Penn Stater Nov/Dec 2010 - A Trip Back to “Lincoln Hall”

Like many freshman, Perry Smith arrived his freshman year at Penn State in 1944 without a place to stay. He was given a list of options - but as a black man, he had fewer than most. Penn State's dorms weren't integrated until 1950, and in the mid-1940s there were crammed full of miltary trainees. So it was no surpise he ended up at the first house on the list - 119 Barnard Street.

The house, owned by a black couple named Giffordho cooked for local fraternitities, was home to about half of the black students on campus. They paid $6 a week to live there and called it "Lincoln Hall," in Abraham.

Smith ’48 Eng visited his college home during the Black Alumni Reunion Sept. 10–12, and he recounted his memories to Darryl Daisey ’83 Bus, the organizer of the African American Chronicles website, which is preserving the history of African-Americans at Penn State. To learn more or share your own story,go to