Our History

Lincoln College was founded by the Methodist Conference in 1952 after many years of planning and fundraising. The College is named after Lincoln College Oxford, considered by some the seat and origin of Methodism and one of the oldest Colleges at Oxford.

The first Master of Lincoln College Adelaide was the Reverend Frank Hambly BA, BD (1952-1972) followed by Rev John Whitehead (1972-1984). Shedding the title 'Master' the first Principal was Dr Geoffrey Scott (1984-1994), followed by Dr Peter Gunn (1996-2004), Mr Ken Webb (2004-2007), and Lincoln's first female Principal Ms Rebecca Pannell (2007-2013). 

The College has grown steadily in numbers over the years. An initial intake of approximately 23 residents the College is now home to 235 residents.  From its first year Lincoln has been home to university students from across Australia as well as Malaysia, and we continue to enjoy a multicultural community of inclusion.  While initially a College only for young men Lincoln opened its doors to young women in 1973, and we have been proud to be part of positive social change and egalitarianism. 

History of our Motto and Crest 

In 1953, a year after the opening of the College, the Council adopted as the College motto one strongly recommended by the Master, the Rev. Dr Frank Hambly.  It was Per Litteras ad Fidem (through Learning to Faith).

The College Council invited College members to submit designs for a coat of arms. Several designs were submitted. The chosen design was devised by John Burchmore, later to become President of the College Club and drawn by Nicholas Feodoroff.  With some modifications suggested by the College of Arms it was accepted and officially granted by the College. 

The design of the coat-of-arms embodies, in heraldic terms, both the origins and the aims of the College. The shield is surmounted by a gold stag, taken from the Arms of Lincoln College, Oxford. It’s quarters comprise:
  • Left upper: The symbol of faith; a crimson cross on a silver background from the Arms of the Methodist Church in Australia.
  • Right upper: Three argent scallops on crimson, representing the Trinity and baptism, taken from John Wesley’s crest.
  • Left lower: Argent Southern Cross on azure as a symbol of Australia.
  • Right lower: An open book on argent and gold, representing learning and taken from the arms of the University of Adelaide