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 lynchk@lincolnu.edu.

(This article appeared in the Oct. 6,2021 edition of the News Tribune. https://www.newstribune.com/news/local/story/2021/oct/06/blue-tiger-athletics-club-pays-off-250k-loan/891623/)

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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.

Congratulations!

(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 (handshake.com), 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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