The Lincoln Laureates Podcast welcomes NBA Basketball Legend Doug Collins

Episode Debuts on Opening Day of the 2021-2022 NBA Season

A conversation with Lincoln Laureate, 1972 Olympian, NBA All Star player and coach, broadcast analyst, basketball executive, and Benton, Illinois native Doug Collins is set to debut as the latest episode of The Lincoln Laureates podcast series on opening day of the very sport that made him a household name.
Collins, who became a Lincoln Laureate upon receiving the Order of Lincoln earlier this year, credits his hometown’s legendary high school basketball Coach Rich Herrin for giving him the “bug” to play basketball.

“I started falling in love with basketball in aJunior High and a lot of it was because of the passion and love that my high school coach had,” Collins tells retired ABC News award winning broadcast journalist Ron Claiborne, guest host of the Collins episode. “He was the spark that got it (passion for basketball) ignited.”
When asked what he learned from the Legendary Coach Herrin, Collins replied without hesitation, “Integrity.” “He was a man of the highest integrity, Collins explains. “I modeled myself after him. When I went to school at Illinois State, I wanted to come back and be a Coach Herrin.”
Collins’ exceptional college play at Illinois State and recruitment from the legendary Will Robinson, the sport’s first Division I African American coach, would detour those graduation plans and set him on a path to NBA fame.

“I learned life from Coach Robinson,” says Collins. “He was an amazing man.”

Collins, who earned four NBA All Star Selections when playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, would eventually coach the team during a coaching career that included stints with the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, and the Washington Wizards.

A production of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, The Lincoln Laureates captures conversations between award-winning broadcast journalists and select Lincoln Laureates and is available through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher, with streaming available through the TuneIn App and found here:


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Gov. Pritzker Announces 2021 Recipients of the Order of Lincoln

State’s Highest Honor Recognizes Excellence in Professional Work, Public Service

CHICAGO – Governor JB Pritzker today announced the 2021 recipients of the Order of Lincoln, the state’s highest honor for professional achievement and public service. Established in 1964, the Order of Lincoln honors Illinois residents whose work uplifts every community in the state. This year’s Lincoln Laureates will be honored at the upcoming 57th annual Convocation at the Chicago History Museum. The eight recipients join a cohort of over 350 distinguished Illinois residents who have joined the Order of Lincoln over the last five decades.

One of this year’s recipients, Dr. Joanne Smith of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab will be awarded the honor posthumously.

“This year’s Order of Lincoln recipients represent the values that make Illinois great. Hard work, innovation, and determination have long been the foundation of our communities and the eight recipients of the Order of Lincoln have exhibited all of that and more,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I’m so proud to award these talented men and women with our state’s highest honor and I commend them for their incredible contributions to Illinois – and the world.”

“The Lincoln Academy is honored to award the Order of Lincoln to these 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.”

This year’s awardees are:

Joanne C. Smith, MD, was 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. During her momentous career, Dr. Smith led the organization in its mission to provide the best patient outcomes through the highest-quality clinical care, translational research, scientific discovery, and education. Her latest work included leading the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab into its novel
vision for the future: to be the global source of science-driven breakthroughs in Human Ability.

Captain Scott Altman (US Navy retired), a former NASA astronaut, is a veteran of four space shuttle missions, spending more than 51 days in space. Originally from Pekin, Illinois, 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 into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2018.

Carol Ross Barney, a native of Chicago, is the founder and principal of Ross Barney Architects. Her work has earned for her an international reputation in design of institutional and public buildings including the reconstructed Oklahoma City Federal Building following the 1995 bombing, the Swenson Science Building at the University of Minnesota (Duluth), two of Chicago’s most heavily used transit stations at Fullerton and Belmont Avenues, and the Chicago River Walk project.

She is a founding member and first president of Chicago Women of Architecture. A graduate of the University of Illinois, her role in the creation of the Chicago Riverwalk reflects her commitment to stewardship and restoration of urban ecology

Major General John Borling, retired US Air Force retired, is a decorated war hero who served as a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. After being shot down, he was captured and spent almost 7 years as a prisoner of war. Following his release, Borling was selected by the Gerald Ford administration to be a White House Fellow and was later the director of the group’s governing foundation. General Borling’s long and decorated career included commanding and directing many sensitive defense operations. He led a highly classified war fighting think tank and helped initiate a new family of guided weapons. Posted in Germany, he was central to the creation of the Allied Forces North in Norway and served as Chief of Staff of that integrated NATO/National command. He retired in 1996 after 33 years of service.

Borling’s awards include: the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Prisoner of War Medal.

As a civilian, Borling was President of the Chicago area United Way and remains active in business ventures and speaking engagements, and authored Taps on the Wall, a collection of the poetry he wrote while a POW.

John Andrew McQuown, serves as the Director at Dimensional Fund Advisors LP. He co-founded the firm, with David G. Booth, in 1981. Mr. McQuown serves as the Partner, Co-Founder, and Director at DCI, LLC. He is involved in all facets of the firm’s operations including marketing, strategy, client services, and management. Previously, Mr. McQuown was a Co-Founder and Chairman of Moody’s KMV Company. Prior to this, Mr. McQuown was the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Diversified Corporate Loans. Previously, he was the Co-Founder and Director of Dimensional Fund Advisors. Prior to this, Mr. McQuown was a Director of Management Sciences at Wells Fargo Bank and the Founding Chairman of Wells Fargo Investment Advisors. He began his career at Smith Barney and went on to co-found a number of companies including Mortgage Information Corporation, Loan Performance Corporation, Stone Edge Vineyard and Winery, and Chalone Wine Group, Limited. An early participant at the Center for Research and Securities Prices, he pioneered the creation of the first stock index fund in the late sixties, and the first small stock index fund at Dimensional Fund Advisors. Mr. McQuown advocated and participated in the development and design of the Schwab 1000 index fund.

Mr. McQuown sits on the Advisory Councils of the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business, UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Esalen Institute. Mr. McQuown received an M.B.A. degree from the Harvard Business School and a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University.

Professor John Rogers is an eminent scientist and professor at Northwestern University’s School of Engineering where he led a team in pioneering technologies that can transform medical care. As an acclaimed engineer and entrepreneur holding over 80 patents and patented applications, Prof. Rogers has also developed two futuristic devices for premature infants. One is a flexible device not much bigger than a band aid that is implanted in premature babies that provides electrical stimulation to nerves and then dissolves when no longer needed. A second device is a miniature monitor for babies in neonatal intensive care units. Eventually, the technology is likely to change the future care of tiny babies around the world. In partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, thousands of these new monitors will be used on newborns and their mothers in Africa and Asia. Rogers has a Ph.D and an S.M in Physical Chemistry and an S.M. in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a B.S. in Physics and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Texas, Austin.

Tommy Shimoda has become one of the most medaled Special Olympians in Illinois at the age of 26. With not only participation, but dedicated excellence in 21 separate sports, Shimoda has competed in speed skating, hockey, snowshoeing, horseback riding, water polo, track and field, basketball, and other sports. In the process, he has amassed hundreds of gold, silver, and bronze medals at various Special Olympics competitions. These athletic accomplishments are astounding, but even more so when one considers the challenges he has faced. Although Shimoda has no physical disabilities, he was diagnosed with autism at the age of four and is unable to speak. Through athletic competition, Shimoda has found his own means of communication and broken-down barriers and stereotypes for all persons with developmental differences. As a member of Team USA for the 2017 Special Olympics in Austria, Shimoda was the only Chicago athlete to compete with athletes from 107 countries around the world. He brought home a gold and a bronze medal in two speed skating competitions. In 2017, he became the only Special Olympian to ever receive an honorary Excellence in Sports Yearly (ESPY) in 2017 from ESPN. Tommy Shimoda lives in Mount Greenwood, Illinois where he volunteers with city park maintenance, and youth sports programs. He also has his own small business mowing lawns.

Mavis Staples, now in her eighth decade of singing truth, is an intrepid musical pioneer who has blurred the lines between gospel, soul, folk, pop, R&B, blues, rock, Americana, and hip hop. Since her first paying gig at Chicago’s Holy Trinity Baptist Church in 1948, the Chicago native has found success as both 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 before finding international pop radio stardom during the 1970’s with hits like “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself.” Staples was the subject of the Peabody-award-winning 2015 HBO documentary “Mavis!,” was named a 2016 Kennedy Center Honoree, and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2017; The Staple Singers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2018.


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



The Lincoln Laureates Podcast Welcomes Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall

Globally Renowned Educator is Credited with Helping Shape the Re-imagination and Re-design of Learning

Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall, Founding President and President Emerita of the internationally recognized Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, is the latest Lincoln Laureate to be featured in the inaugural season of the podcast series, The Lincoln Laureates.

Created to spotlight those individuals bestowed with the Order of Lincoln in recognizing their contribution to the betterment of society (Marshall received the award in 2005), The Lincoln Laureates podcast captures conversations between select Lincoln Laureates and award-winning journalists. For this episode, retired ABC -Network Television News veteran Chris Bury leads the discussion.

Born in the Bronx and raised in Long Island, Dr. Marshall‘s first teaching experience brought her to Alsip, Illinois where she taught elementary and junior high school. Ten years of educational administration, including as a Superintendent of Schools, followed, before she was asked to design and lead the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.

“Mind-shaping is world-shaping” said Marshall, whose philosophy of education and leadership were influenced by, among others, Dr. Margaret Wheatley and Dr. Howard Gardner. “The learning conditions we immerse our children in, by design, will shape their minds, and their minds will shape our world. There is an inextricable connection between the future of learning and the future of humanity.”

Promoted across the Lincoln Academy of Illinois’ social channels, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and on the Academy website, The Lincoln Laureates podcast is available through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher, with streaming available through the Tunein App and via voice command. Producers of the episode featuring Dr. Marshall promise listeners they will get lifelong lessons in listening.

Click here for more information about the podcast.

For more information about Dr. Marshall’s work in leadership and educational transformation, visit her website:

Leading Lincoln Historian, Wayne C. Temple

Illinois Tech President Alan Cramb to retire in 2021

Lincoln Topiary Statue, Western Illinois University

“The Lincoln Laureates” Podcast with Captain James Lovell Jr. to Launch on 51st Anniversary of the Captain’s Apollo 13 Mission

(Springfield, IL.) The Lincoln Academy of Illinois thinks April 11th is the perfect date for the release of its The Lincoln Laureates podcast series’ inaugural season episode with award-winning broadcast journalist Mort Crim’s conversing with astronaut and Lincoln Laureate, Capt. James Lovell Jr. Afterall, April 11th marks the 51st anniversary of the historic launch of the Apollo 13 manned mission to the moon that Lovell Jr. commanded.

The episode finds the Apollo13 Commander suggesting that their historic mission was not one crisis, but rather one of many.

“I think a lot of success is through life experiences,” suggests Laureate Lovell Jr. “Hopefully we can have education teach people to anticipate problems, to think clearly, and take other people’s opinions and then come up with the proper merger, the proper ideas, to continue forward.”

Scheduled as the seventh mission in NASA’s Apollo program, Apollo 13 was to be the third manned Apollo mission expected to land on the moon but ended in near disaster when an oxygen tank in Apollo’s Service Module failed two days into the mission. The crew safely returned to earth on April 17th.

Lovell Jr. was named a Lincoln Laureate upon receiving Illinois’ prestigious Order of Lincoln Award in 2012. Established in 1964 by (then) Governor Otto Kerner, the Lincoln Academy of Illinois is a statewide organization created to recognize and honor those leaders who have contributed to the “Betterment of Humanity.” The Lincoln Laureates podcast series was specifically created to showcase these remarkable individuals.

Thus far, the podcast series has released inaugural season episodes with George Will, Bill Kurtis, Emily Bear, and Sheila Crump Johnson. Later this summer, the Academy will release its episode with baseball Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg.

Promoted across the Lincoln Academy of Illinois’ social channels – Facebook, Vimeo, Instagram and LinkedIn and on the Lincoln Academy website, The Lincoln Laureates podcast is available through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher, with streaming available through the TuneIn App and via voice command.

Visit to listen to previous episodes and subscribe to future episodes.

“The Lincoln Laureates” podcast series celebrates “Women’s History Month” with Laureate Sheila Crump Johnson

(Springfield, IL.) The Lincoln Academy of Illinois chose Women’s History Month to introduce its “The Lincoln Laureates” podcast episode with Laureate Sheila Crump Johnson as the latest addition to its podcast’s inaugural season lineup. The American businesswoman has the distinguished honor of being the first woman to be a stakeholder in three professional sports franchises and the first African American woman to attain a net worth of $1 billion dollars.

The daughter of a neurosurgeon father and accountant mother, the CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts and co-founder of B.E.T. (Black Entertainment Television) was named a Lincoln Laureate upon receiving the Order of Lincoln, the state of Illinois’ highest honor, in 2019.

Established in 1964 by (then) Governor Otto Kerner, the Lincoln Academy of Illinois is a statewide
organization created to recognize and honor those leaders who have contributed to the “Betterment of Humanity.” The Lincoln Laureates podcast series was specifically created to showcase these remarkable individuals.

Laureate Johnson’s conversation with award winning broadcast journalist Ron Claiborne reveals resiliency as the secret sauce of her pay-it-forward life, filled with riches.

“Financial considerations aside, the Lincoln penny is now my favorite form of U.S. currency,” Johnson tells Claiborne. “On a penny, Mr. Lincoln is always facing right, which in a traditional linear timeline means he’s forever facing forward, and forever looking to the future.” she continues. “Of all the changes over the years, three design elements have remained constant- Abraham Lincoln, the date, and the words E Pluribus Unum…for many, one.”

Johnson’s episode is the fourth in a series of inaugural season episodes. An episode with Lincoln Laureate Captain James Lovell on the anniversary of Lovell’s historic Apollo 13 flight launches next month while an episode with baseball Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg is on deck for a for a July debut during baseball’s Hall of Fame induction weekend.

Promoted across the Lincoln Academy of Illinois’ social channels – Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and on the Lincoln Academy website, The Lincoln Laureates podcast is available through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher, with streaming available through the TuneIn App and via voice command.

Episode link at:

J’Tia Hart on Women in STEM

“The Lincoln Laureates” Podcast Set to Launch on Lincoln’s Birthday!

Features conversations between award winning journalists and the world’s Lincoln Laureates.

(Springfield, IL) What do American composer, pianist, songwriter, singer, and former child piano prodigy Emily Bear, television journalist, television producer, narrator, and news anchor Bill Kurtis, and award-winning author, columnist, and television political commentator George Will have in common? Answer: all three are Lincoln Laureates of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, and all are featured in the inaugural season of The Lincoln Laureates podcast, set to launch, appropriately enough, on the birthday of the beloved 16th President of the United States, for whom the award is named.

The Lincoln Laureates podcast is the Lincoln Academy of Illinois’ way of introducing these honorees to a global podcast audience. The podcast will also serve as an audio textbook that will deepen the value of the honor that Laureates have brought to Illinois,” says Julie Kellner, Executive Director of the Academy.

Award winning broadcast journalists Jim Bohannon, Chris Bury, Ron Claiborne, Ann Compton, Mort Crim, and Bill Plante have generously agreed to serve as honorary guest hosts for the podcast’s inaugural season, with Illinois resident and Lincoln Laureate Bill Kurtis agreeing not only to consult on the podcast project but also to serve as the podcast’s announcer.

Established by Illinois Governor Otto Kerner in 1964, the Lincoln Academy of Illinois is a statewide organization created to recognize and honor those leaders of today who have contributed to the “Betterment of Humanity”. Honorees are named Laureates of the Academy upon receiving the Order of Lincoln, recognized as Illinois’ highest honor.

“Leadership matters,” says Frank Clark, himself a Lincoln Laureate who serves as the current Chancellor of the Academy. “Regardless of who we are, individuals, societies and nations need leadership role models – those whose ethical and principle-centered leadership are driven by the clarity of their commitment to advancing collective purpose towards the benefit of all.”

Laureate and past Academy Chancellor Stephanie Marshall adds, “The Lincoln Academy of Illinois honors the ‘Great Citizens of Today’ and celebrates the ‘Great Citizens of Tomorrow’ – knowing that now more than ever before, our state and nation need what Vachel Lindsay famously described as ‘Lincoln-hearted’ men and women.”

Conversations with Laureates Bear, Kurtis, and Will kick off The Lincoln Laureates’ inaugural season. Laureates Shelia Crump Johnson, Captain James Lovell, Ryne Sandberg and other famed Laureates will be featured later in the year.

The podcast will be promoted across the Lincoln Academy of Illinois social media channels – Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. The Lincoln Laureates podcast will also be available through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher, with streaming available through the TuneIn App and via voice command.

The Lincoln Laureates is a joint production of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and EarSight Studios; Lincoln Academy of Illinois’ Executive Director Julie Kellner and Academy Regent Dennis Lyle, Executive Producers; Todd Manley – Supervising Producer.


Visit the podcast page for more information →