Lincoln College, chartered Lincoln University in 1865, is a private, liberal arts college, fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The College’s roots date back to December 1864. After investigating several sites, commissioners selected Lincoln, Illinois as the location for a new university. On February 6, 1865, a charter for the new university was secured from the Illinois General Assembly. Just six days later, on Abraham Lincoln’s last living birthday, ground was broken for University Hall, the first college building. The foundation was completed and the cornerstone laid by September 1866, and instruction for men and women began that November. The first commencement in 1868 honored three graduates. Since then, Lincoln College has taken its place among the pioneer educational institutions of the Midwest.