Harold Holzer, Speaks on ALPL Foundation

Harold Holzer is a 2009 Lincoln Laureate. The 3rd annual ALPL Foundation and ALPLM will feature a zoom conversation with Mr. Holzer, a Lincoln scholar and author. The gala will benefit a campaign to secure a permanent home for the Lincolniana collection.

Tickets are $25 to $500.

For information call the ALPLM at 217-557-5589 or visit www.ALPLM.org.

Six Illinoisans from history added to Lincoln Academy Hall of Fame

Click here to view the PDF version of this press release.

May 11, 2020

SPRINGFIELD – Six Illinoisans who made a significant impact on the history of the state and nation have been inducted into the The Lincoln Academy of Illinois Hall of Fame. Those inducted are:
Judge David Davis, Enrico Fermi, William Le Baron Jenney, Mary “Mother” Jones, Major General John A. Logan, and Emmet Till.

“These six people helped to shape the world as we know it today,” said Lincoln Academy Chancellor Frank Clark. “We proudly place their names beside other Illinoisans who have inspired and humbled us with their place in history.”

The Hall of Fame was created in 1992 to recognize early contributions to our state’s heritage prior to the establishment of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois in 1964. Since that year The Lincoln Academy has awarded the”Order of Lincoln” to present or former Illinois citizens who have made outstanding contributions toward the progress and betterment of humanity. The Lincoln Academy also annually recognizes an outstanding senior from each of the state’s four-year degree-granting colleges and universities, and one student from the community colleges in Illinois, by naming them Student Laureates of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois.

David Davis was a long-time resident of Bloomington who was a U.S. Supreme Court Justice and close ally of Abraham Lincoln. Davis was the presiding Eighth Illinois Judicial Circuit judge for 14 years, during which time he became a close personal friend of Lincoln, later serving as administrator of the president’s estate after the assassination. Davis followed his friend into the Republican Party and was instrumental in securing Lincoln’s presidential nomination at the 1860 Republican National Convention. Following the election, Davis relocated to Washington with Lincoln, who appointed him to the U.S. Supreme Court on December 10, 1862 where Davis served for 14 years. Davis won election to the U.S. Senate in 1876 and retired after a single term to his Bloomington home.

Enrico Fermi was a Nobel-Prize-winning physicist who created the first sustained nuclear reaction. Born in Italy, Fermi’s Italian university work included the discovery of plutonium, for which he won the 1938 Nobel Prize for Physics. He used his trip to Stockholm to receive the prize as his opportunity to escape Italian fascism and moved to the United States. Fermi was increasingly drawn into the U.S. government’s atomic research program and became one of the founders of the Manhattan Project. On December 2, 1942 at the University of Chicago, a Fermi-led team produced the world’s first sustained nuclear reaction. The nuclear element Fermium is named for him.

William Le Baron Jenney was a renowned architect often credited with inventing the skyscraper. Following education and work in Europe, Jenney became a civil engineer and served on the staffs of Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman during the Civil War. Jenney opened an architectural practice in Chicago in 1866, laid out the West Chicago park system, and worked with Frederick Law Olmstead to design the community of Riverside. Jenney designed numerous homes throughout Illinois but is best known for his development of tall buildings in Chicago. Using a system of iron columns, especially on the outside of the structures, Jenney’s concepts essentially created the skyscraper.

Mary “Mother” Jones was one of the most prominent labor leaders of the early 20th century. Jones was born in Ireland, immigrated to Canada with her family, and moved to the United States in 1860, where she eventually settled in Chicago. She co-owned a seamstress business until it was destroyed by the 1871 Chicago Fire, and in the following years, Jones began to move into labor activist circles and participated in several major labor protests, including the 1877 Pittsburgh Railroad Strike and the 1886 Haymarket Riot. She became involved in various labor movements throughout the country, met Eugene V. Debs and helped found the Social Democratic Party with him, and started writing for workers’ rights newspapers, where she adopted the name Mother Jones. Jones was an organizer for the United Mine Workers for 30 years and organized the 1898 United Miners’ Strike in Virden which led to seven killed and 30 wounded miners. She is buried with the victims of Virden at the United Miners’ Cemetery in Mount Olive.

Major General John A. Logan was one of the Union’s best generals in the Civil War and a prominent state and national politician. Logan served in the Mexican War and was afterwards elected as a prosecuting attorney, then state representative, from southern Illinois. Logan was elected to Congress in 1858 and when the Civil War began, he organized the 31st Illinois regiment, served under Ulysses S. Grant, and earned a promotion to brigadier general after suffering severe wounds at Fort Donelson. Logan officially resigned from Congress to fully commit himself to military service, earning promotion again to major general and serving as one of Grant’s ablest commanders during the Vicksburg campaign and then with equal effectiveness under William Tecumseh Sherman in Georgia, earning the new nickname, “Blackjack Logan,” for his dark complexion and facial hair. After a brief 1864 stay in southern Illinois to campaign for Lincoln, Logan returned to command under Sherman in the Carolinas for the remainder of the war. Logan became an advocate of veteran Civil War soldiers, helped found the Grand Army of the Republic, and announced the first formal Memorial Day in 1868. Logan would later serve again in Congress and the U.S. Senate and was James G. Blaine’s vice presidential running mate for the Republican Party in 1884.

Emmett Till was one of the youngest and most widely-covered victims of racial lynching. In 1955, after finishing seventh grade in Chicago, Till traveled to Money, Mississippi to visit relatives. Till was there in a grocery with a group of other teenage African American boys to buy candy and was accused of whistling at a white woman. The woman’s husband and his half-brother later abducted Till from his uncle’s house, severely beat him, shot him to death, and dumped Till’s his body into the Tallahatchie River. Till’s body was recovered several days later, and the ensuing funeral and trial received wide national attention. The brutality of the case and Till’s age spurred massive outrage and helped inspire the Civil Rights Movement.

Previous Lincoln Academy Hall of Fame inductees include Robert Sengstacke Abbott, Jane Addams, John Peter Altgeld, Philip Danforth Armour, Black Hawk, Shadrach Bond, Myra Colby Bradwell, Williams Jennings Bryan, Frances Xavier Cabrini, George Rogers Clark, Edward Coles, Daniel Pope Cook, Richard J. Daley, Clarence Darrow, Charles Gates Dawes, John Deere, Walter Elias Disney, Stephen A. Douglas, Ninian Edwards, Eugene Field, Marshall Field, Lucy Louisa Coues Flower, Melville Weston Fuller, Harold “Red” Grange, Ulysses S. Grant, William Rainey Harper, Ernest Hemingway, Henry Horner, John Jones, Keokuk, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Victor Freemont Lawson, Abraham Lincoln, Vachel Lindsay, Elijah Parish Lovejoy, Edgar Lee Masters, Cyrus Hall McCormick, Joseph Medill, Ralph Metcalfe, Robert Andrews Millikan, Harriet Monroe, George William Mundelein, Walter Loomis Newberry, Archange Chevallier Ouilmette, James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens, Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, George Mortimer Pullman, Julius Rosenwald, Carl Sandburg, Louis Henri Sullivan, Lorado Zadoc Taft, Christian Theodore Thomas, Harriet Elizabeth Vittum, Aaron Montgomery Ward, Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, Frances E. Willard, Daniel Hale Williams, Frank Lloyd Wright, William Wrigley, Jr., and Florenz Ziegfield

56th Convocation Postponement

Thank you so much to our many friends and supporters for showing an interest in the 56th Convocation and Investiture of Lincoln Laureates.

The safety and well-being of all Illinoisans during this COVID-19 pandemic is the top priority of the Academy’s President, Governor Pritzker, and all the State’s leaders. Due to the extraordinary circumstances we currently face, the April 18, 2020 Convocation weekend events are postponed, including the Friday evening reception and Saturday evening Convocation ceremony, reception, and dinner.

All of us at the Lincoln Academy look forward to recognizing the amazing achievements of the Class of 2020 Laureates in a fitting manner that highlights and acknowledges their many sacrifices and selflessness in pursuing a life that betters humanity. There is much to evaluate and take into consideration in the upcoming days and weeks; suffice it to say, all plans will include the Laureates receiving the Order of Lincoln.

We will be in further contact as alternate planning unfolds for the convocation events. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Executive Director Julie Kellner at 217-785-5030 or JKellner@TheLincolnAcademyofIllinois.org.

Thank you so much for your understanding and patience during this very sensitive time.

Special Invitation to Student Laureates

Dear Student Laureate,

Attached is your invitation to attend the 56th Convocation ceremony, Academy-hosted cocktail reception, and elegant three-course dinner. Because your involvement as a Student Laureate is important to the Lincoln Academy, we are happy to invite you and a guest at a discounted per-guest rate of $50 per person. Simply print the attached pdf, complete, and return it with your check to the Academy. Please make a note on the response card which year you were a Student Laureate.

Student Laureates in attendance are asked to wear their medallion as they will be recognized during the ceremony. During the evening, Student Laureates and their guest will be introduced to the Chancellor of the Lincoln Academy and the Class of 2020 Laureates.

As hard as we try, we do sometimes lose track of past Student Laureates. Will you help us by sharing this invitation with all past Student Laureates you know from your year or other years?


Governor’s Announcement

2020 Laureates Announced by Gov. Pritzker


The safety and well-being of all Illinoisans during this COVID-19 pandemic is the top priority of the Academy’s President, Governor Pritzker, and all the State’s leaders. Due to the extraordinary circumstances we currently face, the April 18, 2020 Convocation weekend events are postponed, including the Friday evening reception and Saturday evening Convocation ceremony, reception, and dinner.



Office of the Governor
JB Pritzker

Friday, Nov. 15, 2019


Gov. Pritzker Announces 2020 Recipients of the Order of Lincoln

Scott Altman, Paul Collins, Robert Fraley, Donald McHenry, Joanne Smith, and Mavis Staples to Receiver Order of Lincoln

Governor JB Pritzker announced the 2020 recipients of the Order of Lincoln, which is the state’s highest honor for professional achievement and public service. This year’s Lincoln Laureates are Scott Altman, Paul Collins, Robert Fraley, Donald McHenry, Joanne Smith, and Mavis Staples.

“With their achievements in science, medicine, public service, the arts, agriculture and athletics, these distinguished Illinoisans have made our state proud,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “They have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of the people of Illinois and I’m so proud to award them with our state’s highest honor.”

On Saturday, April 18, 2020, The Lincoln Academy of Illinois will host its 56th annual Convocation on the campus of Illinois State University. President and Mrs. Larry and Marlene Dietz are the co-chairs of the 2020 Convocation Civic Committee.

At the convocation, members of the Academy will honor the six outstanding Illinoisans with the Order of Lincoln at a formal ceremony and gala reception. These Laureates will join a cohort of 354 distinguished Illinois citizens so honored over the past 56 years.

Scott Altman, a former NASA astronaut, is a veteran of four space shuttle missions, spending more than 51 days in space. Originally from Pekin, Ill., Altman is a United States Navy Captain, engineer, and test pilot. Commissioned as a Navy ensign, he earned a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the United States Naval postgraduate school. After a distinguished career as a naval pilot and test pilot, he was selected for the NASA astronaut program. Logging more than 7,000 flight hours in more than 40 types of aircrafts during his career, he retired from NASA in 2010 and joined ASRC Federal Engineering, Aerospace and Mission Systems (EAMS) and is currently the Senior Vice President for Civil Programs. Altman was inducted in the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2018.

Paul (Doug) Collins is an American basketball executive, former player, coach, and television analyst, originally from Benton, Ill. He was the first overall pick of the 1973 NBA draft and a four-time NBA All-Star. He represented the United States at the 1972 Summer Olympics. He coached the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, and Philadelphia 76ers. Both the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and NBA Hall of Fame have inducted Collins. He has served as an analyst for various NBA-related broadcast shows on CBS, NBC, TNT, and TBS. The basketball court at Illinois State University bears his name.

Dr. Robert (Robb) Fraley is the former executive vice president and chief technology officer at Monsanto Company. A World Food Prize Laureate, he is recognized as the father of agricultural biotechnology for developing the first genetically modified crops as a solution for farmers battling damaging pests and weeds. Raised on a farm outside Hoopeston, Ill., Fraley decided early on that he wanted to use science to develop better technology for farmers. He earned a Ph.D. in microbiology and biochemistry the University of Illinois and authored more than 100 ag-related publications and patent applications throughout his career. He has become a leading voice for innovation in agriculture, passionately working to reset the public conversation about science.

Donald F. McHenry grew up in East St. Louis, Ill. and served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1979 to 1981. He was also a Cabinet member for President Jimmy Carter. Prior to these roles, he was the United States Deputy Representative to the United Nations Security Council. McHenry was distinguished professor in the practice of diplomacy at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University from 1981 to 2014.  He also taught at Southern Illinois University, Howard, American University and Georgetown University.

Joanne C. Smith, MD, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago or RIC). The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is the global leader in physical medicine and rehabilitation for adults and children with the most severe, complex conditions. She has led the organization in its mission to provide the best patient outcomes through the highest-quality clinical care, translational research, scientific discovery and education. Today she is leading the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab into its novel vision for the future: to be the global source of science-driven breakthroughs in Human Ability.

Mavis Staples is an American rhythm and blues and gospel singer, actress, and civil rights activist. For more than 60 years, the Chicago native has found success recording as a solo artist and member of her family’s band, The Staple Singers. Close friends of Martin Luther King, Jr., The Staple Singers were the spiritual and musical voices of the civil rights movement. Staples was recognized as a 2016 Kennedy Center Honoree and inducted in to the Blues Hall of Fame.

“The Lincoln Academy is honored to award the Order of Lincoln to these six remarkable individuals,” said Frank Clark, chancellor of the Academy. “Abraham Lincoln exemplified what is great about our state, and the achievements and contributions of these honorees continues to illustrate the vibrancy and richness of Illinois.”

For attendance and further information, contact Executive Director Julie Kellner at 217-785-5030 or visit www.thelincolnacademyofillinois.org. Connect with The Lincoln Academy of Illinois on Facebook and LinkedIn.


Stephanie Pace Marshall WCEV Radio Interview

Mosaic Interview of Stephanie Pace Marshall by Lucyna Migala

2019 Laureate Acceptance Speeches

These are the acceptance speeches of the 2019 Laureates who were awarded the Order of Lincoln by The Lincoln Academy of Illinois at the 55th Convocation, which took place at the University of Illinois Springfield on Saturday, May 18, 2019.

Stephanie Pace Marshall, Chancellor, 2016 – 2019

From our Archives, 2016: Internationally recognized educator Stephanie Pace Marshall installed as the first woman to lead the prestigious Lincoln Academy of Illinois

Stephanie Pace MarshallSPRINGFIELD – Internationally recognized educator Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall has been installed as the Chancellor of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, the organization that annually bestows the state’s highest honor, The Order of Lincoln. Marshall, a past recipient of the honor, becomes the first woman to lead the Lincoln Academy in its 52-year history.

“A society is often judged by what and who it chooses to honor. Through the Lincoln Academy, Illinois has chosen to honor those whose life’s work has made us all better and moved humanity forward,” Marshall said. “I am deeply honored to serve as the Academy’s next Chancellor.”

Marshall was named to the uncompensated post by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. She succeeds outgoing Chancellor William Bennett. The Chancellor sets direction for the Lincoln Academy, oversees the nomination of individuals to receive The Order of Lincoln Award, and hosts the annual Laureate and Student Laureate Convocations.

Marshall is recognized internationally as a pioneering educational leader, speaker and writer. She is the Founding President and President Emerita of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy; the Founding President of the National Consortium of Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology; and past president of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, International. She has held leadership positions at every level of education, has written more than 40 journal articles, and is the author of the award-winning book, The Power to Transform: Leadership that Brings Learning and Schooling to Life.

Marshall was invited to become a member of the Illinois Hall of Fame; the Clinton Global Initiative; the State of the World Forum; and the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in London. She serves as a Trustee of the Society for Science and the Public in Washington, DC and is a director of the Fry Foundation in Chicago. She is a member of the Commercial Club, the Economic Club, the Executive Club, and the Chicago Network. Marshall holds a BA from Queens College of New York, an MA from the University of Chicago and a PH.D from Loyola University of Chicago.

As a result of her achievements, Marshall was awarded The Order of Lincoln by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois in 2005, the state’s highest award for achievement for those who were either born or reside in the state. She was appointed as a trustee of the Lincoln Academy in 2012 and as Vice Chancellor in 2015. In 2016, Dr. Marshall was appointed by Governor Bruce Rauner to the Illinois Bicentennial Commission. Additional biographical information can be found at www.stephaniepacemarshall.com.

Since 1964 the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization, has honored the outstanding contributions of living Illinois citizens who by birth or residence have advanced the social, cultural and technological progress of mankind. Chaired by the incumbent Illinois Governor, the Academy also annually recognizes young Illinois leaders and names them Student Laureates of the Academy, one senior from each of the state’s four-year, degree-granting public and private colleges and universities and one representing the state’s community colleges.

Frank M. Clark Named New Chancellor

Clark presided over May 18 ceremony honoring six distinguished Illinoisans

SPRINGFIELD–Frank M. Clark, the former ComEd CEO and Chicago Board of Education President, has been installed as the new Chancellor of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Clark’s three-year term as head of the organization began on Saturday, May 18 following the Lincoln Academy’s annual Convocation, where six distinguished Illinoisans were recognized for their achievements.

“Abraham Lincoln exemplified what is great about our state and nation, and I am at once proud and humbled to guide the organization that invokes his name to honor our very best,” Clark said.

Clark was named a Laureate of the Lincoln Academy during the organization’s 2017 Convocation. He was the first African American to serve as the CEO of ComEd and had a 46-year career with the utility company, during which he supported minority hiring and African-American businesses through the establishment of the Business Leadership Council. Clark is the son of a Chicago Public Schools teacher, served as President of the Chicago Board of Education, and co-founded Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy, a public charter high school on Chicago’s West Side. U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology Magazine named Clark to its annual list of the 100 Most Important Blacks in Technology, and Clark was ranked among the 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America by Fortune magazine in 2002.

Clark has served as Vice Chancellor and a General Trustee of the Lincoln Academy. He is the 11th Chancellor in the organization’s history.

Clark presided over the 55th Annual 2019 Convocation ceremony on May 18 at the State Capitol in Springfield. The six Illinoisans who received the Order of Lincoln, which is the state’s highest honor for professional achievement and public service, included Jerry Colangelo, Edgar J. Curtis, Sheila CrumpJohnson, Benjamin K. Miller, Olufunmilayo Olopade and George F. Will. They joined 348 other distinguished Illinois citizens who have been honored by the organization during the past 55 years.

In 1975, the mission of The Lincoln Academy was expanded to include a Student Laureate program honoring more than 50 students each year, one from each four-year college and university in Illinois and one student representing our state’s community colleges, selected on the basis of demonstrated exemplary leadership and service and excellence in curricular and co-curricular programs. Funds raised at the Academy’s Order of Lincoln Convocation Ceremony in the spring help provide the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement awards and the “Lincoln Medallion” presented to each of the student laureates at a separate ceremony held each fall in Springfield.

Lester McKeever to Receive a Lifetime Leadership Award by the United Way of Metro Chicago

Regent Lester McKeever is being honored on Friday, May 17 with a Lifetime Leadership Award by the United Way of Metro Chicago at its ‘Stronger Neighborhoods’ awards luncheon.

The Lifetime Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has exhibited long-standing corporate and civic leadership, and a commitment to United Way’s vision to build a stronger Chicago region.