Originally founded as The Ashmun Institute in 1854, Lincoln University is the nation’s first degree-granting HBCU. Horace Mann Bond, Lincoln’s first African American president once said that the school is the “first institution found anywhere in the world to provide a higher education in the arts and sciences for male youth of African descent.” Founders John Miller Dickey and his wife, Sarah Emlen Cresson founded the institution for the purpose of scientific, classical and theological education of colored youth of the male sex. The institution was renamed Lincoln University in 1866 in honor of President Abraham Lincoln. During its first 100 years, Lincoln graduated approximately 20 percent of the African American physicians and more than 10 percent of the African-American attorneys in the nation. Alumni have led more than 35 colleges and universities.
Notable Alumni Include: educator and one of the most significant modernist poets Melvin B. Tolson; world-acclaimed poet Langston Hughes; and the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall.