Lincoln Hall – The First Black Dorm
From 1930 to 1946, unofficial campus campus rooming policies forced black male students to live off campus in boarding homes or private residences. Approximately 6 to 8 male students took residence in the home of Harry and Rosa Gifford. The Giffords moved north from Mississippi to become faternity house cooks at Theta Chi, Phi Gamma Delta and Zeta Beta Tau.
The Gifford home became the center of black life at Penn State. The students named it “Lincoln Hall”, after President Lincoln. Notable Lincoln Hall boarders include: Wallace Triplett III ‘49, the first Black varsity football player and former NFL player, and Henry “Barney” Ewell ‘47, Olympic gold medalist. Several founding members of the Penn State chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternities also lived there as well.
Historical Marker Dedication For “LINCOLN HALL”
Date: Friday, April 20, 2012
Time: 3:45pm – 4:30pm
Where: 119 North Barnard Street, State College (just off campus). The ceremony will take place just outside of the house – which is still used for student housing.
Featuring: Philadelphia District Attorney, R. Seth Williams; State College Mayor, Elizabeth Goreham, former residents of Lincoln Hall, and others.
Please note there may be a change in traffic patterns during this presentation, so please plan accordingly.