run by Brake. Aderias Ealy made a 12-yard catch for a key first down, and an 11-yard reception by Ausmer moved the ball inside the red zone. Franklin finished off the drive with a six-yard carry, LU went for two, and Ingoli caught the pass from Brake to make it a 38-20 contest.

Missouri Southern used two more touchdown drives to cut the LU rally short, but the Blue Tigers battled until the end of the contest. Charles Johnson scored on a 65-yard catch-and-run early in the fourth quarter, and the LU defense forced two-straight punts before the Blue Tigers scored their fifth touchdown of the game. Johnson caught a 36-yard pass from Brake, Hicks ran for five yards and Franklin gained six on back-to-back plays, and Ingoli scored on a 19-yard pass to make it a 52-32 final.

Johnson finished with 101 receiving yards, Robinson caught a team-high four passes for 34 yards, and Ingoli had 35 yards on two catches. Alston and Ausmer each had three receptions, and Kalon Grover made his first catch of the season, a nine-yard grab in the third period.

TeAndre Skinner and Elliott Albert both had big days defensively. Skinner led LU with 15 tackles, recorded two tackles for loss and notched a sack, while Albert had assisted on a tackle for loss and made 14 total takedowns. Zyan Thomas-King, Charles Robertson and Jones each broke up passes, with Thomas-King ending the afternoon with eight tackles. Cody Bagby made 1.5 tackles for loss, Robertson had a tackle for loss, and Jaylon Mosley and Jahkari Larmond each assisted on a tackle for loss. Mosley recorded nine tackles while Samuel Amituanai finished with six.

Clayton Winkler averaged 40.3 yards on seven punts, with one traveling 56 yards and two pinning MSSU inside its own 20. Winkler also averaged 52.8 yards on kickoffs, while Hicks gained 82 yards on kick returns.

Lincoln will be on the road for its next two games, starting next Saturday (Oct. 16) with a visit to Pittsburg, Kan. to play Pittsburg State. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. CDT.

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Commentary: Let’s Memorialize Althea Gibson

Althea Gibson after winning the U.S. Championships in 1957.

By Will Goodin/Clarion News

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- With tennis rising in popularity and more people using the university courts, it’s a good time to remember one of the greatest female African-American athletes you have likely never heard of. For two years, she taught and coached at LU, and soon after rose to the pinnacle of her sport by winning Grand Slam events.

For whatever reason, Althea Gibson isn’t a household name. However, she warrants serious attention from not only tennis fans, but all sports fans. Gibson was not only an amazing athlete with a plethora of impressive accolades, but before that she was an instructor at Lincoln University.

Gibson was born in South Carolina in 1927, raised in Harlem, and went on to attend Florida A&M, where she graduated in 1953. Her next stop was Lincoln University of Missouri, where she taught physical education and coached men’s tennis from 1953 to 1955. Following her second year at LU, she was recruited by the U.S. State Department to play tennis for a goodwill tour across Asia, where she won 16 of 18 matches against the world’s best players.

Shortly after the tour ended in 1956, Gibson won the French Open, becoming the first African-American to win a Grand Slam event. In 1957 Gibson won singles and doubles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, earning her the ranking of number one in the world. In 1958 Gibson won both singles and doubles again at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

A gifted athlete with many talents, Gibson also became the first Black golfer admitted to the LPGA. She often voiced her strong opinions about low pay for women golfers and tennis players. However, she continued to play at venues where she wasn’t allowed to stay or dine – she knew her fight on the field of play would lead to greater things for all Blacks. She was right. Arthur Ashe and Venus and Serena Williams credit Gibson for paving the way for Blacks in sports and society.

A partial list of Althea Gibson’s accomplishments:

1956-French Open singles and doubles champion and Wimbledon doubles champion. Gibson becomes the first African-American to win a Grand Slam title.
-1957-U.S. Clay Court singles and doubles champion, Australian Open doubles champion, Wimbledon singles and doubles champion, and U.S. Open singles and doubles champion.
-1958- Wimbledon singles and doubles champion and U.S. Open singles champion.
-1959-Pan American Games singles gold medalist.
(source: U.S. Tennis Association)

“Lincoln is very fortunate to have had her on our faculty to instill her work ethic and dedication to our students,” said Mark Schleer, Lincoln University historian and archivist.

Although recognized as one of the greatest tennis players in the history of the sport, there is nothing to commemorate her accomplishments on Lincoln’s campus – no plaque, no bust, no name on the tennis courts. We should remember that she carved the path for many Black athletes. Later in life she fought for greater educational opportunities for minorities and the disadvantaged.

Maybe it’s time we memorialize the fact that at one time, she too was a part of Lincoln University.

Althea Gibson in the 1954 Lincoln University yearbook. (LU Page Library archives)
Althea Gibson enjoys a ticker-tape parade in New York City after winning the Wimbledon singles championship in 1957. (photo courtesy U.S. Archives)
Althea Gibson winning Wimbledon in 1956. (U.S. Archives)
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Blue Tiger Athletics Club Retires $250k loan

The Blue Tiger Athletics Club made its final payment Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021 on a $250,000 loan from Central Bank. The funds were used to buy weight-room equipment.Top, left to right: Keena Lynch, LU assistant athletic director; Kevin Wilson, LU vice president of Advancement, Athletics, and Campus Recruitment; Central Bank’s Terry Higgins; John Mosely, LU interim president. Bottom, left to right: Central Bank’s Leslie Tanner; Freddi Sokoloff, Blue Tiger Athletics Club (BTAC); John Schulte, past president of BTAC; Jervey Brown, BTAC board member and past president; Stan Horn, current BTAC president; and Victor Pasley, LU Board of Curators. Sept. 29, 2021. (Clarion News photo)

By Elise Eaker/Jefferson City News Tribune

JEFFERSON CITY – The Lincoln University Blue Tiger Athletics Club has paid Central Bank $50,935.48 to retire a quarter million-dollar loan that helped build a new weight room for Lincoln University athletes.

The $250,000 loan was taken out in January 2012. Paying off the loan will allow more of the club’s funds to go toward scholarships.

“In recent years, we haven’t been able to put as much money toward scholarships that we might’ve wanted to,” said Keena Lynch, Lincoln assistant athletic director.

The Blue Tiger Athletics Club Casino Night, held in August, and Blue Tiger Athletics Club memberships made the lump sum payment possible. All funds paid for memberships will now go toward student-athlete scholarships.

“Right now, we have 241 members, and our goal is 500,” Lynch said. “We want to surge past that because membership is a big part of what we do.”

There are four membership tiers. The lowest membership tier costs $100 and includes a membership with access to all tailgates, football reserved seating and a guest pass for basketball tailgates. The highest membership tier costs $1,000 and includes four memberships, four all-sport passes, reserved parking and seating at football games, and five guest passes for basketball tailgates.

For more information about membership in the Blue Tiger Athletics Club, contact Lynch at 573-681-5342 or by email at

(This article appeared in the Oct. 6,2021 edition of the News Tribune.

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Kagame and Singh named Mr. and Miss International

Mr. International is Ericson Kagame and Miss International is Tia Singh. (Photo by Imar Tomlinson)

Edited by Gracen Gaskins/Clarion News

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – The international students of LU crowned their official ambassadors on Wednesday by naming Mr. and Miss International.

Erickson Kagame, 19, is from Kigali, Rwanda. He is a sophomore majoring in agriculture business with a minor in GIS (geographical information systems). He is currently a part of the Black Men Thrive organization, an ambassador, and is part of the 1890 scholars. Kagame is also part of the LUMO Honors program, the Academic Support team, and the International Student Association while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. 

Miss International is Tia Singh,18, from Nassau, The Bahamas. She is a sophomore majoring in business administration. Singh is an active member of the LU family. She is a member of the International Student Association, active in the LUMO Honors Program, and maintains a 3.9 GPA. She also has an internship in the human resources department, which is her desired career field.


(The Clarion thanks Erickson Kagame for supplying the info for this article)

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Campus Spotlight: LU Career Center

The Career Center is located inside Page Library. (Clarion photo)

By Tyree Stovall

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- It’s a new school year and the L.U. Career Center is planning on engaging and helping students with job opportunities and helping students build skills in their future careers. The Clarion met with Director of Career Services Elizabeth Jordan and Career Learning Specialist Gabrielle Hodges to learn more about the Career Center.

The Clarion: What does the Career Center do?

Jordan: “The career center is here to offer services to students. Depending upon whether you’re a freshman, sophomore or junior and senior, we have different skills and objectives that we hope to help students accomplish, as it relates to career readiness and those soft skills.”

The Clarion: What programs does the Career Center offer?

Jordan: “We do different programming, where we offer different types of workshops and different types of activities to engage students. We also have community internships and grant funded internships that are an interest to students to get them skills in their future careers.”

The Clarion: Who is working directly with the students?

Jordan: All staff in the Career Center in some regard, but we’ve trained career peer mentors to work one-on-one with students on demand. Mrs. Gabrielle Hodges, who is our career learning specialist, also works with the students and she does a lot of our on-campus presentations and student engagement activities.

The Clarion: What value does the school place on internships?

Jordan: I think the school places a lot of value on internships (because) a lot of programs and majors require internships for credit. I think that the majors that don’t currently require it certainly encourage their students to take advantage of it. I know that the administration is also supportive of our internship efforts and trying to grow those to be available for students.

The Clarion: How does the career center engage with the students?

Jordan: We engage with the students every chance that we get. That’s a promise I made when I came in because the more visible we are, the more accessible we are, the more students are going to feel comfortable coming to us. What we want to avoid is students coming in their senior year, three weeks before graduation looking for a job. It’s better to start working on those skills sets and develop your resume from freshman year on.

The Clarion: What are some upcoming events?

Hodges: We have our Career Expo Week coming up. That consists of seven different fairs. Sept. 27 through Oct. 1 we’ll be having different fairs for each department. The STEM department, the business program, the nursing program, agriculture, and environmental scientists will all have their own fairs, and will be virtual through a platform we are utilizing called Handshake (, where you can sign-up with your student email.

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Blue Tigers fall to Riverhawks in OT

50 years ago to the day, LU played its first game in Dwight T. Reed Stadium

LU linebacker Elliott Albert takes down a Riverhawk during Saturday’s game at Dwight T. Reed Stadium. Sept. 25, 2021. (Photo by Sydnee Bryant)

Clarion Staff Reports

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – The Blue Tigers fell short by an extra point in an overtime nail-biter against the Northeastern State (Okla.) Riverhawks. In a game that traded touchdowns to a 42-42 regulation end, it seemed the Blue Nation was about to put a mark in the win column. But a missed LU extra point in overtime gave the ultimate advantage and win to the opponent.

On a historical note, Saturday’s game marked the 50th anniversary of the first game played in Dwight T. Reed Stadium. On Sept. 25, 1971, LU beat Bimidji State 35-13.

The the Clarion will have more on the game Monday.

Saturday’s game against Northeastern State (Okla.) marked the 50th anniversary of the first game played in Dwight T. Reed Stadium. On Sept. 25, 1971, Lincoln beat Bimidji State 35-13. (Clarion photo)
LU running back Hosea Franklin, a junior from Memphis, Tenn., cuts up the middle during Saturday’s game against the Northeastern State (Okla.) Riverhawks. Sept. 25, 2021. (Photo by Gracen Gaskins)
No. 14 Winston Ausmer on his way to a touchdown during Saturday’s game against the Riverhawks. Sept. 25, 2021. (Photo by Gracen Gaskins)
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Student passes away in Dawson Hall

No foul play expected in Sunday’s death, but investigation continues

A candlelight memorial honoring freshman Dominik Dudley-Moore will be held at 6 p.m., Sept. 20, 2021 on the back patio of Scruggs University Center. (graphic courtesy LU Office of Marketing and University Relations)

Clarion News

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – A candlelight memorial for Dominik Dudley-Moore, who passed away Sunday, will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021 on the back patio of Scruggs University Center.

The LU Office of Marketing and University Relations reported via e-mail Sunday that Dudley-Moore, who was recently elected as Mister Freshman, died Sunday in his Dawson Hall dorm. Although no foul play is expected, authorities continue to investigate the death.

The Clarion will update this story as soon as new information becomes available.

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Constitution Day at LU

Dr. Brian Norris, a political science professor at Lincoln University, reads during a Constitution Day event held in MLK’s Pawley Theatre. Sept. 17, 2021. (Photo by Elise Eaker)

By Clarion News staff

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – As part of federal Constitution Day, a variety of volunteers read selections from the U.S. Constitution on Friday in the Pawley Theatre located inside MLK Hall.

According to the U.S. Senate website, the idea to celebrate the Constitution began in 1956 when Congress established Constitution Week, beginning each year on Sept. 17, the date in 1787 when the Constitution was signed. In 2004, the Senate designated Sept. 17 each year as Constitution Day.

More info here

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LU holds Old School Field Day event

Students and staff playing a game of musical chairs during the Old School Field Day event. Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Sydnee Bryant)

By Gracen Gaskins

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- Students, faculty and staff gathered on the ROTC field for the Old School Field Day event held Wednesday (Sept. 8) evening. Students, faculty, and staff enjoyed food, games, and music as part of a self-care day. It was, for many, a great excuse to enjoy some time together without the need for masks and social distancing.

Games included volleyball, football, musical chairs, a dance battle, and even a water fight. Various campus organizations provided information, including the Campus Activity Board (CAB), SGA, Royal Court, the Divine 9, NACWC, Manners, and Thompkins Health Center.

Old School Field Day event on the ROTC field. Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Sydnee Bryant)
Students enjoying the Old School Field Day event. Sept. 8, 2021. (Photo by Sydnee Bryant)
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New Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Brian Norris

Dr. Brian Norris (photo by Sydnee Bryant)

By Tyree Stovall/Clarion staff reporter

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- It’s the start of a new school year and there’s more than just new students. Meet Dr. Brian Norris, the newest addition to the political science department. The Clarion recently talked with Norris concerning his new role on the LU campus.

The Clarion: What university were you at prior to Lincoln?

Norris: Denison University, a private liberal arts college in Granville, Ohio. One of the earliest colleges established in the former Northwest territory, founded in 1831.

The Clarion: You were a political science professor there, is that correct?

Norris: When we say political science that doesn’t necessarily tell you a lot of information because political science is an academic discipline. There’s people who study U.S. institutions, international institutions, and some people do it a quantitative way; others really want to make it science and others do it more quantitatively. I focus on international politics, specifically what we call comparative politics, which is the domestic politics of foreign lands.

The Clarion: What degree did you obtain? Why pursue that degree?

Norris: I have a Ph. D. in comparative politics. I was a Peace Corps volunteer, a federal government program created in 1963 by the late John F. Kennedy administration. The Peace Corps takes Americans and sends them abroad for two years, mostly to poor or developing countries. It has three goals: provide technical assistance; help (countries) with English language instruction; and provide basic sanitation in rural areas, such as in South America where people don’t have running water. I didn’t know how to get a passport, I didn’t know how to speak a foreign language and the Peace Corps taught a lot and I became interested in foreign politics (Bolivian and Latin) and that’s what sent me back to grad school. My undergraduate degree is actually in business administration.

The Clarion: How do you plan to improve political science at Lincoln?

Norris: When you are new in an organization you don’t just come in and start making changes. My first goal is to get to know the Lincoln students, get to know my faculty colleagues because they provide very valuable services for the students. Moving forward I want to develop classes that interest students. I want to have a political science curriculum that is responsive to the job market. Students from here want to have an idea of what types of jobs they can get with a political science degree. I want to expose students to government, journalism, and law school – we have an advantage being in the capital city.

The Clarion: What did you learn for your experience and environment at Dennison and now Lincoln?

Norris: I first taught at the Citadel. It’s like a military college and what I’ve learned is that all the schools I’ve taught at probably have more similarities than differences. Great students do the same thing at Dennison as great students do here and the students that struggle are falling into the same crowd at the Citadel or Dennison as they are here. My job as a professor is to get to know you individually and to help you achieve your goals, whether it’s goals in my class or just goals that you have.

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LU hosts vaccine clinic

A Clarion News reporter gets a Covid shot during the vaccination clinic held in Scruggs Ballroom.

By Will Goodin/Clarion News

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- The Capital Region Community Health Center held a Covid vaccine clinic Wednesday afternoon in the Scruggs Student Center ballroom.

The Health Center added incentives to attract students, such as providing $25 gift cards and a drawing for larger prizes. For getting a shot, students received a $25 gift card. Students who previously received a vaccination were also eligible to receive gift cards.

“Certainly that is going to be a huge helper in regards to the gift cards, especially with our younger population,” said Carlos Graham, a Lincoln University administrator who was aiding in the clinic.

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LU falls in home-opener

Football action from LU’s home-opener. Sept. 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy LU Media Relations)

By Dan Carr, assistant AD for Media Relations

EFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Chrisshun Robinson and Winston Ausmer each had touchdown receptions, but the Lincoln football team dropped its 2021 season opener by a final score of 76-12 on Thursday night (Sept. 2).

The Ichabods scored the first 14 points of the evening, but LU answered in a big way on its third possession of the contest. After completing a five-yard throw to Aderias Ealy, quarterback Zamar Brake scrambled away from coverage long enough for Robinson to break free down the middle. Brake’s pass was perfect, Robinson made the grab and ran into the end zone for a 74-yard touchdown reception that pulled the Blue Tigers to within 14-6.

Washburn (1-0, 1-0 MIAA) added another score before the end of the first quarter, but Lincoln (0-1, 0-1 MIAA) got back on the board on its first possession of the second quarter. Another big pass by Brake, this one a 51-yard catch-and-run play by Charles Johnson, moved the Blue Tigers to the Washburn 35. After three-straight rushing plays, Lincoln faced a 4th-and-3, and opted to go for it. Brake found Ausmer open near the end zone, and LU cut the deficit down to 21-12.

The Ichabods controlled the game afterwards, keeping the Blue Tigers off the scoreboard in the second half en route to the season-opening victory. Brake finished the night with nine completions for 175 yards and the two scores. Hosea Franklin rushed for 27 yards, and Robinson caught five passes for 92 yards. Clayton Winkler averaged 30.0 yards punting with a long of 50 yards.

Defensively, Chris Parker made LU’s first interception of the season, and Zyan Thomas-King broke up two passes to go with five tackles. Jaylon Mosley led Lincoln with nine tackles, Elliott Albert made five and Samuel Amituanai recorded a tackle for loss while making five takedowns. Aeneas Tibbs and Malaefono Ale each made one tackle for loss apiece, and Piere’ Jones broke up a pass.

Lincoln will travel to Maryville, Mo. next Thursday (Sept. 9) to play Northwest Missouri at 6:00 p.m. CDT.

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Spotlight: History prof takes on new admin role

Dr. Darius Watson (photo by Kaden Quinn)

By Gracen Gaskins/Clarion News staff

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – Dr. Darius Watson has been a popular history professor at Lincoln University since arriving on campus in 2019. He recently left the classroom to serve as the Interim Dean of Enrollment Management. The Clarion recently sat down with Watson to discuss his new position.  
The Clarion: What made you decide to move from teaching to administration?  
Watson: I made the decision to move from associate professor to Interim Dean of Enrollment Management quite simply because it was a great opportunity to make a difference. While I could affect the futures of 50-70 students a term as a professor, I felt like the ability to engage enrollment and recruitment across the University would allow me to impact the future of all our students. Whether as a professor or as an interim dean, my primary motivation is always a desire to make a difference and in this new position I feel as if I’m doing exactly that. 
The Clarion: What do you miss most about teaching?  
Watson: Although it has only been a few months, the thing I miss most about teaching is having large amounts of time to make critical examinations of issues before having to make decisions. Regardless of how much work I might have engaged as a professor, the schedule of responsibilities and tasks is pretty much driven by the yearly framework of semesters. As a dean, many of the decisions that must be made require much shorter lead time, and thus the potential for having to make them with less than complete information. 
The Clarion: What are some challenges that you are facing in your new position? 
Watson: My primary challenge in the new position is the need to make significant improvements and changes to a variety of different systems and processes in a short period of time. While I am confident in my skills and abilities, I am also engaging several steep learning curves relative to a lack of extensive experience in some of the areas I’m engaging. The result is I am not always as fully prepared as I would like to be, but it is something that I’m working extremely hard to overcome as I try to promote progress across the Admissions offices.
The Clarion: How does this job differ from your teaching position? 
Watson: Perhaps the most significant difference between administration and teaching is a fundamental understanding of university operations as a business versus an academic environment. In the short time I have been in this office, I have begun engaging several processes and issues from perspectives that, as a faculty member, often seemed onerous or tedious. While there are several areas where I continue to grow and learn, one significant strength I’ve been able to use is combining faculty and administrative perspectives in a way that each group separately often finds difficult to do.  
The Clarion: How do you feel about the administration at Lincoln?
Darius Watson: As a part of the administration here at Lincoln, I’m excited to feel like I am part of a team. Everyone from the president to the staffs of the various offices has been putting forth enormous effort and energy towards accomplishing the goal of making LU a truly great institution. There are many moving pieces that require high levels of coordination and cooperation, and I truly believe this administration is doing everything it can to affect change and progress in those areas most vital to institutional advancement. There is certainly a lot of work still to be done. But the commitment I have seen so far convinces me that we as a university are on the path to success. 

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Update: LU tennis courts see rise in popularity

Pickleball brings lots of action early four years after massive upgrade

Drone photo of surface painting on the new Lincoln University tennis courts. This is the first drone photo used in the campus newspaper, The Clarion News. October 2017. (photo by Blake Nave)

By Will Goodin/Clarion News

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY — Using $640,000 pooled together from Lincoln University, the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Department, and the U.S. Tennis Association, the Yvonne Walker Hoard tennis courts were renovated in 2017.

The courts, located at the intersection of Dunklin and Lafayette streets, were fully resurfaced and striped. Prior to the rehabilitation, the courts were beginning to deteriorate beyond useful purpose. In fact, the university was no longer using the facility for athletic purposes.

Lincoln University had a tennis team until 2016, when the program was cut due to a budget restriction. After the team was disbanded, the city parks department looked to revamp the courts.

“They were not very playable so we wanted to do something and fix them up,” said Todd Spalding, the executive director of the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Department.

Funding for the courts was pulled in from some different places as well. “Lincoln University put in some funds, good grants were received, and JC Parks put in some cash,” said Spalding.

If Lincoln University does not have a tennis team, then who uses the courts? According to Spalding, the courts are rented or reserved by anyone that wishes to use them.

“There’s a community pickleball league that reserves the courts four or five times a year for tournaments,” said Spalding. The rising popularity of pickleball – which can be played on a tennis court – is bringing new action and purpose to the complex.

The upgrade of the tennis courts has done great things for the community as well.

“I think it’s just more activity, having a good facility for people to get involved,” Spalding said. “It’s a good connection between the community and Lincoln University.”

LU Interim President Michael Middleton (right, with shovel) breaks ground on the tennis court renovation project with representatives from LU, Jefferson City Parks, and the U.S. Tennis Association. Sept. 2017. (Photo by Clarion News)
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Blue Tiger Spotlight: Aaron Spencer

Aaron Spencer (photo courtesy LU Comm. and Marketing)

By LU Communications & Marketing

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – Senior Aaron Spencer and his camera have become a fixture at Lincoln University, as the journalism major can often be found taking pictures of campus life, concerts and sporting events. 
“I’ve done a lot of things with our Royal Court and CAB (Campus Activity Board) events,” Spencer said. “My most favorite memory here is when we had Meg Thee Stallion and Li’l Boosie for a [concert]. I got to be on stage and take pictures of them. I’ve also done a lot of sports and other different events that go on around here.” 
Photography is just one more form of self-expression for Spencer, who has been involved in the arts for as long as he can remember. 
“In school, I was, you know, a band nerd. I did jazz band, marching band and symphonic band. Also did theatre, and my senior year I was part of the [student] newspaper,” Spencer said. 
Working on the school paper at Grandview High in Kansas City, Missouri, helped awaken Spencer’s passion for photography and journalism. Spencer began taking pictures at various school sporting events, as well as other student activities, and started to develop a passion for the art form. Being at Lincoln has only helped grow that enthusiasm. 
“Really, it was coming here to Lincoln that made me really interested in photography,” Spencer said. “In high school, I did a radio show called Generation Rap, so my whole thing was, I thought I would do radio or TV. But I took a photojournalism class, and as I started taking pictures for that class, more and more the professor kept saying how she liked the work I did and that I should take it more seriously. That’s when I went out and bought my first camera.” 
Since taking that first class with adjunct instructor Leslie Cross, Spencer has regularly looked for opportunities to take photos around campus. Whether it be Homecoming events, gospel choir performances or a football game or track meet, Spencer has been active in continuing to gain experience and hone his prodigious skills. 
“When I see events going on, even if they don’t want me to, I’ll bring my camera along and get some pictures taken,” Spencer says with a laugh.  
All that experience is leading to bigger and better things for Spencer, as he is already starting to plan his career after graduation. 
“I want to hopefully one day open up my own production company,” Spencer said. “Whether it be pictures or film, whenever people need help with that, they’ll be able to call me and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got this project going on, can you help with pictures or filming?’ It wouldn’t necessarily be just me doing it. I want to have a whole company [of people] to send out to help. That’s my goal.” 
The professors at Lincoln have been strong supporters of Spencer’s work, and their encouragement has given him the confidence to believe he can turn that goal into a reality. 
“Every time I would do a project, (Ms. Cross) would tell me she liked the pictures I chose and kept telling me this is something I can do, so I took her word for that,” Spencer said. “Mr. [Will] Sites is another one, because whenever I do take photos of the sports teams, he’s one of the first persons I go and show and ask, ‘Is this a good picture? Is this good?’!  
“A lot of our stuff in journalism is really hands on, so they’re preparing us for the real world,” Spencer continued. “Like how to handle different situations, how to get a job. I feel like the professors at Lincoln really are preparing us for the real world.”  
While Spencer is truly enjoying his experience as a Blue Tiger, there is one activity that the former percussionist has missed. 
“The drumline here at Lincoln – they’re good, real good,” Spencer says with a laugh. “I actually wanted to do it but the scheduling didn’t end up working out the best. I do miss it – I say that every time I hear our band!” 

(Aaron Spencer is one snapshot of the exceptional people in our Blue Tiger Family album.  Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @LUBlueTigers to see more.)

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Blood drive, HIV testing Wed. in Scruggs

Clarion News

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – Wednesday August 25, 2021, in Scruggs Ballroom there will be both a Red Cross Blood Drive and free rapid HIV testing. 

The blood drive and HIV testing will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. simultaneously. HIV test results will be ready within 20 minutes. 

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Students return to campus

LU students on the LU campus near Scruggs Student Center. Classes resumed on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. Mask mandates remain in place for all buildings and classrooms. Aug. 18, 2021. (Photo by Sydnee Bryant/Clarion News)

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – The fall semester began Monday, Aug. 16, 2021 as students returned to the classroom – masked, but ready to learn. A recent surge of Covid-related infections in Missouri has forced the continuance of social distancing and other restrictions on campus, but students seem resigned to a temporary state of affairs.

“I don’t like masks, but I think this will pass soon,” said Mark, who said he was from Jefferson City. Like many students, he said he was hoping to ditch the masks this fall. LU has mandated that students, faculty, and staff wear masks in all campus buildings and offices until further notice.

Welcome back!

LU students on the LU campus near MLK Hall. Classes resumed on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. Mask mandates remain in place for all buildings and classrooms. Aug. 18, 2021. (Photo by Sydnee Bryant/Clarion News)
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Supreme Court rules for cheerleader in free speech case

Teaching good manners does not outweigh free expression of off-campus speech

(Creative Commons graphic)

By Clarion News

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday handed public school students a landmark First Amendment victory, ruling 8-1 that off-campus speech is a protected form of expression.

In 2017, freshman cheerleader Brandi Levy became upset when she was denied a spot on the 2018 varsity squad. On a Saturday afternoon, Levy and a friend sent a expletive-laced Snapchat photo (complete with their middle fingers raised) from a local coffee shop. “F*ck school, f*ck softball, f*ck cheerleading, f*ck everything,” said the Snap, which landed in the inbox of 250 friends and ultimately shared with a cheerleading coach. Levy was handed a one-year suspension from cheerleading because she violated stated conduct rules. She was not suspended from school.

The Mahanoy City, Penn. student sued the school district, arguing that her off-campus speech is not subject to the district’s oversight. Levy won in two lower courts, with both opinions noting that the Supreme Court has never extended the reach of a public school beyond its border. In an earlier landmark case – Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) – the Court held that students keep their First Amendment rights while on campus, unless the speech is substantially disruptive. In the current case, the speech occurred away from school property.

“Teaching good manners does not outweigh free expression,” said Justice Stephen Breyer, one of eight justices voting in favor of student free speech. He noted the Snap might have been vulgar, but the poor choice of wording did not diminish Levy’s right to say what she was feeling.

Levy has acknowledged the immature choice of words, while also noting she was away from campus and was not directing threats at anyone. In fact, her Snap disappeared in 24 hours (as all Snaps do) and nobody complained of the school or cheerleading program being substantially disrupted.

The Court noted that schools cannot become parents by governing off-campus behavior. Public schools, the Court said, may extend a reach beyond campus when the speech involves bullying or cheating.

Justice Clarence Thomas was the lone dissent, noting that the cheerleader was subverting school authority, regardless of where the Snap originated. During arguments made to the Court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh noted that the cheerleader’s actions were eroding the importance of team solidarity. But, he said, the fact she was away from campus insulates her from the reach of the school district.

An article about the case here.

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Campus mask mandate ends next week

Clarion News reports

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – The campus will no longer require the wearing of masks beginning June 14, 2021, states an email released today by the LU Office of Marketing and University Relations. Masks will be recommended for anyone without a vaccination or for those with a compromised immune system.

Social distancing protocols in classrooms and meeting places will remain in place during the summer.

The campus has required masks since May of 2020. The mask policy is subject to change, depending upon local health conditions and CDC recommendations. For more on LU COVID info, go to

For a past article on students and masks, see the Clarion News article below:

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President Woolfolk departing LU

The university has been led by three presidents since 2013, searching for fourth

LU President Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk at 2019 Fall Institute. Aug. 11, 2019.

Clarion News staff

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – The Board of Curators announced today that President Jerald Jones Woolfolk will be leaving the university at the conclusion of the 2020-21 school year. She began her service as president in June 2018. An interim president will be named soon and a search for her replacement will begin.

Jones was the third president to serve since Dr. Kevin Rome was hired in 2013, only to resign in March of 2017 to take a president position at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn. His departure led to a year under Michael Middleton, an interim president who served until the hiring of Woolfolk in June of 2018.

March 2017 – Dr. Rome leaves LU to become president of Fisk University.

May 2017 – Michael Middleton, former interim president of University of Missouri schools, hired to head LU until a replacement is hired.

June 2018 – Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk hired as LU’s 20th president.

May 16, 2021 – Woolfolk to leave LU.

A news release from the LU Board of Curators issued today (May 16, 2021) did not state a reason for Woolfolk’s departure. The release contained quotes from Victor B. Pasley, president of the Board of Curators, and President Woolfolk. He praised her time and accomplishments while serving the LU community.

Woolfolk said her leaving is “sad,” but that it is “time for me to return home” because she has been away from family a long time. The board praised Woolfolk’s recent fundraising efforts and that the university’s new police academy were under her tenure as president.

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LU holds in-person commencement

To achieve social distancing, five separate ceremonies will be held during the weekend

LU journalism students attend commencement in Mitchell Auditorium. May 15, 2021. (Clarion News photo)

Clarion News

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – Graduating seniors are walking across the stage once again, but not all on the same day and time. To keep some sort of social distancing, the university is holding five different commencements in Mitchell Auditorium. The ceremonies are divided by school/degree program.

The spring of 2020 seniors were unable to hold graduation due to the campus being closed by COVID-19.

By all accounts, the graduation gatherings have been very successful. Graduating seniors were allowed to bring six guests into the auditorium. Many students appreciated the abbreviated commencement, with most ceremonies taking less than one hour to complete.

Congrats to all Blue Tiger graduating seniors!

LU seniors attend commencement in Mitchell Auditorium. May 15, 2021. (Photo by Elise Eaker)
LU President Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk delivers a commencement speech during graduation in Mitchell Auditorium. May 15, 2021. (Photo by Elise Eaker)
LU President Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk delivers a commencement speech during graduation in Mitchell Auditorium. May 15, 2021. (Photo by Elise Eaker)
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Appreciation Day lunch on the Quad

Students enjoy free hot dogs, hamburgers, and other goodies during an LU Appreciation Day held on the Soldiers’ Memorial Plaza. April 30, 2021. (Photo by Mar’che Boggess)

By Mar’che Boggess

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – Students and staff were treated with a beautiful day and free food during an Appreciation Day picnic held Thursday on the Soldier’s Memorial Plaza. Next week will be the last few days of classroom work for the 2020-2021 school year, For many students, the pandemic brought disruption and challenges.

But we made it. Congratulations to graduating seniors and the LU community for supporting us during the year.

Have a great summer!

President Woolfolk (center, standing) enjoying lunch with students during an LU Appreciation Day on the Quad. April 30, 2021. (Photo by Mar’che Boggess)
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Supreme Court to hear student free speech case

Brandi Levy (via Creative Commons)

By Will Sites

A clash between technology and the free-speech rights of public school students will take place Wednesday in the nation’s highest court. The case involves the discipline of a high school cheerleader after she posted an expletive-filled Snapchat aimed at her school and coaches. The post originated on a Saturday, off-campus, while she was not engaged in a school activity.

The case is Mahanoy Area School District (Penn.) v. B.L. The initials stand for Brandi Levy, who was 15 when the lawsuit was filed – court citations use initials for minors. Levy is now in college. Here’s what happened:

The Mahanoy High School (Penn.) freshman was spending a Saturday with a friend when she decided to send a Snapchat photo of the two flipping-off the camera, along with several f-bombs aimed at cheerleading, softball, and generally the school. The post was not sent to any administrators, teachers, or coaches. However, it was shown to a cheerleader coach, who ultimately suspended Levy because the student violated written conduct policy. Levy filed a lawsuit, stating her First Amendment rights were violated because the speech took place away from campus and did not disrupt the school environment.

The question in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. is: Does a public school violate a student’s First Amendment right to free speech when the speech takes place off-campus and it does not significantly disrupt the school? The issue was previously settled in the 1969 landmark Supreme Court case, Tinker v. Des Moines.

In Tinker, two students entered a public high school wearing anti-Vietnam War black armbands. They were suspended after refusing to take them off. The Supreme Court took the case, ruling that schools must protect the First Amendment rights of students, but only if the student speech does not disrupt the school environment. Because nobody complained about the armbands and there was no disruption, the armbands were protected speech. But things have changed.

Because technology allows for speech to originate away from campus – while simultaneously being delivered to campus – the reach of school discipline may be settled after Wednesday’s arguments. The Supreme Court has ruled on several public school speech cases, but this is the first one involving speech via digital devices. Generally, speech is protected when it doesn’t disrupt the school and/or the speech takes place away from campus and campus activities. How much the speech disrupts the school environment seems to be the key factor. Two types of speech – political and religious – have the highest protection.

Wednesday’s oral arguments can be accessed Friday on the Supreme Court’s website and live on C-SPAN’s website.

(Will Sites is an associate professor of journalism at Lincoln University)

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View from the track

Kimone Campbell and Chrissani May

By Phillip Spencer and Kourtney Burchfield

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- The first outdoor track meet originally scheduled for Saturday, April 10 was postponed to the next day. Opening the season, The Clarion decided to ask a few track student-athletes about the 2021 season.

The Clarion: How many meets do you have this season?

Aliyah George: Outdoor 10 and indoor about eight.

The Clarion: How did COVID-19 affect your training for this season?

Aliyah George: Honestly, I feel like I could’ve had a better opportunity especially for outdoor because they only took the top 10. COVID messed everything up, but you just have to take it day-by-day.

Colby Jennings Jr.: It was really, really, really kind of spaced-out. Our teammates had to be in groups of three. It’s hard.

Chrissani May: Well, it was quite a setback, but where are getting there. We are training hard each day to go and perform.

Aliyah George

The Clarion: Do you feel confident about this season?

Aliyah George: I’m coming back. I feel like it could be better, but you just have to be patient and trust the process.

Colby Jennings Jr.: Well, since last meet I think I ran about three races. I’m a bit tired right now, but after this week I think we have conference coming up. I’m feeling good that I have enough time to rest.

Chrissani May: We feel pretty good. We’re training really hard to run our PB because that’s the aim to run track and field.

Colby Jennings Jr.

The Clarion: Are you confident in going to the finals?

Aliyah George: Yes, I am. I always make the top four at every meet so, that kind of motivates me and make me work harder.

Colby Jennings Jr.: I’m super-confident.

Kimone Cambell and Chrissani May: Yes, we are.

The Clarion: Because you are not from America, explain how training is different here.

Colby Jennings Jr.: I’m from Boston, but I was born in Turks and Caicos. It’s a huge difference because where I’m from we don’t have the facilities like here. It’s still hard because whenever we get hurt, it kind of backfires on us; we have to lookout for ourselves. We go to trainers, but they most likely recommend us to different physical therapist in this state. That’s one huge problem we have for the LU track team. We need more physical therapists.

Chrissani May: We (including teammate Kimone Campbell)  are from Jamaica. The climate is different from where we come from. We have a lot of support, which we don’t find here as much, but we are trying to cope with it.

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Springfest returns to LU campus

Springfest 2021

By Kaden Quinn

As the school year comes to a close, Lincoln University is hosting the annual Springfest event to celebrate their students one last time before the school year ends.

Throughout the year, students are able to celebrate their time at Lincoln through events such as Homecoming and Springfest. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the school was unable to host the 2020 Springfest.

“Springfest is our big spring event that we do for the week to bring in lots of different events for the students,” Director of PR and Marketing Kenda Graves said. “It usually involves a concert, but obviously with COVID going on, we can’t do that right now. We’re just putting together a lot of fun big events for last hurrah before we get out of school.”

The events planned for Springfest include: a silent DJ battle, a skate night, a spelling bee, and a “Wipeout” obstacle course. There will be many other games and activities occurring April 18-April 23.

An annual event that has been occurring on campus for the past 20 years, Lincoln would like to bring back a sense of normalcy for students as the coronavirus continues to recede. However, while the school usually hosts musical performances for Springfest, they will be only focusing on what students will be able to do on campus in the event of COVID-19 outbreaks.

“I wouldn’t say COVID has been a problem,” Graves said. “It’s more only of adjustment to abide by the guidelines and limitations that we need. We might not have everything but we are making sure that we’re still good to hold the event.”

Outside vendors will be working with administration to guarantee that their COVID-19 policies while match up with the university’s. LU will be going to great lengths to ensure that their students are able to have fun while also staying safe from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have to make sure that student safety is the number one priority,” Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Greek Affairs Octoria Ridenhour said. “It has been a little challenging on my side but I had to put that on the vendors as well going forward.”

Graves and Ridenhour continued, explaining that she would like students to know that this is their big event before it is time for the university to wrap up the school year. Administration wants the LU community to know that Springfest is for students to have fun and celebrate their time together.

“I just want for everyone to understand that Springfest is for students,” Ridenhour said. “We always welcome alumni and different people back onto campus for different events but for Springfest, we like to consider this our students only celebration as their end of the year wrap up. This is for them to spend time with each other on their campus.”

“I’m ready for students to show that, yes, they are responsible,” Ridenhour said. “They can still come together even during COVID. We are still going to be making sure that masks are required at every event, we will be social distancing where we can, and we’re going to be sanitizing in between activities. We’re just covering everything and I’m ready for it to be successful.”

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Remembering the life of Robert Lee Mitchell Sr.

Robert Lee Mitchell Sr.

By Mar’Che Boggess 
JEFFERSON CITY- The man for whom Lincoln University’s Mitchell Auditorium was named passed away on April 14, 2021.  

Robert Lee Mitchell Sr. graduated from Lincoln University in 1956 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. Upon graduating, he returned to his hometown of Dallas, Texas to teach at Madison High School while pursuing a master’s degree at North Texas University.

After receiving his master’s degree, he was invited to LU to work as a supervisor of student teaching at Laboratory High School and an instructor of music. Eventually, Mitchell became a full-time professor at the university.
In 1977, he founded L.U.V.E (Lincoln University Vocal Ensemble).  During his tenure at Lincoln University, he was a successful choir clinician and became the interim chairman of the Fine Arts Department. After he retired, he was still involved in many campus events, including organizing and conducting the Lincoln University Reunion Choir from 2004-2016.
He was preceded in death by his siblings and his wife Charlene Mitchell. 

Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Thursday, April 22, 2021, at Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home. Facial coverings are encouraged while in attendance.  

A private family service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday at Grace Episcopal Church. The service will be live-streamed on Dulle- Trimble’s website for those who wish to watch from home. 

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LU Artist Spotlight: Phil Jones

Phil Jones stands next to his sculptures inside Page Library. March 30, 2021. (Photo by Mar’Che Boggess)

By: Mar’Che Boggess

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- If you’ve spent any amount of time in Page Library, you’ve probably come across artwork by Phil Jones, a 1997 graduate of Lincoln University. His sculptures of people connected to LU history can be found throughout the building – including Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, and Martin Luther King Jr. Jones recently spoke with the Clarion News about his artistic work.

The Clarion: When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?

Jones: I’ve always done art as long as I can remember. I can’t remember a time I when I wasn’t making art

The Clarion: What led you to LU?

Jones: I’m a third-generation alumni. My grandfather was the first person in our family to go to college. My mother went to college here as well. I majored in computer science and history.

The Clarion: LU has a rich history. In what way is your work able to capture that history?

Jones: I have been blessed to be used by Mark Schleer, the university archivist. When he needs pieces for something, I do it. I just like to give back.

The Clarion: Do you remember the moment when you first saw your work in Page Library? How did you feel?

Jones: I felt very proud to have work here.

The Clarion: What is your creative process when it comes to sculpting?

Jones: First, I try to find the best reference photo. I feel like I can do the details of the subject a lot more justice if I have more photos to draw from. Then, I sit down and put it on an armature. 

The Clarion: What’s your favorite piece that you’ve sculpted to date?

Jones: I think Abraham Lincoln is my favorite. To me, he looks like he could just blink his eyes at you and start talking to you. 

The Clarion: Do you have any advice for LU art students interested in sculpting?

Jones: Don’t ever stop. When you fail you learn a lesson. Take that lesson, forget the frustration, and just keep doing it.

The Clarion: What’s one sculpture that you’d love to see in the archives department one day?

Jones: I honestly don’t know. Anything the archives department asks of me.

The Clarion: Aside from sculpting, do you have any other creative hobbies?

Jones: I play guitar, I started playing in 1967. I teach high school and middle school art. I teach at Trinity Lutheran and Calvary Lutheran. I paint and write as well. I have a novel here in the library called “Manopoly: The Persian Affair.” I’m also working on a textbook about sculpting. 

The Clarion: What legacy do you want your art to leave on the LU’s campus?

Jones: One of these days my grandkids, my great grandkids, and my great-great grandkids will be able to walk in here and touch something I made with my hands. They’ll be able to say, “My grandpa did that.”

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Colby selected as MIAA Track Athlete of the Week

Colby Jennings Jr. (Courtesy LU Athletic Media Relations)

Dan Carr, Asst. AD for Media Relations

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the second time this outdoor season, Lincoln sophomore Colby Jennings, Jr. has been selected as the MIAA Men’s Track Athlete of the Week. The league office announced the award, which was voted upon by a select panel of conference sports information directors, on Monday afternoon (April 12).

Jennings won three events at the Lincoln Open on Sunday (April 11), including the 200m, where his time of 21.16 currently stands as the fastest time in the MIAA and is tied for the ninth-quickest in NCAA Division II. Jennings additionally won the 400m in 48.29, and joined with Kewani Campbell, Rashane Bartlett and Reuben Nichols to help LU’s 4x400m relay team win in 3:14.27, the second-fastest mark in the MIAA.

This is the second career MIAA Athlete of the Week award for Jennings, who also received the honor on March 29 after a strong performance at the ESU Relays.

The Lincoln men’s track & field team will be in Warrensburg, Mo. on Friday (April 16) to compete in the Outdoor Mule Relays, hosted by the University of Central Missouri.

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LU to hold in-person May commencement

Tickets for guest will be required and limited to six per student

LU faculty at Dwight T. Reed Stadium during the May commencement, May 2016. (Photo by Will Sites/Clarion News)

By Amoni Lewis and Kourtney Burchfield

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- May 2021 graduates will not Zoom across the commencement stage, they’ll walk.  That’s the decision of LU administrators after the 2020 spring ceremonies went digital due to the ongoing pandemic. Next month’s graduation will take place in Richardson Fine Arts Center over a three-day period to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The schedule begins on Friday, May 14 with the School of Education and ends on Sunday, May 16 with the College of Arts and Sciences-Social and Behavioral Sciences. The schedule is as follows:

May 14: Noon – School of Education. 6 p.m. – School of Nursing (includes pinning ceremony).

May 15: 10 a.m. – College of Arts and Sciences, Technology, Math, and Humanities and Communication. 2 p.m. – School of Business and College of Agriculture.

May 16: 10 a.m. – College of Arts and Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Graduates will receive six armbands for their guests. Children of the ages 3 and under are not required to wear an armband to attend the ceremony. Armbands are mandatory for entry.

Graduating students will be able to pickup armband packets in Young Hall 206. Armband packets are available from Monday, May 10 to Friday, May 13 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. A student ID is required to receive a packet.

A livestream of the ceremonies will be available on the university’s website for guests that are unable to attend in-person.

Congratulations to all Blue Tiger May 2021 graduates!

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President Hosts Student Town Hall

LU President Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk (center) takes questions during a town hall held Thursday in Richardson Auditorium. March 25, 2021. (Photo by Amoni Lewis/Clarion News)

By Amoni Lewis/Clarion News

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- President Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk hosted a student town hall on Thursday evening in Richardson Auditorium. Students were able to express their thoughts, ideas, and concerns about the university. Faculty and staff were in attendance to answer questions. Some of the topics of concern included the following:

Student: In regards to Dawson Hall, will it reopen and what is going to be the process for that?

Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Marcus Chanay: We’re going to be doing a lot of work in Dawson. We have put together a plan to get Dawson back to where it needs to be – this summer Dawson will be open.

Student: Are there any storage places on or near campus for international students?

Director of Residential Life and Housing Brian Bennett: Storage space on campus is limited because we have a lot of students that have left items. We want to give them the opportunity to come back and get those things so we don’t have to get rid of them.

Student: Regarding housing, are the janitors supposed to clean our bathrooms every day?

Bennett: Yes, they are supposed to be cleaned every day. If they are not, let us know.

Student: Why are some students receiving 10 hours of community service and others are suspended from the university?

Dean of Students Dr. Miron Billingsley: We have a student conduct committee in place. One of the things that Dr. Woolfolk emphasized to us is listening to the students. Three things she does not tolerate are distribution of drugs on campus, sexual assaults, and weapons. We try to work with the students and get them community service.

Student: Why is there only one student on the Student Conduct Committee? Why isn’t there a separate committee with only students?

Woolfolk: That’s just not the way it works in higher education, at Lincoln, and anywhere else that I’ve worked. That is a violation of our rules and regulations here at Lincoln University.

Student: When are graduating seniors going to receive information about the number of tickets for graduation?

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Alphonso Sanders: That conversation was held today to get information out to everybody. Rather than me tell you the exact number, I’ll just let the information come out.

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LU Opens Blue Tiger Resource Center

Some of the items available to students at the new Blue Tiger Resource Center located in the Scruggs Student Center. (Photo by Amoni Lewis/Clarion News)

By Amoni Lewis/Clarion News

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- The Blue Tiger Resource Center officially opened the doors in its Scruggs location on Wednesday to help address the needs of students, including such as items as food, clothes, and school supplies for women, men, and children. The center’s hours of service are 2-6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

“The resource center is going to serve the needs of our students outside of the classroom,” said Misty Nunn, LU’s director of Communications and Marketing.

Nunn thinks the resource center will make the university a much better space for students.

“Students worrying about their next meal, clothing for interviews, and diapers for their children are things that affect their performance in class,” Nunn said. “The resource center addresses everything they could possibly need.”

Students believe the resource center will benefit the university.

“I think it’s a great thing for the university to have because it fulfills the needs of students,” said Aaron Spencer, a senior journalism major from Kansas City, Mo.

To schedule a donation delivery, contact the resource center’s director Earnest Washington at

(To read LU journalism student Kaden Quinn’s article in the News Tribune, click here)

Some of the items available to students at the new Blue Tiger Resource Center located in the Scruggs Student Center. (Photo by Amoni Lewis/Clarion News)
Some of the items available to students at the new Blue Tiger Resource Center located in the Scruggs Student Center. (Photo by Amoni Lewis/Clarion News)
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The Roving Clarion: Students Note Study Strategies

Reporting by Tyree Madge/Photos by Mar’Che Boggess

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – Back from spring break and ready to run to the end of the semester, The Clarion asked a few students: How are you going to tackle the rest of the semester? Here’s what we heard:

“I plan on finishing out the semester strong by turning in my work on time.” Ralph Beck, a freshman chemistry major from St. Louis
“ This semester I plan on maintaining straight A’s. Also, I would like to interact with more students because I love God. Plan on staying in Jefferson City for a year or two to stick around help out with church.” Jermarcus Perkins, a senior Wellness major from St. Louis. He graduates in May.
“I plan on finishing off this semester by asking questions and reading.” Shamar-Kay Fable is a freshman nursing major from Jamaica.
“Going to classes more.” Kennedy Davis, a freshman psychology major from Chicago.
“Time management.” Carrington Moley is a freshman agriculture major from Kansas City, Mo.
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Video: What Are You Doing For Spring Break?

Video by Amoni Lewis

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – The Clarion News is ready to put Mother Nature’s brutal winter in the rearview mirror. With spring break just a few days away, intrepid reporter Amoni Lewis trekked across campus to ask LU students:

What are you doing for spring break?

Spring Break 2021 begins after classes end March 12.
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Police Agencies Look To LU For Recruits

Recruiting officers believe that the new academy will bring many positive changes

Sgt. Shawn Rackhaus, left, and St. Charles County Sheriff Scott Lewis at the LU police recruiting job fair. Feb. 26, 2021. (Clarion News photo)

By Kourtney Burchfield and Tyree Stovall

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – More than a dozen law enforcement agencies arrived on campus Friday morning looking for new recruits during a police job fair held in the Scruggs Student Center ballroom. The event occurred just weeks after the university became the first HBCU in the country to host a licensed police-training academy – the Lincoln University Law Enforcement Training Academy.

“We are excited to build relationships through Lincoln University and to be part of something new,” said Texas Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott Auth, representing one of about 15 police agencies actively recruiting during Friday’s event. The Texas trooper said his agency strives to be highly diversified and Lincoln’s academy will significantly add to the success of recruiting minority applicants. “The goal is to be as diversified as we possibly can.” Missouri police officers agree.

Closer to home, officers representing the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department are looking to expand minority ranks. “We are always looking to improve diversity in our department,” said Sgt. Shawn Rackhaus, one of two deputies representing the sheriff’s department located just west of St. Louis. He said Lincoln University’s new academy should help improve public perception of police and help change stereotypes. “The new police academy is going to make a change in many communities and put police in a more positive light.”  

The Missouri State Highway Patrol aims to do the same. Trooper Kordel Gibson, based at Troop C in Weldon Springs, arrived at LU’s police job fair hoping to recruit minority students for the MSHP’s academy. He noted that the Highway Patrol is looking to significantly expand the agency’s diversity.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Kordel Gibson explains the recruiting needs of his agency during the career event held in the Scruggs ballroom. Feb. 26, 2021. (Clarion News photo)

“We need more diversity and we are looking for individuals that will make a difference in the community’s they serve,” said Gibson, who began with the MSHP in 2011. He said LU’s new academy is impressive and that it will go a long way in helping law enforcement agencies recruit quality officers.

The Lincoln University Law Enforcement Training Academy is currently being directed by LUPD Chief Gary Hill. “When I went through the academy, I was one of two African-Americans, and for us to have an academy here focused on increasing the diversity in law enforcement so people can feel included is incredible,” said Hill in an interview with The Missouri Times.

“We have to ensure that when we have people enrolled in the academy that we’re giving them all the tools that they need to succeed today and in the future.”

LU Police Recruiting Fair Attendees:

Missouri State Highway Patrol

Hazelwood P.D.

Johnson County (Kan.) Sheriff’s Dept.

Springfield P.D.

Texas Dept. of Public Safety

City of Sedalia P.D.

Overland Park, (Kan.) P.D.

Callaway County Sheriff’s Office

Grandview P.D.

Boone County Sheriff’s Department

Webster Groves P.D.

Fulton P.D.

St. Louis Metro P.D.

Hazelwood P.D.

St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department

O’Fallon P.D.

Gov. Mike Parson makes the Lincoln University Law Enforcement Training Academy official during a signing ceremony. (Photo courtesy The Missouri Times)
The Missouri State Highway Patrol was one of many law enforcement agencies meeting with potential recruits at a job fair event held in the Scruggs ballroom. Feb. 26, 2021. In the photo, Trooper Kordel Gibson talks with Clarion News reporters Kourtney Burchfield, center, and Tyree Stovall, right. (Clarion News photo)
The Texas Dept. of Public Safety was one of several out-of-state law enforcement agencies recruiting at the job fair held in Scruggs ballroom. Feb. 26, 2021. (Clarion News photo)
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Faculty Spotlight: Connor Campbell

Lincoln University English and speech instructor Connor Campbell in an MLK Hall classroom. (Photo by Sydnee Bryant/Clarion News)

By Tai-Rece Basey

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- The Clarion News is turning its faculty spotlight on Connor Campbell, a popular speech and English instructor at Lincoln University. Campbell has been teaching LU students for three years and is being recognized for his dedication to both students and the campus community.

The Clarion: Where did you go to college?

Campbell: I went to school at Texas Tech University. I started there in 2010 and received my bachelor’s in 2014. I double-majored in English and Classics and received my master’s in English, specializing in film and media studies.

The Clarion: What led you to become a speech professor?

Campbell: My wife received her (undergrad) degree and master’s at Texas Tech. Then she got the opportunity to get her doctorate at Mizzou. That’s what caused us to move from Lubbock, Texas to Missouri.  I began applying for different positions at different places. My wife’s boss (at Mizzou) was contacted by Lincoln’s English chair, Dr. Salmons – he said they needed somebody that could teach speech or if they knew somebody that was qualified.

The Clarion: And that led to you coming to LU?

Campbell: Yes. Through a weird coincidence, Dr. Salmons knew my old boss from when they were in grad school together a while back. And so he was able to talk to her and she gave him the reassurance that – even though I’d only taught English before – she felt like I could easily handle a speech class. He gave me the chance, and three years later, I’m still here teaching.

The Clarion: Can you explain your personal history with speech and speech classes?

Campbell: As I mention in my speech classes, I had to go through speech therapy as a child to help me talk properly. And then I took speech classes in middle school, high school, and college. So I have a lot of that prior experience that helped me build the classes that I teach.

The Clarion: How do you juggle being a professor and a first-time father?

Campbell: It was the greatest blessing when I held my son that first time in the hospital room. After reading reports about the virus in China that could be coming to America, I was scared to go out of the house. But I love teaching in person much more than I like teaching online. And the problem with napping when he naps is, you can’t do things while he’s not napping because you have to be watching him. So it’s been retraining myself  – now that he’s old enough to get work done when I’m not with him. I’m only going to sleep six hours a night from now on in my life, apparently. But that allows me to spend time with him and still feel like I get to be his father, while also being able to help my students as well.

The Clarion: What made you apply to an HBCU?

Campbell: It kind of happened by happenstance. I’ve learned so much more about HBCUs since I started at LU and I love being here. It is an amazing place. One of my favorite things is just the diversity of students. We have students from St. Louis and Kansas City and here in Jeff City – as well as students from Columbia and from rural towns, and students who want to come back to LU for a new education. I love getting to meet those students and learn from them and just see all of the different ways life can take you, and yet still feel like I’m helping them on to a better path.

The Clarion: Have you taught at any other universities?

Campbell: I taught at Texas Tech. The big thing in any English department is if you want to stay in academia, you have to be able to teach. Even if it’s just two classes or even if it’s a very simple class, you have to teach. And so I’ve been teaching. I primarily taught English at Tech for about three years before I came to Lincoln. I taught up to six classes in one semester, which was rough teaching 180 students in one semester. Texas Tech was a very different school from here. Very different group of students. Very different group of people. Texas is a wonderful place, but Texas is Texas…it’s fun getting to take what I’ve learned at Tech and change and mold it to make it better here.

The Clarion: Do you ever find it hard to relate your class to today’s students?

Campbell:  I think that’s where my background in film and media helps me so much. I study film and media. I study videos. I study social media. It makes me want to include those into the class, because that’s what I teach. And a lot of the students we have today, that’s how they learn. So many of our students are on social media and watching videos on YouTube, or watching movies. Sometimes I slide my examples into the curriculum to find the video that matches what I need to teach, in that moment.

The Clarion: What has been the most difficult part of teaching higher education during a pandemic?

Campbell: It’s got to be the distance. Trying to make sure that I’m keeping away from my students, because I love when my students come up to meet me during office hours or come up to me after class to ask questions. I want to help my students as much as possible.

The Clarion: What advice would you give students to help them get through college during a pandemic?

Campbell: I think the biggest thing is to find ways to relax. It is more stressful for students and professors walking into the classroom when everyone is wearing masks. I’m sure it is more stressful for students when they can’t go to parties on Fridays and Saturdays because everybody’s in masks and nobody wants to be the reason a bunch of people get sick. So it’s finding other ways to relax, such as taking a walk or just going outside. Try to mix it up and just do little things each day to help you find a balance. Whatever it is that will help you relax in a safe way, is the best thing you can do right now.

The Clarion: Who did you root for in the Super Bowl?

Campbell: About 95 percent of me was for the Chiefs. My mom’s side of the family live in Tampa Bay, so of course they were for the Buccaneers. But since moving here, my Cowboys have not been a good team, so it’s been very easy to love the Chiefs. And Patrick Mahomes is a Texas Tech grad. We were there at the same time.

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Health Center Receives Quicker COVID Tests

Thompkins Health Center on the campus of Lincoln University. (Clarion News photo)

By Amoni Lewis

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- The federal government recently began providing LU with BinaxNOW rapid-COVID tests to attack outbreaks on college campuses. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently began shipping over 500,000 rapid coronavirus tests to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) back in October.

“We began to administer tests the week before the university switched to online classes last semester,” said Director of Student Health and Counseling Services Leasa Weghorst. “We have a standing order from our off-site medical director to test students who present symptoms.”

All tests are administered in Thompkins Health Center and take 15 minutes to obtain results.

“Students who are experiencing COVID-related symptoms should call Thompkins Health Center to talk with myself or nurse Kirby,” Weghorst said. “We will do a phone assessment and then instruct the student in the process for testing or other follow-up care.”

There isn’t a limit to the number of times a student can be tested. Weghorst thinks the tests will help slow COVID cases on campus.

“The tests are part of an overall strategy for reducing the spread of the virus on campus,” Weghorst said. “The earlier we can detect infected students and isolate them from the rest of the campus population, the lower our transmission rates will be.”

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Campus thaw is on!

Friday was the first day the LU campus broke the freezing mark since Feb. 5

An LU student braves the snow and cold Wednesday morning near MLK Hall. Feb. 12, 2020. (Clarion staff photo).

Clarion News

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – Finally! An early taste of spring is on its way and not a moment too soon. On Friday, the Jefferson City area experienced a temperature above freezing for the first time in 13 days when the mercury struggled to an official 33 degrees. The National Weather Service says its going higher, maybe even to 60 by Tuesday.

On Feb. 6, 2021, an Arctic blast slid south across the Midwest, creating a plunge of temperatures and a volatile mix of weather affecting millions of Americans. Extreme cold – including a local low of -7 on Feb. 16 – and two waves of snow led to nearly two weeks of canceled classes for many mid-Missouri schools. Lincoln classes resumed on Feb. 19.

Think spring!

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Warmer temps, return to classroom coming

Reports say 50-plus degrees possible by early next week

Few students were braving the cold and snow Wednesday after another day of canceled classes due to weather. Feb. 17, 2021. (Sydnee Bryant/Clarion News)

Clarion News/Photos by Sydnee Bryant

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – It’s over. Well, almost. The winter-weary folks at the National Weather Service say the massive Arctic blast gripping the Show-Me-State will begin to lift in the next couple of days. Expect slowly rising temps through the weekend and next week, with highs in the upper 40s and low 50s by Tuesday.

Will this be the last snow of the winter season? Probably not, say the experts. But most agree we won’t see another round of record-setting lows anytime soon. In Kansas City, a six-day string of single-digit temps broke a record set in 1899. Snow falling south of Dallas. Sea turtles freezing on Gulf of Mexico beaches.

It’s over. Almost.

Mother Nature’s icy grip led to another round of canceled classes on the LU campus. Feb. 17, 2021. (Photo by Sydnee Bryant/Clarion News)
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Campus closed Tuesday, more snow expected

National Weather Service says above-freezing temps will arrive this weekend

Area roadways – including highways 50, 54, and 63 – remain mostly to totally covered throughout mid-Missouri. Feb. 16, 2021. (Map courtesy of MoDOT)

Clarion News

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – The campus closure on Monday was extended into Tuesday as bitter cold and slick road conditions continued across mid-Missouri. Mother Nature will continue her icy grip into midweek as high temperatures will struggle to hit 20 degrees and lows will remain in the single digits until at least Friday. Another round of snow will likely blanket the area on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service on Tuesday (Feb. 16) issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Jefferson City area effective for late Tuesday evening through 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. Expect bitter cold and an additional 1-3 inches of dry snow on Wednesday. Area roads are expected to remain dangerous through Wednesday and into Thursday.

MoDOT on Tuesday reported dangerous road conditions throughout most of the Show-Me-State. Highways feeding into the Capital City – including highways 50, 54, and 63 – remain covered or partly covered. According to the transportation department, until temperatures reach into the 20s, salt and other anti-ice chemicals are ineffective.

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Campus closed Monday, Feb. 15 due to weather

Snow and severe cold has led to the cancellation of classes for Monday, Feb. 15, 2021.. (Photo by Sydnee Bryant)

By Clarion Staff

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – Another round of snow, another day off. Severe cold and an expected 2-5 inches of fresh snow for Sunday night and Monday morning has led to the campus being closed on Monday. Low temperatures near or below zero will continue through mid-week and snow events through Wednesday will make travel difficult through most of the Show-Me-State through at least Thursday.

Stay safe!

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Blue Tiger football returns for spring season

LU football returns for a 2021 spring season

By Phillip Spencer

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – The Lincoln Tigers football season will be back in action and on the field this spring. After missing the full fall season due to COVID-19, the team is looking to play again and get back into somewhat of a pre-pandemic routine. Returning player Ralph Green discusses the upcoming 2021 football season.

“We’re excited we get to play again,” said Green, a senior tight end from St. Louis. He said COVID wrecked the fall season, but he’s grateful to have an opportunity to play again. “We came into a new conference last year and didn’t do too well, so we’re looking forward to redeeming ourselves this season and even though it’s just three-to-four games, we feel like we have something to prove this year and we’re going to take full advantage of it.” Coaches are ready to go, too.

Assistant Offensive Line Coach Deshawn Haney said he’s ready to prove that the Blue Tigers are ready to play and ready to improve. “We have to get our confidence back and we’re going to compete in every game this season and make sure teams know who we are once the short season is over,” said Haney.

The Lincoln Tigers went 1-10 in the 2019-2020 season after joining a new conference. However, with returning players and a talented incoming group, Lincoln is set to turn it around this spring. 

(Phillip Spencer comes from Louisville, Kentucky and is a junior defensive end for the Blue Tigers.)

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UPDATE: Campus closed Wednesday due to weather

Local road conditions deteriorate with additional snow, freezing rain

A MoDOT road conditions map shows the hazardous travel for area motorists during the Wednesday morning commute. Highways 63, 54, and 50 are partly to mostly covered with snow and ice as plunging temperatures continue to hamper removal efforts. Lincoln University delayed the Wednesday classroom start time until 10 a.m.

By Clarion News staff

UPDATE (9:35 a.m.): Campus has been closed for Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021.

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – Additional winter weather has created a mess for Mid-Missouri motorists, creating a temporary delay until 10 a.m. for the start of classes on Wednesday.

Temperatures in the low teens has hampered local, county, and state efforts to remove ice and snow from area roadways. Pockets of snow and freezing rain moved into the area early Wednesday morning, just in time to hamper the a.m. commute into the Capital City.

The National Weather Service says it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Highs on Thursday might reach 20 degrees – that will feel balmy compared to the next seven days. Friday the low will be about 5 above, Saturday near zero with a high of 10, and continued single-digit temps until next Wednesday.

For updated road conditions, click here

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K.C. students share Super Bowl thoughts

By Jermarcus Perkins/Clarion News correspondent

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – The Kansas City Chiefs are going to the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year. Last season the Chiefs played in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, defeating the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in SuperBowl LIV. Prior to that win, the Chiefs hadn’t been in a Super Bowl since 1970.

I asked a couple of Lincoln University students from the Kansas City area – Ladarrell Toney, a computer science major, and Mar’Che Boggess, a journalism major, what a second consecutive Super Bowl championship would mean to them.

Ladarrell Toney

The Clarion: How did you feel about the Chiefs winning the Super Bowl last season?

Toney: It was an awe-inspiring moment because I grew up in Kansas City. It was a lot of good progression over the years but in the back of my mind, I thought it can only go so far especially when Alex Smith was the quarterback. I was excited because it was more than just normal news going on at the time in Kansas City.

The Clarion: How would you feel if the Chiefs win the Super Bowl again this season?

Toney: I would feel like we are going to go on a really long run with this. I think teams who haven’t been so good are going to start being good – like the Bills and Browns. American Football would be so more fun and interesting to watch.

The Clarion: What part of Kansas City are you from?

Toney: South Kansas City/Kansas City, Missouri.

The Clarion: Mar’Che, how did you feel about the Chiefs winning the Super Bowl last season?

Boggess: I was very happy with being from Kansas City. We (Kansas City) pride ourselves on the Chiefs.

The Clarion: How would you feel if the Chiefs win the Super Bowl again this season?

Mar’Che Boggess

Boggess: I would be impressed.

The Clarion: What part of Kansas City are you from?

Boggess: Kansas City, Kansas.

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Life as an RA: A few questions for Mya Bursey

By Amoni Lewis

Mya Bursey (Photo by Amoni Lewis)

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- Being a resident assistant at a university has its pros and cons. From free room and board to time commitment, the job can be beneficial and challenging. I recently spoke with resident assistant Mya Bursey, a junior psychology major from East Saint Louis, Illinois.

The Clarion: How long have you been a RA?

Bursey: I’m a rookie. I just started a couple of months ago in August.

The Clarion: What made you want to become a RA?

Bursey: I just really wanted to get to know people and communicate with others. I feel like I could have a really big impact.

The Clarion: What characteristics do you think make a good resident assistant?

Bursey: I would say knowing how to communicate with others and settle disputes. I’ve had a lot of practice because I have sisters and brothers. Also, by being friendly, understanding, and unbiased.

The Clarion: How much time do you feel this position takes up during a typical week?

Bursey: I would say about half of the day. About 5-6 hours each day, but I feel like as long as I’m here on campus then I’m a RA.

The Clarion: What is the most difficult aspect of your job as a RA? What is the easiest?

Bursey: I think the hardest thing that I’ve had to learn is setting boundaries. The easiest is being friendly because I’m naturally a social butterfly.

The Clarion: What have you learned about yourself?

Bursey: I’ve learned that I’m very understanding, but not to the point where people can just step all over me.

The Clarion: How do you juggle being a resident assistant and a student?

Bursey: During my office hours I use my free time to do homework as well in class. It’s not easy, but I do it.

The Clarion: How have you built a relationship with the students you assist?

Bursey: They are very friendly. It’s not hard at all. They come to me even when they don’t have a problem. They see how I’m doing and I check on them as well.

The Clarion: Are there any programs or activities you have planned or already had as an RA?

Bursey: In October, I had “Tea Time Tuesday” where I informed the residents about things the school has to offer and what they should and shouldn’t be doing. That’s just one activity, but it’s an example of what I’ve been doing.

The Clarion: What is your advice to someone who wants to become a resident assistant?

Bursey: If you have good communication skills, a kind heart, and self-control you would make a great RA.

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Dawson Hall residents must move out

LU says the residential building is too costly to operate

By Amoni Lewis/Clarion News

Photos by Sydnee Bryant and Elise Eaker/Clarion News

Dawson Hall on the campus of Lincoln University. Feb. 3, 2021. (Photo by Sydnee Bryant/Clarion News)

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – About 100 students living in Dawson Hall began moving Friday afternoon to other campus dorms in a measure to save the university money. According to Dawson Hall residents, students were notified last week during a meeting with Brian Bennett, LU’s director of residential life and housing.

“They said Dawson is going offline right now due to low enrollment,” said Hassaun Jones, a freshman business administration major from St. Louis, while talking with the Clarion News on Friday. “There’s only 100 students in the building and Dawson holds 300.” Jones said he was notified on Thursday that he would be moving Friday across campus to Anthony Hall.

Hassaun Jones, a freshman business administration major from St. Louis, is one of about 100 Dawson Hall residents being relocated because of low enrollment. (Photo by Elise Eaker)

Jones also said that Dawson residents would be moved to other dorms, including Tull, Martin, Bennett, Anthony, and Sherman. He noted that the university offered to assist with moving. Although some students seem a little blindsided by the move, others seem OK with it.

A student referring to himself only as Von, said he was OK with the relocation. The freshman physical education major from Chicago said he was moving to a building where he already knows a lot of students.

Von, a freshman physical education major from Chicago, is one of about 100 Dawson Hall residents being relocated because of low enrollment. (Photo by Elise Eaker)

“When I found out in the meeting that I was moving, I was like, alright, that’s cool,” Von said. “I know for a fact I have to move tonight.” Several Dawson residents said students would be moved out according to the floor they reside on. An email distributed across the campus noted the move might take two weeks, providing enough time to limit disruption of studies.

(See the Jefferson City News Tribune article here)

Dawson Hall on the campus of Lincoln University. Feb. 3, 2021. (Photo by Clarion News)
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Missouri Baptist Convention elects first black president

Pastor Nelson oversees and hopes to expand Lincoln University campus outreach 

Pastor Jon Nelson preaching on a Sunday morning at Soma Community Church in Jefferson City, Mo. Jan. 24, 2021. (Photo by Mar’Che Boggess)

By: Mar’Che Boggess/The Clarion

JEFFERSON CITY— Local pastor Jon Nelson, of Jefferson City’s Soma Community Church, recently made history by being elected as the first Black president of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC). The organization is a network of 1,800 Southern Baptist churches that aims to equip and train individuals to live the Christian mission. I recently sat down with him to discuss his presidential duties, love for Lincoln University’s campus, and more. 

The Clarion: How does it feel to be elected as the first Black president of the MBC?

Nelson: Overwhelming, I could not believe it. For the first time in over 180 years, an organization that has a very tumultuous history chose me to be their face to the world. I said when I stood up in the pulpit that day that I am my mother’s wildest dream.

The Clarion: What do your duties consist of as president?

Nelson: The organization is a bottom-up organization. I represent everyone, I am not in charge of everyone, which makes my role a touch different from most presidents. I sit on multiple boards, I appoint people to positions, and I get to do things like this and talk on behalf of the convention to everything from a school newspaper all the way to the governor.

The Clarion: What do you hope to accomplish in this next year as president?

Nelson: Our convention is aging. I want to help us move toward a new generation. There are a lot of younger pastors and leaders in this state and I want them to be involved. Many of them aren’t aware of the opportunities our convention has. For example, the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home works with sex trafficking victims and specializes in foster care and adoption.

There are many people in the millennial and Gen Z generations that are extremely passionate about those things but don’t know that we have entities that do that already. I want them to know that they can use them for the Kingdom of God.

The Clarion: Racial reconciliation is near and dear to you. How do you plan to continue to bridge that gap in this role?

Nelson: The Southern Baptist Convention and the Missouri Baptist Convention both have a sordid history when it comes to race. Too many times we’ve been on the wrong side of it. The Gospel speaks extremely clear to these events.

I endeavor, not to be the token, but the ladder that others get to climb to get to that position to also represent all of us.

The Clarion: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received since being in this role?

Nelson: I’ve had many of the past presidents tell me to enjoy my time. My wife has told me over and over when I doubt myself, “God put you here and you’re built for it.” 

The Clarion: How does taking on this role inspire you to better serve Lincoln University’s campus?

Nelson: I talk to students daily that have ginormous aspirations. I just want to tell them to serve locally. So many times they want to be president or congressman, which isn’t a bad thing. What they don’t realize is the most effect they’re going to have is at the local level. So many people tell me “you’re the president now,” and I tell them “I’m still a local pastor, I’m still on campus.”

I want to inspire people to know they can do these things and still be themselves. I think of Rev. Raphael Warnock, the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church who was just elected as a senator of Georgia. He’s served the community well and his influence has grown because of his faithfulness to his local community. I endeavor to be that faithful. 

The Clarion: What inspired you to plant a church near Lincoln University’s campus?

Nelson: My mom. She and my grandmother were students here. I heard stories and grew up around this campus. I remember coming to the building we serve in now and hearing about how many lives were changed.

After a lot of fighting with God, to be honest, we planted a church here and served a campus that didn’t seem to have those Christian communities I heard so much about growing up. It broke my heart because we had so many students, and still do, who leave the university with a great education and opportunities, but not Jesus.

We want them to leave with both. For the last five years, we’ve endeavored to have a church that reaches into the campus and the community and says “We love you both.” 

The Clarion: What’s your favorite thing about serving LU’s campus?

Jon Nelson: By far and away, the students, they keep me young. I’m constantly having to learn what’s important to them. It opens my eyes constantly. Aside from that, I love the liveliness. We bought a house near where the parties happen.

We’ve been around some of the best and worst events around this campus. We did that purposely because the students bring life to the local community. We love being a part of that. 

The Clarion: What’s your favorite thing about pastoring Soma Community Church?

Nelson: The diversity. We’re not a Black church, we’re not a white church. We’re a church that endeavors to cross racial, socioeconomic, and cultural lines. Myself being a half-Jamaican and half African-American man, who was born in Kansas City and grew up in the country, I don’t fit. But yet, God has built me in such a way that I can reach across those lines and bring people closer to Him.

The Clarion: Aside from being a president and a pastor, what are your favorite roles?

Nelson: Husband and daddy. I tell people all the time my order in life is: loving Jesus, loving my wife, and loving my babies. That’s my world. Being a pastor and a president is cool, but they’re not as high on my list. 

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Winter weather comes to campus

The quad with a layer of snow after winter weather blew across Mid-Missouri Wednesday morning. Most of the region received 1-3 inches before the front moved out of the area later in the day. Jan. 27, 2021. (Photo by Sydnee Bryant)

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – A blast of winter weather created hazardous conditions across Mid-Missouri on Wednesday, slowing commuters and students heading to class. The region experienced snow totals ranging from 1-3 inches, with most of the precipitation leaving the area by the afternoon. LU remained open, but some Show-Me-State schools closed for the day.

The white stuff will disappear Thursday with sunny skies and temps in the low 40s expected.

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Students Return to Campus

By Elise Eaker/Photos by Sydnee Bryant

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- Students returned to campus on Jan. 19, 2021 for a semester that will use a combination of online, hybrid, and in-seat classroom instruction due to the ongoing pandemic. The Clarion asked a few a students what they’re looking forward to most during the semester.

“Getting grades up and band performances.” – Anconio Williams
“Learning about my new major… Nursing” – Kenlyn Washington
“Clinicals” – Malerie Strong
“Graduation” – Cardasia Futrell
“Finishing my first semester” – Sara Williams
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Lincoln University becomes first HBCU to host police academy

Gov. Mike Parson signs a license granting the official green light for Lincoln University’s new police training academy. Dec. 15, 2020. (Photo by Cameron Gerber/The Missouri Times)

By Cameron Gerber/The Missouri Times

JEFFERSON CITY — With Gov. Mike Parson’s signature, Lincoln University will officially become the first historically Black college and university (HBCU) to house its own police academy next year.

“At a time when law enforcement agencies are working to attract more diverse officers and create agencies that look more like their communities, Lincoln University presented an ambitious plan for a law enforcement training center that could have far-reaching impacts on recruiting more minorities to policing,” Parson said before signing the university’s basic training center license Tuesday. “We appreciate all the work the Lincoln University team has put into this unique effort.”

Parson said he hoped other HBCU’s in Missouri and across the country would follow suit. There are more than 660 police training academies across the U.S., with about half hosted by colleges, according to Department of Safety (DPS) Director Sandy Karsten.

“Lincoln University is ahead of the class,” President Jerald Jones Woolfolk told The Missouri Times. “We are so excited to be the first HBCU to host a police academy in the country. I’m proud of Lincoln University Police Chief Gary Hill and his team for making this happen — they stayed the course, and we couldn’t be more proud of their work.”

Hill, a Lincoln alumnus who has worked at the university since 2011, said he was proud of the work that had been done to get the project across the finish line — and the academy’s work is just getting started.

LUPD Chief Gary Hill (Clarion News photo)

“When I went through the academy, I was one of two African-Americans, and for us to have an academy here focused on increasing the diversity in law enforcement so people can feel included is incredible,” Hill said in an interview. “Now the real work begins. We have to ensure that when we have people enrolled in the academy that we’re giving them all the tools that they need to succeed today and in the future.”

Hill will lead the academy as its director when it begins operating next year. The staff will be made up of Lincoln professors and police officers teaching part-time. The 16-credit-hour program would allow students to devote their final semester at Lincoln to full-time police training. 

Hill previously said the academy hoped to train between eight to 10 recruits over its first year of operation. Fourteen hopefuls, including both Lincoln students and working adults, have applied for the academy so far and are currently going through background checks.

Missouri’s Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission recommended the university’s academy be granted a license earlier this month. Hill, who was appointed to the commission by Parson earlier this year, said the recommendation came after on-site inspections were conducted by Karsten and others at DPS.  

The commission granted its preliminary approval to prepare the academy in October. Commissioners praised the idea, noting that increasing minority recruitment would benefit both students and police forces and expressing hope that other HBCUs across the country would follow suit.

(Reporter Cameron Gerber writes for The Missouri Times in Jefferson City. He is a recent graduate of LU’s journalism program. The article can be found here.)

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