Lincoln University is exceptional because it offers students an affordable liberal arts education, one of its honors students told Thursday's Honors Convocation.
"In the current national and state political climate, it is truly remarkable to be able to truly afford such a complete education," senior Maher Akremi said in a 15-minute address. "This is what we must work to maintain."
Akremi, who lives in Columbia, is a political science major, with minors in history, English and philosophy. He hopes to pursue a career with the U.S. State Department.
He was among the more than 200 students honored for academic achievements — in his case, including the Institutional Certificate for Academic Achievement given to those who have maintained a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.
"Lincoln gave, and gives, so many of us the opportunity to be successful — which simply is not provided by larger, more costly institutions," Akremi noted. "The affordability of this university allows you to come, learn and succeed without ruining yourselves financially."
Society also benefits from liberal arts education, Akremi said, pointing to the diversity of students attending Lincoln "from all over the country and, actually, all over the world."
He noted the different backgrounds help LU students "be more fully rounded individuals and gain knowledge and skills that help them find their path in life — and they take all of this back with them to their homes."
However, Akremi noted: "Of late, it would seem that the efforts to defend the liberal arts core of this university have waned.
"I would urge the revival of future efforts on this issue."
LU stands out because it was "a university founded with the goal of providing opportunity to individuals who were denied them elsewhere," he said. "And eroding our dedication to providing this holistic approach to education will result in a crisis of identity for this university."