Gerlach photo 1

President David Gerlach

Public invited to Homecoming celebrations and events

LINCOLN, IL — It is Homecoming Week at Lincoln College. The week includes a variety of events culminating in a milestone in the college’s history with the inauguration on Sunday, Nov. 8, of Dr. David M. Gerlach as the College’s 22nd president.

A new class for the Lincoln College Athletic Hall Fame, men’s and women’s basketball games, tours of campus attractions and a fall play will all lead up to the inauguration ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. in the Johnston Center for Performing Arts on the Lincoln campus.

Dr. Gerlach replaced John Blackburn as president in June as the next step in a distinguished career of more than 30 years in education, including the last 11 years as vice president for advancement at SUNY-Canton in New York state. There, he led the school to its highest student enrollment numbers in four of the last six years, multiplied the campus foundation’s financial assets, earned provisional membership in NCAA Division III athletics and doubled the number of student athletes.

Dr. Gerlach has secured unanimous support from the Lincoln College Board of Trustees for an ambitious plan to re-invest more than $7 million in improving campus services and programs while returning the school to its roots as Lincoln University.

“I am honored and humbled to be given the privilege of leading Lincoln College after 150 years of serving thousands of students and the central Illinois region with an exemplary education,” Gerlach said. “We will recognize our great tradition and work tirelessly to become a stronger institution that provides more students more opportunities to experience the Lincoln College legacy.”

The inauguration ceremony theme is Lincoln College Through the Years: Embracing Our Past, Empowering Our Future. Dr. Gerlach will be supported by an outstanding Platform Party featuring:

  • Robert Gerlach – Father; providing Invocation
  • Robert F. Neal – Chairman of the Board
  • John Blackburn – 21stPresident of Lincoln College
  • John Hutchinson – 19thPresident of Lincoln College
  • Ronald Schilling – 18thPresident of Lincoln College
  • Joseph Kennedy – Retired President of SUNY Canton; Mentor
  • Alec Esparza – Class of 2016; President of Lincoln College Student Government
  • Darren Palmer – Pastor of Faith Assembly providing Benediction; great grandson of Arie Vanderhorst, 10thPresident of Lincoln College

The Lincoln College Chorale will sing the Louis Armstrong hit, “What a Wonderful World.” Armstrong performed at Lincoln College’s Spring Concert in 1963. Live streaming of the presidential inauguration will be available online at .

Homecoming week started Monday and runs through Sunday, November 8. In addition to Spirit Week activities for students, several events are scheduled and open to the public including:

  • Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet, Friday, November 6 in the Davidson-Sheffer Gymnasium. Includes a cocktail reception from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards program. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Mary Jo Werth in the Advancement Office at (217) 735-7217 or e-mail The 2015 Hall of Fame Class includes alumni Bill Zimmer (class of 1958), Robert Gray, posthumous induction (1982) , former coaches Rex Branum, and Donna Bonebrake, and friends of LC Mike and Jan Stephenson.
  • Lynx Classic Women’s Basketball Tournament, Friday, November 6 in the Lincoln Center Jack D. Nutt Arena. Lady Lynx compete against Black Hawk College at 7:30 p.m.
  • Tour of Creekside Outdoor Center for Environmental Education is planned for Saturday, November 7. A bus will leave from the Lincoln Center parking lot at 10:00 a.m., Lincoln College professor Dr. Dennis Campbell will conduct the tour. There is no charge for this event.
  • Lincoln Heritage Museum Tours are planned in the Lincoln Heritage Museum in the Lincoln Center Saturday, November 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. walk-through tours will take place, $3 admission fee. From 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. audio-video tours will be provided for $5.
  • Fall Play Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet performed in the Johnston Center for Performing Arts Main Stage Wednesday through Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $7 for general admission, $5 for students/seniors, and $1 for LC students. Seating is limited. Call to reserve tickets at the Lincoln College Box Office (217) 735-7280.
  • Homecoming Basketball Games, Saturday, November 7 at 2:00 p.m. Lady Lynx play Moraine Valley Community College and at 4:00 p.m. Lynx compete against Lincoln Trail College. Both games are played in the Lincoln Center Jack D. Nutt Arena.
  • 22nd Presidential Inauguration Ceremony, Sunday, November 8 at 2:00 p.m. in the Johnston Center for Performing Arts. Live stream of the inauguration will be on

If you plan to attend the inauguration of Dr. David M. Gerlach please contact us so special arrangements can be provided for all media.