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Former Executive Director of White House Initiative on HBCUs to Headline Lincoln University’s 2024 Founders’ Day Celebration

Abbey Tauchen | January 29th, 2024

Dr. Ivory Toldson, National Director of Education Innovation and Research for the NAACP and former executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, is set to deliver the keynote address at Lincoln University of Missouri’s 2024 Founders’ Day celebration on February 8, 2024.

Dr. Toldson, a distinguished leader in education and advocacy, has garnered widespread recognition for his impactful contributions. The Washington Post labeled him as a leader “who could conceivably navigate the path to the White House,” while Newsweek Magazine hailed him as one of the “30 leaders in the fight for Black men.” Dr. Toldson’s journey is marked by a profound commitment to addressing challenges faced by the African American community, earning him accolades for his influence on a national level.

Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Toldson has held key roles such as president and CEO of QEM Network, professor of counseling psychology at Howard University and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Negro Education. Appointed by President Barack Obama, he played a pivotal role in devising national strategies to sustain and expand federal support to HBCUs as the executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs.

Dedicated to improving opportunities for Black students, Dr. Toldson’s leadership extends to advisory roles in organizations like Generation Ready and the National Council on Educating Black Children. Honored with awards such as the Equity Champion Award, he continues to be a driving force in advancing the cause of Black male achievement. Dr. Toldson’s journey is a testament to the impact of HBCUs, and Lincoln takes great pride in welcoming him as the keynote speaker for this year’s Founders’ Day celebrations.

Founders’ Day celebrates Lincoln’s 158 years of education service. Founded in January 1866 by Civil War veterans of the 62nd and 65th United States Colored Infantries, Lincoln Institute opened in Jefferson City on September 17, 1866, with two students. In 1887, Lincoln added college-level classes to the curriculum. Under the second Morrill Act of 1890, the school became a land-grant institution. A name change in 1921 to Lincoln University accompanied the school’s expansion to a four-year institution, and graduate studies were added in 1940. In 1954, the historically Black university opened its doors to white students and today serves a diverse student population of nearly 1,800 with an array of academic offerings.

The university is planning a full slate of events on the Lincoln campus in Jefferson City to mark Founders’ Day 2024 and Black History Month. Free and open to the public, the Founders’ Day address will take place on Thursday, February 8 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Mitchell Auditorium at Richardson Fine Arts Center (710 E. Dunklin St., Jefferson City, Missouri) on Lincoln’s campus.

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