African American News and Genealogy

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Lincoln U. nears goal to honor soldiers

By Tim O'Neil Of the Post-Dispatch 06/20/2005 Three soldiers, two black and one white, are standing atop granite. Another black soldier is on one knee, reaching down to help a brother in blue. The life-size scene, to be cast in bronze, is a sculpture that Lincoln University in Jefferson City plans to erect on its main quadrangle. The university is almost halfway to its goal of raising $1.2 million for the project. It wants to begin work in late summer.Lincoln was founded in 1866 by former slaves and a white lieutenant who had served together in the Union army in the Civil War. Administrators and alumni want the sculpture to honor the founders' zeal for lifting other blacks through education. "Theirs was such a wonderful ideal, to raise up others by helping them to read and write," said Carolyn Mahoney, the university's new president. Lincoln's mission has changed over the years since its founding as Lincoln Institute to spread literacy among the newly freed slaves. In the ensuing 25 years, it added teacher education, agricultural and industrial programs. In 1921, it became Lincoln University. After segregation formally ended in 1954, Lincoln began serving white students as well. Its current full-time undergraduate student body of 1,627 is about 55 percent black and 44 percent white. The entire enrollment of 3,200, including part-time students, is about two-thirds white. Most of the white students are commuters. Most of those who live in residence halls or nearby off-campus housing are black, and much of the campus social atmosphere is that of a historically black college. Mahoney said her predecessor, former president David B. Henson, approved plans for the monument "to provide a lasting testimony to the founding vision."


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