By Mark Oliver/Clarion News
Lincoln University celebrated Founders’ Day on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022 in the Richardson Fine Arts Center. The host and the 21st president of LU Dr. John B. Moseley was in attendance to show gratitude to the people that were in attendance, as well the speakers following his brief appreciation speech. Dr. Moseley shared the stage and was accompanied by Miss Lincoln University, Jhané Brown, and Mister Lincoln University, Austin L. Branch, special guest journalist and LU graduate Carmen Fields, and Stacy Landis, Student Government Association president.
Moseley thanked the generosity of the LU alumni, the members of the Lincoln Founders campaign and the 62nd and 65th Regimens Legacy Foundation. “You fueled the dreams of today’s Lincoln students and the students of tomorrow,” said Moseley.
The LU president turned the stage over to Miss Lincoln University, Jhané Brown, and Mister Lincoln University, Austin L. Branch. On behalf of the Student Government Association and the Royal Court, they welcomed the 2022 Founders Day to celebrate the 156 years of academic excellence. The two campus representatives discussed LU’s history. Branch mentioned the colored infantrymen that were stationed in Fort Mcintosh,Texas, who established an educational institution in Jefferson City, which gave the school’s first name Lincoln Institute. Brown added that the Institute was designed for the freed African Americans to receive an education.
“On Sept. 17, 1866 the school opened the door to the first class in an all white city in Jefferson City,” said Brown. She also stated that in 1931 the Missouri Legislature passed a law turning Lincoln Institute into a college and gave the school the name Lincoln University. Branch and Brown then shared the stage with Stacy Landis, the SGA president. “As we spread wide, bleed blue and we will always love it here at LU,” they said together.
Landis was present to help introduce the audience to Founders’ Day before Carmen Fields took the stage.
Emmy award-winning journalist and Class of 1970 Lincoln University graduate, Carmen Fields, was introduced after Landis gave the Founders’ Day address. After Fields took the stage and greeted the crowd, she took a trip down memory lane with memories of her time at Lincoln University. Fields mentioned how she continues to use her LU experiences in her life.
“During these visitations, I would embarrass my daughter when I raised my hand and ask about curfews for young ladies,” Fields said. “See, back in the day, we had to be back at a certain time and they locked the doors. You have to sign in and out. Do they still have that alarm on the basement doors in Martin Hall?”
Fields proceed to show appreciation of the founder’s, the 62nd and 65th colored infantrymen. “But for me, for my daughter, my parents, for all of you the shadow of the brave soldiers of the 62nd Colored Infantry was cast long. Education, education, education,” Fields said. “Thank you to the founders for their foresight, they saw a need and they addressed it.”
Moseley concluded the ceremony and showed appreciation to the following retirees of 2020 and 2021: Dr. Abdoulaye Bah, Dr. Sivanandan Balakumar, Dr. Marilyn Headrick, Dr Noel Heermance, Dr. Roger Jungmeyer, Mr. James Logan, Mr. Dan Yeager, Dr. Bruce Ballard, Mrs. Darla Douglas, Ms. Audrey Gail Emanuel, Mrs. Cheryl Jones, Dr. Bruce Scovill, and Mr. Chris White. Dr. Moseley also showed appreciation to the 25-year employees of 2020 and 2021: Dr. Kurt Debord, Mr. Jimmie Garth, Ms. Leslie Cross, Mr. Andrew Erb, and Mrs. Betty Villalobos. Other participants in the ceremony such as the LU choir.
“My heart is once again filled with gratitude,” Moseley said. “We won’t gather again through this occasion for another 365 days. But my prayers as I exit this stage today, is that it doesn’t take a Founder’s Day to recognize the importance of what we do and the reason that we do it.”