Old Ned

Arizona Historymakers™

Arizona Historical Society

Joan Rechlin Lincoln

1927 - 2016

Honored as Historymaker 2014

Philanthropist and Civic Leader

Oral History Transcript:

Joan R. Lincoln and David C. Lincoln, Paradise Valleyare philanthropists, volunteers, and advocates for education and healthcare. David is a Caltech-trained aerospace engineer and inventor who successfully invested in mining, technology, and real estate. Joan is a graduate of Scripps College in Claremont.

David C. Lincoln came to Arizona from Ohio in 1931 with his parents,  John Cromwell and Helen C. Lincoln, and other family members. His mother suffered from tuberculosis, and the family quickly devoted themselves to community service and philanthropy in the Sunnyslope area of Phoenix. Today, in the Phoenix area, two hospitals, a YMCA, and the Center for Applied Ethics at Arizona State University (among other endeavors)bear the distinguished Lincoln family name.

David is known as a business mogul and venture capitalist in the business community. A dedicated volunteer, he has served a combined total of more than 118 years of service on boards of directors of the John C. Lincoln Health Network. He also has served for decades on the board of trustees of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, one of the highest-ranked post-graduate institutions in the world.

Joan served for a decade on the Town Council of Paradise Valley; first as councilmember and then as mayorShe is an accomplished writer and artist, and was selected to design the fountains at the entrance to the Paradise Valley Town Hall. Joan has dedicated so much time and effort to the ASU Art Museum’s Ceramics Research Center that she was named by the Herberger College of Fine arts as its 2005 Distinguished Alumna. Another important area of volunteer service to Joan is recording books for the Arizona State Braille and Talking Book Library, where she has narrated nearly 40 books since 1973.

David and Joan Lincoln have established a broad base for their community involvement and philanthropy. In addition to their donations to health care and the arts, they have made significant donations to institutions of higher learning, both in Arizona and California. Their donations established the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics at Arizona State University and the Lincoln Center for Ethics at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Their donation to the Claremont Colleges' School of Theology is the largest in the Claremont Colleges' history. The School of Theology is being renamed Claremont Lincoln University, and will provide a multi-faith education. David said in a statement, "We believe the outcome of this kind of education will be tolerance and respect among religions."

David believes in the Golden Rule, “I felt for some time that good ethics is good business. And if people behave ethically things work better. Everybody’s better off. I say the Golden Rule is the ethics in the religious environment. Ethics is the rule in the secular environment. But to me they’re both pretty much the same thing. And I believe that if we could get people that practice religions working together, understanding each other and cooperating instead of fighting, then everybody would be better off.”