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Lincoln College (Illinois)

Lincoln College is a private, independent liberal arts college in Lincoln, Illinois. It maintains an extension site in Normal, Illinois that provides adults with bachelor's degree programs. The college offers both two-year and four-year degree programs.

Lincoln College
Fall at Lincoln College, Lincoln, Illinois, showing University Hall.jpg
University Hall
Former names
Lincoln University
MottoLincoln College uniquely empowers students to realize their full potential.
Typeprivate, coeducational
PresidentDavid Gerlach
Academic staff
Location, ,
ColorsPurple, White
Sports19 varsity teams


Lincoln College's roots date back to the 19th century. It is the only college named for Abraham Lincoln while he was still living. The 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 for the institution, prior to Lincoln, Ill., however, in December 1864, the City of Lincoln was chosen. 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 Abraham Lincoln was aware the school would be named in his honor. 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 and in November 1866, the college opened its doors to men and women alike. In 1868, there were three people who had earned 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 two-year junior college, no longer offering four-year degrees as it had done since its inception. Many junior colleges were created in the 1920s and 1930s. The move helped the college through the financial problems of the Great Depression and war.

The Lincoln College campus experienced substantial growth following World War II. The college has seven dorms, numerous classroom buildings, a library, and a new building dubbed the Lincoln Center, which hosts a gymnasium, state of the art classrooms, and the Abraham Lincoln Museum.

In 2015, Dr. David Gerlach was selected as the 22nd President of Lincoln College. Shortly after Dr. Gerlach's appointment, the Lincoln College Board of Trustees approved a plan to return Lincoln College to its roots as a full bachelor's degree-granting institution, while still retaining its associate degree programs. As of the 2018-2019 school year, about half of the full-time students on the Lincoln campus had declared majors in bachelor's degree programs, with associate degree students comprising the other half of the Lincoln campus student population.

In 2018, business programs at Lincoln College were consolidated under the new MacKinnon School of Business, named in honor of distinguished graduate and successful businessman Alexander "Sandy" MacKinnon.


Lincoln College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In 2010, Lincoln College, Lincoln, Ill. campus, received Accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools for their bachelor of arts degree in theater. In 2013, the campus began offering studies toward a bachelor of arts in Jazz Studies (Now Contemporary Jazz Studies). Additional bachelor's degrees have been added since. The college now offers more than a dozen undergraduate programs. Business Programs at Lincoln College are accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

Current MajorsEdit

Associates Degree(s)Edit

  • General Studies (Arts)
  • General Studies (Science)
  • Pre-Nursing

Bachelors Degree(s)Edit

  • Criminal Justice[1]
  • Law[2]
  • Conservation Biology [3]
  • Theatre[4]
  • Sport Management[5]
  • Radio, Television and New Media[6]
  • Organizational Leadership[7]
  • Liberal Arts[8]
  • Exercise Science[9]
  • Contemporary Jazz Studies[10]
  • Community and Human Services[11]
  • Business Management[12]
  • Vocal Performance

Graduate Degree(s)Edit

  • Master of Business Administration[13]
  • Master of Science in Organizational Leadership[14]


Lincoln campusEdit

Nearly 1,000 students attend the Lincoln campus. Students come from about 25 of the states in the United States and several countries. The list of countries include: Australia, China, England, France, Japan, Norway, and Sweden. Approximately 10 percent of students are from urban settings, 30 percent are from rural areas, and 60 percent are from the suburbs. There are slightly more men in the student population than women. The student-faculty ration is 16-1, and most classes contain only 16-20 students. There is a 75 percent rate of students graduating in two years. Also, 90 percent 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 campusEdit

Lincoln College-Normal opened in 1979 as an extension of the Lincoln campus. The Accelerated Bridge to Education program known as ABE offers non-traditional students the opportunity to complete their bachelor's degree in an accelerated format one night a week with supplemental online work. The ABE program has campuses in Normal, Lincoln, Oglesby at Illinois Valley Community College, and in Peoria at Illinois Central College. More than 500 students are enrolled in the ABE program. The average class size is 16, and the student-faculty ratio is 14:1. The number of males to females is nearly equal.

Graduation rateEdit

There is a 75 percent rate of students graduating from the associate degree program within two years, and 90 percent of those graduates will transfer to a four-year institution the next semester. There, their achievements can match or exceed those of students who have been there for all four years of their academic career.

Student lifeEdit

Student life at Lincoln College is exciting and engaging. Students are given ample learning opportunities outside of the classroom through activities that actively play on what is learned inside the classroom.

Residence HallsEdit

The Lincoln College campus has 6 residence halls on campus. These halls are Carroll Hall[15], Heritage Hall South[16], Heritage Hall West and North[17], Hoyle Hall[18], Olin-Sang Hall, and Lynx Village. These buildings are divided by style which include traditional, suite, and apartment suite.

Academic BuildingsEdit

Lincoln College has a number of academic buildings on the Lincoln campus which include Dooley Hall, Gelbach Hall, Harts Science Building, McKinstry Library[19], and Lincoln Center.

Radio, TV and New MediaEdit

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

Conservation BiologyEdit

Campbell Creekside Outdoor Center is a 104-acre environmental education site. This was the location where a student of Lincoln College, Judd McCullum, found Illinois' largest mammoth fossil.[20]


Lincoln College offers nearly two dozen men's and women's sports at the NAIA level including baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling. The College began its first season in the four-year NAIA in 2018. Previously, Lincoln College was a member of the NJCAA and its conference was the Mid-West Athletic Conference, stemming from its many years as a junior college. Prior to that, Lincoln College was a member of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1910-1928.

As a junior college, the Lincoln College wrestling team produced numerous NJCAA All-Americans and the team often placed 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. In 2018, the Lynx Volleyball Team won the Men's Division II National Championship in the NCVF National Collegiate Club Volleyball Championship. The Lincoln College swimming and diving teams have attracted a number of athletes in recent years who have represented their home countries in the Olympics. The school mascot is the Lynx.

The college plans to add men's and women's bowling to their intercollegiate sports offerings for the 2019-2020 season. The college will also add collaborative online gaming ("Esports") as an officially sponsored club sport.

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ "Criminal Justice". Lincoln College Academics. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  2. ^ Helmy, Barnabas. "Law". Lincoln College Academics. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  3. ^ Helmy, Barnabas. "Conservation Biology". Lincoln College Academics. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  4. ^ Helmy, Barnabas. "Theatre". Lincoln College Academics. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  5. ^ "Sport Management". Lincoln College Academics. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  6. ^ Helmy, Barnabas. "Radio, TV & New Media". Lincoln College Academics. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  7. ^ Helmy, Barnabas. "Organizational Leadership". Lincoln College Academics. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  8. ^ Helmy, Barnabas. "Liberal Arts". Lincoln College Academics. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  9. ^ Helmy, Barnabas. "Exercise Science". Lincoln College Academics. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  10. ^ Helmy, Barnabas. "Contemporary Jazz Studies". Lincoln College Academics. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  11. ^ Helmy, Barnabas. "Community and Human Services". Lincoln College Academics. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  12. ^ Helmy, Barnabas. "BUSINESS MANAGEMENT". Lincoln College Academics. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  13. ^ mgordon. "MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION". Lincoln College Academics. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  14. ^ Helmy, Barnabas. "MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP". Lincoln College Academics. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  15. ^ "Carroll North and South". Lincoln College Housing. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  16. ^ "Heritage South". Lincoln College Housing. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  17. ^ "Heritage Hall North & West". Lincoln College Housing. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  18. ^ "Hoyle Hall". Lincoln College Housing. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  19. ^ "About the Library". McKinstry Library. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  20. ^ "Creekside". Lincoln College. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  21. ^ "Matt Hughes UFC Bio". Retrieved 2014-01-01.

External linksEdit