Economic Impact

Dollars spent by Lincoln College Cascade through the Community, making it Stronger

Dollars invested in Lincoln College don’t simply sit at the College, but instead cascade throughout the economy, creating jobs and spurring economic development. Lincoln College is an economic engine for the region and the state.

The Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities’ economic impact calculator estimates that Lincoln College’s direct and indirect annual local financial impact is over $40 million. This impact is reflected not only in dollars spent in the community, when College employees buy groceries, purchase cars and gas, shop at local stores and eat at local restaurants, but also as the money from those purchases flow to others, in paychecks and profits which are in turn spent in the community, multiplying the impact.

The University Hall renovation kicked off with an initial $350,000 in repairs and renovations that put craftsmen to work and generated sales of materials and equipment. Similarly, when Lincoln College opened its new TV studio for the Radio, TV, and New Media bachelor degree, it was the culmination of months of local skilled labor and materials investments. The opening of new residential suites in the fall of 2017 follows months of behind the scenes work that required complete interior gutting and renovation of the buildings, modernization and reconfiguring, all of which kept skilled laborers on the job and earning paychecks for months.

The local impact does not end when a project is completed. Facilities owned by the College become assets for the community, whether it is the Lincoln Center with its sports facilities and Lincoln Heritage Museum; the Scully Natatorium that provide pool access to the community or plays and concerts at the Johnston Center. Students, faculty and staff volunteer their time to local charities and support the fabric of the community in hundreds of small ways every day.

Many of our supporters live in the area. Others grew up here and still have friends and family in the region. Still others simply see the benefit of having a strong local economy. Regardless of the individual motivation, giving to Lincoln College is a sound and sure way of maximizing the social and economic benefits of your contribution.

Bernard Behrends (Class of ‘48)

The late Bernard Behrends described himself as a “grateful giver,” and understood the importance of scholarships to students’ success later in life.   Born in Lincoln in 1921, his life story personified the idea of humble beginnings. His father died when he was six and his grandfather moved into the household with his mother to help make ends meet. There were times when there was no money or food in the house.

After service in World War II, Behrends returned to Lincoln and used the GI Bill to attend Lincoln College. He went on to become a civil engineer and later became President and CEO of Hartsburg State Bank. He and his sister, Anna, became major benefactors of Lincoln College.

Helping local students become self-sufficient and a part a vibrant economy was a priority of Behrends. In his view, “buildings are just bricks and mortar. But with a good teacher you can learn a lot.”  And through scholarships, Lincoln College ensures our faculty lead students to become the next greatest generation.