2024 LINCOLN LAUREATES ANNOUNCED

Evelyn Brandt Thomas

Evelyn Brandt Thomas

Lewis Collens_blkbkgd

Lewis Collens

Hon. Rita B. Garman (ret.)

Hon. Rita B. Garman (ret.)

Alison Krauss

Alison Krauss

Lester H. McKeever, Jr_2

Lester H. McKeever, Jr.

Untitled design (20)

Raul I. Raymundo

James H. Thome

James H. Thome

2024 LINCOLN LAUREATES ANNOUNCED

Evelyn Brandt Thomas

Evelyn Brandt Thomas

Lewis Collens_blkbkgd

Lewis Collens

Hon. Rita B. Garman (ret.)

Hon. Rita B. Garman (ret.)

Alison Krauss

Alison Krauss

Lester H. McKeever, Jr_2

Lester H. McKeever, Jr.

Untitled design (20)

Raul I. Raymundo

James H. Thome

James H. Thome

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE

A LINCOLN LAUREATE

Becoming a Lincoln Laureate is a prestigious honor conferred by The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. It celebrates outstanding individuals across diverse domains. Named in homage to Abraham Lincoln, the award acknowledges remarkable contributions made by individuals within the state, upholding the legacy of excellence and service.

OUR IMPACT

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STUDENT LAUREATES

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LINCOLN LAUREATES

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HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
WHAT IS THE

ORDER OF LINCOLN?

The Order of Lincoln was established in 1964 by Proclamation of Illinois Governor Otto Kerner, Jr., to honor individuals whose contributions to the betterment of humanity have been accomplished in Illinois, or, whose achievements have brought honor to the state because of their identity with it, whether by birth or residence, or whose dedication to the principles of public service inspire all Illinoisans to respond to what Lincoln called 'the better angels of our nature'.

Each honoree receives a warrant signed by the Governor and bearing the Great Seal of the State of Illinois, certifying his or her investiture as a Laureate of the Order of Lincoln.

 

 

To ensure that no political connotation should surround the award, an independent, non-partisan entity was established to administer the program. Thus, the Order of Lincoln and the Lincoln Academy (based respectively upon the French Legion of Honor and the French Academy) of Illinois were established, with Michael Butler, the Academy's first chancellor, as its primary architect.

In 1989, as part of the Academy's twenty-fifth anniversary, Governor James R. Thompson declared the Order of Lincoln to be 'the state's highest award' and every Illinois Governor since then has so described it.

WHAT IS THE

ORDER OF LINCOLN?

The Order of Lincoln was established in 1964 by Proclamation of Illinois Governor Otto Kerner, Jr., to honor individuals whose contributions to the betterment of humanity have been accomplished in Illinois, or, whose achievements have brought honor to the state because of their identity with it, whether by birth or residence, or whose dedication to the principles of public service inspire all Illinoisans to respond to what Lincoln called 'the better angels of our nature'.

To ensure that no political connotation should surround the award, an independent, non-partisan entity was established to administer the program. Thus, the Order of Lincoln and the Lincoln Academy (based respectively upon the French Legion of Honor and the French Academy) were established, with Michael Butler, the Academy's first chancellor, as its primary architect.

In 1989, as part of the Academy's twenty-fifth anniversary, Governor James R. Thompson declared the Order of Lincoln to be 'the state's highest award' and every Illinois Governor since then has so described it.

Each honoree receives a warrant signed by the Governor and bearing the Great Seal of the State of Illinois, certifying his or her investiture as a Laureate of the Order of Lincoln.

The insignia of the Order of Lincoln is a variant of the Maltese cross (with ten points rather than eight) - a white-enameled, red-bordered Maltese asterisk. The obverse displays the Arms of the State of Illinois encircled by the inscription 'Palmam Qui Meruit, Ferat' ('Let him who merits bear the palm' - words from Horatio Viscount Nelson). The center is supported by cross pieces of perforated gold, encircled by leaves of violet. The reverse central disc features the likeness of President Lincoln in gold and on a gold ground, encircled by the inscription 'The Lincoln Academy MCMLXV'. The cross is suspended by an oval circlet of green and gold enameled oak leaves and is suspended from a ribbon in the colors of the state's symbols: red for the state bird, the cardinal; violet for the state flower; and green for the state tree, the oak.

OUR HISTORY

1964

The Lincoln Academy is founded by proclamation of the Governor of Illinois.

1965

The first Convocation and Investiture of Lincoln Laureates is held on Lincoln's birthday at the Chicago Historical Society. The Governor's Reception and the Lincoln Ball held immediately following.

1975

The mission of the Lincoln Academy is expanded with the formation of the Student Laureate Program, presenting the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement award to outstanding seniors throughout the state of Illinois.

1981

The salaried position of Executive Director is instituted.  Lincoln Academy Regent Judith Bartholf begins as the first to hold the position.

1992

The Hall of Fame of Historic Illinoisans established by Governor Jim Edgar to recognize early contributions to our state's heritage prior to the founding of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.

2009

A special Bicentennial Convocation held to observe the 200th anniversary of the birth of Lincoln.  Thirty distinguished Lincoln scholars, collectors, artists and curators were honored.

2010

Lincoln Academy Trustee Julie Kellner becomes Executive Director.

2015

Lincoln Academy celebrates the 50th Convocation and Investiture of Lincoln Laureates at The Field Museum in Chicago.

2021

Lincoln Academy names Leanne Barnhart as Executive Director.

Laureate Michael Krzyzewski ("Coach K")

Michael Krzyzewski ("Coach K") was the head men's basketball coach at Duke University. Under his leadership the Blue Devils have won 13 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Championships, qualified for 11 NCAA Final Fours, and won four National Championships. He also coached the United States Men's Basketball team to gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.

In 2006, he opened the Emily Krzyzewski Center in honor of his late mother - where he serves as Chair of the Board. In addition to his work with the Emily Krzyzewski Center, he and his wife, Mickie, also have been active in fundraising and support of the Duke Children's Hospital, the Children's Miracle Network, and the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

Laureate Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jacqueline "Jackie" Joyner-Kersee is ranked among the all-time greatest athletes in the women's heptathlon as well as in the women's long jump. She won three gold, one silver, and two bronze Olympic medals, in those four different events. She was voted the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th century. Jacqueline Joyner was born in East St. Louis, Illinois.

Joyner-Kersee established the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, which provides youth, adults, and families with the resources to improve their quality of life with special attention directed to East St. Louis, Illinois.

"It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret."
- Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Laureate Bernard Shaw

Bernard Shaw was from Chicago and attended the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a broadcast journalist he worked for CBS and ABC, but was most widely known for his work at CNN where he was Principal Anchor starting in 1980. While at CNN he hosted a Presidential debate with G.H.W. Bush and Dukakis. He also reported live from the Al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad during the 1991 Gulf War while cruise missiles flew by outside his room.

Laureate Studs Terkel

Louis "Studs" Terkel was an American author, historian, actor, and broadcaster. He received the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1985 for The Good War, and is best remembered for his oral histories of common Americans, and for hosting a long-running radio show in Chicago where he lived the majority of his life.

"I always love to quote Albert Einstein because nobody dares contradict him."
- Studs Terkel

Laureate Michael Krzyzewski ("Coach K")

Michael Krzyzewski ("Coach K") was the head men's basketball coach at Duke University. Under his leadership the Blue Devils have won 13 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Championships, qualified for 11 NCAA Final Fours, and won four National Championships. He also coached the United States Men's Basketball team to gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.

In 2006, he opened the Emily Krzyzewski Center in honor of his late mother - where he serves as Chair of the Board. In addition to his work with the Emily Krzyzewski Center, he and his wife, Mickie, also have been active in fundraising and support of the Duke Children's Hospital, the Children's Miracle Network, and the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

Laureate Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jacqueline "Jackie" Joyner-Kersee is ranked among the all-time greatest athletes in the women's heptathlon as well as in the women's long jump. She won three gold, one silver, and two bronze Olympic medals, in those four different events. She was voted the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th century. Jacqueline Joyner was born in East St. Louis, Illinois.

Joyner-Kersee established the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, which provides youth, adults, and families with the resources to improve their quality of life with special attention directed to East St. Louis, Illinois.

"It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret."
- Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Laureate Bernard Shaw

Bernard Shaw was from Chicago and attended the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a broadcast journalist he worked for CBS and ABC, but was most widely known for his work at CNN where he was Principal Anchor starting in 1980. While at CNN he hosted a Presidential debate with G.H.W. Bush and Dukakis. He also reported live from the Al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad during the 1991 Gulf War while cruise missiles flew by outside his room.

Laureate Studs Terkel

Louis "Studs" Terkel was an American author, historian, actor, and broadcaster. He received the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1985 for The Good War, and is best remembered for his oral histories of common Americans, and for hosting a long-running radio show in Chicago where he lived the majority of his life.

"I always love to quote Albert Einstein because nobody dares contradict him."
- Studs Terkel

WHEN IS THE

60TH CONVOCATION & INVESTITURE OF LINCOLN LAUREATES?

Saturday, April 13, 2024
Chicago, Illinois

To learn about the laureates being honored, please click the Press Release button below.

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please click the button below.

2024 SPONSORS

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Ariel Investments

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The Crown Family

Dr. Vera and Frank Clark

Michelle Collins

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Steans Family Foundation

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2024 SPONSORS

3

Ariel Investments

9
8

The Crown Family

Dr. Vera and Frank Clark

Michelle Collins

7
1
5
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10
4
2

Steans Family Foundation

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