Lincoln College will close at the end of 2022, eliminating the swimming and diving program

Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois will close permanently on May 13. The 157-year-old college named after Abraham Lincoln hosted about 1,000 students, including 13 athletes on its intercollegiate swimming and diving teams.

Lincoln College participates in the Mid South Conference and the NAIA. At the 2022 Mid South Conference Championship Meet where the men finished 8th out of 12 teams and the women finished 9th out of 12 teams.

The women’s team had a conference champion in the form of a diver Carla Gutierrez Anayawho won the women’s 1 meter springboard event.

According to federal government data, for the most recent year available, 2019-20, student-athletes made up 248 of the school’s 777 undergraduates: nearly a third of the undergraduate student body.

The school has faced a dramatic decline in enrollment over the past decade. Beginning in 2012, the school saw enrollment begin to decline: from 2012 to 2020, enrollment fell by 41%. The school experienced an enrollment boom just before the COVID-19 pandemic, but that pandemic, along with a cyberattack in December 2021 that thwarted admissions data through March 2022, ultimately forced the school to close.

The school was founded in 1865 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, although after a series of mergers it is now independent and has no formal religious affiliation. The school is a U.S. government-designated PBI or predominantly black institution. Historically, the school has had about the same number of black students as white students, although this has fluctuated from year to year.

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