Lincoln University president speaks on HBCU relevance

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Lincoln University president speaks on HBCU relevance

February 27, 2017

Dr. Kevin Rome, 19th president of Lincoln University, delivered a keynote speech on the relevance of HBCUs during the Black History Month culminating event at Voorhees College on Feb. 23. 

Rome said that he was very familiar with Voorhees College as both of his siblings and their spouses were graduates of the institution. As an HBCU grad of Morehouse College, he said it does not matter which HBCU a student attends because the overall benefits will be the same. 

“I am unapologetically black, and I only applied to HBCUs when I was a senior in high school because I knew where I needed to be. Nobody can guide, teach, cultivate, and inspire blacks like blacks can,” Rome said. 

Rome said people in the black community sometimes need to look past a job’s salary, but think about the positive impact they can make on their people. “Sometimes it is not about the money but about the community. Issues that arise in education amongst black students can be improved by people who understand and appreciate behaviors behind the issues, which would be our black educators,” Rome said.

He said that while some students complain about what they do not like about an HBCU, from the food, esthetics of the campus, to certain policies, they lose focus on their purpose, which is receiving an education.

“There is power in an HBCU. After students get acclimated to the campus, they realize the value of the HBCU experience. It never fails how some students at my institution complain but the moment there is an issue threatening their enrollment, they will do anything possible to stay,” Rome said.

Rome said there are some very successful, influential, and powerful people who have graduated from HBCUs. He said some of them had similar complaints while they were in school, but they ended up successful.

“Who would have ever thought a poor little black kid from the projects would now preside over an institution. I work at a HBCU because I understand it is important for blacks to improve the situations that plague the black community,” Rome said.

He concluded his message with breaking down the synonym of Voorhees that he says students should reference during the rest of their matriculation. V is for victory. O is for overcomers. O is for outstanding. R is for responsibility. H is for hallelujah. E is for expecting. E is for elevate. S is for success.

For more information, contact Megan Freeman, director of communications, at 803-780-1191 or at mfreeman@voorhees.edu.