Lincoln College President John Blackburn has announced he will retire in the summer of 2015. Blackburn has served as President since August 2012. Prior to becoming the 21st President of Lincoln College he had a thirty-year career with COUNTRY Financial where he served his last eleven years as its CEO. Prior to becoming its president, Blackburn served ten years on the Lincoln College Board of Trustees, including three years as chair.

John and his wife of 46 years, Barb, are looking forward to spending more time with their children, eight grandchildren, and each other. Said Blackburn, “We have been extremely blessed and pray for the blessing of several years of good health in our retirement.”

Blackburn went on to say, “We have accomplished some good things at the College, but there is much still to be done. I believe deeply in the mission of Lincoln College, its employees, and the Lincoln and Bloomington/Normal communities. Barb and I will continue to stay involved with Lincoln College in our retirement years and will support it physically and financially.”

Blackburn stated that his focus during his remaining time at Lincoln College will be on leading its 150th Anniversary Celebration during 2015, promoting the new Lincoln College / University of Illinois College of ACES Transfer program, working with other colleges on collaborative agreements, and fundraising.

Lincoln College Board Chair Bob Neal has formed a Presidential Search Committee which will be chaired by Trustee Dolan Dalpoas, President and CEO of Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. The Committee is made up of trustees, alumni, faculty members, and community leaders. Its goal is to have a new President named and relocated during the summer of 2015.

Blackburn listed the following as some of Lincoln College’s highlights during his tenure as President:

  • Completion and Grand Opening of the Lincoln Heritage Museum
  • Completion and Grand Opening of the Creekside Environmental Center
  • Establishment of the Lincoln College Athletic Hall of Fame
  • Launch of the Lincoln College / University of Illinois College of ACES Transfer Agreement
  • Expansion of the Accelerated Bridge to Education (ABE) Program to Springfield in partnership with Lincoln Land Community College
  • Creation and implementation of a Summer Bridge Program