Reward offered for info on Lincoln U. vandals

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Racist epitaph painted on university entrance

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

lincolnu-logoA reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of the individual or individuals responsible for spray-painting a racial epitaph on the entrance of the main campus of Lincoln University, the nation’s oldest predominantly African-American college.

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan and the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry (CCCBI) have offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the individual or individuals who spray-painted a racial slur at the entrance to Lincoln University.

On Feb. 19, university security officials discovered that somebody had spray-painted a racial slur on a sign at the entrance to the university. 

Valerie I. Harrison, Acting President of Lincoln University, informed the college community of the incident by letter, Thursday.

“Overnight one of the signs to the entrance of the University was defaced with a racially disparaging term,” she wrote. “We are taking immediate steps to restore the sign, and I have asked Public Safety to use every effort to identify the perpetrators and to put measures in place to minimize the opportunities for such displays of ignorance and hatred.”

Response in the greater Chester County community quickly condemned the vandalism.

“This vandalism is not only shocking, it is offensive,” said CCCBI President Guy Ciarrocchi in a statement announcing the award. “It is even worse when the targets are students. These students are here to grow and contribute to society. They deserve much better. We stand with not only with the District Attorney’s Office, but with the vast majority of Chester County residents and business owners who want Lincoln’s students to feel welcome.”

Hogan said that while this kind of behavior would be unacceptable anywhere, it is that much worse at the nation’s oldest African-American University.

“Racism and ignorance go hand-in-hand, and neither will be tolerated in Chester County,” Hogan said in a statement. “Whether the university is Villanova, Penn State, or Lincoln, such behavior is unacceptable in a civilized society. It is a crying shame that a university named after Abraham Lincoln has been subjected to this type of disrespect.”

Anybody with information is requested to call Chester County Detective Edward Nolan at 610-344-6866.

Harrison reminded the college community that Lincoln’s students have had to endure racism before and overcame it. She expressed confidence that the current student body could do so as well.

“This incident is a sober reminder that our forebearers persevered in the face of hatred and intimidation, yet achieved and maintained standards of excellence for which Lincoln University has become known,” she said. “Let’s not allow the cowardly acts of others distract us from our commitment to maintaining this legacy or cause us to act in a manner that is inconsistent with our greatness.”

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