Lincoln College to close after 157 years
LINCOLN, Ill. - After 157 years, an Illinois college is closing its doors.
This senior class will be the last at Lincoln College, leaving younger students to make new college plans.
The school is slated to close May 7 — unless they receive a generous gift of $50 million.
"Last Wednesday, he broke it to us," said Junior Demetrious Burtin.
On March 29, the announcement was made that the school would close for good.
The track athlete and criminal justice major says he noticed after the pandemic the school just wasn’t the same.
A normal class with 25 students dwindled dramatically.
"I am in a class right now where there are only four of us, some classes we had only 10," said Burtin.
Lincoln College is in Lincoln, Illinois off of Interstate 55 — halfway between Bloomington and Springfield.
The school says over the 157-year history, it has survived the economic crisis of 1887, a campus fire, the Spanish Flu, war and so much more.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic, the school's president said they couldn't get out to recruit like before.
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"The pandemic really affected our ability to enroll students. We couldn’t get into the Chicagoland schools, as students were doing their work from home," said President of Lincoln College David Gerlach.
There are 530 students who are trying to figure out their next move, along with 300 employees.
Klaudia Blaszczyk has two years left in school. She's from Poland, and her Visa expires in May.
She hopes the "Save Lincoln College" social media movement works.
"If I won't find a college right now it's going to be very difficult to get back to the U.S. afterwards," said Blaszczyk.
College seniors will be able to graduate.
Students say a college fair is scheduled on campus, to help students transition to new colleges and universities.