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A $10,000 donation from the NCAA has been used to establish a scholarship at Lincoln University in the name of a former LU president.

The Dr. James Frank Endowed Scholarship Fund will honor the only LU alumnus to serve as a president of the university and will assist full-time undergraduate students who have a 2.5 grade point average or higher, according to a news release from LU spokeswoman Misty Nunn.

Frank graduated from LU in 1953 with a bachelor's degree in education. A native of Pennsylvania, he came to LU on a basketball scholarship.

Following military service and completion of a graduate degree, he returned to LU in 1956 as an assistant professor and assistant basketball coach, and was named head basketball coach in 1959.

Academic and career aspirations took him to other colleges, but Frank returned to Lincoln in 1973 to be its 14th president.

During his 10-year tenure as LU's president, Frank was active in the NCAA as a committee member, secretary-treasurer and president — being the first African American and first college president to hold those positions.

After leading LU, Frank was commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference from 1983-98 then was interim commissioner 2001-02.

He died in January 2019.

"Dr. James Frank was a friend to many, but to Lincoln University, he was family," current LU President Jerald Jones Woolfolk said. "We thank the NCAA for their recognition of Dr. James Frank for his commitment to collegiate athletics and his devotion to Lincoln University."

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