Provost Lincoln’s Look Back Offers a Glimpse of What’s Next

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – April 14, 2011 – While a career spent straddling two of the greatest life sciences – biology and higher education – could hardly be summed in a single lecture, much-loved Provost, Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Biology Patricia Lincoln, will present the final Last Lecture of the academic year on Monday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Watson Theater.

In a talk titled, “Getting Fit: The Evolutionary Path Ahead for Humans,” Lincoln will draw on expertise in both fields to answer one of nature’s most fundamental questions.  “What’s next?” 

How does, for example, Lincoln’s understanding of the forces of evolutionary change inform her projections about the future of humans?  Have her 28 years at Coker given her a peek at the next generation?  These are among the questions Lincoln will address during her presentation.

“With a poet’s heart and a scientist’s curiosity, Pat has taught our students, inspired our faculty, and become one of my dear friends,” said Coker College President Robert Wyatt.  “Others have known her longer, but I daresay few will miss her talent, energy and passion for Coker more than I will.  She is a treasure.”

Lincoln, who will retire at the end of June, joined the Coker College faculty in 1983.  She holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kalamazoo College in Michigan.

She has taught a wide variety of courses, ranging from invertebrate and vertebrate biology to the biology of plants.  Her effectiveness in the classroom has been recognized by Coker students who selected her Master Professor, by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education who named her a Distinguished Professor, and by the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, which honored her with its prestigious Excellence in Teaching Award.

In service to her discipline, she has been a long-time appointee to the Sigma Xi Grants in Aid of Research Committee and a reviewer of grant proposals for the National Science Foundation.

Among numerous roles at Coker, she has served as chair of the faculty senate and on Coker’s board of trustees.  She also directed much of the preparation and operation of Coker’s Quality Enhancement Plan.  More recently, Lincoln led in the development of the institution’s new strategic plan, which will inform Coker’s direction through 2015.

The Last Lecture Series, established by President Wyatt earlier this year to celebrate academic excellence and individual achievements of retiring Coker faculty, “invites students of all ages to pay tribute to excellence and step into stories that will inspire greater individual and shared successes than we have yet imagined.”

Lincoln’s lecture is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception in the Stein Gallery. 

This event is scheduled in conjunction with the College’s Celebration of Academics, April 18-20.  For more information about the Celebration of Academics visit,


Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

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