Leadership

Larry M. McDonald

President

Larry McDonald is President of Lincoln Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education and development of socioeconomically disadvantaged youth.  Prior to joining Lincoln Foundation, Larry was a corporate executive with Humana and entrepreneur.  Leadership roles at Humana were in Human Resources, specifically in the areas of diversity, employee relations, and management development.

Larry’s awards and honors in the area of civic leadership and volunteer work are too numerous to mention. However, recent recognitions of note include the Recognition of Outstanding Community Service by Louisville Metro Council and Community Service Award by Jefferson Community & Technical College Black Affairs in 2014.  Larry was recognized by St. Stephens Church with the M.L. King, Jr. Community Service Award in 2013.  He was also inducted into the Hall of Fame by both duPont Manual High School and Presbyterian Community Center.

Larry has served on the Board of Trustees of Lincoln Foundation since 1997.  Larry previously served on the following boards: African American Heritage Foundation, Black Achievers, Brooklawn, Community Foundation of Louisville, Home of the Innocents, Louisville Orchestra, Louisville Urban League, Spalding University, University of Louisville Board of Overseers, and 100 Black Men of Louisville.  He is an alumnus of Leadership Louisville, Leadership Network, and the Bingham Fellows.  Larry is a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Psi Boulé, and the Ye Ole Esquire Club.

A native of Louisville, Larry is a graduate of duPont Manual High School and the University of Kentucky College of Business and Economics with a Business Administration degree and University of Louisville College of Business with a Master of Business Administration.

Larry and his wife Terry are proud parents and grandparents.

Theresa M. Feller

Vice President Finance & Operations

Theresa Feller is the Vice President Finance & Operations of Lincoln Foundation.

Ms. Feller is a native of Louisville, Kentucky where she graduated from Mercy Academy. She is also a graduate of Bellarmine College (now Bellarmine University) with both a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in accounting and a Master of Business Administration.
Ms. Feller has accounting and financial experience in both the corporate for-profit and non-profit arenas. She held financial management positions with Brown-Forman Corporation, BATUS, Inc. and Humana Inc. After nineteen years in the corporate for-profit world she moved to the non-profit sector. She held the position of CFO with two non-profit organizations: The Housing Partnership, Inc. and Kentucky Industries for the Blind, Inc. prior to joining the Lincoln Foundation.

Professionally, Ms. Feller is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants. Personally, she enjoys spending time with her family.

Roslyn M. White

Director Educational Programs

As Director Educational Programs, Ms. White is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of Lincoln Foundation’s educational programs.

Ms. White is not new to Lincoln Foundation having served as the Associate Program Officer for Student and Family Services from 2000 to 2003. Since that time, she has developed extensive expertise in the field of higher education. Ms. White served as the Associate Director of Recruitment at Murray State University for over 11 years. Most recently she served as the Director of Admissions at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. Before beginning her career in higher education, she was a 4th grade teacher for the Clarksdale Independent School District in Mississippi. Throughout her career, Roslyn has demonstrated a passion for working with youth and helping them to achieve their educational goals.

Roslyn has one son, Brian and is a member of St. Augustine Catholic Church.

Paula Campbell

Director Development

As Director Development, Ms. Campbell is responsible for leading the strategic direction of Lincoln Foundation’s fundraising, marketing, volunteer, and public relations efforts.

Prior to joining the Lincoln Foundation, Ms. Campbell was the Vice President of Advancement for Uspiritus. She also served several years as the Assistant Dean for Development at the University of Louisville College of Education and Human Development.  At UofL she raised funds in support of the University’s Signature Partnership Initiative in West Louisville and the funding of a portable dome for the Gheens Science Hall & Rauch Planetarium.

Ms. Campbell is active with her church and has served on a number of nonprofit boards including Brooklawn Child & Family Services, Kentucky Derby Festival, Leadership Louisville, and the Louisville Orchestra. She is also a member of the Junior League of Louisville and served as president in 2010-2011.

Ms. Campbell holds a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science from Indiana University and a M.A. in Management from Webster University.

Dr. A. Eugene Thomson

President of Lincoln Institute

Dr. A. E. Thomson was the first President of the Lincoln Institute. A native of Ohio, Thomson attended Oberlin College and later became a tutor there. He then became pastor of Union Church at Berea College in 1903.

After the 1904 Day Law prohibited integrated education in Kentucky, Thomson became chairman of a special committee at Berea for the establishment of a new school for black youths. He became deeply involved in fundraising for the new Lincoln Institute and solicited contributions for the school from individuals of widely varied backgrounds, from wealthy New York philanthropists to poor African-Americans in Kentucky. Thomson was ultimately named the school’s first principal in 1910.

As principal of the Lincoln Institute, Thomson made great efforts to persuade the white citizens of Shelby County that the arrival of the new all-black school would benefit, not harm, the community. Opposition to the school remained intense despite his efforts, but Thomson was successful in persuading some of the most prominent citizens of Simpsonville of the school’s value.

After Thomson retired from the Lincoln Institute in 1927, he continued to work with the new leadership of the school to ensure the continuance of the school’s Christian character.

Dr. Whitney M. Young, Sr.

President of Lincoln Institute

Whitney M. Young, Sr., was born September 26, 1897, in Midway, Kentucky, the son of Anne and Taylor Young. He was united in marriage to the former Laura E. Ray and was the father of Arnita, Whitney, Jr., and Eleanor. Whitney attended Lincoln Institute, Lincoln Ridge, Kentucky, Louisville Municipal College, and Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Young served in the United States Army during World War I. Following his service, he worked as an Engineer for the Detroit United Railway. His education career began at Lincoln Institute where he taught engineering, coached football, and became the first black president of that institution in 1935, where he remained until retirement in 1966. His entire life was dedicated to educating youth. His 39 years of service to black youth is a fitting memorial to this outstanding man.

Dr. Young was a recipient of innumerable appointments, awards, and degrees. He received a number of appointments to special committees from various U.S. Presidents. Some of these included: Citizens Committee for the Implementation of Civil Rights Law, Committee on the National Budget, Consultation Committee, and member of the Chief Justice’s Housing Commission. Other appointments included the State Library Commission, and the Commission on Adult Education. He was also President of the Kentucky Negro Education Association and a member of the Southern Association for the Accreditation of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Much of his life was devoted to involvement in civic and social organizations. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Psi Boulé, Red Cross Hospital board, and the Whitney M. Young, Jr. National Foundation.

Dr. Young passed away in 1975.

J. Mansir Tydings

President of Lincoln Foundation

An Architect by training, J. Mansir Tydings became the business manager for the Lincoln Institute in 1932. Tydings wanted not only to build buildings but also to build bridges between races. He was the business manager of the Lincoln Institute during the tenure of Whitney M. Young, Sr.

From 1947 onward his life was connected to the Lincoln Foundation. At this point, he had taken the role of executive director. The Lincoln Foundation, which was originally designed to manage the business interest of the Lincoln Institute, now had programming in the Jefferson County area. The program “Youth Speaks, Inc.” received national awards as a youth citizenship program that addressed educational opportunities for blacks.

Tydings was married to Mary Paige Gaines. They had two daughters. He held many other positions that enabled him to continue his work of building bridges between different people.

J. Mansir Tydings passed away in 1974 and is buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky.

Dr. Samuel Robinson

President Emeritus of Lincoln Foundation

Sam Robinson came to Louisville in 1960 to work for the Lincoln Institute, a school created by Berea College in 1912 in Shelby County to educate black Kentuckians. His mentor and director was Whitney Young, Sr., a Lincoln Institute graduate who had risen to become its first black president and served for almost 40 years.

Dr. Robinson jumped into civic activities shortly after he arrived. He started with the West End Community Improvement Association, which tried to stem white flight as blacks moved into West Louisville neighborhoods. One leadership position led to another, as his reputation for hard work and his enthusiasm for community projects became known.

He served on the boards of Bellarmine University, PNC Bank, the National Board of the Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association, and Visitors of the Indiana University School of Education. He also serves on the board of the Muhammed Ali Center and the Africian-American Heritage Center. He is a co-founder of the Louisville Chapter of One Hundred Black Men and the Kentucky Minority AIDS Council.

Dr. Robinson was very active in the civil rights movement in the 1960s and ‘70s, and when the Jefferson County Public Schools were ordered desegregated, he was co-chairman of the council that helped map out the plan.

Through such activities, he met a lot of people, and he parlayed his contacts into a career as a noted fundraiser. In 1994, for example, the James Graham Brown Foundation offered his Lincoln Foundation a challenge grant of $500,000 for its Whitney M. Young Scholars Program®.

The grant called for Dr. Robinson’s group to raise $500,000 in matching money in a little over a year. Robinson did it in less than six months. The Scholars Program picks up students in the seventh grade and guides them through high school with a promise of a college scholarship if they maintain grades. He considers the program to be his signature achievement.

Eleanor Stokes, sister of the late Rev. Vernon Robertson – with whom Dr. Robinson worked on Montessori schools for many years – told The Courier-Journal in 2001 that the two men were very much alike. “They both know a lot of people in the community and they had the kind of personality that draws people to them,” she said.

Sam Robinson was one of nine children, born in 1935 in Memphis, Tennessee . He graduated from Tennessee State University in 1956, with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. He served two years in the Army, before moving to Louisville. He started out teaching biology and math at the Lincoln Institute, then ultimately became Dean of Education and Administrative Assistant to the President.

The state took over funding of the Institute in the 1940s and, in 1967, changed the school’s mission from educating black students to teaching gifted, but disadvantaged students. Dr. Robinson became Principal. Although the state closed the school in 1970, one class was able to graduate. Dr. Robinson likes to note that all 42 of the graduates had four-year scholarships to colleges, including Harvard and Yale.

Dr. Robinson was Principal at Louisville ‘s Shawnee High School for a few years, then went to Indiana University to earn a Doctorate in Education. When he returned to Louisville in 1974, he became Executive Director of the Lincoln Foundation. He later became its President in 1991. The Foundation was established in 1910 to start and support the Institute, and it later supported minority scholarships in general.

Dr. Robinson retired as President in 2000, though he continued to work with Montessori schools. He also took a job as Executive-in-Residence at Bellarmine University, to help with recruitment of minority students. He has received over 100 honors throughout his career, including induction into the National African American Hall of Fame. Dr. Robinson has received Honorary Doctorates from Northern Kentucky and Bellarmine Universities. In 1997, Louisville Magazine named him one of Louisville ‘s 50 most influential citizens.

In 2001, Louisville Mayor David Armstrong presented
Dr. Robinson with the city’s second Dream Award, which recognizes someone who reflects the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Robinson is married to the former Hugh Ella Walker, a retired Jefferson County Public School teacher. They have two daughters and six grandchildren.