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.

2019 Lincoln Academy Laureates

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"Thank you to our 2019 Laureate Convocation Sponsors!"

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Friends of Laureate Sergeant Robert James Miller.
Major General John Borling, Chancellor Tom Johnson,
Springfield 2012

Robert Lane,
Rock Island 2013

Governor Pat Quinn
and Senator Hillary Clinton,
Chicago 2014

Chicago 2014

Springfield 2015

Douglas Oberhelman
for Laureate Robert Gilmore,
Peoria 2016

Procession, Peoria 2016

Shirley Madigan, Ethel Holladay, Jane Denes, Gayl Pyatt

Frank Clark, Chicago 2017

Emeritus Member Peter Alexander
and Regent Eric Trimble

Click a photo to learn
more about these
previous Laureates

Edward L. McMillan

Nancy Goodman Brinker

Chad Pregracke

Paul Findley Obituary

Paul Findley, Class of 1980 Lincoln Laureate, an 11-term Republican congressman from Illinois who was known for supporting civil rights and opposing the Vietnam War, died Aug. 9 at a hospital in Jacksonville, Ill. He was 98.

Mr. Findley was the publisher of a small-town weekly newspaper when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1960. Being a native of the Land of Lincoln, he often invoked Lincoln in his campaign rallies and could quote his speeches from memory.

During his 22 years in Congress, Mr. Findley served on the Agriculture Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee, while cultivating an image as something of a maverick. He was a “conservative Republican” when he first ran for Congress, but he consistently supported civil rights legislation proposed by Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s. In 1965, Mr. Findley appointed the first African American page in the House of Representatives.

Mr. Findley was a Navy veteran of World War II, an author of the War Powers Act, and pushed for federal farm subsidies, introduced a resolution to begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Spiro Agnew, who later resigned amid a corruption scandal.

In 1974, Mr. Findley helped obtain the release of a schoolteacher from his district who had been arrested in South Yemen and charged with being a spy. In his travels, Mr. Findley visited refugee camps and reached out to Arafat and other Arab leaders. At the time, Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization was designated a terrorist group by the U.S. government. Mr. Findley did not support recognition of the PLO, but he said in 1980 that “it makes sense for us to talk to the PLO, to communicate with them and try to influence their behavior. It would reduce tension and conflict in that area. We can’t wish the Palestinians away — they’re a fact.”

TV Air Dates of 2018 Rockford Convocation

Additional stations/dates to come:
WTTW-Chicago, WEIU-Charleston, and WILL-Urbana will be setting air dates in the near future.
(The program previously aired on WSIU-Carbondale and WUSI-Olney Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m.)

2020 LAUREATE CONVOCATION

Saturday, April 18, 2020 in Normal on the campus of Illinois State University – Civic Committee Chairs Mrs. Marlene & President Larry Dietz

Clark Pritzker

Frank Clark, Chancellor, and The Honorable Jay Robert “J.B.” Pritzker, President of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois

The Lincoln Academy of Illinois

MISSION STATEMENT

To honor individuals whose outstanding contributions to the betterment of mankind 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. These individuals, reflective of the diverse populace of the State of Illinois, are named Laureates of the Academy and receive the “Order of Lincoln,” the State of Illinois’ highest award, at an annual Convocation.

To honor one outstanding senior from each of the four year not-for-profit degree granting institutions and one outstanding senior from among all of the community college students who, in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, demonstrated leadership and service in his or her campus or community and excellence in curricular and co-curricular programs, to be named Student Laureates and receive the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award and the Lincoln Medallion.

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CONGRATS to Aurora University's Khadeil Ergas
We asked Khadeil to share his thoughts on Lincon's Leadership Legacy and these were his beautifully written words. Please LIKE to let Khadeil know how meaningful this is to you and find out more about our student Laureates on our website: thelincolnacademyofillinois.org

"Lincoln’s leadership legacy provides lessons that can be applied across the leadership spectrum, whether it be in service to a local community or worldwide. Lincoln led a civic-minded life based on the standard that his decisions would not be centered on what he wanted or needed but rather what those around him wanted or needed. Through Lincoln, we’ve also learned that wanting the best for our communities includes wanting the best for people whose beliefs may differ from our own. With this mindset, Lincoln established himself as a leader who would do for those in need with nothing expected in return.

Not everyone is equipped to be the sort of leader that Lincoln embodied, as it requires a great deal of gratitude and determination, along with a mindset dedicated to the needs of others. I believe that community and service grow from within a person and can depict the type of person they are or are striving to become. Throughout my life, I’ve always believed in being an activist in the community by doing selfless acts, not only because it helped me grow personally but also because I was able to experience the growth of others around me.

As the 2019 Lincoln Laureate of Aurora University, I will strive to follow Lincoln’s example by serving my community by putting their needs before my own. I will value the opinions, beliefs, and experiences of others, particularly those that differ from mine, just as I value my own. As a leader, I strive to be a role model that individuals can look up to and follow in my footsteps to improve the community."
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CONGRATS to Aurora Universitys Khadeil Ergas
We asked Khadeil to share his thoughts on Lincons Leadership Legacy and these were his beautifully written words. Please LIKE to let Khadeil know how meaningful this is to you and find out more about our student Laureates on our website: thelincolnacademyofillinois.org

Lincoln’s leadership legacy provides lessons that can be applied across the leadership spectrum, whether it be in service to a local community or worldwide. Lincoln led a civic-minded life based on the standard that his decisions would not be centered on what he wanted or needed but rather what those around him wanted or needed. Through Lincoln, we’ve also learned that wanting the best for our communities includes wanting the best for people whose beliefs may differ from our own.  With this mindset, Lincoln established himself as a leader who would do for those in need with nothing expected in return. 

Not everyone is equipped to be the sort of leader that Lincoln embodied, as it requires a great deal of gratitude and determination, along with a mindset dedicated to the needs of others. I believe that community and service grow from within a person and can depict the type of person they are or are striving to become. Throughout my life, I’ve always believed in being an activist in the community by doing selfless acts, not only because it helped me grow personally but also because I was able to experience the growth of others around me. 

As the 2019 Lincoln Laureate of Aurora University, I will strive to follow Lincoln’s example by serving my community by putting their needs before my own. I will value the opinions, beliefs, and experiences of others, particularly those that differ from mine, just as I value my own. As a leader, I strive to be a role model that individuals can look up to and follow in my footsteps to improve the community.Image attachment

MEET the MEMBER, Regent Eric Trimble as part of our New Chapter Series!

Mr. Trimble speaks about his life motto and treasuring life just as well as death:

I am a funeral director who has provided death-care for our community for many years.

Abraham Lincoln’s funeral was a touchstone that set the standard for funeral rituals ever since. This standard was evident with John F. Kennedy’s funeral and the many “State Funerals” which have been held to honor our national leaders. This standard has also been the benchmark for most of the families we have served as they plan their loved one’s funeral.

As changing preferences evolve in many of our social rituals, I like to remember the words of William E. Gladstone, British Prime Minister in the 19th Century:

“Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land, and their loyalty to high ideals.”

Learn more on our NEW CHAPTER series here at our website:
thelincolnacademyofillinois.org/new-chapters/
... See MoreSee Less

MEET the MEMBER, Regent Eric Trimble as part of our New Chapter Series!

Mr. Trimble speaks about his life motto and treasuring life just as well as death:

I am a funeral director who has provided death-care for our community for many years.

Abraham Lincoln’s funeral was a touchstone that set the standard for funeral rituals ever since. This standard was evident with John F. Kennedy’s funeral and the many “State Funerals” which have been held to honor our national leaders. This standard has also been the benchmark for most of the families we have served as they plan their loved one’s funeral.

As changing preferences evolve in many of our social rituals, I like to remember the words of William E. Gladstone, British Prime Minister in the 19th Century:

“Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land, and their loyalty to high ideals.”

Learn more on our NEW CHAPTER series here at our website:
https://thelincolnacademyofillinois.org/new-chapters/

#Repost from @collegeofdupage
・・・
Congrats to COD student Amna Razi on being named a 2019 Student Laureate by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois (@LAofIL). She is receiving the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award during the annual Student Laureate Convocation today in Springfield.

Amna earned the honor for demonstrating outstanding leadership qualities, service to the College community and academic success.

Keep up the great work, Amna! 👏
... See MoreSee Less

#Repost from @collegeofdupage
・・・
Congrats to COD student Amna Razi on being named a 2019 Student Laureate by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois (@LAofIL). She is receiving the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award during the annual Student Laureate Convocation today in Springfield.

Amna earned the honor for demonstrating outstanding leadership qualities, service to the College community and academic success.

Keep up the great work, Amna! 👏

Comment on Facebook

Congratulations, Amna! We’re very proud of your accomplishments.

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The Order of Lincoln honors 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. It is the state’s highest award for professional achievement and public service.

Funds raised at the Academy’s Order of Lincoln Convocation help provide the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement awards and the ‘Lincoln Medallion’ which will be presented by the Academy’s President to each of 57 Student Laureates at a separate ceremony held in Springfield later this year.

Thus, the Lincoln Academy honors the Great Citizens of Today and Celebrates the Great Citizens of Tomorrow — knowing that now, as always, our state and nation need what Vachel Lindsay called ‘Lincoln-hearted’ men and women.

Mr. Lincoln would be proud.