Lincoln College, Battered By COVID And Cyberattack, To Close This Week

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Lincoln College, a historically Black backstage schoolhouse successful Illinois founded successful 1865, announced it volition adjacent connected Friday aft setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic and a ransomware attack.

“Lincoln College has survived galore hard and challenging times — the economical situation of 1887, a large field occurrence successful 1912, the Spanish flu of 1918, the Great Depression, World War II, the 2008 planetary fiscal crisis, and more, but this is different,” the assemblage said successful a statement posted connected its website. “Lincoln College needs assistance to survive.”

The 157-year-old college, based successful Lincoln, has astir 530 full-time students and 300 employees. Students not graduating this twelvemonth are receiving assistance transferring to different schools.

Freshman Alexa Redd told The Chicago Tribune she was shocked erstwhile students were informed of the dire quality successful precocious March.

“How could the aforesaid assemblage that survived the Great Depression and the Spanish flu crumble due to the fact that of COVID and a cyberattack?” Rudd said. “It conscionable didn’t marque immoderate sense.”

Enrollment was level for the 2020 and 2021 schoolhouse years and was projected to beryllium nary amended successful 2022, assemblage President David Gerlach told Fox32 Chicago successful aboriginal April.

Gerlach said past helium inactive held retired anticipation for a “large, occurrence donation” that would prevention the school. He aboriginal told the Chicago Tribune that the magnitude required was $50 million.

But that occurrence ne'er arrived contempt the university’s efforts, including a GoFundMe page created connected March 31 that raised lone $2,252 of the $20 cardinal goal.

While Lincoln College said it enrolled a “record-breaking” fig of students successful the autumn of 2019, the pandemic had a devastating interaction connected virtually each facet of the university, from recruitment to sports events. Also, galore students chose to defer their enrollment, further hurting the university’s finances.

Compounding the problems was a December ransomware onslaught that the assemblage said created “an unclear representation of Fall 2022 enrollment projections” and disabled systems related to pupil recruitment, retention and fundraising.

“Once afloat restored successful March 2022, the projections displayed important enrollment shortfalls, requiring a transformational donation oregon concern to prolong Lincoln College beyond the existent semester,” the assemblage said.

Gerlach told The Chicago Tribune the assemblage paid little than $100,000 to regain entree to its system.

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