Lincoln University (Lincoln or LU) is a state-related, historically black university near Oxford, Pennsylvania. Founded as the private Ashmun Institute in 1854, it has been a public institution since 1972 and was the United States' first degree-granting HBCU. Its main campus is located on 422 acres near the town of Oxford in southern Chester County, Pennsylvania. The university has a second location in University City, Philadelphia. Lincoln University provides undergraduate and graduate coursework to approximately 2,000 students. The University is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
While a majority of Lincoln University students are African Americans, the university has a long history of accepting students of other races and nationalities. Women have received degrees since 1953 and made up over 60% of undergraduate enrollment in 2018.
In 1854 Rev. John Miller Dickey, a Presbyterian minister, and his wife, Sarah Emlen Cresson, a Quaker, founded Ashmun Institute, later named Lincoln University, in Hinsonville. They named it after Jehudi Ashmun, a religious leader and social reformer. They founded the school for the education of African Americans, who had few opportunities for higher education.