Private Donor Funds Lincoln University Students’ National Underground Railroad Tour
Office of Communications and Marketing
820 Chestnut Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Thanks to the support of an anonymous donor, 46 Lincoln University of Missouri students and three staff members participated in the LU National Underground Railroad Tour, February 9-12. As part of the tour, the group visited the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and attended a basketball game at Kentucky State, a fellow HBCU.
“It made me realize what life was like back then and how privileged we are now,” Kusum Tamang, an international student from Nepal, commented about how the trip provided a glimpse into this unique period of U.S. history and how people in the past struggled to make this world a better place.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati aims to educate visitors about the history of slavery and the Underground Railroad, as well as the ongoing struggle for civil rights. It is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by enslaved African Americans to escape into freedom during the 19th century.
Students went on self-guided tours of the museum where they had the opportunity to explore various exhibits. They were able to see artifacts and learn about the different routes that enslaved Americans took to escape to freedom as well as the people who helped them along the way. The museum's interactive displays also allowed students to gain a deeper understanding of the struggle for civil rights and the challenges faced by African Americans in the past.
One of the notable exhibits at the museum is Escape! Freedom Seekers and the Underground Railroad—an interactive experience that allows visitors to step into the shoes of a freedom seeker and learn about the challenges and dangers they faced on their journey to freedom. Through storytelling, role-playing, and hands-on activities students learned about the heroic and clever actions of those who resisted slavery.
“Overall, the students enjoyed and appreciated the experience,” said LU Dean of Students Curtis Burton, Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, about the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center tour. “I think it really gave them a sense of pride and made them understand the privilege and opportunities they have today.”
He further commented that the experience instilled a sense of pride and obligation to press on and pursue education, a key tool in the fight for civil rights.
In addition to visiting the National Underground Railroad Center, students also had the opportunity to visit Newport Aquarium—a popular tourist attraction that features a range of aquatic life including sharks, penguins and stingrays—providing a fun and relaxing break for the students to unwind and enjoy some leisure time.
On the second day of the trip, students attended a basketball game at Kentucky State. The game presented a unique opportunity for the students to connect with other student leaders, Greek organizations and professionals. It provided a chance to socialize, network and learn from one another creating a sense of community and camaraderie among the groups.
Student leader Kenyatta Hampton says she was particularly impressed by the school spirit and camaraderie evident at Kentucky State. As the student director of entertainment of the Campus Activity Board (CAB), she says she returned to LU feeling inspired to promote greater school pride by means of community outreach and by creating more opportunities for students to network and develop together.
The trip was made possible thanks to the generous support of an anonymous donor whose contribution made it possible for the students to embark on this highly educational and impactful journey. If you would like to support exceptional education and opportunities for students at Lincoln University, please email Advancement@LincolnU.edu or click here to make a gift now.