Dr. James Frank

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – In October of 2020, the NCAA donated $10,000 to establish a scholarship in the name of a devoted alumnus and longtime supporter of collegiate athletics. Dr. James Frank Endowed Scholarship Fund honors the only Lincoln University (MO) alumnus to serve as President of Lincoln University. The scholarship will assist full-time undergraduate students with a 2.5 GPA or higher.

Dr. James Frank graduated from Lincoln University in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science in Education. An athlete and athletics fan at heart, Frank, a Pennsylvania native, came to Lincoln on a basketball scholarship. After spending time in military service and completing his graduate degree, Frank returned to Lincoln University in 1956 as an assistant professor and assistant basketball coach. He was named Head Basketball Coach in 1959. His academic and career aspirations led him to Springfield College, Hunter College and Medgar Evers College before his return once again to his alma mater as the 14th President of Lincoln University in 1973.

During his Presidency, Frank was active in the NCAA as a committee member, secretary-treasurer and president, marking his place in history as the first African American and first college president to hold those positions. After then years as President of Lincoln University, he became Commissioner of the Southwestern Athletics Conference (SWAC) serving from 1983 until 1998 and again as Interim Commissioner from 2001 to 2002. Frank passed away in January 2019.

“Dr. James Frank was a friend to many, but to Lincoln University, he was family,” said Jerald Jones Woolfolk, President of Lincoln University. “We thank the NCAA for their recognition of Dr. James Frank for his commitment to collegiate athletics and his devotion to Lincoln University.”

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About Lincoln University of Missouri
Lincoln University of Missouri is a historically black, 1890 land-grant, public, comprehensive institution that provides excellent educational opportunities including theoretical and applied learning experiences to a diverse population within a nurturing, student-centered environment. For more information, visit www.lincolnu.edu.