Lincoln College (Illinois)

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Lincoln College
Type private, coeducational
Established 1865
President David Gerlach
Academic staff
Undergraduates 1,100
Location Lincoln and Normal, Illinois, U.S.
Athletics NJCAA
Mid-West Athletic Conference
Nickname Lynx

Lincoln College (chartered Lincoln University) is a private, independent liberal arts college located in Lincoln, Illinois. Lincoln College is a hybrid college offering both two-year and four-year degree programs for its students. Lincoln College was established in 1865 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, but is now independent and has no formal church affiliation. There were a few sites that were looked at as possibilities, and in December 1864, the site of Lincoln was selected. Due to the Civil War, the denomination wanted to create a college in the North because the denomination's other schools were located in the South. At this same time a movement started in the new community of Lincoln to start a college. On February 6, 1865, the Illinois General Assembly granted the charter that established the university. President Lincoln was aware the school would be named after him. Lincoln University was the first institution named for Abraham Lincoln and the only one during his lifetime. The groundbreaking for University Hall, the first college building, was held on the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, which was six days after the charter had been granted. By September 1866, University Hall's construction was completed. In November 1866, the college opened its doors to men and women alike. In 1868, there were three people who received their degrees.


In 1901, Lincoln College affiliated with the Decatur College and Industrial School (now Millikin University) in Decatur. The name of the school was changed from Lincoln University to Lincoln College of the James Millikin University. James Millikin, a wealthy Decatur livestock breeder, offered Lincoln University a $50,000 grant for a new building at the Lincoln campus if the school would turn over its charter. The $50,000 grant was on the condition that the citizens of Lincoln would raise $25,000 towards the new building project. The $25,000 was raised and the $50,000 grant was provided to the Lincoln campus.

In 1929, Lincoln became a junior (2 year) college no longer offering 4 year degrees as it had done since its inception. Many junior colleges were created in the 1920s and 1930s and this helped the college through the financial problems of the depression and war.

The Lincoln College campus had experienced substantial growth following World War Two. The college has seven dorms, numerous classroom buildings, a library, several classroom buildings, and a new building, the Lincoln Center, which hosts a gymnasium, offices, classrooms, and the newly relocated Abraham Lincoln Museum.

Lincoln College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The college is independent and no longer has a church affiliation.

In 2010, Lincoln College, Lincoln IL campus, received Accreditation from The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools for Bachelor of Arts degree in theater. In 2013, the campus began offering studies toward a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies.

Lincoln College has several fine arts groups. The Lincoln Express a co-ed show choir organized in 1984 has performed over 400 shows to over 180,000 at locations throughout the U.S. and other countries . Broadway actor / singer Stephen Buntrock was a member of the Lincoln College Express in the late 1980s . The college is also home to an active theatre program.

WLNX is the campus student operated radio station serving the Lincoln community. The college also operates LCTV, the educational and government channel available to residents on channel 5 of Comcast's cable system.

Lincoln College offers several men's and women's sports at the NAIA level including basketball, baseball, swimming & diving, golf and wrestling. The Lincoln College wrestling team has produced numerous NJCAA All-Americans and the team often places in top positions in the NJCAA Nationals including national champions in 1989 and 1991. Lincoln College is also a basketball powerhouse and has also won back to back Basketball National Championships in 2010 and 11.The school mascot is the Lynx. Lincoln College was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1910-1928.

Lincoln College now has two separate campuses. A branch campus of the college catering largely to local commuter students was started in Normal in 1979. In 2001 the Normal campus began offering four-year degrees.

Lincoln campus[edit]

About 700 students attend this campus. Students come from about 25 of the states in the United States and the list of countries that students come from includes Australia, China, England, France, Japan, Norway, and Sweden. Approximately 10% of students are from urban settings, 30% are from rural areas, and 60% are from suburbs. There are slightly more men in the student population than there are women. The student-faculty ration is 16-1, and most classes contain only 16-20 students. There is a 75% rate of students graduating in two years. Also, 90% of those graduates will transfer to a four-year institution the next semester, where their achievements can match or exceed those that the students that have been there for the full four years.

Normal campus[edit]

Lincoln College - Normal opened in 1979 as an extension of the Lincoln campus of Lincoln College. The Accelerated Bridge to Education program known as ABE offers non-traditional students the opportunity to finish their Bachelor's Degree in an accelerated format one night a week with supplemental online work. Both Bachelor of Arts degrees and Bachelor of Science degrees are offered. The ABE program has campuses in Normal, at IVCC in Oglesby, and Peoria at ICC.

Today, Lincoln College - Normal has two modern facilities on campus, which house classrooms, laboratories, and administrative offices. Enrollment is 550 students. The average class size is 16 people, and the student-faculty ratio is 14:1. The number of males to females is about equal.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Matt Hughes UFC Bio". Retrieved 2014-01-01. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°9′25.1″N 89°21′38.4″W / 40.156972°N 89.360667°W / 40.156972; -89.360667