“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
State College in Centre County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

"Lincoln Hall"

State College Historic Site

"Lincoln Hall" Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), June 21, 2019
1. "Lincoln Hall" Marker
Inscription.  This circa 1910 structure was a rooming house for African American male students at the Pennsylvania State College from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Known as Lincoln Hall, it was the center for black life at that time

The six- to eight-student boarding house was owned and operated by Harry and Rosa Gifford, their children Bessie and Emanuel, and the latter's wife, Agnes. The family had moved north from Mississippi to become fraternity house cooks.

Because of an unofficial campus policy, which ended in 1946, African American men could only choose to live in Lincoln Hall or as roomers in a few private homes. Of the handful of black female students, the choice was between dorms and private homes.

At times, the Lincoln Hall population made up half of Penn State's African American student enrollment.

(The interior photo above shows a 1949 fall welcome gathering — around initiators Emanuel and Agnes Gifford — for roomers and classmates.)

Lincoln Hall roomers of note included: Wallace "Wally" Triplett III, Penn State's first African American varsity football player and a National
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Football League player; Henry "Barney" Ewell, All-American track star and Olympic gold medalist; James H. Robinson, Associate Dean and Director of Student Affairs, Jefferson Medical College; Roger Kenton Williams, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Morgan State University.
Erected by Downtown State College; Penn State Alumni Association.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansEducationSportsWomen. In addition, it is included in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the Pennsylvania State University series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1910.
Location. 40° 47.477′ N, 77° 52′ W. Marker is in State College, Pennsylvania, in Centre County. Marker is on Clay Lane north of North Barnard Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 434 Clay Lane, State College PA 16801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Water Tunnel (approx. 0.2 miles away); R Values (approx. 0.2 miles away); Atmospheric Research (approx. 0.2 miles away); Heart-Assist Pump (approx. ¼ mile away); Driver Education (approx. ¼ mile away); The Alpha Chi Chapter of Sigma Chi (approx.
Lincoln Hall image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), June 21, 2019
2. Lincoln Hall
¼ mile away); Wake Turbulence (approx. ¼ mile away); PENNSTAC (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in State College.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 22, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 22, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 225 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 22, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Feb. 22, 2024