Lincoln University (Missouri)

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Lincoln University
Lincoln University of Missouri seal.svg
Former name
Lincoln Institute (1866–1921)
MottoLaborare et studere
Motto in English
To labor and study
TypePublic land-grant, HBCU
EstablishedJanuary 14, 1866 (1866-01-14)[1]
PresidentJerald Jones Woolfolk
ProvostAlphonso Sanders [2]
Students2,436 (Fall 2019) [3]
Location, ,
United States

38°33′54″N 92°10′10″W / 38.565070°N 92.169470°W / 38.565070; -92.169470Coordinates: 38°33′54″N 92°10′10″W / 38.565070°N 92.169470°W / 38.565070; -92.169470
Campus167 acres (67.6 ha)
(Main campus),
374.68 acres (151.628 ha) (University Farms)
ColorsNavy blue and White
NicknameBlue Tigers
Sporting affiliations
Lincoln University of Missouri logo.svg

Lincoln University is a public historically black land-grant university in Jefferson City, Missouri. Founded in 1866 by African-American veterans of the American Civil War, it is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.


Lincoln University Hilltop Campus Historic District
Young Hall, Lincoln University of Missouri.jpg
Young Hall
Lincoln University (Missouri) is located in Missouri
Lincoln University (Missouri)
Lincoln University (Missouri) is located in the United States
Lincoln University (Missouri)
Location820 Chestnut St., Jefferson City, Missouri
Area9.6 acres (3.9 ha)
Architectural styleColonial Revival
NRHP reference No.83000978[4]
Added to NRHPApril 28, 1983

During the Civil War, the 62nd Colored Infantry regiment of the U.S. Army, largely recruited in Missouri, set up educational programs for its soldiers. At the end of the war it raised $6,300 to set up a black school, headed by a white abolitionist officer, Richard Foster. Foster opened the Lincoln Institute in Jefferson City in 1866. Lincoln had a black student body, both black and white teachers, and outside support from religious groups. The state government provided $5,000 a year to train teachers for the state's new black school system.[5] Under the Morrill Act of 1890, Missouri designated the school a land-grant university, emphasizing agriculture, mechanics and teaching.

By 1921, the college had expanded to offer graduate programs and was officially designated a university by the state of Missouri. It changed its name to Lincoln University of Missouri. In 1954, it opened its doors to applicants of all ethnicities. It provides both undergraduate and graduate courses.

On May 22, 2019, Jefferson City was hit by an EF-3 Tornado, causing significant damage to the historic President's Residence near the campus.


Lincoln University participates at the NCAA Division II level in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA). Lincoln competed in the MIAA from 1970 to 1999, when it left because it had not had a football team since 1989. From 1999 to 2010 Lincoln competed in the Heartland Conference, of which it is a founding conference member. The school revitalized its football program and reentered the MIAA in 2010.[6] The Lincoln University Women's Track Team made NCAA Division II history by winning the Outdoor Track and Field Championships five consecutive times.[7]
The school has programs in the following sports:

Alma Mater "Lincoln, O, Lincoln"[edit]

The alma mater is sung to the tune of "Ach wie ist's möglich dann", a German folk song published in 1827 and variously credited to Georg Heinrich or Friedrich Silcher Kuchen (the West Point and Wake Forest alma mater songs use the same melody).[8]

Student activities[edit]

Founder's Day, traditionally held on the first Saturday of February, pays tribute to the founders of Lincoln University. Homecoming, usually held in October, is a celebratory time when family and friends of Lincoln University convene to participate in gala activities. Springfest, usually held in late April, celebrates the arrival of spring with games and other activities throughout the week.

Marching Musical Storm[edit]

The "Marching Musical Storm" is the university's marching band. It was founded in 1948 and is one of the largest student organizations on campus. The band performs at all home football games, select basketball games, and other school-sanctioned functions throughout the year.[9]

Student media[edit]

Fraternities and sororities[edit]

The National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations that have chapters at Lincoln University of Missouri are:

Organization Symbol Chapter Chapter Symbol
Alpha Kappa Alpha ΑΚΑ Alpha Iota AI
Alpha Phi Alpha ΑΦΑ Alpha Psi ΑΨ
Delta Sigma Theta ΔΣΘ Alpha Theta ΑΘ
Iota Phi Theta ΙΦΘ Zeta Xi ΖΞ
Omega Psi Phi ΩΨΦ Eta Sigma ΗΣ
Phi Beta Sigma ΦΒΣ Beta Chi BX
Sigma Gamma Rho ΣΓΡ Alpha Mu AM
Zeta Phi Beta ΖΦΒ Xi Beta ΞΒ
Kappa Alpha Psi ΚΑΨ Alpha Mu AM

Notable faculty and staff[edit]

Name Department Notability Reference
Joseph Carter Corbin First principal of University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Myrtle Craig Mowbray First African American woman to graduate from Michigan State University (then known as Michigan Agricultural College), in 1907
Althea Gibson black tennis pioneer, Wimbledon, French Open, and US Open champion who was an athletics instructor in the early 1950s
Lorenzo Greene black historian who taught at the university (1933–1972)
Robert Nathaniel Dett composer
Oliver Cromwell Cox a member of the Chicago School of Sociology and early world-systems theorist who taught at Lincoln (1949–1970) [10]
Inman E. Page President President of school from 1880–1898 and again in 1922–1923

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Oleta Crain Advocate for black women's rights and desegregation. [11]
Rita Heard Days Member of both houses of the Missouri State Legislature
Lloyd L. Gaines Disappeared mysteriously after fighting for the right to equal education
Dorothy Butler Gilliam First African-American female reporter at the Washington Post. Co-founder of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Exie Lee Hampton active in YWCA, NAACP, Urban League, and settlement work in southern California
George Howard, Jr. First African-American federal judge in Arkansas
Leo Lewis Member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame
Carey Means Voice of Frylock on Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Zeke Moore Former NFL defensive back
Oliver Lake Jazz musician
Julius Hemphill Jazz musician
Lemar Parrish Former eight-time pro bowl National Football League (NFL) defensive back in the 1970s and early 1980s, and former head coach of the Blue Tiger football team from 2004 to 2009
Wendell O. Pruitt Captain Pruit was a fighter pilot with the famed 332nd Fighter Group (the Tuskegee Airmen)
Romona Robinson Award-winning Cleveland television news anchor [12]
Joe Torry Actor and comedian
Ronald Townson American vocalist. He was an original member of The 5th Dimension, a popular vocal group of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Maida Coleman Senate Minority leader in Missouri
Blaine Luetkemeyer U.S. Congressman
William Tecumseh Vernon Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and a former president of Western University
Joshua Peters 2009 One of the youngest members of the Missouri State House of Representatives, and a former SGA president


  1. ^ "Find LU Facts Quick – Lincoln University". Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  2. ^ Provost Archived December 17, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Trends in Headcount Enrollment, 2013-2019". Missouri Department of Higher Education. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  5. ^ Lawrence O. Christensen (1999). Dictionary of Missouri Biography. U of Missouri Press. p. 312.
  6. ^ Lincoln returns to MIAA – St. Joseph News-Press – February 2, 2009[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Lincoln University of Missouri Blue Tigers – Lincoln University Track & Field to be Inducted Into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame". Lincoln University.
  8. ^ "Lincoln University Songs". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  9. ^ "Events – Marching Musical Storm – Lincoln University". Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  10. ^ Sean P. Hier, "The forgotten architect: Cox, Wallerstein, and world-system theory," Race & Class Vol. 42(3): 69–86
  11. ^ "Oleta L. Crain - Military Officer and Civil Servant" (PDF). Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library. 2004. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  12. ^ "Romona Robinson". WOIO. February 3, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2016.

External links[edit]