Faculty, students, and alumni at Lincoln University in Jefferson City will commence their annual homecoming festival Thursday, October 3.
This year, however, the festivities will include the inauguration of Dr. Kevin D. Rome as LU's new president. Rome has been with the school since the summer.
Rome says one of his top priorities as president is to have a good relationship with the school's students and alumni. Rome said he believes homecoming should teach students about their community, because they're the future.
"I want them to see that we have many successful alumni who come in and still support the institution," Rome said. "I want them to know we expect them to do the same."
Alumnus Barbara Kitchen Mitchell came to this year's homecoming to connect with current students. She attributes a successful career with the United States Postal Service to her experiences at LU.
"I have eight siblings and out of the eight of us, six attended LU and graduated," Mitchell said. "I'm not being too proud, but I am proud to say that we are all very successful citizens. Of the eight of us, five are retired," Mitchell said.
Professor emeritus Arnold Parks says it's important too that the school makes plans for the long-term.
The school, which was founded in 1866, faces the same challenges that other institutions of higher education are facing, including offering competitive courses and tuition rates, as well as expanding the university's influence in mid-Missouri.
"We need to lay out the groundwork as to where we will go from 2013, for the next 10 to 15 to 20 years," Parks said. "I think the planning process needs to happen now."
With an important time at hand, the Lincoln University family will have a lot to discuss at this year's homecoming.