Union League of Philadelphia unexpectedly honored Lincoln President Dr. Robert R. Jennings during First Annual Lion Awards

University recognized Celebrities, Lincoln Alumni, University Supporters and Others

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Union League of Philadelphia unexpectedly awarded Lincoln University President Dr. Robert R. Jennings its prestigious Union League Award during Lincoln’s First Annual Lion Awards ceremony Sunday night.

The Union League Award honors individuals for personal excellence and integrity, respect for country and its revered institutions and by the living example set as an admirable standard of citizenship.

“(Dr. Jennings) epitomizes the very spirit of this award,” said Frank Giordano, Union League member and Host Committee Chairman of the Lion Awards.   “He is an effective, intelligent, inspirational leader.  His significant contributions and achievements cross an incredible broad spectrum from academia to community service to both the public and private sector.  This is a man that is changing the world.”

Jennings, who had been inaugurated as the 13th president of the university at a formal ceremony a day earlier, had decided against an inaugural gala and opted instead for the now annual Lion Awards that not only recognized and honored others, but raised funds for student scholarships.

The black tie awards program capped four days of inaugural activities and recognized Baseball legend and philanthropists Hank and Billye Aaron, singer and songwriter, LEDISI, Queen of Gospel Music Pastor Shirley Caesar, Aramark Board Chairman Joseph Neubauer, Clive Terrelonge, ’94, Two-time Olympian and 1995 IAAF World Indoor Championship Gold Medalist for Jamaica, Dr. Ivory Nelson, 12th President of Lincoln University, Robert L. Archie, ’68, Esq., Partner, Duane Morris, LLP and Lillian E. Fishburne, ’71, the first African American woman promoted to Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy (ret.).

One of the honorees, LEDESI, who also sang for President Barack Obama and the First Lady as part of the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference this weekend, performed “What A Wonderful World” as well as a offered a rousing, soulful encore performance of “God Bless The Child.”

Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, founded in 1854 as the nation’s first historically Black degree-granting institution, combines the elements of a liberal arts and science-based undergraduate curriculum along with select graduate programs to meet the needs of those living in a highly-technological and global society.  Today, the University enrolls a diverse student body of approximately 2,000 men and women.  Internationally recognized for preparing and producing world class leaders such as Thurgood Marshall, the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Lillian Fishburne, the first African American woman promoted to Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy, Langston Hughes, the noted poet, Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana and Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of Nigeria. 

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