Lincoln College (chartered Lincoln University) in Lincoln, Illinois was established in 1865 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. There were a few sites that were looked at as possibilities, and in December of 1864, the site of Lincoln was selected. Due to the Civil War the denomination wanted to create a college in the North because the denominations 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 of 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 (http://www.lincolncollege.edu).
In 1901 Lincoln College affiliated with the Decatur College and Industrial School (now Millikin University) in Decatur, Illinois. 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 the 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 to the current time. The college has seven dorms, numerous classroom buildings, a library that houses an Abraham Lincoln museum, a gym and several classroom buildings.
Today Lincoln College is one of a small number of private two-year residential colleges in the United States. Most students at Lincoln College receive the Associate of Arts Degree and transfer to a four year college. Lincoln College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The college is independent and no longer has a church affiliation.
Lincoln College has several fine arts groups of which the concert choir called "Dynamics" is currently the largest student organization on campus(http://www.lincolncollege.edu/fine_arts/music.htm). 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 (http://www.lincolncollege.edu/fine_arts/express.htm). Broadway actor / singer Stephen Buntrock was a member of the Lincoln College Express in the late 1980s (http://www.theatrefest.com/StephenBuntrock/index.asp). The college is also home to an active theatre program.
WLNX is the campus student operated radio station serving the Lincoln community.
Lincoln College offers several men's and women's sports at the NJCAA Division II level including baseketball, 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. 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, Illinois in 1979. In 2001 the Normal campus began offering four year degrees. The Normal campus also has a limited amount of college housing.
About 700 students attend this campus. Students come from about 25 of the states in the United States and the list of international 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 (http://www.lincolncollege.edu/about/numbers.htm).
Lincoln College - Normal opened in 1979 as an extension of the Lincoln campus of Lincoln College. This campus offers two-year associate's degrees, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Sciences degree. Additionally, the Midwest College of Cosmetology and the School of Travel and Tourism are located at the Normal campus. Today, Lincoln College - Normal has two modern facilities on campus, which house classrooms, laboratories, and administrative offices (http://www.lincolncollege.edu/normal). 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 (http://www.lincolncollege.edu/normal).