Lincoln U. gets warm welcome to Coatesville

Representatives hope university pushes city to regenerate, inspires youth

By Kyle CarrozzaStaff Writer, The Times

City Manager Kirby Hudson and Lincoln University Provost Dr. Kenoye Eke cut the ribbon on the steps of Gordon Education Center.

City Manager Kirby Hudson and Lincoln University Provost Dr. Kenoye Eke cut the ribbon on the steps of Gordon Education Center.

COATESVILLE – Lincoln University administrators, staff, and students, local congregations, and city, county, and state officials gathered at the Gordon Education Center Saturday afternoon to welcome Lincoln University to Coatesville.

City Manager Kirby Hudson and Provost Dr. Kenoye Eke opened proceedings with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Gordon’s steps.

The celebrations then moved to Gordon’s gym with various government and university officials, including Rep. Tim Hennessey and State Sen. Andy Dinniman, speaking about their happiness of the university’s partnering with Coatesville and their hopes for the future.

“We’re all excited; students, faculty, administrators, and staff are all excited,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Carl Walton.

County Commissioner Ryan Costello agreed. “It is exciting for everyone in Chester County to see this partnership take place,” he said.


In a sermonizing delivery, State Sen. Andy Dinniman – accompanied by his dog, Henry – tells about how Lincoln University is one part of Coatesville’s overcoming hardship. “There is no longer a door between the university and the community,” he said.

Hudson said that the process to bring the university to the city was a struggle at times. At one point, he was even told that he was wasting his time. “Dr. Jennings [Lincoln University president] saw the vision from the very beginning,” said Hudson.

University officials said that Lincoln University and Coatesville should develop a partnership. Cooperation is key for improving the community and the school.

“We need you; this is a team,” Jernice Lea, director of graduate student services and admissions, told residents. “We want to do the right thing by Coatesville.”

Many speakers discussed the effects that having a university will have on the city’s youth. The presence of higher education could push them to improve themselves.

“To the children: if you don’t have that paper [a college degree], you might as well stay home,” said South Coatesville Mayor James Kennedy.

Many of the officials spoke with hope for the city. They saw Lincoln University’s arrival as just one aspect of a Coatesville revival that will make the city a better place for everyone.

Rep. Hennessey talked about roads being fixed, the train station’s renovation, replacement of the Oak Street housing projects, the building of the Marriott, and the new plans to put condos in the Lipkin’s building. He said that Lincoln University will be part of this city regeneration.

State Sen. Andy Dinniman echoed similar sentiments. Paraphrasing James Weldon Johnson’s words in the black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” he said, “Coatesville is facing the rising sun.” In a sermonizing delivery, he said that he believes the city is in the midst of a special time. “The stars are aligned in Coatesville.”

Attendees left the gym with the music of the Holy Matrimony Choir of the Mainline Christian Assembly playing in the background.

Outside, the hopefulness continued. The university, which will offer master’s degrees in business-related programs in the fall, will offer nursing programs in the spring. They will also offer bachelor’s degrees to students who already have their associate degrees. Special Assistant to the President Dr. Judith Thomas said that they hope to offer bachelor’s degrees to everyone within the next two years.

“We are still in the development stage. If Coatesville and Lincoln partner, it can only strengthen us, and it can only strengthen Coatesville,” she said.

She also said that the university hopes to offer a full range of courses in the future, including programs in education, math, chemistry, and sociology.

As the music continued inside, followed by a basketball game in the gym, vendors set up outside the school. Area churches sold food and drink while banks, the Chester County Department of Emergency services, and jewelry, clothing, and appliance merchants were also present.

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One Comment

  1. I think I know why Terrance Farrell was not at this event:
    Back in 2008 Chester County Republican election strategy was to keep students at Lincoln University from voting for Barack Obama. Terrance Farrell had the poling place moved from Lincoln University to a tiny, tiny building between an operating railroad and a busy highway. Carol Aichele voted along with Terrance Farrell to make the change effective. It didn’t work, Lincoln University students and Lower Oxford, PA residents waited out in the rain for sometimes 11 hours dodging traffic and voted Democratic. Terrance Farrell voted in Lower Oxford. Without his participation the polling place could not have been moved. The reason he gave for moving the polling place from Lincoln University was that a white woman in Lower Oxford did not feel safe at Lincoln University.
    County settles lawsuit over polling place
    MICHAEL P. RELLAHAN, Staff Writer Wednesday, August 11,2010

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