Convocation & Investiture of Laureates, 2009

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

Springfield, Illinois


Jean H. Baker
Jean H. Baker redefined scholarship on Abraham Lincoln’s wife with her 1987 Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography, and she has illumined the Lincolns’ personal lives in studies of their marriage and religious beliefs. A leading authority on nineteenth-century political culture and an accomplished essayist whose work has appeared in scholarly and popular venues, Baker is a frequent commentator for radio and television. She is Harwood-Bennett Professor of History at Goucher College.

Gabor Boritt
Born in Soviet-dominated Budapest, Hungary, during World War II, Gabor Boritt’s personal story has shaped his inspired writing on Abraham Lincoln in such books as Abraham Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream (1978) and The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech That Nobody Knows (2006). At Gettysburg College, where he is Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies, Boritt founded the Civil War Institute and serves as its Director. Boritt was a 2008 recipient of the prestigious National Humanities Medal.

Michael Burlingame
In the past fifteen years Michael Burlingame (Sadowski Professor Emeritus of History, Connecticut College) has published a dozen books on Abraham Lincoln and his contemporary observers as a prelude to his magisterial work, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (2008). The long-awaited two-volume biography has garnered praise from Lincoln scholars, and Time magazine declared that it “comes as close to being the definitive biography as anything the world has seen in decades.”

Richard Carwardine
Welsh-born Richard Carwardine produced significant studies of revivalism and the relationship between politics and evangelical religion before turning to the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln. His 2003 political biography, Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power, won the 2004 Lincoln Prize and contributed to his election to the British Academy for the humanities and social sciences. Carwardine is chair of “The Global Lincoln,” an international conference on Lincoln’s legacy that will convene at Oxford University in July 2009. Carwardine is Rhodes Professor of American History and Fellow of St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University.

Julie Cellini
An enthusiastic and tireless advocate for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Julie Cellini labored for over two decades gathering support for the project, which came to fruition with the opening of the library in 2004 and the museum in 2005. Cellini is Secretary of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, a member of the national Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, and Chair since 1985 of the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

Cullom Davis
From 1988 to 2000 Cullom Davis, as Director and Senior Editor of the Lincoln Legal Papers, organized and administered the archival research and annotation of the comprehensive record of Abraham Lincoln’s law practice. Published on CD-ROM as The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: The Complete Documentary Edition (2000), the massive digital archive includes 5,100 cases and 210,000 pages of searchable documents. Hailed as a prototype for modern documentary editing, the Law Practice has transformed historians’ understanding of Lincoln’s evolution as a lawyer. Davis is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Eric Foner
A prolific author whose Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party Before the Civil War (1970) was the first of two dozen important books, Eric Foner has devoted his career to interpreting Abraham Lincoln’s life and times in studies of the early Republican party, emancipation, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. He lectures widely, has served as co-curator of prize-wining exhibits, and teaches at Columbia University where he is DeWitt Clinton Professor of History.

Allen C. Guelzo
An insightful student of American religious history, Allen C. Guelzo’s nuanced account of Lincoln’s intellectual life—Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President—won the Lincoln Prize in 2000. Guelzo was awarded a second Lincoln Prize for Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (2004). A frequent contributor to both scholarly and popular publications, Guelzo teaches at Gettysburg College where he is Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and Director of Civil War Era Studies.

Harold Holzer
Harold Holzer is a Lincoln Prize winner for Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President (2004) and author or editor of thirty-one books and hundreds of articles on Abraham Lincoln and Civil War-era politics. A frequent lecturer and television commentator, Holzer is co-chair of the national Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Holzer was a 2008 recipient of the prestigious National Humanities Medal.

Charles M. Hubbard
From his position as Professor of History and Lincoln Historian at Lincoln Memorial University, Charles M. Hubbard served as managing editor of the Lincoln Herald and wrote Lincoln and His Contemporaries (1999) and Lincoln Reshapes the Presidency (2003). He developed a traveling exhibit on Lincoln’s legacy in Tennessee and, while on a recent Fulbright Fellowship to Southeast Asia, created “Lincoln Corners” for libraries, which feature publications on American history and culture.

Ron Keller
Ron Keller is Professor of History at Lincoln College, Curator of the Lincoln College Museum, and a self-described “Lincoln ambassador” to museums, classrooms, and just “regular folks.” A frequent lecturer on Lincoln’s life, Keller works tirelessly to extend Lincoln’s legacy to new audiences, most recently through a Library of Congress American Memory project for which he is preparing curriculum for high school and college students.

Philip B. Kunhardt and Peter W. Kunhardt
Philip B. Kunhardt III and Peter W. Kunhardt are the fourth generation of the Kunhardt family to serve as keepers of the Lincoln printed image. Their expert knowledge of the photographic and iconographic representations of historical figures, notably Lincoln, has formed the basis of acclaimed television documentaries and respected printed works, including a pictorial biography of the sixteenth president. The Kunhardts are releasing a 2009 Lincoln documentary to mark his bicentennial year.

John McClarey
John McClarey carved his first figure of Abraham Lincoln in a bar of soap when he was eight years old, and Lincoln has been a favorite subject for the Decatur, Illinois, sculptor ever since. The former high school history teacher has crafted numerous bronze sculptures of Lincoln, including the heroic-sized A Greater Task, which stands across from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. His other works are found across central Illinois and around the world, including Moscow, Russia.

Edna Greene Medford
Edna Greene Medford’s contribution to The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views (2006) placed African Americans at the center of the history of the political and social impact of Lincoln’s declaration. Medford has published more than a dozen articles and book chapters on African Americans in the Civil War. She lectures widely on Lincoln and emancipation, and served as a history consultant on the planning team that designed the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. She is Associate Professor of History at Howard University.

LeRoy Neiman
For six decades LeRoy Neiman’s brilliantly colored canvasses, serigraphs, and sketches have captured the excitement of sporting events, the energy of celebrities and, in his 1968 portrait of Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president’s enigmatic appeal. Like its creator, that portrait, which is based on the image of Lincoln made for the five-dollar bill, is considered a modern classic. Neiman’s Lincoln is part of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library’s collection.

Don Pollack
His landscape paintings have been described as “hauntingly lyrical and conceptually challenging,” but Don Pollack calls his recent series of works—The Lincoln Project—a “conversation” informed by history, memory, landscape, photography, and the reimagining of traditional art styles. The artist is an adjunct faculty member at The Illinois Institute of Art (since 1986) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (since 2005). His work is exhibited in many North American galleries.

Robert Provost Jr.
The founder of two Lincoln Centers in Tirana, Albania, Robert Provost Jr. has carried Abraham Lincoln’s message of equal opportunity for all to emerging democracies in central Europe. Since 1997 the nonprofit Lincoln Centers (one in the home of former dictator Enver Hoxha), have provided training in languages (especially English) and technology to more than 25,000 Albanians.

Bob Rogers
Bob Rogers is the creative genius who set a new standard for history museums with his innovative designs for the immersive exhibit galleries and state-of-the-art theaters at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. Using the latest technology, including his own invention—Holovision—to create the interactive apparitions in the show “Ghosts of the Library,” Rogers married historical fact to modern sensibilities, creating one of the most successful history museums in the world.

Thomas F. Schwartz
As Curator of the Henry Horner Lincoln Collection (1985–1993), Illinois State Historian (since 1993), editor of the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (1988–2002, and now senior editor), and longtime Secretary of the Abraham Lincoln Association, Thomas F. Schwartz has played an important role in furthering research on Abraham Lincoln. A Lincoln scholar in his own right with more than 150 articles to his credit, Schwartz has collaborated on major exhibits of Lincolniana—The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America at the Huntington Library and Chicago Historical Society (he co-authored the accompanying exhibit catalog) and Picturing Lincoln: The Changing Image of America’s Sixteenth President at the Northern Indiana Center for History. Schwartz was chief historian for the content and design of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.

Jack Smith
A Lincolniana collector specializing in the Lincoln image, Indiana businessman Jack Smith spent more than forty years assembling what has been called “one of the best and most comprehensive collections of Lincoln iconography in existence.” Smith’s collection, which was the inspiration for the Northern Indiana Center for History’s exhibition Picturing Lincoln: The Changing Image of the Sixteenth President, was acquired by the Indiana Historical Society in 2003.

Rhoda and Lowell Sneller
For Rhoda and Lowell Sneller, founders of the web-based resource Abraham Lincoln On Line (, their work is a labor of love. The couple founded the website in 1995 as a clearinghouse for information on the sixteenth president, and it has been praised as “probably the most comprehensive Lincoln site online.”

Louise Taper
A private collector who amassed a collection of Lincolniana “unprecedented in its breadth and depth,” Louise Taper joined the pantheon of Lincoln collectors who have preserved the material culture of Abraham Lincoln’s personal life and political career. Taper inspired the exhibition of a comprehensive collection of Lincolniana, The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America, at the Huntington Library in 1993–1994 and at the Chicago Historical Society in 1996–1997. The Taper collection now resides at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Wayne C. Temple
“There’s never an end to finding new things about Lincoln,” says Wayne C. Temple, and for sixty years he has tirelessly mined overlooked sources for new insights into the sixteenth president. The author of two dozen books on Lincoln, including a highly praised volume on his religious views—Abraham Lincoln: From Skeptic to Prophet—Temple is considered the dean of Illinois Lincoln scholars. He is the Chief Deputy Director of the Illinois State Archives.

Lily Tolpo In her studio in rural Stockton, Illinois, artist Lily Tolpo has created paintings and sculptures that grace public and private collections around the world. Few are treasured more than her many pieces featuring Abraham Lincoln, a favorite subject. Her celebrated sculpture Lincoln-Douglas Joint Debate of 1858 (1992), which stands on the Freeport, Illinois, debate site, is known for its depiction of Lincoln’s quiet strength.

Daniel R. Weinberg
A partner in the legendary Abraham Lincoln Book Shop since 1971 and sole proprietor since 1984, Daniel R. Weinberg is an indispensable contact for every collector of Lincolniana. Through Americana House, the bookshop’s publishing arm, Weinberg also makes available long-out-of-print studies of Lincoln and the Civil War that are essential to students of Lincoln’s life and times.

Frank J. Williams
Frank J. Williams began acquiring Lincolniana at the age of eleven, eventually assembling a collection that ranks among the world’s largest. A frequent lecturer on Lincoln, author or editor of a dozen books, and founding Chairman of the Lincoln Forum, Williams recently retired from the Rhode Island Supreme Court where he served since 1995, the last seven years as Chief Justice.

Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis
Longtime Knox College professors Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis founded the college’s Lincoln Studies Center in 1997, more than a decade after beginning a collaboration that led to publication of Herndon’s Informants (1998), Herndon’s Lincoln (2006), and The Lincoln-Douglas Debates (2008). Each has also published individually on Lincoln’s life, with Wilson earning Lincoln Prizes for Honor’s Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln (1999) and Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words (2007). Wilson and Davis also oversaw the Lincoln Studies Center’s transcription and annotation of the online publication of the Library of Congress’s Abraham Lincoln Papers.

The Lincoln Academy of Illinois

Convocation and Investiture of Laureates

Saturday, the seventh of February
Two thousand and nine


Union Theatre
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
Springfield, Illinois

followed by the

Governor’s Reception, Dinner and Ball

The Plaza of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
Springfield, Illinois

Formal, Academic or Military Dress

Decorations will be worn


The Lincoln Academy of Illinois will present the State’s highest award to the following honorees :


Jean H. Baker, Ph.D.
Gabor Boritt, Ph.D.
Michael Burlingame, Ph.D.
Richard Carwardine, D.Phil.
Julie Cellini
Cullom Davis, Ph.D.
Eric Foner, Ph.D.
Allen C. Guelzo, Ph.D.
Harold Holzer, Ph.D.
Charles M. Hubbard, Ph.D.
Ron Keller
Philip B. Kunhardt III and Peter W. Kunhardt
John McClarey
Edna Greene Medford, Ph.D.
LeRoy Neiman
Don Pollack
Robert Provost Jr.
Bob Rogers
Thomas F. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Jack Smith
Lowell and Rhoda Sneller
Louise Taper
Wayne C. Temple, Ph.D.
Lily Tolpo Daniel R. Weinberg
Frank J. Williams, J.D.
Douglas L. Wilson, Ph.D., and Rodney O. Davis, Ph.D.

Convocation Committee

Bicentennial Convocation Chairperson
Mr. Thomas S. Johnson

Civic Chairpersons
Mrs. Julie Kellner

Civic Committee

Mrs. James V. Antonacci, Jr.
Mrs. Judith H. Bartholf
Mr. Jacob Bunn, IV
Mr. Daniel W. Cadigan
Mrs. Ray Capestrain
Mr. Patrick F. Coburn
Dr. Phillip Davis
Mrs. Jane Denes
Dr. James Forstall
Mr. Michael O. Gibson
Honorable J. Michael Houston
Mr. Theodore R. LeBlang
Honorable Richard Mills
Mr. Sergio A. Pecori
Mr. Guerry Suggs
Mr. Donald R. Tracy
Dr. Allan L. Woodson

Area Chairpersons

Mr. & Mrs. Robert Anstine
Mr. & Mrs. Bruce M. Becker
Mr. & Mrs. John Behrendt
Ms. Wilma Jene Bond
Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence Bussard
Mrs. Jack Cavenaugh
Dr. and Mrs. Herbert Chapman
Mr. & Mrs. Lyle Eiten
Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Epperson
Mr. & Mrs. Edward Finch
Mr. & Mrs. William D. Forsyth, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. William Froehlich, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. James Garner
Mr. & Mrs. Martin Gleason
Mr. & Mrs. Ken Hauff
Mr. & Mrs. Taffie Helleny
Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Hoffman
Mr. & Mrs. George Howard, III
Mr. & Mrs. Charles C. Huber
Mr. & Mrs. John Koten
Mr. & Mrs. Daniel F. Marvin, Jr.
Dr. & Mrs. Walter May
Dr. & Mrs. Clifford G. Neill
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas A. Oakley
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Reardon
Mr. & Mrs. Edwin Sharlau, II
Mr. & Mrs. Charles L. Sheppard
Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Taake
Mr. D. Ray Wilson