Letter from the President to the Lincoln Alumni

Dear Lincoln University Alumni:

As you probably know, I was elected the 13th President of your Alma Mater on Saturday, November 19, 2011.  I am honored to serve as President of the first and oldest historically black university in the nation.

I am confident that with your help we will move our University to new levels of excellence.  In this regard, there are several things for which we need your support.

Most times when alumni hear from their University, it is because we are asking for a contribution to help us sustain our programs and services.  While this is definitely what we need, you can do so much more and most of it will not cost a dime.  To this end, I am asking for your support on the following:


We need all alumni to serve as goodwill ambassadors for the institution.  If anyone should be able to talk up our good name and promote the University throughout the nation and the world, it is our alumni—those who are leaders in their cities and communities where they live, work and serve.


One of the basic reasons we exist is to educate men and women who will enter careers of all types.  We need alumni in every city to keep us apprised of jobs and internships that may be available where they work and live.  We need alumni to forward on a weekly basis any potential openings to our Office of Career Services so that we can ensure that our students are aware of potential leads.  In instances where you have firsthand knowledge, we need you to assist the Career Services office in setting up interviews and in acquiring internships.  If you can provide housing assistance or living arrangement referrals for student applicants, it would also be a great help to them.  If you can assist in this regard, please fill out the Liaison Form by clicking here.


I have asked each dean and department chair to create an advisory board comprised of 21 persons with 12 of these individuals being alumni who graduated from that respective school or department.  Each advisory board will meet twice a year.  The first meeting will be held on Founder’s Day following the University-wide Convocation and the second meeting will be held the Thursday before Homecoming Weekend with the hope that members will remain over for the Homecoming events.  If you can assist in this regard, please fill out the Advisory Board Members by clicking here.  While we will probably get more nominees than what we need, persons will serve a two-year term which will allow us to rotate on and off, giving others the opportunity to serve.  All interested alumni should submit their forms no later than March 15, 2012.


Research has shown that students who are mentored tend to have greater retention rates.  In this regard, we want to provide an alumni mentor for each of the freshmen enrolling at the University.  Mentors do not have to be in the state of Pennsylvania to serve because most of the contact will be via email and cellular telephone.  While all mentors have to complete a training course, which we offer here on the campus, it can also be completed online.  Once you have been certified as a mentor, you will be paired with a student, preferably someone from your locale so that you can physically meet with them when they are at home on breaks.  We do ask mentors to come to the campus during Freshman Convocation if at all possible so that you can actually meet your mentee.  Mentors are also asked to contact electronically or telephonically with mentees at least twice a month.  If you are interested in serving as a mentor, please complete the Mentor Form by clicking here.  Forms should be completed no later than March 15, 2012.


While we are a state-related institution and are seeking to recruit and enroll as many students as possible from the state of Pennsylvania, we need a diverse student body—comprised of those from all 0 states and U.S. territories as well as foreign countries.  Alumni recruiters must complete a training course offered by the Office of Admissions who will supply you with all materials and information needed to recruit.  The staff will also make the necessary arrangements with the schools in your locale for you to recruit there.  If you are interested in assisting in this endeavor, please complete the Recruiters Form by clicking here.  Forms should be completed no later than March 15, 2012.  Details of the training are posted online.


The University will be publishing an alumni bulletin at least twice per year.  We need alumni reporters in every locale to ensure that we stay abreast of where and what our alumni are doing.  Oftentimes, alumni fail to toot their own horn and we are unaware of some of the great things they are doing which distinguishes not only themselves but the institution as well.  If you are interested in serving as an alumni reporter, please complete the Alumni Reporter Form by clicking here. Forms should be completed no later than March 15, 2012.


One of the greatest needs we have at Lincoln University is to provide scholarship support to students.  As a means of returning the institution to the status it once experienced as one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the nation, we need all alumni to make an annual contribution to the University.  The amount alumni give is not as important as my being able to report to a foundation or corporation the percentage of our alumni who continue to support the University.  Oftentimes corporations base their gifts on the number of alumni who give.  I have personally made a commitment to give a minimum of $10,000 a year to the University.  If I can get alumni to match my gift or give at least 10% of what I give, I am certain that we will establish a fund in which we will be able to attract some of the best and brightest students to our University.


One of the things that I will be doing is calling on foundations and corporations, small and large businesses, faith-based institutions, fraternal clubs and organizations, as well as individuals for support of our programs and services.  In this regard, I need alumni who have contacts that you feel should be tapped to make me aware of these.  In all likelihood, I may also need you to accompany me on an “ask.”  If you can assist in this regard, please contact Mr. André Dixon, Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement at adixon@lincoln.edu whenever you have a prospect.


I am concerned that there are only a few active chapters comprised of alumni throughout the nation and the world.  I have asked the Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement to assist me in organizing a minimum of ten (10) chapters over the next 12 months.  If you live in a locale where there are at least seven (7) Lincoln University alumni and would be interested in starting a chapter, please contact Mr. Dixon at adixon@lincoln.edu or by calling 484.365.7440.

We are also interested in starting some alumni clubs by disciplines/schools (Business Alumni Chapter, Band Members and Cheerleaders, SGA Presidents and Officers, Education Graduates, Military Alumni Chapter, etc.)

As you can see, there are ten ways in which you can help move your University forward and, for the most part, only one of these involves asking for money.  Please assist us in as many ways as you possibly can.  Lincoln University’s survival and thrive-ability depends on it.

Hail! Hail! Lincoln.

Robert R. Jennings, Ed.D.



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