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Lincoln Prep Alumni And Students Celebrate School's 150th Anniversary

Cody Newill
Current Lincoln College Preparatory Academy students and alumni mingle at an event celebrating the school's 150th anniversary.

Several dozen Lincoln College Preparatory Academy alumni met with a small group of current students Saturday to celebrate the historic school's 150th anniversary.

The alumni met the students at the Centennial United Methodist Church in Kansas City's 18th and Vine District to show their support and talk about how the school influenced their lives.  

Lincoln Prep started as an all-black facility in 1865, and quickly became a fixture for many African-Americans in the area. Chestine Allen graduated from the school in 1948, and she says it offered her stability when her home life didn’t.

"All during my high school years, my mother had a severe case of cancer," Allen said. "So every day I had to come home and take care of her while my father was at work, and the high school choir was a big thing for me."

Credit Cody Newill / KCUR
Lincoln Prep is known for educating many of Kansas City's prominent African-American residents, such as Frank White, Lucile Bluford and Ollie Gates.

Trinity Sconce is a sophomore at Lincoln Prep who likes studying Latin and wants to pursue either engineering or medicine in college. She says meeting with alumni has given her a greater appreciation for her school's long history.

"I got to meet a few couples that used to go to Lincoln, and they had a lot to say," Sconce said. "The school was completely different when they went there, so it was interesting to hear things like, 'Oh, this [area] wasn't the cafeteria 50 years ago.'"

Lincoln Prep is one of the Kansas City Public Schools' special "signature schools," offering international baccalaureate classes to its students. It was recently named the best high school in Missouri by the U.S. News and World Report. 

Lincoln Prep boasts distinguished alumni like former Kansas City Call publisher Lucile Bluford, former Kansas City Royals second baseman Frank White and Gates Bar-B-Q owner Ollie Gates.  

Cody Newill is part of KCUR's audience development team. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill or email him at cody@kcur.org.
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