NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Lincoln Educational Services Corporation (NASDAQ: LINC), a national leader in specialized technical training, celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Lincoln Tech'sNashville Auto-Diesel College on Saturday, October 5th. More than 500 guests and alumni came out to commemorate the centennial of one of the nation's most renowned career training schools.
"It was such a privilege to be able to meet graduates that helped build this school's rich history," said Scott Shaw, Lincoln Tech's President and CEO. "Hearing their stories about not only this school's beginnings, but how it transformed so many lives, was thrilling. Lincoln Tech is honored to be able to carry on this tradition and continue to build the nation's auto-diesel workforce."
Campus President Bob Butterworth read a proclamation issued by the Tennessee House of Representatives commending the campus on this milestone, along with a congratulatory letter from Senator Lamar Alexander.
Founded as Nashville Auto-Diesel College (NADC), the campus has graduated tens of thousands of skilled, trained technicians for the auto, diesel, collision repair, heavy equipment and welding industries. It was even cited by President Harry Truman for his "Point Four" program following World War II. Entrepreneur H.O. Balls started the college in 1919, and at the anniversary celebration Thomas Hooper, a descendant of the Balls family, reflected on H.O.'s vision.
Hooper told the story of how "Uncle Herman" hitched a ride to Nashville with three pennies in his pocket, worked until he had saved enough money to start a highly successful business college, then purchased the idea for a Nashville-based auto school – not a school, only the idea itself. H.O. Balls built NADC from the ground up: its first class was held in the basement of a local YMCA, and was taught by H.O.'s brother.
Throughout the early stages of NADC's evolution, the school was truly a family affair. The brothers traveled across Tennessee in the 1930s – the time of the Great Depression – "enrolling students on the promise of a better future," Hooper said. H.O. and his family also strove to break down racial and gender barriers in the auto and diesel industries, becoming pioneers in recruiting minorities and women to the school.
"Things we now take for granted were, at the time, revolutionary," he said of his family's endeavors. "This school was built, and is run today, by people who believe in better things. Not for just themselves, but for the people they serve."
The day featured a family-friendly atmosphere including a barbecue lunch, music, and a pair of "celebrity" cars: a commemorative NADC-wrapped Jeep Gladiator was joined by an even bigger draw: the 1968 "Bullitt" Mustang made famous in the 1968 Steve McQueen classic. The true guests of honor, however, were the alumni who came from across the country to tour their alma mater, meet current students and staff, and reminisce about the school that helped launch their careers. One of those alums, Brinkley "Tiny" Simpson from the Class of 1958, delivered one of the day's most memorable addresses. He spoke of growing up working on a farm as a child in North Carolina before saving enough money to enroll at NADC after high school.
"That [investment] was the best money I ever spent," Simpson told the audience. "As students, we were taught by some of the best instructors in the auto-diesel industry. They were abreast of some of the latest technology at that time. I had a great advantage when I got out into the industry."
Following graduation, he recalled, he allowed himself two weeks off to get a job – otherwise, he decided, he would enlist in the Army. As those two weeks neared their end, he was offered a job with Caterpillar, Inc. as a diesel mechanic. That job was the start of a 43-year career with Caterpillar that lasted until his retirement in 2001.
Simpson was one of several graduates who spoke to the NADC tradition and how the school helped position them for success. On behalf of the school's founding family, Hooper – who also worked as a young man in a variety of positions on campus – cited Lincoln's role in continuing that tradition.
"I am proud to be here on this centennial celebration, as I'm sure everyone in my family would be if they could be," he said. "I have had the privilege of working for, and working with, some of the best people I've ever known – all at this address. As NADC evolved, it became evident that the shoulders of one family weren't broad enough to carry this. The Lincoln family is up to the challenge of carrying NADC through the next 100 years."
About Lincoln Educational Services Corporation
Lincoln Educational Services Corporation is a leading provider of diversified career-oriented post-secondary education. Lincoln offers recent high school graduates and working adults career-oriented programs in five principal areas of study: automotive technology, health sciences, skilled trades, business and information technology, and hospitality services. Lincoln has provided the workforce with skilled technicians since its inception in 1946.
Lincoln currently operates 22 campuses in 14 states under four brands: Lincoln Technical Institute, Lincoln College of Technology, and Euphoria Institute of Beauty Arts and Sciences. Lincoln also operates Lincoln Culinary Institute in the states of Connecticut and Maryland.
For more information, visit lincolntech.edu.
Lincoln Educational Services Corporation
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SOURCE Lincoln Educational Services Corporation