Each fall, an outstanding senior from each of the four-year degree-granting institutions of higher learning in Illinois is awarded the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award and thereby becomes a Student Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. In the spirit of Lincoln, Student Laureates are honored for their leadership and service in the pursuit of the betterment of humanity and for overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.

Proceeds from the Annual Convocation Celebration are used toward the Student Laureate Program.

Since the program’s inception in 1975, over 2,000 students have been so honored.

To visit the 2017 Student Laureate
Convocation Galleries Click Here.

"To honor individuals whose contributions to the betterment of humanity have been accomplished in or on behalf of the State of Illinois, or whose achievements have brought honor to the State because of their identity with it, whether by birth or residence, or by their dedication to those principles of democracy and humanity as exemplified by the great Illinoisan whose name we bear..."





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Robert Henry Michel, of Washington, D.C., formerly of Peoria, died early Friday morning, February 17, 2017, at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va.

Michel was born in Peoria, IL, on March 2, 1923, to Charles H. and Anna (Baer) Michel. He married Corinne Woodruff on December 26, 1948.

Michel graduated from @PeoriaHighSchool, the president of his class, and attended one semester at @BradleyUniversity in Peoria, prior to joining the Army in World War II. Michel received two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, and four battle stars.
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Edward Coles (December 15, 1786 – July 7, 1868) was a planter and politician, elected as the second Governor of Illinois (1822 to 1826). From an old Virginia family, as a young man, Coles was a neighbor and associate of presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, as well as secretary to President James Madison (1810 to 1815). #LAofIL First 50 Honorees ... See MoreSee Less

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Why We Are Here

Illinoisans make outstanding contributions to their local, national, and global communities. The Lincoln Academy of Illinois, a not-for-profit and nonpartisan organization, recognizes and honors these notable citizens to encourage an appreciation of Illinois’ rich history, and advance the precepts of exemplary citizenship. The Academy is governed by a Board of Regents and a membership of General Trustees.

What We Do

Each spring, at a ceremony that is held in different locations in the state, Illinoisans with notable achievements are inducted as Laureates into the Order of Lincoln, which is the state’s highest honor. Each fall, in the Old State Capitol, Student Laureates are inducted into the Order of Lincoln. In this way we recognize and honor greatness and support students. Students also receive the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Certificate and monetary grant. The incumbent Governor of Illinois serves as President of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois, which administers the Order of Lincoln.

How We Do It

Since its inception in 1964, hundreds of outstanding Illinoisans have been honored. Their personal stories are all unique and inspiring, and some are even surprising. Individual and corporate Academy Members and Sponsors make it possible for The Lincoln Academy of Illinois to recognize and honor recipients. We salute their valuable contributions to society.