In Recognition of the Illinois Bicentennial
The Lincoln Academy of Illinois
Is Proud to Present All Honorees of the Order of Lincoln
Our State’s Highest Honor
From 1964 to the Present Day
Laureates are named in the year prior to each induction. Laureates are listed here by the year of induction.
* – indicates deceased
Emily Bear, 2018 Laureate
Emily Bear of Rockford achieved groundbreaking success as a pianist, composer, songwriter and chart-topping recording artist in a diverse collection of styles by the time she was just 16 years old. Bear has performed at many of the world’s most well-known venues and has recorded seven albums, was the 2016 and 2017 American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Herb Alpert Jazz Composer of the Year and has appeared on numerous domestic and international television shows. A documentary about Bear has attracted more than 32 million views on YouTube and received an Emmy Award.
Richard M. (Dick) Butkus, 2018 Laureate
Dick Butkus of Chicago was drafted by the NFL’s Chicago Bears in 1965 after a stellar career as a student athlete at the University of Illinois. He is widely regarded as one of the best linebackers of all time. He played nine seasons for the Bears and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979 and has been recognized with virtually every award available in his sport at both the collegiate and professional levels. Following his career as a player Butkus appeared in more than a dozen movies, a variety of television shows and has been supportive of charitable activities through The Butkus Foundation, Inc.
Steven Shih Chen, 2018 Laureate
Steven Shih Chen, an alumnus of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, was the co-founder and chief technology officer of YouTube. Chen studied Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, then joined PayPal in 1999, where he met Chad Hurley, with whom he would later co-found YouTube. Chen was instrumental in building YouTube into a viral video phenomenon and helped lead YouTube through the Google acquisition for $1.65 billion less than a year after launching the site. Chen has been named to GQ’s “Men of the Year,” Time magazine’s “Best Invention of the Year,” and Fortune’s “Most Powerful People in Business.”
Father Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., 2018 Laureate
Father Michael Garanzini is a distinguished university administrator, professor, author, and scholar who has spent most of his career working in higher education. He served as President of Loyola University Chicago for 14 years, brought the university out of debt, and initiated a series of construction projects on both of Loyola’s city campuses. Very active in community service, Father Garanzini is well known for his work on behalf of children and families. In June 2011, Father Garanzini was appointed by Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., the superior general of the Society of Jesus, to serve as the secretary for higher education for the Society of Jesus, coordinating and championing Jesuit higher-education issues around the world.
Mellody Hobson, 2018 Laureate
Mellody Hobson is the President of Ariel Investments, a Chicago-based firm that is one of the largest African American-owned money management and mutual fund companies in the United States. Hers is a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education. Hobson, a Chicago native, also chairs After School Matters, a non-profit that provides Chicago teens with high quality, out-of-school-time programs, and co-founded Ariel Community Academy on Chicago’s south side. In 2015 Hobson was named to Time magazine’s annual list of the one hundred most influential people in the world. She was also recognized as one of Ebony magazine’s 20 Leaders of the Future, World Economic Forum’s Global Leaders of Tomorrow, and The Wall Street Journal’s 50 Women to Watch.
Edward L. McMillan, 2018 Laureate
Edward L. McMillan was born and raised on the family farm in McDonough County, Illinois; a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a leader in state and national agribusiness, notably President and CEO of Purina Mills. McMillan has served on many industry boards of directors plus extensive civic and philanthropy organizations, including as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, University of Illinois System.
Louis H. Philipson, M.D., Ph.D., 2018 Laureate
Louis H. Philipson is Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics in the Section of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism at the University of Chicago, and a leading world authority on diabetes mellitus. He is the Founding Director of the Kovler Diabetes Center and President of the Chicago Community Leadership Board of the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Philipson was a co-discoverer of insulin gene mutations causing neonatal diabetes and helped make the University of Chicago the national leader in the study of monogenic diabetes. He also directs research in preventing and treating type 1 diabetes.
David Rydell, 2018 Laureate
David Rydell is Chairman of Bergstrom Inc., a designer and producer of climate systems for the commercial vehicle industry. He assumed the position of President and CEO in 1986 and Chairman in 2011. He helped position the company, along with Bergstrom’s management team, to have global production capabilities as well as become recognized as a technology leader in no-idle heating and air conditioning in its marketplace. Rydell is a native of Rockford and throughout his career has served and continues to serve on the boards of many community and not-for-profit organizations. He also supports these organizations and others through the family and company foundations.
Frank M. Clark, 2017 Laureate
Frank M. Clark was the first African American to serve as the CEO of Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) and had a 46-year career with the utility company. During this time 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.
Richard H. Driehaus, 2017 Laureate
Richard H. Driehaus established the foundation that bears his name, and to date has contributed more than $200 million to help the environment, education, arts and culture, investigative journalism, and economic opportunity for the working poor. His investment success with Driehaus Capital Management has also allowed the south side Chicago native to nurture his passion for architecture by funding initiatives in design excellence and historic preservation. The Driehaus Museum he founded displays decorative arts in permanent and special exhibitions in the restored 1887 Samuel M. Nickerson Mansion in downtown Chicago.
James F. Holderman, 2017 Laureate
James F. Holderman served for 30 years as a federal judge in the Northern District of Illinois, seven years as chief judge, and was praised by those throughout the legal profession for his consistently fair and well-reasoned decisions in cases such as those involving former Cook County judges, organized crime bosses, and political figures. The Joliet native and University of Illinois graduate also initiated improvements to the federal jury trial system that continue to be used today. Holderman has taught intellectual property, patent, trade secret, and copyright law classes at several Illinois law schools.
R. Eden Martin, 2017 Laureate
Robert Eden Martin has been an influential leader of the Commercial Club, an organization dedicated to improving Chicago. He has co-authored groundbreaking and often-cited reports as part of the Club’s Civic Committee on the need for Chicago School reform and the Illinois and Chicago fiscal crises. A native of Sullivan, Illinois, Martin worked with Lester Crown and Mayor Richard M. Daley to develop an ambitious plan to expand O’Hare International Airport. Martin is a Life Trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Board of Trustees of Northwestern University. He has also served on the boards of the University of Illinois Foundation, the Chicago History Museum, and the Ravinia Festival.
Ryne Sandberg, 2017 Laureate
Ryne Sandberg is considered the best second baseman of his era. During his 16 seasons and more than 2,100 games with the Chicago Cubs the Baseball Hall-of-Famer holds records for playing 123 consecutive errorless games by a second baseman and hitting more home runs in a season than any second baseman in baseball history. Sandberg made 10 consecutive All-Star appearances, won nine consecutive Gold Glove Awards, and finished his career with the highest-ever fielding percentage at second base. After rising to the top of his sport, Sandberg helped bring joy and relief into the lives of sick children and their families through his nonprofit organization, Ryno Kid Care.
Samuel K. Skinner, 2017 Laureate
Samuel Knox Skinner served as secretary of transportation and chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush, chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority, and CEO of Commonwealth Edison and USF Corporation. Skinner was the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois under President Gerald R. Ford from 1975 – 1977, succeeding James R. Thompson. President Reagan appointed Skinner vice chairman of the President’s Commission on Organized Crime. Skinner was born in Chicago and raised in Wheaton, and his devotion to public service includes active roles on the Illinois Fraud Prevention Commission, the Illinois Coal Conversion Task Force, and the Illinois Capital Development Board.
Harrison I. Steans, 2017 Laureate *
Harrison I. Steans applied astute business acumen to become a legendary Chicago banker and philanthropist whose strategic community investments have empowered individuals and revitalized neighborhoods. Since 1967 Steans has successfully led numerous banks to grow and succeed, including LaSalle National Bank, U.S. Ameribancs Inc., Citizens Financial Bank, Elk Grove Bank, First National Bank of Highland Park, First National Bank of Skokie, Marina City Bank, and Woodfield Bank. In 1986 he created the Steans Family Foundation that has focused on Chicago’s neediest areas to prove that long-term personal involvement with individuals can change lives and communities.
Robert Gilmore, 2016 Laureate – Business, Industry & Communications
Peoria native Robert Gilmore made an impact on manufacturing throughout the world during a lifelong career at Caterpillar, where he started as an apprentice making 32 cents an hour and eventually rose to lead the company as president and chief operating officer. Gilmore’s career included overseeing operations in East Peoria and building Caterpillar’s plant in France to supply three continents. In retirement, Gilmore lent his time, talents and philanthropy to organizations that make Illinois a better place and donated the 70-acre Scott’s Prairie property to the Children’s Home Association of Illinois.
Nancy Goodman Brinker, 2016 Laureate – Social Services
Peoria native Nancy Goodman Brinker founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 1982 with $200, a typewriter and a determination to eradicate breast cancer. Komen for the Cure has to date invested more than $2 billion in breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment. The entire effort is a way to honor Brinker’s sister, Susan G. Komen, who died of breast cancer in 1980. Brinker is herself a breast cancer survivor and serves as the World Health Organization’s Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control.
Ray LaHood, 2016 Laureate – Government & Law
Ray LaHood had a 36-year career in politics, serving the citizens of Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives and as U.S. Secretary of Transportation under President Barack Obama. LaHood, from Peoria, became renowned for fostering bipartisan cooperation throughout his career to move forward programs that benefited all Americans. He was Illinois’ 18th District Congressman from 1995 to 2009 and Transportation Secretary from 2009 to 2013. A section of Interstate 74 entering Peoria has been designated the Ray LaHood Highway in his honor.
Leo Melamed, 2016 Laureate – Business, Industry & Communications
As chairman of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Leo Melamed forever changed how the finance industry operates throughout the world and made Chicago the hub of futures trading. Melamed’s visionary leadership led to the introduction of Treasury Bills, Eurodollars, Stock Index Futures and electronic trading systems, and he created the International Monetary Market and became its first and only chairman. Melamed was born in Poland and fled with his parents to the United States at the start of World War II, ending up in Chicago where he made his mark on the financial world.
Scott Simon, 2016 Laureate – Business, Industry & Communications
Scott Simon, host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday,” has reported on wars, disasters and worldwide events that define our humanity during a long career in broadcast journalism. Simon’s heart-wrenching reports from his dying mother’s bedside in 2013 also demonstrated the power of words in transmitting emotional experiences. Simon, a Chicago native, has earned numerous awards for his work, has appeared on many public television programs, and is a writer and novelist.
Kevin Stein, 2016 Laureate – The Arts & The Performing Arts / Education
Kevin Stein used the power of words to enlighten and inspire as Poet Laureate of the State of Illinois from 2003 – 2017. The Bradley University professor used modern technology to deliver written and spoken works by Illinois poets to every corner of the state and launched the Poetry Now! Project, which funds purchases of Illinois poetry by many of the state’s public and school libraries. Stein was also a sponsor of the Gwendolyn Brooks Emerging Poets Contest that has helped launch the careers of other Illinois poets.
Arthur H. ‘Hy’ Bunn, 2015 Laureate – Business, Industry & Communications
Arthur H. “Hy” Bunn has been the President and CEO of the family-owned and Springfield-based Bunn Corporation since 1988. Bunn assumed overall management and leadership of the worldwide beverage equipment company, formerly known as Bunn-O-Matic, that his father founded. During Hy Bunn’s tenure, the Bunn portfolio has evolved from a coffee focus to include dispensed beverage equipment for espresso, tea, juice, granita, filtered water and many other specialty beverages. Bunn is also active in leadership roles for several charitable and not-for-profit organizations in the Springfield area.
Ertharin Cousin, 2015 Laureate – Social Services
Ertharin Cousin was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture from 2009 to 2012 and was the twelfth Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme from 2012 to 2017. Cousin has since accepted an appointment as a Distinguished Fellow with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and as Trustee on the U.K.-based Power of Nutrition Board of Directors. Cousin grew up in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood and attended Lane Technical High School and the University of Illinois. She was ranked number 45 on Forbes Magazine‘s List of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women and was named to Time‘s 100 most influential people of the world list.
J. Roland Folse, 2015 Laureate – Medicine & Science
Dr. J. Roland Folse established the Department of Surgery at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine when he was hired as department chairman in 1971. Folse helped to build the SIU School of Medicine into a nationally acclaimed medical institution while maintaining its unique role as a community-based medical school in Springfield and Carbondale. Folse served as the school’s medical director for five years and has received numerous honors and awards for his teaching and research efforts, including six consecutive awards for Excellence in Teaching. Folse remains a driving force in surgical education across the country, has published more than 80 articles, and participates in numerous national organizations.
Sara Vaughn Gabbard, 2015 Laureate – The Arts & The Performing Arts / Education
Lincoln, Illinois native Sara Vaughn Gabbard is a nationally recognized Lincoln scholar and author who was vice president at the Fort Wayne Lincoln Museum and executive director of the Friends of the Lincoln Collection of Indiana at the Allen County Public Library. Gabbard co-authored, along with historian Harold Holzer, 1865: America Makes War and Peace in Lincoln’s Final Year, and she edited the award-winning newsletter Lincoln Lore on behalf of the Friends of the Lincoln Collection. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Gabbard was a contributing author in Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America’s Greatest Leader, and co-editor of three other acclaimed Lincoln books: Lincoln’s America, Lincoln and Freedom, and 1863: Lincoln’s Pivotal Year.
Gary Slutkin, 2015 Laureate – Medicine & Science / Education
Dr. Gary Slutkin is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in violence prevention. Slutkin is the founder and executive director of Cure Violence, which creates a public health model based on behavior change and disease control lessons he learned from more than a decade of fighting epidemics in Africa and Asia for the World Health Organization. Cure Violence has been endorsed by a resolution from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, while the program’s theory has been promoted by the Institute of Medicine. Slutkin’s public health violence reduction method is being replicated in more than 50 sites in 15 United States cities and seven foreign countries.
W. Russell Withers, Jr., 2015 Laureate – Business, Industry & Communications (Posthumous award)
W. Russell Withers, Jr. was a nationally-recognized force in the radio and television broadcasting industry and for more than 40 years his Withers Broadcasting Group brought local news and programming to southern Illinois. Withers was named the Illinois Broadcasters Association 2005 Broadcaster of the Year and served as Chairman of the Radio Board at National Association of Broadcasters. He was known as a stalwart defender of local broadcasting on the state and national level. Withers was also very active in his support of area organizations and institutions including Rend Lake College, Crimestoppers, and economic development in the Mount Vernon area. Withers was named Mount Vernon Citizen of the Year in 1992.
John A. Canning, Jr., 2014 Laureate – Business & Industry
John A. Canning Jr. is the founder and chairman of Madison Dearborn Partners, a large Chicago-based equity firm. Canning joined The First National Bank of Chicago in 1968 and spent 24 years with the bank, rising to executive vice president, and later became president of First Chicago Venture Capital, the predecessor of Madison Dearborn. Since its 1992 Founding Madison Dearborn has raised more than $14 billion of investor commitments. Canning is also part owner of the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, 2014 Laureate – Government
Hillary Clinton was the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001, U.S. Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009, and United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. Clinton sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for President but lost to fellow Illinoisan Barack Obama, and she became the Democratic Party’s 2016 Presidential nominee in 2016 but lost to Donald Trump. Clinton was born in Chicago and raised in Park Ridge and is the author of It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Grammy Award for best spoken word album for her narration of the book.
Michael Krzyzewski, 2014 Laureate – Sports
Chicago native Michael Krzyzewski (also known as Coach K) has been the head men’s basketball coach at Duke University since 1980. He has led the Duke team to five NCAA Championships, 12 Final Fours, 12 ACC regular season titles, and 14 ACC Tournament championships. Only one other college coach has won more NCAA titles. Krzyzewski was also the coach of the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team that won gold medals in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics. Krzyzewski played basketball for Army from 1966 to 1969 under coach Bob Knight and was head coach there from 1975 to 1980. He has been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Hall of Fame.
Newton N. Minow, 2014 Laureate – Government & Law
Newton Minow is the former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) whose early 1960s speech referring to television as a “vast wasteland” is still widely quoted today. Following World War II service Minow earned a law degree from Northwestern University, became a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Fred Vinson, and worked on both of Adlai Stevenson’s Presidential campaigns. President Kennedy appointed Minow as FCC chair in 1961 and he served in that capacity for two years and had a large influence on what television has become today. Minow was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. He is senior counsel at Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago and is Honorary Consul General of Singapore in Chicago.
Bernard Rands & Augusta Read Thomas, 2014 Laureates – The Arts
Bernard Rands and Augusta Read Thomas are a husband-and-wife musical composing team and have won international acclaim for their works. Rands’ Canti del Sole won the Pulitzer Prize for music, and a recording of his Canti D’Amor won a Grammy Award in 2000. Thomas was a 2007 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for her composition Astral Canticle and was Composer in Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra until 2006. Rands held a musical residency at the University of Illinois, and Thomas has taught music at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.
The Rev. Donald Senior, C.P., 2014 Laureate – Religion
Father Donald Senior is one of Catholicism’s leading New Testament scholars. He is President Emeritus of the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he is also a professor of the New Testament. Senior has served on the Pontifical Biblical Commission since being named to it by Pope John Paul II in 2001 and he has taught and led study tours in the Holy Land for over 25 years. Senior is the author of numerous books, is the general editor of The Bible Today and The Catholic Study Bible and is co-editor of the 22-volume New Testament Message.
Glenn F. Tilton, 2014 Laureate – Business & Industry
Glenn F. Tilton helped lead the airline industry through a period of struggles and is still widely regarded as an expert on the business of air travel. Tilton served in leadership positions with Texaco through mergers that saw the corporation transform into ChevronTexaco and then Dynegy, and in 2002 was recruited to lead the struggling, Chicago-based United Air Lines (UAL) Corporation. Tilton shepherded UAL through one of the largest, longest and most complex bankruptcy cases in American history and in 2010 signed a deal to merge the reorganized UAL with Continental Airlines to form United Continental Holdings, Inc. Tilton is also the former chairman of the Air Transport Association, the industry trade organization representing U.S. airlines.
Brenda C. Barnes, 2013 Laureate – Business & Industry
Brenda C. Barnes was the president, chairman and CEO of Sara Lee and was the first female CEO at PepsiCo. Barnes worked for Wilson Sporting Goods and Frito-Lay before joining PepsiCo in 1984, rising to president and CEO in 1996. Barnes made national headlines when she left PepsiCo a year later to spend more time with her family and entered the national spotlight again in 2004 when she was selected to head Sara Lee. While there, Barnnes moved Sara Lee’s headquarters from Chicago to Downers Grove. Barnes was a graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island and Loyola University Chicago.
William Hammer, 2013 Laureate – Education
Dr. William Hammer is a retired Augustana College professor and Antarctic researcher who discovered a new dinosaur and is considered one of the top paleontologists of his generation. Hammer has been on eight research trips to Antarctica and during a trip in 1991 discovered a previously unknown Jurassic dinosaur, which he named cryolophosaurus ellioti, and the dinosaur’s bones may be seen at Augustana. Hammer’s field research has been funded by more than a dozen grants from the National Science Foundation, and he served as a consultant for the Field Museum’s traveling exhibit on Antarctic fossils. Hammer was also successful in getting a mountain in Antarctica named after Augustana.
G. Timothy Johnson, Jr., 2013 Laureate – Communications
Dr. G. Timothy Johnson was the longtime chief medical correspondent for ABC News and still serves as a medical correspondent for the network. A graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island, Johnson joined ABC in 1975 and later became the Medical Editor of Good Morning America. In a three-decade television career Johnson reported for the popular news programs World News Tonight, Nightline and 20/20. Johnson is also an ordained Evangelical Covenant Church minister and continues to serve congregations today.
Robert Lane, 2013 Laureate – Business & Industry
Robert Lane served as CEO of Deere & Company from 2000 to 2009 and retired as Chairman of the Board in 2010. Lane graduated from Wheaton College and received his MBA from the University of Chicago, then worked at the First National Bank of Chicago before joining Deere and Company in 1982. Lane headed Deere’s foreign operations in virtually all parts of the globe before being elected president and CEO. During Lane’s leadership of the company, Deere & Company doubled its net income to more than $2 billion.
Robert Ontiveros, 2013 Laureate – Business & Industry
Robert Ontiveros founded Group O in Milan, Illinois and it has grown into one of the largest Hispanic-owned companies in the United States with 1,500 employees and 34 facilities across the nation. Group O services a broad range of businesses with marketing, management, packaging and supply chain services, including the food and beverage industry, telecommunications, manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, financial services, pharmaceutical, health care, retail, and technology. Ontiveros guided Group O’s growth from its beginnings in 1974 as Bi-State Packaging, and its reach now extends to Mexico and Puerto Rico as well.
Chad Pregracke, 2013 Laureate – Social Service
Chad Pregracke grew up along the Mississippi River near East Moline and saw how neglected and trash-filled the region’s rivers had become. As a young man Pregracke began a life-long pursuit to clean up Midwestern rivers. Through his Living Lands & Waters he has greatly improved the Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio Rivers and their tributaries in nine states. Pregracke recently expanded the group’s mission to include student educational workshops, The Million Trees Project, Adopt-A-River Mile, and invasive species removal. He received the Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2002, was named CNN Hero of the Year in 2013, and is the author of From the Bottom Up: One Man’s Crusade to Clean America’s Rivers.
Jean Driscoll, 2012 Laureate – Sports
Jean Driscoll has won the wheelchair division of the Boston Marathon eight times, more than any other female athlete, and participated in four Summer Paralympic Games, winning five gold, three silver and four bronze medals in events ranging from 200 meters to the marathon. Driscoll was born with spina bifida and started using a wheelchair at the age of 15. She pursued athletic opportunities in high school and was subsequently recruited to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Driscoll is a motivational speaker and also worked as the Associate Director of Development in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois.
W. James Farrell, 2012 Laureate – Business & Industry
W. James Farrell is the Retired Chairman of Illinois Tool Works, a multinational manufacturer of highly engineered fasteners, components, assemblies and systems. Illinois Tool Works, which experienced extraordinary growth under Farrell’s leadership, is comprised of approximately 900 decentralized operations in 57 countries. Farrell was Chairman of The Civic Committee, Vice Chairman of The Commercial Club, and a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. Cultural and civic affiliations for Farrell include former Chairman and Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Director of Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Director of The Big Shoulders Fund.
James A. Lovell, Jr., 2012 Laureate – Government
Captain James Lovell was selected in September 1962 for the space program and held various commands in the Gemini mission program, including pilot on the Gemini 7 flight, which saw the rendezvous of two manned spacecraft in 1965. At the close of the Gemini program, Lovell became command module pilot and navigator on Apollo 8, backup commander on Apollo 11, and spacecraft commander on the perilous Apollo 13 mission in 1970. In 1973, Lovell left the space program to pursue a successful career as President of Bay-Houston Towing Company and Fisk Telephone Systems. In 1994, Lovell and Jeff Kluger co-wrote a book about the Apollo 13 mission, Lost Moon. His awards and honors include the Presidential Medal for Freedom and the French Legion of Honor. The Lovells maintain a residence in Lake Forest.
Naomi Burgos Lynn, 2012 Laureate – Education
Dr. Naomi Burgos Lynn served as the President of Sangamon State University in Springfield beginning in 1991 and through its reorganization into the University of Illinois Springfield. She was the first Hispanic woman president of an American public university. Lynn has published extensively in the fields of political science and public administration, and she has served as President of the American Society for Public Administration, the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration, and the Women’s Caucus for Political Science. She retired as the first Chancellor of the University of Illinois Springfield in 2001.
Robert J. Miller, 2012 Laureate – Government
Staff Sergeant Robert Miller of Wheaton was a U.S. Army Green Beret who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. On the night of January 25, 2008 Miller, at the age of 24, was serving as the weapons sergeant in Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3312, Special Operations Task Force 33, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Afghanistan. Following an engagement with insurgents, Miller was killed when he drew fire from over 100 enemy fighters away from his team and upon himself. On October 6, 2010 President Barack Obama awarded Staff Sergeant Miller the Medal of Honor “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call the duty.”
William R. Schnirring, 2012 Laureate – Business & Industry
William R. Schnirring, a lifelong resident of Springfield, is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Springfield Electric Supply Company. With its corporate headquarters in Springfield and branch offices throughout Illinois, Iowa and Missouri, Springfield Electric Supply Company is one of the 50 largest electrical supply companies in the nation. Schnirring has received numerous awards for his business leadership and volunteer service, including a Copley Newspaper First Citizen Award, and has volunteered to provide leadership to non-profit boards to create new opportunities for Illinois residents of Illinois.
N. Ronald Thunman, 2012 Laureate – Government
Vice Admiral N. Ronald Thunman was the U.S. Navy’s Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Submarine Warfare, and determined the requirements and directed all programs involving submarines and submarine support and managed the planning and execution of an $18 billion annual budget. He served numerous tours during his 35-year naval career aboard submarines, including as commanding officer, and served as the Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, with fifty nuclear attack submarines and ten POLARIS strategic submarines under his command. Following his retirement from the Navy, Admiral Thunman served in several significant roles in private business. He holds the Navy Distinguished Service Medal (two awards) and Legion of Merit (four awards).
Richard Gray & Mary Lackritz Gray, 2011 Laureates – The Arts
Richard and Mary Lackritz Gray are lifelong Chicagoans with international reputations in the arts. The Richard Gray Gallery, founded in Chicago in 1963, is one of the leading dealers in modern and contemporary American and European art. Richard Gray is a Life Trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Goodman Theater, and the Founding Vice-Chairman of the Chicago Humanities Festival. Mary Lackritz Gray, an art historian, is a member of the Friends of the Parks Advisory Board and the Art Institute’s Committee on Libraries. She authored A Guide to Chicago’s Public Sculpture in 1983 and A Guide to Chicago’s Murals in 2001.
Shahid R. Khan, 2011 Laureate – Business & Industry
Shahid Khan is the president of Flex-N-Gate Corporation, a global automobile components and systems manufacturer located in Urbana. A native of Pakistan, Khan began working at Flex-N-Gate shortly after he came to the United States to study industrial engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He acquired Flex-N-Gate in 1980 and shaped the company into one of the top 200 largest private companies in the United States. Khan has made significant investments in educational opportunities for future generations and is the owner of the National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars.
Shirley Madigan, 2011 Laureate – The Arts
Shirley Madigan has given a lifetime of commitment to supporting and promoting arts organizations nationally and internationally. She was appointed to the Illinois Arts Council (IAC) in 1976 and was asked to serve as IAC Chairman by five governors. In addition, Madigan has served on the National Endowment for the Arts – Advisory Board on Arts Education, the boards of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Arts Midwest and the Illinois Ethnic Heritage Commission. She has worked on the steering committees for Gallery 37, Year of the American Craft, and the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
Dawn Clark Netsch, 2011 Laureate – Government & Law
Dawn Clark Netsch was an Illinois State Senator, Illinois Comptroller, and candidate for Governor in 1994. Netsch graduated first in her class from Northwestern University’s law school in 1952 and her early career included working as a private practice attorney, campaigning for Adlai Stevenson, and serving as an aide to Governor Otto Kerner. In 1965 Netsch joined the faculty of the Northwestern School of Law and helped pave the way for women in legal education. She was a delegate to the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention and, two years later, she was elected to the Illinois State Senate, beginning her long and respected career in public service.
Timothy J. Nugent, 2011 Laureate – Education & Social Science
Dr. Timothy Nugent founded the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services in 1948 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the first post-secondary disability support service program in the world. Early in his career, Nugent utilized ramps he built in his garage to help veterans injured in World War II take advantage of the GI Bill. He went on to lead his program toward many firsts, including curb cuts, fixed-route buses with wheelchair lifts, the first National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, and founding a fraternity dedicated to serving those with disabilities. Nugent was also instrumental in the development of architectural accessibility standards that shaped laws throughout the nation.
William J. Bauer, 2010 Laureate – Government & Law
Judge William J. Bauer, Senior Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit, is a Chicago native with a long and distinguished legal career. He was elected DuPage County State’s Attorney, served as a DuPage County Circuit Judge, and then as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, in which capacity he hired as his first assistant James R. Thompson, who would succeed him and later serve four terms as Illinois’ Governor. President Gerald R. Ford appointed Judge Bauer to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 1974 and he served as chief judge from 1986 – 1993.
Doris K. Christopher, 2010 Laureate – Business
Doris Christopher founded Pampered Chef from the basement of her Chicago home in 1980 and turned it into a direct selling empire with tens of thousands of consultants. An Oak Lawn native, Christopher’s experience as a home economics teacher and at-home mother gave her the idea to offer professional quality kitchen equipment directly to consumers through in-home cooking demonstrations. Christopher established the Pampered Chef Family Resiliency Program at the University of Illinois to develop ways to help people to navigate the competing demands of work and family.
Mary A. Dempsey, 2010 Laureate – Education
Mary A. Dempsey, the Chicago Public Library Commissioner, spearheaded the expansion and modernization of the city’s library system to make its services much more accessible to the public. She instituted the Teacher in the Library at many branches to help children with their studies. The library system began offering navigators support those who need internet access and help with job applications and insurance issues. In addition to her service with the Chicago Public Library system, Dempsey has served as chair of the Urban Libraries Council and was the Chair of the DePaul University Board of Trustees.
Mannie Jackson, 2010 Laureate – Sports
Mannie Jackson, chairman and owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, grew up in Edwardsville and earned the title of Illinois’ “Mr. Basketball.” He was the first African American All-American and captain of the University of Illinois basketball team. Jackson is a charter member of the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame, a former player with the Harlem Globetrotters, member of the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame and chaired the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Joffrey Ballet, 2010 Laureate – The Arts
The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, an internationally renowned dance company, was founded in 1956 and has made Chicago its home since 1995. The Joffrey has been hailed as “America’s Ballet Company of Firsts,” including the first classical dance company to go multi-media, the first to commission a rock-n-roll ballet, and the first and only dance company to appear on the cover of Time Magazine. The company performs four different programs each season and has an international academy that trains young dancers from around the world.
Lester B. Knight III, 2010 Laureate – Business
Lester B. Knight is chairman of Aon Corporation, the world’s largest insurance broker, with worldwide headquarters in Chicago. He is also the founding partner and managing director of RoundTable Healthcare Partners, a multi-billion-dollar investment firm located in Lake Forest. Knight continues to serve in leadership roles with several not-for-profit and philanthropic organizations that help thousands of people across the country, including the Knight Family Foundation, the Advanced Medical Technology Association, Junior Achievement of Chicago, and the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago.
Jean Harvey Baker, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
A Mary Todd Lincoln biographer and Bennett-Harwood Professor of History at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland.
Gabor S. Boritt, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Author and editor of 16 books on Lincoln and the Civil War, and Robert Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies and Director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Michael Burlingame, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Author and editor of books on Lincoln and Sadowski Professor of History Emeritus at Connecticut College.
Richard J. Carwardine, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Lincoln biographer and Rhodes Professor of American History at Oxford University, England.
Julie Cellini, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
A driving force behind the creation of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois and chair of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which operates all state-owned Lincoln sites.
Cullom Davis, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Founding director and senior editor of The Lincoln Legal Papers, and retired professor of history at the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Eric Foner, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Author of books on Lincoln and Reconstruction, and DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University in New York City.
Allen C. Guelzo, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Author of books on Lincoln and the Civil War, and Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Harold Holzer, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Co-chair of the U.S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and author of books on Lincoln and the Civil War.
Charles M. Hubbard, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Lincoln author and director of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee.
Ron J. Keller, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Curator of the Lincoln College Museum and professor of history at Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois.
Philip B. Kunhardt III and Peter W. Kunhardt of Kunhardt Productions, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Producers of Lincoln documentaries and publishers of books on Abraham Lincoln.
John W. McClarey, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Lincoln sculptor from Decatur, Illinois.
Edna Greene Medford, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Author of books on Emancipation and slavery, and professor of history at Howard University in Washington, DC.
LeRoy Neiman, 2009 * – Bicentennial Laureate
The artist who created the 1969 portrait of Lincoln considered a modern American classic.
Don Pollack, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Lincoln artist and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Robert Provost, Jr., 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Founder of the Lincoln Center in Tirana, Albania.
Bob Rogers of BRC Imagination Arts of Burbank, California, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
The designer of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.
Thomas F. Schwartz, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Illinois State Historian, internationally renowned Lincoln expert, and key planner of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Jack Smith, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
A major collector of Lincoln prints and photographs whose collection has been used for a major Lincoln exhibit at the Northern Indiana Center for History.
Rhoda and Lowell Sneller, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Founders of AbrahamLincolnOnline.org.
Louise Taper of Beverly Hills, California, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Renowned Lincoln collector, exhibit organizer, and John Wilkes Booth author and collector.
Wayne C. Temple, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Lincoln author and Chief Deputy Director of the Illinois State Archives in Springfield, Illinois.
Lily Tolpo, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Lincoln sculptor originally from Stockton, Illinois.
Daniel R. Weinberg, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Owner of the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago and Lincoln author.
Frank J. Williams, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Lincoln author and collector, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island.
Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, 2009 – Bicentennial Laureate
Lincoln authors and co-founders of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.
David Herbert Donald, 2008 Laureate * – Communication and Education
David Herbert Donald was one of the world’s foremost Abraham Lincoln scholars and the author or editor of more than 30 books, most of them on Lincoln or the Civil War. The winner of two Pulitzer Prizes is best known for his 1995 Lincoln: A Biography, which is considered the definitive book about the 16th President’s life. Donald received his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and taught there as well.
Irl F. Engelhardt, 2008 Laureate – Business and Industry
The former Chairman of Peabody Energy, Pinckneyville native Irl F. Engelhardt is one of the nation’s most successful business leaders who is giving back to his home town. Peabody is the world’s largest coal company, but Engelhardt never forgot his roots in the southern Illinois coal mining community. He formed the Future of Pinckneyville Foundation, Inc. and has made generous contributions to area schools, the county fair, and the local Chamber of Commerce.
Joel M. Flaum, 2008 Laureate – Government and Law
Judge Joel M. Flaum of Chicago has had a long, distinguished legal career. He is currently Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, having been appointed to the post by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, and served as Chief Judge from 2000 – 2006. Flaum was U.S. District Court Judge from 1974 – 1983, and prior to that was First Assistant U.S. Attorney and First Assistant Illinois Attorney General. Chicago Lawyer magazine named Flaum its 2005 Person of the Year, and while on the bench from 1981 – 1992 he served as a reservist in the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General Corps, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
William R. Norwood, 2008 Laureate – Education and Social Service
The life of William Norwood, a native of Centralia, Illinois, has been marked by several “firsts.” He was the first African American quarterback on the Southern Illinois University Carbondale football team, and the first African American pilot to fly for United Airlines. Norwood is included in “Black Wings,” a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution, and his name is painted on a United Airlines aircraft displayed at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. Norwood has received numerous awards from his alma mater, SIU, and was on the school’s Board of Trustees for 27 years.
Kenneth A. Shaw, 2008 Laureate – Education
Granite City, Illinois native Kenneth A. Shaw is the retired chancellor of Syracuse University and spent 30 years as a university president in Wisconsin, Illinois, and New York. He has received honorary degrees from eight universities and has written more than 40 articles dealing with higher education and leadership. Shaw was a star high school and college basketball player and served the NCAA in a variety of leadership roles.
Thomas M. Siebel, 2008 Laureate – Business and Social Service
Thomas M. Siebel was the founder, chairman and CEO of Siebel Systems, which merged with Oracle Corporation in 2006 to form one of the world’s leading software companies. He is also the founder of the C3 IoT platform and applications company. Siebel, a Wilmette native, is the author of three books and has donated more than $135 million to his alma mater, the University of Illinois, to modernize and improve its campus. The Montana Meth Project he founded, a public awareness campaign directed at curtailing methamphetamine use, has been featured on national news programs.
Judith S. Block, 2007 Laureate – Social Service
Judith Block was the first female chair of the Field Museum, and it was during her tenure that the largest preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, dubbed “Sue,” was acquired by the museum. She continues to be a trustee of the museum and has held leadership roles with Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Chicago Foundation for Education, “Know Your Chicago,” Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Childcare Society, United Way, Child Welfare League of America, and Crusade of Mercy, among many others.
Norman R. Bobins, 2007 Laureate – Business
Norman R. Bobins is chairman of The Private Bank in Chicago and was chairman, president and chief executive officer of LaSalle Bank, one of the Midwest’s largest commercial banks. Bobins is active in numerous civic organizations and has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Award from the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith; the Corporate Visionary Award from El Valor; Harvard Business School Club of Chicago Business Statesman; University of Chicago Graduate School of Business Distinguished Corporate Alumnus Award; and the Harold Washington College Business Professional of the Year Award. Bobins is a long-time member and former chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.
Rev. Dr. John M. Buchanan, 2007 Laureate – Religion
Rev. Dr. John Buchanan, retired pastor of Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian Church, has held a variety of leadership positions in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and is editor/publisher of The Christian Century Magazine. He served as Presbytery Moderator, General Assembly Council and as Moderator of the 208th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1996-1997; has represented the Presbyterian Church as a member of the Governing Board of the National Council of Churches; and as an Observer to the Seventh Assembly of The World Council of Churches in Canberra, Australia. Buchanan is President of the Board of Trustees of McCormick Theological Seminary and a member of the Board of The Greater Chicago Broadcast Ministry.
Mary Ann G. McMorrow, 2007 Laureate * – Government and Law
Mary Ann G. McMorrow was the first woman elected to the Illinois Supreme Court in 1992 and in 2002 became the first woman to serve as Chief Justice. McMorrow was born in Chicago and was the only woman in her class when she graduated from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law in 1953. She was appointed as the First Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney in the Criminal Division and was the first woman to prosecute felony cases in Cook County. In 1976, McMorrow was elected a judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, was appointed to the Appellate Court in 1985 and elected in 1986. McMorrow was also the president of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois.
Linda Johnson Rice, 2007 Laureate – Business, Industry and Communications
Linda Johnson Rice was president and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. of Chicago, publishers of Ebony and Jet magazines. She recently returned as CEO of Ebony Media after her family’s publishing empire was purchased. In addition to being the number one African American publishing company in the world, Johnson Publishing Company owned Fashion Fair Cosmetics, number one in the world for makeup and skin care for women of color, and Ebony Fashion Fair, the world’s largest traveling fashion show. Johnson is a member of several corporate, humanitarian and fine arts boards of directors, and was part of the Founding Council of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.
The Rev. Thomas J. Behrens, 2006 Laureate – Social Service
Rev. Thomas J. Behrens established The Night Ministry in 1976 in Chicago and for a time was its sole staff member, walking the Lake View community at night as a street outreach minister to the lonely, isolated, poor, homeless, abused, and neglected. He listened to the people he met on those nighttime streets and developed The Night Ministry into what it is today. Behrens now leads numerous staff and volunteers who operate organization’s Outreach and Health Ministry, Homeless & At-Risk Youth Services, and Youth Shelter Network.
Richard H. Moy, 2006 Laureate * – Education, Medicine and Science
The efforts of Naperville native Richard H. Moy led to the founding of the Southern Illinois University Medical School in Springfield and Carbondale. A young medical student in the 1950s, Moy noted that his teachers were preoccupied with research that attracted millions in funding but took little time with curriculum. He began to challenge conventional wisdom, and in 1969 the Chancellor of Southern Illinois University took note and offered Moy the chance to create a new medical school that focused on education “to reintroduce the drama of medicine.” The result was a daring, but now widely copied, community-based medical school, which Moy headed as Dean from 1970 through 1993.
William A. Osborn, 2006 Laureate – Business and Social Service
William A. Osborn was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Northern Trust Corporation and its principal subsidiary, The Northern Trust Company, of Chicago. He joined Northern Trust in 1970 and worked his way up through the ranks, becoming President and Chief Operating Officer in 1993 and CEO, President and Chairman in 1995. Osborn has been active for many years on numerous boards dealing with the arts, education and social services in the Chicago area, and the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, his alma mater.
Garry Wills, 2006 Laureate * – Communications and Education
Evanston resident Garry Wills is one of the nation’s most distinguished historians and critics. He is the author of numerous books, including Saint Augustine, Papal Sin, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lincoln at Gettysburg. Wills has won many other awards, among them two National Book Critics Circle Awards and the 1998 National Medal for the Humanities. His newest book is What the Qur’an Meant and Why it Matters. Wills is Professor of History Emeritus at Northwestern University.
The Zhou Brothers, 2006 Laureates – The Arts
The Zhou Brothers, Shan Zuo and DaHuang Zhou, are world-renowned artists whose Zhou Brothers Art Foundation in Chicago supports international artists. Born in China, the Zhou Brothers always work together and have received awards and had paintings, sculpture and performances featured in their native land, Europe, and throughout the United States. In 2004 they opened Chicago’s ZhouB Art Center, which is dedicated to furthering awareness of younger artists and experimental work. The Zhou Brothers were honored in 2004 with the Chicago Immigrant Achievement Award.
Edward A. Brennan, 2005 Laureate * – Business and Social Service
Edward A. Brennan was the Chairman, President and CEO of Sears, Roebuck and Co. based in Chicago. He started with Sears in 1956 selling men’s furnishings and rose through the ranks and in 1984 he become Sears’ 11th chairman, a position he held until retiring in 1995. Sears was one of the country’s largest enterprises during Brennan’s chairmanship, including the Sears Merchandise Group, The Allstate Insurance Co., Dean Witter Reynolds, and Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group. Brennan had a major impact on a number of social and civic organizations.
David Broder, 2005 Laureate, 2005 Laureate * – Communications
Chicago Heights native David Broder was called “the high priest of political journalism.” The Washington Post political correspondent received the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and was named “Best Newspaper Political Reporter” by the Washington Journalism Review. Broder covered every national political campaign and convention for more than 50 years, starting with the Eisenhower-Stevenson race in 1956. Broder wrote six books and was a regular commentator on network television news programs, including more than 400 appearances on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Nick Holonyak, Jr., 2005 Laureate – Science
A native of Zeigler, Illinois and former head of the University of Illinois’ Micro and Nano Lab at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Nick Holonyak, Jr. is the father of the light-emitting diode (LED) used in a myriad of electronic applications worldwide. The holder of 33 patents for numerous electronic devices and applications, Holonyak is known throughout the world for his work with transistors, thyristors, LED’s and lasers – virtually every human being alive today has probably seen or used a device that contains one of his inventions. He was the recipient of the 2003 National Medal of Technology and the Global Energy International Prize.
George E. Inglett, 2005 Laureate – Agriculture and Science
Peoria resident Dr. George E. Inglett is the innovator and marketer of corn and soybean-based weight loss and fat replacement products that have improved the health of millions of people around the world. Inglett joined the USDA’s National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria in 1967 and as Lead Scientist oversaw research projects leading to the creation of Trim Technologies, including the products Oatrim, Z-Trim, Nutrim and Soytrim. He is a world-renowned expert on food production science and technology.
Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee, 2005 Laureate – Sports
The Sports Illustrated “Female Athlete of the 20th Century,” Jackie Joyner-Kersee is an East St. Louis native whose center and foundation in her hometown provides educational and recreational opportunities for thousands of youth in the area. Joyner-Kersee won six Olympic medals, four of them gold, while competing in track and field events in four consecutive Olympic games. ESPN named her one of the 50 Greatest Athletes of all time, and she was the first woman to receive back-to-back Jesse Owens Memorial Awards. Joyner-Kersee has been active for many years in numerous organizations that promote opportunities for youth and sports excellence. She is the author of A Kind of Grace: The Autobiography of the World’s Greatest Female Athlete and co-author of A Woman’s Place is Everywhere.
Stephanie Pace Marshall, 2005 Laureate – Education
The founding president of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall is an international leader, speaker and writer on the issues of educational innovation, schooling re-design, gifted education, and mathematics and science education. Marshall was chosen to lead the Mathematics and Science Academy when it was formed in 1985, and the institution has since become a model for similar educational institutions around the globe. She was named one of North America’s 100 Top School Executives by Executive Educator Magazine and the National School Boards Association; one of the ten most powerful women in education by the Chicago Sun-Times; and was elected in 2002 as an inaugural Hall of Fame member of Chicago Women’s Today.
Michael Beschloss, 2004 Laureate – Communications and Education
Presidential author and frequent national television commentator Michael Beschloss is an Illinois native who has been recognized by Newsweek as “the nation’s leading presidential historian.” Beschloss has authored books and articles about the Cold War and the Lyndon Johnson, Kennedy and Eisenhower administrations. He is a regular commentator on major network television news shows and serves on the boards of many institutions dedicated to contributing to the public discourse on political and foreign policy matters.
Harry L. Crisp, II, 2004 Laureate – Business
Harry L. Crisp II, as chairman of the Illinois Community College Board, was the driving force behind an initiative to put community colleges and other educational facilities into the forefront of technological advancement and to make them responsive to the changing needs of the workplace and the future employee. Crisp has actively served on foundation boards at several colleges and universities and continues to advocate links between the business community and higher education to keep educational programs relevant to the modern world.
George A. Ranney, Jr., 2004 Laureate – Business and Social Services
Libertyville, Illinois native George A. Ranney, Jr. has made an indelible mark on the state’s business, political and charitable landscape. He is President and C.E.O. of Chicago Metropolis 2020, an organization formed to ensure the region’s competitiveness in the global economy. Ranney chaired or was a member of numerous task forces for Governors Ogilvie, Thompson, Edgar and Ryan, including the task force that created the Regional Transportation Authority. Ranney also actively serves on the boards of numerous charitable and educational foundations.
Louis “Studs” Terkel, 2004 Laureate * – Communications
Pulitzer Prize-winning author and radio broadcast personality Studs Terkel was a Chicago fixture since moving there with his parents in 1922. He received a law degree from the University of Chicago in 1934 but wound up in radio, first playing music but eventually becoming famous for interviewing people from all walks of life. Terkel hosted several of his own radio and television shows for 50 years. He published his first book in 1956, and in 1966 published the first of his famous oral history books on the Great Depression, World War II, race relations, working, the American Dream, and aging.
Ernest R. Wish, 2004 Laureate – Social Services
Long-time Chicago resident Ernest R. Wish has had a distinguished record of business, government and civic involvement. A managing partner with the Chicago office of Coopers & Lybrand, Wish took early retirement in 1992 to pursue community involvement. He was chairman of the Governor’s Illinois Health Care Reform Task Force, was appointed City Clerk of Chicago in 1993 and Director of the Chicago Revenue Department in 1995. Wish has been active in numerous charitable, educational and leadership development organizations, and was leader of the largest local United Way in America, the Chicago United Way/Crusade of Mercy, for three years.
Sister Rosemary Connelley, RSM, 2003 Laureate – Religion and Social Service
Since 1969, Sister Rosemary Connelly has been the executive director of Chicago’s Misericordia Heart of Mercy Center, a loving, challenging and dignified environment for more than 500 persons of all ages with mental disabilities and physical challenges. Under her guidance, the center has become a national model for facilities that care for these persons. In 1989, Sister Rosemary was named one of the eleven most caring people in America, and in 2001 she received the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin “As Those Who Serve” Award.
Ronald J. Gidwitz, 2003 Laureate – Business and Education
Ronald J. Gidwitz has spent a lifetime developing business opportunities, promoting education, and supporting community organizations in Illinois. Gidwitz was President and CEO of Helene Curtis Industries, helping it grow to one of Chicago’s largest companies, and was Chairman of the Economic Development Commission of the City of Chicago and Chairman of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. Gidwitz was named Crain’s Chicago Business Executive of the Year in 1988.
John W. Maitland, Jr., 2003 Laureate – Government
Former Illinois State Senate Assistant Majority Leader John W. Maitland, Jr. had a distinguished 24-year legislative career and was one of the chief spokesmen for Illinois agriculture. Maitland was born and attended schools in the Bloomington area, worked the family farm, and has been active in the Farm Bureau most of his life. In the State Senate, he led the debate on farmland assessment, school finance, education, land use, and the regulation of livestock facilities. Maitland has received numerous awards and recognitions from agriculture, education, health care, senior citizen, child care, and other organizations.
Sherrill Milnes, 2003 Laureate – Performing Arts
Sherill Milnes is universally acclaimed as the foremost operatic baritone and one of today’s most popular and electrifying opera performers. A native of Downers Grove, Milnes studied music at Drake and Northwestern Universities, and won an audition with the Boris Goldovsky Opera Company, touring the United States and singing in more than 300 performances. He has performed in the world’s great opera capitals, including Chicago’s Lyric Opera. Milnes is a Professor Emeritus of Voice at Northwestern University and conducts “master classes” all over the world to help develop and inspire performers.
Edward B. Rust, 2003 Laureate – Business
Edward B. Rust, Jr. is Chairman of the Board and CEO of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in Bloomington. An Illinois native and graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, Rust joined State Farm in 1975 and moved up the ranks to president and CEO in 1985. He serves on a number of boards and business promotion organizations. He also served on President George W. Bush’s Transition Advisory Team committee on education. Rust is a leader of the business community’s efforts to improve the quality of education in the U.S. and has taken an active role in numerous education improvement organizations.
Rev. Dr. Addie L. Wyatt, 2003 Laureate – Religion and Labor
Rev. Dr. Addie L. Wyatt’s tireless advocacy for working women spanned more than half a century. An adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Wyatt was named to the Protected Labor Legislation Commission by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. She was appointed to President Kennedy’s Commission on the Status of Women, and served on women’s and labor commissions for Presidents Johnson and Carter. She chaired Chicago Mayor Harold Washington’s Women’s Commission and was a member of Mayor Eugene Sawyer’s leadership cabinet. Wyatt was featured on the cover of Time magazine as one of the Women of the Year in 1975. Ebony magazine honored her as one of the 100 Most Influential Black Americans, and in 1994, Coretta Scott King presented Wyatt with the “Keeper of the Dream” Award for her active role in fulfilling Dr. King’s dream.
Frank W. Considine, 2002 Laureate * – Business and Social Services
Frank W. Considine was a long-standing business and social services leader in the Chicago area. Considine was the chairman, president and CEO of American National Can Company, on the Board of Governors of the Chicago Stock Exchange, president of the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry, and deputy chairman of the Chicago World’s Fair 1992 Authority. He led the expansion and modernization of O’Hare International Airport and the realignment of South Lake Shore Drive. Considine was given numerous awards and recognitions from various business and social service organizations during his lifetime.
Lou Conte, 2002 Laureate – The Performing Arts
Lou Conte from DuQuoin, Illinois is a Broadway performer who established the Lou Conte Dance Studio in Chicago in 1974 and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 1977. Conte developed Hubbard Street Dance into the world-renowned repertoire company it is today, and during his 23 years as the company’s artistic director Conte received numerous awards. Those awards include the Chicago Dance Coalition’s inaugural Ruth Page Artistic Achievement Award in 1986, the Sidney R. Yates Arts Advocacy Award in 1995, and the Chicagoan of the Year Award from Chicago magazine in 1999.
Jack M. Greenberg, 2002 Laureate – Business
Jack M. Greenberg is a lifelong Illinois resident who was chairman and CEO of McDonald’s Corporation from 1999 through 2002. Greenberg joined McDonald’s Corporation as executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1982 and following a steady stream of promotions was named chairman and chief executive officer. Greenberg originated the “Made for You” production system, a cooking process that allowed McDonald’s to offer a wider variety of menu offerings by allowing stores to precook meat patties and then finish them to order, a precursor to the customer choice-focused way that fast food restaurants do business today.
Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman, 2002 Laureate * – Religion
Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman of Chicago was one of the world’s most respected Jewish educators and leaders. For more than 60 years Schaalman dedicated himself to the task of bringing people together, from the founding of the Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute Camp in 1951 through his efforts with the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, the Parliament of World Religions, and the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago. Schaalman was presented the Order of Merit First Class by the president of his native Germany in 1991, the highest civilian honor given by that country.
Bernard Shaw, 2002 Laureate – Communications
Bernard Shaw is a Chicago native who was the Cable News Network anchor for most major news stories for 20 years. Shaw worked as a news writer for WFLD Channel 32 in Chicago, was hired by CBS News in 1971, then worked for ABC News from 1977 – 1980 as senior Capitol Hill correspondent. Shaw joined the new, 24-hour news station CNN in 1980 and worked there as an anchor for 20 years. Shaw moderated the 1988 presidential debate between George Bush and Michael Dukakis, was one of two network anchors who covered the 1989 student demonstrations at Tiananmen Square in Beijing and brought reports on Operation Desert Storm into American living rooms in 1991. Shaw won a Peabody Award, Golden Circle Award for Cable Excellence, and received the ACE Award for Best Newscaster of the Year.
James B. Stewart, 2002 Laureate – Communications
James B. Stewart is a Quincy, Illinois native who is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, New York Times columnist and author of several best-selling books. Stewart was executive editor of American Lawyer Magazine and a practicing attorney before he joined The Wall Street Journal in 1983. He received the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for articles on the 1987 stock market crash and insider trading scandals. Stewart became The Journal’s page one editor in 1988, overseeing coverage of the Berlin Wall collapse, the Gulf War, the failed Soviet coup, and the 1988 and 1992 presidential elections. He is the author of the national bestsellers Blind Eye, an investigation of the medical profession; Den of Thieves, about Wall Street in the 1980s; and Blood Sport, about the Clinton White House.
M. Cherif Bassiouni, 2001 Laureate * – Government and Law
M. Cherif Bassiouni was a 1999 Nobel Peace Prize nominee and DePaul University law professor who was the prime catalyst for the creation of the United Nations International Criminal Court and helped bring war criminals to justice. Bassiouni is often referred to as the “godfather of international criminal law”. He served in various United Nations roles to investigate alleged crimes against humanity in Libya, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and South Africa. Bassouni also advised the U.S. government on responses to international drug trafficking, terrorism, and the U.S. hostages in Iran.
Henry B. Betts, 2001 Laureate * – Medicine
Henry B. Betts, MD was chairman of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and was the driving force behind national accessibility laws for persons with disabilities. Betts arrived at the Rehabilitation Institute in the 1960s and under his leadership it grew into the number-one ranked physical medicine and rehabilitation facility in the nation for 24 straight years. Betts was also responsible for convincing Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley to provide inclined sidewalks at intersections, an important early accessibility move by a major city.
Roger Ebert, 2001 Laureate * – Performing Arts
Roger Ebert was the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and widely published author who was considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on movies and the people who make them. The Urbana native worked as a reporter in Champaign-Urbana and Chicago before being named the Sun-Times’ film critic in 1967. Ebert and Gene Siskel became the world’s most well-known film critics during their television reviews that would feature either a thumbs up or a thumbs down to indicate their feelings about each movie. Ebert was the first person to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism and the first film critic to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Marian F. (Cindy) Pritzker, 2001 Laureate – Social Services
Cindy Pritzker was the President of the Chicago Public Library Foundation and was the leading force in turning the city’s central library into the world-class Harold Washington Library Center. Cindy and her husband Jay founded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, a prestigious award that has been referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture. She has supported numerous causes and is considered one of the most influential and recognizable women in Chicago.
Orion Samuelson, 2001 Laureate – Government and Law
Orion Samuelson’s daily radio broadcasts about American agriculture have been heard for years nationwide, making him the world’s most respected farm broadcaster. Samuelson began his radio career in Wisconsin, then moved to WGN Radio in Chicago in 1960. There he began more than half a century informing people about issues of importance to agriculture. Samuelson hosted the weekly TV U.S. Farm Report and now hosts a similar show, This Week in Agribusiness, on RFD-TV. Samuelson was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2003.
The Rev. John P. Smyth, 2001 Laureate – Social Services
Father John Smyth was the executive director of Maryville Academy in Chicago, which under his 30-year leadership became one of the nation’s largest and most successful treatment centers for abused, neglected and abandoned children. Smyth is now the executive director of the Standing Tall Foundation, which serves homeless, underserved and at-risk children. Smyth captained the Notre Dame basketball team, was selected as an All-American, and was a first-round NBA draft choice in the late 1950s. He elected to forgo a professional basketball career and entered the seminary instead.
Lynn Martin, 2000 Laureate – Government
Lynn M. Martin is the former U.S. Secretary of Labor and has been a television political analyst, a member of Congress, State Senator and State Representative. Martin was born in Evanston and was a teacher in the Rockford school district before embarking on a political career that included local, state, and federal elected offices and a post in President George H.W. Bush’s cabinet. Martin also served as U.N. Special Representative to the former Yugoslavia during the civil war in that area.
Monsignor Ignatius McDermott, 2000 Laureate * – Religion
Monsignor Ignatius McDermott, “Father Mac,” made a lifetime crusade against alcoholism and substance abuse and formed the McDermott Foundation. McDermott grew up on Chicago’s south side, was ordained as a priest in 1936, and was assigned to a home for dependent and neglected children, where he found that many of the children came from broken homes where alcohol use was the problem. What followed was a calling for McDermott, and programs initiated by Father Mac have been recognized as trail-blazing solutions for the many ways alcohol and other drug addictions damage lives. McDermott raised more than 25 million dollars during his lifetime for the cause.
Andrew J. McKenna, 2000 Laureate – Social Services
Andrew J. McKenna was chairman of McDonald’s Corporation from 2004 to 2016 and chairman, CEO and owner of international paper and printing giant Schwarz Company. McKenna is a Chicago native and received his law degree from DePaul University. His tireless service on numerous civic, community and philanthropic boards has made him a role model for other industry leaders.
Robert Eugene Richards, 2000 Laureate – Sports
Rob Richards is the winner of two Olympic gold medals and one bronze medal in the pole vault, something no other male vaulter has done, and is recognized as one of the top 100 Olympic athletes of all time. While a student at the University of Illinois, Richards tied for the national collegiate pole vault title and won national titles, including 17 in the pole vault and three in the decathlon. Richards later did sports commentary and was a spokesperson for Wheaties. Richards, known as the “Vaulting Vicar,” is an ordained minister and formed his own company that specializes in motivational speaking and film production.
Harold B. Steele, 2000 Laureate – Agriculture
Harold B. Steele is a life-long Bureau County farmer who headed the U.S. Farm Credit Administration for President George H.W. Bush and led the Illinois Farm Bureau for many years. Steele helped open foreign markets to American farm products by joining extensive trade missions to eastern and western Europe, Japan and China. Steele has also advised state and national leaders on commissions dealing with agriculture, utility reform, energy policy, and judicial matters.
Scott F. Turow, 2000 Laureate * – Communications
Chicago native Scott F. Turow is a lawyer and former Assistant U.S. Attorney whose novels about the legal system have been worldwide best-sellers. Turow has written 11 fiction and three nonfiction books that have been translated into more than 40 languages and sold more than 30 million copies. Turow is the former president of the Authors Guild, served on an Illinois commission regarding the reform of the death penalty statute, and was the first chair of the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission.
Lester Crown, 1999 Laureate * – Business and Social Services
Lester Crown is a Chicago native who has headed Material Service Corporation, Henry Crown and Company, General Dynamics Corporation, Maytag Corporation and other businesses, and has been an active leader in many cultural and charitable organizations. Crown brokered the agreement to expand Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and spearheaded the funding of the new Cook County (Stroger) Hospital. Crown is also a major benefactor of Jewish charities and several universities.
Jim Edgar, 1999 Laureate – Government
Jim Edgar is the two-term former Governor of Illinois and has spent a lifetime as a public servant, first as a state legislator, then Secretary of State, before holding the state’s highest office from 1991 to 1999. Edgar, who grew up in Charleston, is currently a distinguished fellow of the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government & Public Affairs and is former chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. Edgar’s advice, opinion and endorsement are still sought regarding government and electoral matters across the state.
Robert D. Novak, 1999 Laureate * – Communications
Robert D. Novak was a syndicated columnist, commentator, news reporter and author, and a Joliet native who co-hosted Cable News Network’s “Evans and Novak” interview program and interviewed many of the world’s leaders. Novak’s journalism career began in high school when he was a student-writer for the Joliet Herald News, and he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and worked there on the Daily Illini. Novak worked for the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, co-authored the Evans-Novak Political Report column, and became one of the first on-air news interviewers for the fledgling CNN when the network started in 1980.
Stansfield Turner, * 1999 Laureate – Government
Stansfield Turner was a U.S. Navy Admiral from Highland Park who commanded the U.S. Second Fleet, the NATO Southern Command, and was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1977 – 1981. Turner oversaw the CIA’s responses to the Iranian Revolution and the Soviet-Afghan War and received the Intelligence Star from President Jimmy Carter for his role in getting six State Department personnel out of Iran, a mission portrayed in the acclaimed 2012 film Argo. Turner became a lecturer, author and television commentator after leaving the CIA.
Peter B. Bensinger – Government
Peter B. Bensinger is the former Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration who founded the Drug Free Workplace concept and now runs a corporation dedicated to drug policy and employee assistance programs. Bensinger also headed the Illinois Department of Corrections and chaired the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. Bensinger received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Former Federal Narcotic Agents and U.S. Drug Enforcement Educational Foundation and was recognized by the Chicago Mayor and City Council for his leadership efforts to combat drug abuse with “Peter Bensinger Day” on August 10, 2006.
Preston Jackson, 1998 Laureate – The Arts
Preston Jackson is a world-renowned sculptor who continues to educate budding artists. Jackson was born and educated in Decatur and has taught sculpture at Millikin University, Western Illinois University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Jackson’s bronze and steel sculptures grace public buildings and open spaces throughout the nation including many in Illinois, and often commemorate historical figures and events. He operates galleries in Peoria and Chicago.
Martin E. Marty, 1998 Laureate – Religion
Martin E. Marty is the author of more than 50 books on religion and is considered the foremost analyst and commentator on the state of religion in America. Marty received his PhD from the University of Chicago and taught at the institution’s Divinity School, and also served as a Lutheran pastor in the Chicago area. Marty’s The Protestant Experience in America won the 1970 National Book Award for Philosophy and Religion, and he has received numerous awards and honors, including the National Humanities Medal.
Patrick G. Ryan, 1998 Laureate – Business
Patrick G. Ryan was chairman of global insurance giant Aon Corporation and is a long-time supporter of Chicago area higher education, health and museum facilities. Under his 41-year leadership Aon became the world’s largest reinsurance broker, second largest insurance broker, and a leader in risk management and human capital consulting. Ryan has been particularly generous in his support for his alma mater, Northwestern University, funding fellowships, scholarships and facilities, and the university’s music and communications building is named after Ryan and his wife Shirley.
John M. D. Shalikashvili, 1998 Laureate * – Government
General John M. Shalikashvili was a Polish native who commanded all NATO forces and retired in September 1997 as Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first foreign born American to hold that post. Shalikashvili emigrated with his family to Peoria when he was 16 years old, joined the Army and was decorated for heroism during the Vietnam War, and commanded the peacekeeping effort in northern Iraq after the first Gulf War. Shalikashvili was largely responsible for the country’s unified, digitalized modern fighting forces.
Paul Simon, 1998 Laureate * – Government
Paul Simon was a former Presidential candidate, U.S. Senator, Congressman, Lieutenant Governor, State Representative, newspaper editor, author, and director of the Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University. Simon was ubiquitous on the state and national political scene for decades with his signature bow tie, horn-rimmed glasses and deep voice. He supported direct federal loans to college students, job creation and adult literacy programs and had a reputation for always voting with his conscience. Simon’s newspaper career was highlighted by his strong, anti-corruption crusade that attracted national attention.
Gwendolyn Brooks, 1997 Laureate * – Communications
Gwendolyn Brooks was the Poet Laureate of Illinois from 1968 until her death in 2000. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1950 for Annie Allen, making her the first African American to receive the Pulitzer. Brooks was the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, and in 1976 became the first African American woman inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Leonard H. Lavin, 1997 Laureate * – Business and Industry
Leonard Lavin was a major philanthropist and the founder of the Alberto Culver Company, which employs thousands of people in more than 130 countries. Lavin and his wife Bernice created an endowed scholarship for inner city Chicagoland students at Lewis University in Romeoville and entrepreneurial scholarships at colleges in California and Washington. Lavin was also a world renowned thoroughbred horse owner and breeder and received a lifetime achievement award from his horse racing colleagues.
Ramsey E. Lewis, Jr., 1997 Laureate – The Performing Arts
Chicago native Ramsey Lewis is a composer, pianist and jazz legend who won three Grammy Awards, sold seven gold albums and is an internationally-acclaimed performing artist. Lewis joined his first jazz band at age 15 and went on to have his first top-ten hit in 1965 followed by decades of hit recordings, albums and performances. Lewis hosted the Legends of Jazz nationwide radio program, was artistic director of Jazz at Ravinia in Highland Park, and mentored thousands of young musicians during his prolific career.
Robert H. Michel, 1997 Laureate * – Government
Peoria native Robert Michel was a long-term Congressman and U.S. House Minority Leader whose advice and support were sought for years by Presidents and world leaders. Michel was the Republican leader in Congress from 1981 to 1995 and Minority Whip prior to that. Michel received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and was one of the first recipients of the Congressional Distinguished Service Award. Michel was also a decorated war hero who was severely wounded in the D-Day invasion during World War II.
Jerry M. Reinsdorf, 1997 Laureate – Business
Jerry Reinsdorf is the owner of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox and built the new Comiskey Park (now U.S. Cellular Field) and United Center sports stadiums. Reinsdorf’s Bulls won six NBA Championships in the 1990s and the White Sox won the World Series in 2005. Reinsdorf is considered one of professional basketball’s most influential owners and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016 as a contributor.
Seymour Simon, 1997 Laureate * – Law
Seymour Simon was an Illinois Supreme Court Justice who was an outspoken advocate for individual rights. Simon was born in Chicago and served in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, as a Chicago Alderman, Cook County Board member, and president of the Cook County Forest Preserve District. He was an appellate court judge from 1974 to 1980 and served on the Illinois Supreme Court from 1980 to 1988. Simon was also the founding chairman of the Chicago Debate Commission which partners with Chicago Public Schools to administer the citywide Chicago Debate League.
Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, 1997 Laureate * – Religion
Cardinal Joseph Bernardin was the Archbishop of Chicago from 1982 until his death in 1996. Bernardin had served as Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta, General Secretary of the National Council of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop of Cincinnati before being named Archbishop of Chicago. He was elevated to Cardinal in February 1983 by Pope John Paul II. Bernardin was widely acclaimed for actively promoting ecumenical and interfaith relations and helped form the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago in 1985.
Willard L. Boyd, 1996 Laureate – Business and Education
Willard L. Boyd was president of Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History from 1981 to 1996 and ensured that the Museum occupies its rightful position of worldwide leadership in cultural, geological and biological research. He was one of the first winners of the Charles Frankel Prize awarded in 1989 by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Boyd was also the president of the University of Iowa from 1969 to 1981.
Stanley O. Ikenberry, 1996 Laureate – Education
Stanley O. Ikenberry at age 44 became the youngest president of the University of Illinois. Ikenberry led the U of I from 1979 to 1994 and guided the institution into a position of world leadership in many academic and research fields. The University’s Medical Center and Chicago Circle campuses were consolidated during Ikenberry’s term into the largest and most comprehensive research university in the metro area, and he led the creation of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, 1996 Laureate * – Government
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, a graduate of Mt. Vernon High School, was the first woman to serve as Ambassador to the United Nations and was a member of President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council from 1981 to 1985. Kirkpatrick was an ardent anti-communist and longtime Democrat who served as Reagan’s foreign policy adviser during his 1980 campaign, becoming a member of the Republican Party after Reagan’s election. Kirkpatrick is also an author, foreign affairs analyst and syndicated newspaper columnist.
Sid Luckman, 1996 Laureate * – Sports
Sid Luckman, Chicago Bears quarterback from 1939 through 1950, led the Bears to four NFL championships, was selected the league’s Most Valuable Player three times, was named an All-Pro seven times, and is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Luckman was the first modern T-formation quarterback and was considered the greatest long-range passer of his time. Luckman spent 14 years coaching for the Bears and Notre Dame, and is famous for his generous donations to numerous charities.
Alan Schriesheim, 1996 Laureate – Science
Dr. Alan Schriesheim was the director of the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago from 1984 to 1996 and guided the institution into a world-class, applied science center in support of national interests. Schriesheim was a research chemist with the National Bureau of Standards before joining Exxon in 1956, where he rose to Director of Corporate Research during his 27 years with the company. Schriesheim advised the U.S. Department of Energy, NASA, and many private research organizations on matters relating to energy and its uses and holds 22 United States patents.
James S. Brady, 1995 Laureate * – Government
James S. Brady, a Centralia native, was appointed President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary in 1980 and was severely wounded in a 1981 attempt on the President’s life. Brady became an advocate for persons with disabilities and for the reform of federal gun laws. The White House press briefing room was renamed the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in his honor.
Joseph B. Kirsner, 1995 Laureate * – Medicine
Dr. Joseph B. Kirsner, a University of Chicago professor of medicine, was one of the world’s foremost experts on digestive diseases. Kirsner was a pioneer in the understanding and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and understanding the increased risk of colon cancer in patients with ulcerative colitis. The university has named a center for the study of digestive diseases for Dr. Kirsner, who joined the school’s medical department in 1935.
William H. Kurtis, 1995 Laureate – Communications
William M. (Bill) Kurtis was a broadcast journalist and investigative reporter who anchored CBS network and Chicago television newscasts and won awards for his coverage of regional, national and international news events. Kurtis also produced many documentaries for commercial, cable and public television. The programs he started continue to air on PBS, The History Channel, A & E Network, and CNBC.
Robert H. Malott, 1995 Laureate * – Business
Robert H. Malott was chairman of the board and CEO of the Chicago-based chemical manufacturer F.M.C. Corporation and was a long-time contributor to civic, educational and corporate organizations. Malott helped guide the University of Chicago, the Lyric Opera, National Park Foundation, Argonne National Laboratory, and many other organizations as a trustee or board member. Malott also led a national battle for product liability law reform.
Arnold R. Weber, 1995 Laureate – Education
Arnold R. Weber, chancellor of Northwestern University, is the author of eight books and numerous articles on economic policy and industrial and labor relations. Weber was a professor at the University of Chicago, then the president of the University of Colorado before serving ten years as president of Northwestern. Weber helped stabilize the university’s finances and enhance the Evanston campus during his tenure.
Alan J. Dixon, 1994 Laureate * – Government
Belleville native Alan J. Dixon served in the Illinois General Assembly from 1951 to 1971, as Illinois Treasurer from 1971 to 1977, Illinois Secretary of State from 1977 to 1981, and as U.S. Senator from Illinois from 1981to 1993. As Senator, Dixon was well-known for his keen attention to constituents’ needs and an old-fashioned glad-handing style that won him the nickname “Al the Pal.” After his Senate service, Dixon chaired the U.S. Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 1994 and 1995.
Robert W. Galvin, 1994 Laureate * – Business and Industry
Robert W. Galvin took Schaumburg-based Motorola Corporation from a car radio and wartime walkie-talkie manufacturer into a global maker of color television sets, cell phones and other electronic age communications devices. Always eager to exploit new markets and diversify product lines, Galvin was a visionary entrepreneur who urged the development of Motorola products used in police radios, hearing aids, semiconductors, missile guidance systems, satellite communications, and rockets that went to the moon and Mars.
Steven R. Nagel, 1994 Laureate * – Government
Canton native Steven R. Nagel was an astronaut who flew or commanded the space shuttles Discovery, Challenger, Atlantis and Columbia. Nagel attended Canton High School and the University of Illinois before serving as a U.S. Air Force pilot and instructor in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Nagel logged 723 hours in space by the end of his career as a NASA astronaut in 1995. Nagel’s NASA career had another highlight, as it was there that he met and married a fellow astronaut, Linda M. Godwin.
The Rev. John T. Richardson, 1994 Laureate – Education
The Rev. John T. Richardson was the president and chancellor of DePaul University, leading the educational institution from 1981 to 1993. Richardson presided over the transformation of DePaul from a small, Catholic commuter school to the diverse, urban university it is today. The International Human Rights Law Institute, the Institute for Business Ethics and the Center for Urban Education were all founded under his direction.
Kay Smith, 1994 Laureate – The Arts
Vandalia native Kay Smith was a watercolor artist famous for her depictions of Illinois’ historic and Abraham Lincoln-related sites, Ernest Hemingway sites, and World War II scenes. Smith attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and worked as a commercial illustrator before turning her attention to historical subjects to raise awareness of the state’s and the nation’s heritage. Smith’s works are displayed at the Illinois Executive Mansion, the Pritzker Military Museum, and in more than 30 books.
Anthony J. Watson, 1994 Laureate – Government
Anthony J. Watson grew up in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing complex and went on to become only the second African American to command a U.S. Navy nuclear-powered submarine. Watson was president of his 1970 class at the U.S. Naval Academy and served on five submarines, including as the commander of the U.S.S. Jacksonville. He later was the deputy commandant of the Naval Academy and retired as a Rear Admiral. Watson received the American Heritage & Freedom Award for making a noble contribution to the progress, welfare and prestige of the black community.
Etta Moten Barnett, 1993 Laureate * – The Performing Arts
Etta Moten Barnett, a Texas native who moved to Chicago in 1937, was one of the first African American actresses to play major roles in both the movies and on Broadway. In 1933, she danced with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the movie, Flying Down to Rio. In 1942 Barnett took over the Broadway role of Bess in Porgy and Bess. Barnett spent decades giving inspirational performances and lectures to African American youngsters in colleges and universities across the country.
John H. Bryan, 1993 Laureate – Business and Social Services
John H. Bryan, a Mississippi native who moved to Chicago in 1969, was the 1992 Crain’s Chicago Business Executive of the Year. Under his leadership as Chairman of the Board and CEO, Sara Lee Corporation contributed to non profit organizations promoting culture and the arts and providing assistance to the needy and disadvantaged. Bryan was honored by the French Republic with the Legion of Honor for his cultural and civic contributions, including playing a major role in the United State’s participation in the French Bicentennial celebration.
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, 1993 Laureate * – Science
Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar was the 1983 Nobel Prize winner in physics for his study of the evolution of stars, and has contributed to the understanding of radiation transfer in astrophysical gases, relative theory, and the behavior of black holes in space. Chandrasekhar also received the National Medal of Science and the Coply Medals of the Royal Society of London. He joined the University of Chicago in 1937 and was Professor Emeritus in Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Lester E. Fisher1993 Laureate – Science
Dr. Lester Fisher retired in 1991 after 29 years as curator of the world-famous Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. A Chicago native, Fisher was internationally recognized for his work in the preservation and breeding of endangered species, and for his zoo renovation program that eliminated bar cages and allowed animals to cluster in family groups. Fisher was the past president of the American Association of Zoological Parks, and hosted WGN-TV Chicago’s Ark in the Park program for many years.
Richard Hunt, 1993 Laureate – The Arts
Richard Hunt, a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, was an innovator in the use of metals in large outdoor sculptures. His works are permanently displayed in historic parks and at major buildings throughout the United States, including the huge monument to former Illinois Governor John P. Altgeld in Chicago’s Jonquil Park. Hunt served as Commissioner of the National Museum of American art at the Smithsonian Institution.
James J. O’Connor, 1993 Laureate – Business and Social Services
James J. O’Connor, a Chicago native, was the co-founder and chairman of the Big Shoulders Fund, a charity that supports inner-city Catholic schools. The former CEO of Unicom and its subsidiary, Commonwealth Edison, also served in leadership capacities with Catholic Charities, the board of the Field Museum of Natural History, the American Cancer Society, the Chicago Urban League, and numerous other civic organizations. O’Connor was named a Knight of Malta, an international designation bestowed on Catholic laymen for outstanding contributions to the mission of the church.
Marajen Stevick Chinigo, 1992 Laureate * – Business and Social Services
Marajen Stevick Chinigo was one of the state’s leading business women and the head of one of the largest remaining independent, family-owned news distribution companies in the nation, which included the Champaign News-Gazette, several weekly Illinois newspapers, two radio stations and television production businesses. Chinigo was an early television pioneer and established the first 24-hour electronic newspaper in Illinois. She was also an acclaimed painter and had showings of her work in several states.
William B. Graham, 1992 Laureate * – Business
William B. Graham lead international health-care products and systems supplier Baxter International Inc. of Chicago for several decades, working his way up through the ranks to President and CEO 1954, Chairman of the Board in 1971 and Senior Chairman in 1985. Graham served as president of the American Pharmaceutical Association and president of the Illinois Manufacturers Association. Graham also helped bring the Lyric Opera of Chicago through a period of financial difficulty to a sound world-class cultural institution.
John O. Honnold, Jr., 1992 Laureate * – Government and Law
John O. Honnold, an Illinois native, was a world-renowned law professor who helped frame the commercial relationship between post-Communist eastern Europe and the western world. From 1969 to 1974, Honnold was Chief of the United Nations’ International Trade Law Branch and Secretary of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. He played a key role in the development of the first international sales treaty, which took effect in 1988 and includes more than 30 countries. This treaty was of vital importance as former Communist nations entered into trade on an equal footing with the rest of the world.
Paul C. Lauterbur, 1992 Laureate * – Science
Dr. Paul C. Lauterbur, a resident of Champaign-Urbana, was the developer of nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, known as MRI. This technology enables physicians to peer inside the human body and spot signs of serious illness without having to expose the patient to either harmful radiation or surgery. Lauterbur’s developments are particularly useful in locating and diagnosing brain tumors. Lauterbur was the first recipient of the $290,000 Bower Award from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, which is presented to the scientist who “embodies the practical, entrepreneurial and humanitarian spirit of Benjamin Franklin.”
Osvaldo I. Lopez, 1992 Laureate – Medicine
Lake Forest resident Dr. Osvaldo Lopez was a world-renowned eye expert whose inventions have helped thousands of people retain their sight. Lopez was chairman of the Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Department of Ophthalmology. He also designed and co-designed several devices that help those with visual problems, including the Ultrasonic Fragmentator Needle and Syringe, the Lopez-Horn Intraocular Lens and the Lopez Intraocular Lens Implant. Lopez was recognized for his work by nations around the world.
W. Clement Stone, 1992 Laureate * – Business and Social Services
Chicago native W. Clement Stone was widely known for his Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) philosophy that has been carried to millions of people through his self-help books and articles. Beginning with a $100 investment in 1922, Stone established an insurance company that would eventually employ thousands across the country and come to be known as the Combined Insurance Company of America. This successful business venture was the first test of Stone’s PMA philosophy, for which he was eventually nominated for the 1981 Nobel Peace Prize. The W. Clement Stone and Jessie V. Stone Foundation has donated millions to groups involved in volunteerism, youth welfare, religion and education.
Arnold O. Beckman, 1991 Laureate * – Business and Science
Arnold O. Beckman was a chemist who invented the pH meter, the DU spectrophotometer and other devices which revolutionized the study of chemistry and biology. He also founded the first transistor company, giving rise to Silicon Valley. Beckman was born in Cullom, Illinois, moved with his family to Bloomington when he was a teen, and graduated from the University of Illinois. Beckman and his wife were among the top philanthropists in the nation, and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Technology at the University of Illinois was built with their generous gift.
Harry A. Blackmun, 1991 Laureate * – Government and Law
Nashville, Illinois native Harry A. Blackmun was a United States Supreme Court Justice from 1970 to 1994 who is best known as the author of the high court’s Roe v. Wade decision on abortion. Blackmun practiced law in Minneapolis until he was appointed to the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit by President Eisenhower, and was then appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Nixon. Blackmun retired from the Supreme Court in 1994 and was succeeded by Stephen Breyer.
Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley, 1991 Laureate * – Business and Social Services
Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley were conservationists and philanthropists whose donations and activism preserved natural areas and historic properties. Gaylord was president and chairman of R.R. Donnelley & Sons in Chicago, the world’s largest commercial printing firm, but he and his wife Dorothy were best known for their involvement with such organizations as the Conservation Foundation, World Wildlife U.S. and the Illinois Nature Preserve Commission. The Donnelleys gave the state the 800-acre Donnelley-Depue Wildlife Area along the Illinois River and created the Oak Prairie Open Space Preserve near Libertyville.
Norman A. Ross, 1991 Laureate * – Business and Communications
Norman A. Ross was a fixture on Chicago TV and radio and a lifelong supporter of Chicago civic and cultural causes. Ross won an Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award for his broadcast work on such stations as WGN and WFMT Radio and WLS-TV. Ross helped start Chicago United, a group that promotes economic diversity by providing networking opportunities for minority business leaders, and was also active in groups that spanned the arts, neighborhood and economic development, health care and education.
James R. Thompson, 1991 Laureate – Government
James R. Thompson was the longest-serving Governor in Illinois history, leading the state from 1977 to 1991 and winning four gubernatorial elections. Thompson started his government service career in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, and was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois by President Nixon, where he obtained convictions in several high-profile cases involving current and former elected officials. Thompson also served on the national commission that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Elmer H. Wavering, 1991 Laureate * – Business
Quincy native Elmer H. Wavering developed what would become the first commercial automobile radio and later rose through the ranks to become president of Motorola Inc. Wavering was also part of the team that developed the first automotive alternator that could be mass-produced. During World War II Wavering led an effort to produce quartz crystals for military radios and radar, a major contribution to the Allied war effort.
Mortimer J. Adler, 1990 Laureate * – Education and Communications
Mortimer J. Adler was a philosopher and educator who helped shape the way a generation viewed the world. Adler was a professor at the University of Chicago, co-founded the Great Books of the Western World program, and was instrumental in developing a new edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica with a fresh approach to presenting knowledge on its pages. Adler’s How to Read a Book became a bestseller, and his How to Think About God have helped guide the discussion of religious thought.
Marshall L. Burman, 1990 Laureate * – Law
Marshall L. Burman was a Chicago attorney, civic leader, philanthropist, and a Chancellor and Regent of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Burman was involved in leadership roles with the AMTRAK Financial Investment Advisory Panel, Illinois State Board of Investment, Lincoln Park Zoological Society, and The Standard Club of Chicago. He received numerous awards and honors for his civic involvement, including the Boy’s Club Medallion and the Judge Learned Hand Human Relations Award.
James S. Kemper, Jr., 1990 Laureate * – Business and Social Services
James S. Kemper Jr. was the chairman and CEO of Kemper Insurance Companies and a recovered alcoholic who became a pioneer in national alcoholism rehabilitation programs. While chairman of the Kemper Companies, he created an employee assistance program for substance abuse that became a national model. Kemper was appointed by Presidents Carter and Reagan to national commissions on drunk driving. His passion for golf led to company sponsorship of the Kemper Open on both the PGA and LPGA circuit.
Leon M. Lederman, 1990 Laureate – Science
Leon M. Lederman founded the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora and was a Nobel Prize recipient for his research on neutrinos. Lederman also received the Wolf Prize in Physics for his research on quarks and leptons, and the Vannevar Bush Award for extraordinary contributions to understanding the basic forces and particles of nature. Lederman was Director Emeritus of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia.
James B. Stockdale, 1990 Laureate * – Government
Abingdon, Illinois native Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale was the senior U.S. Navy officer held captive during the Vietnam War. Commander Stockdale was shot down on a mission over North Vietnam in 1965 and received the Medal of Honor for his courage during seven years as a prisoner of war. Stockdale was president of the Naval War College from 1977 to 1979, and was a candidate for Vice President of the United States in the 1992 election on Ross Perot’s independent ticket.
William C. Warfield, 1990 Laureate * – The Performing Arts
William C. Warfield was a singer and actor famous for his bass-baritone voice heard for years on the international stage and in the movie musical Showboat. Warfield was awarded the 1984 Grammy Award in the Spoken Word category for his narration of Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait. Warfield accepted an appointment as Professor of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1975, and in 1994 he moved to Northwestern University’s School of Music.
John E. Corbally, 1989 Laureate * – Education
John Corbally was president of the University of Illinois from 1971 to 1979 and helped to expand the university’s Chicago campus and the school’s veterinary and agriculture programs. When state budget cuts threatened the university system, Corbally enlisted former and current students in a campaign to successfully retain state funding. Corbally was also the first president of the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation, a charitable organization providing millions in funding each year to support creative individuals and institutions.
C. Geraldine Freund, 1989 Laureate * – The Performing Arts and Social Services
C. Geraldine Freund and her psychiatrist husband Julius founded Chicago’s Fairview Hospital, the first exclusively psychiatric hospital in Illinois to be fully accredited. Using largely her own funds, Freund also founded the International Dance Festival of Stars and brought ballet superstars such as Mikhail Baryshnikov and Natalia Makarova to Chicago. Freund was a Regent of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and helped to found the organization’s Student Laureate Program, which annually honors one top senior student from each of the state’s colleges and universities.
Eugene D. Funk, Jr., 1989 Laureate * – Agriculture
Long-time McLean County resident Eugene D. Funk, Jr. was the president of Funk Seeds Company, one of the nation’s top suppliers of agricultural products. He had a direct connection with Abraham Lincoln, who represented the Funk family farm as their attorney in the mid-1800s. Today, Funk is remembered through a historic preservation grant program administered by the Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission, which provides funding for up to 50 percent of the cost of local exterior restoration projects.
Hanna H. Gray, 1989 Laureate – Education
Hanna H. Gray was the president of the University of Chicago from 1978 to 1993, the first woman in the United States to be full president of a major university. Gray was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University and served as acting president of Yale University before coming back to Illinois to lead the University of Chicago. Gray was a director or board member for several institutions and organizations, and held honorary degrees from more than 60 institutions.
Elizabeth N. Paepcke, 1989 Laureate * – Social Services
Elizabeth Paepcke was called the “Grand Dame of Aspen” for her love and promotion of the small Colorado mining town that she helped transform into a world-renowned skiing destination. Paepcke was a student at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. After her marriage, Paepcke and her husband moved to Aspen and began their decades-long support for the area that made it an international sports and arts mecca from the late 1940s onward.
Dwayne O. Andreas, 1988 Laureate * – Agriculture
Dwayne O. Andreas led the Decatur-based Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company for nearly 30 years, and his mastery of the global grain trade and familiarity with world leaders helped push the company into a farm products giant and one of America’s top businesses. Andreas counted among his friends U.S. Presidents Nixon, Carter, Reagan and Clinton and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and was largely responsible for making soybeans a top American export. Today ADM controls much of the world’s corn, soybean, wheat, cocoa and oil seed production.
John Chancellor, 1988 Laureate * – Communications
John Chancellor was a familiar face for decades as millions of Americans over several decades turned to his television broadcasts to get their news. Chancellor attended the University of Illinois and was hired as a reporter in 1947 for the Chicago Daily News, but shortly thereafter joined a Chicago television news station. Chancellor rose to be a correspondent for the Huntley-Brinkley Report, host of the NBC Today show, director of the Voice of America, and from 1970 to 1982 anchored the NBC Nightly News. The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism presents the John Chancellor Award each year in his honor for excellence in journalism.
Abraham Lincoln Marovitz, 1988 Laureate * – Law
Abraham Lincoln Marovitz was a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and was the state’s first ever Jewish state senator. Marovitz was born to immigrant parents and grew up in Chicago’s Maxwell Street neighborhood, where his work as a teenage office boy in a law firm charted his future life course. Marovitz was an assistant Cook County State’s Attorney, private practice lawyer, an Illinois State Senator from 1939 to 1950, and then a Superior Court Judge. President Kennedy appointed Marovitz to the federal bench in 1963. Marovitz received the Chicago History Museum’s “Making History Award” for distinction in public service.
Raymond Joseph Meyer, 1988 Laureate * – Sports
Ray Meyer was one of the most successful college basketball coaches of all time, leading his teams to 20 national championship appearances while amassing 724 wins. Meyer was born in Chicago and played basketball at St. Patrick’s High School and Notre Dame University. He coached at Notre Dame before taking the head coach’s job at DePaul University in Chicago, a position he held from 1942 until 1984. Known as “The Coach,” Meyer was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978.
Patrick L. O’Malley, 1988 Laureate * – Business and Social Services
Patrick L. O’Malley Sr. worked his way up from a deliveryman on as Coca-Cola truck to head Canteen Corporation, one of the country’s largest vending companies, and was a leading public figure in Chicago for more than 40 years. O’Malley, whom friends dubbed “Mr. Chicago,” served on the Chicago Park District, Regional Transportation Authority and Chicago’s Home Rule Commission and was credited with helping develop the Petrillo Music Shell, orchestrating the 1980 rehabilitation of Soldier Field, sand keeping the White Sox in Chicago in 1975.
Michael Butler, 1987 Laureate – The Performing Arts and Social Services
Chicago native Michael Butler was the founding Chancellor of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois and was largely responsible for the procedures and traditions that the organization follows today. Butler’s long and varied career also included service as a special adviser to then-Senator John F. Kennedy, Commissioner of the Port of Chicago, President of the Organization of Economic Development in Illinois, assistant to Illinois Governor Otto Kerner, and President of the Illinois Sports Council. Butler was Chancellor of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Butler was also a theatrical producer best known for bringing the rock musical Hair to Broadway in 1968.
Paul Harvey, 1987 Laureate * – Communications
The sound of Paul Harvey’s voice was perhaps the most recognizable in the world for he decades that he was on the air with his daily commentary programs. From 1952 through 2008 Harvey’s News and Comment and The Rest of the Story radio and television programs reached as many as 24 million people per week, who came to be fans of his crisp delivery and signature sign-off, “good day.” Harvey began his career in Oklahoma but moved to Chicago in 1944 and was based there for the rest of his broadcasting career.
Walter Massey, 1987 Laureate – Science
Walter Massey spent a lifetime promoting the study of science and technology as the head of the National Science Foundation, director of the Argonne National Laboratory, and an administrator at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois. Massey advocated for a strong system of national science education and the need to enhance the representation of women and minorities in science and technology. Massey was also the president and chancellor of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Walter Payton, 1987 Laureate * – Sports
Known as “Sweetness” during his 14 seasons with the Chicago Bears, Walter Payton is widely considered to be one of the best running backs in professional football history. Payton held many pro football records and was selected nine times for the Pro Bowl, and culminated his career by playing in the 1985 Super Bowl with the World Champion Bears. Payton was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.
James Beré, 1986 Laureate * – Business and Social Services
James Beré was the long-time chairman and CEO of the Chicago-based Borg-Warner Corporation and helped grow the company into a worldwide auto parts and protective services leader. Beré was chairman of a financial research and advisory committee that made fiscal recommendations to several Chicago mayors. He also served in various capacities with a number of Chicago area arts, education and charitable organizations.
William Harrison Fetridge, 1986 Laureate * – Business
Chicago native William Harrison Fetridge was one of the foremost leaders in the international scouting movement. Fetridge served as vice president of the Boy Scouts of America, president of the United States Support Fund for International Scouting, and chair of the Finance Planning Committee of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. He received the Bronze Wolf, Silver Buffalo and Silver Antelope awards for exceptional services to world scouting, one of only six men to be so honored. Fetridge was also vice president of Popular Mechanics magazine.
Lawrence Rossi, 1986 Laureate * – Medicine
Dr. Lawrence Rossi came to the central Illinois community of Hopedale in 1952 to fill in for the local doctor, and after more than 40 years practicing medicine there he had given the 700-resident community a hospital, nursing home, assisted living center, and community fitness center. Rossi had just opened a medical practice in Pekin when the call came to look after patients in Hopedale. After working there for six months, local officials asked what it would take to keep him, and Rossi replied “a hospital.” The community rallied around the popular doctor, and together with the town’s citizens Rossi created what has been a model for high-quality medicine in rural areas.
Maria Tallchief, 1986 Laureate * – The Performing Arts
Maria Tallchief was considered America’s first major prima ballerina and the first Native American to achieve that designation. Tallchief started dance training at age three and at 17 moved to New York, where she and famed choreographer George Balanchine founded the New York City Ballet. Tallchief traveled the world to perform and appeared on American TV, and after retiring from dance she served as director of ballet for the Lyric Opera of Chicago and debuted the Chicago City Ballet in 1981. Tallchief was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, received a Kennerdy Center Honor for her lifetime achievements, and her home state of Oklahoma honored her with a “Maria Tallchief Day.”
Ardis Krainik, 1985 Laureate * – Business and The Performing Arts
Ardis Krainik was a mezzo-soprano opera singer who was the general director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago for 15 years. Krainik worked for the opera and sang roles on-stage before being selected artistic administrator, and then director from 1982 to 1997. Krainik was able to put the Lyric Opera’s fiscal house in order after years of running in the red, and she made headlines in 1991 for firing Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti for his numerous cancellations. The Lyric’s Art Deco theater is named in Krainik’s honor.
Hiram Henry Lesar, 1985 Laureate * – Law
Thebes, Illinois native Hiram H. Lesar helped launch Southern Illinois University’s Law School in 1972, served as its dean and a professor, and stepped in to lead the Carbondale university twice. Lesar’s two brief stints as chancellor included smoothing out controversy and ill will after more than 100 budget-related faculty firings. The SIU Board of Trustees named Lesar a Distinguished Service Professor, the first faculty member to receive this honorary designation.
Ruth Page, 1985 Laureate * – The Performing Arts
Ruth Page was a ballerina and choreographer whose Chicago-based 40-year career saw her dancing in or choreographing at the world’s top performance theaters. Page’s large-scale production of The Nutcracker in Chicago became an annual holiday favorite, and she worked with some of the 20th century’s greatest composers and dancers. Page’s life has been the subject of two award-winning documentaries, and the annual Ruth Page Center for the Arts continues to teach and showcase the finest in ballet.
Daniel James Terra, 1985 Laureate * – The Arts
Daniel J. Terra’s discovery of a new ink process during his undergraduate research in 1940 led to the founding of Lawter Chemicals in Chicago that same year, and his global business success in the printing ink and chemical industry allowed him to become a benefactor to several Chicago arts institutions. Terra was finance chairman of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 Presidential campaign and he was rewarded by being named the United States Ambassador at Large for Cultural Affairs. Terra founded the Terra Museum of American Art, which merged with the Art Institute of Chicago after his death.
Leigh B. Block, 1984 Laureate * – Business and Social Services
Leigh B. Block was one of the most important benefactors in the history of the Art Institute of Chicago. Block,the retired vice president of Inland Steel, and his wife owned one of the most significant private art collections in the United States and as a result of their generosity such pieces as Van Gogh’s self-portrait, Degas’ “Ballet at the Paris Opera,” Breughel the Elder’s “Still Life With Flowers,” and Braque’s “The Large Billiard Table” became part of the Art Institute’s world-renowned collections. Block was also board chairman of the Art Institute from 1970 to 1975.
Virginia L. Marmaduke, 1984 Laureate * – Communications
Virginia L. Marmaduke, Illinois’ grand duchess of journalism, was the first woman on the Chicago Sun’s editorial staff, the first woman in Chicago with a sports byline, and one of the city’s first female crime reporters. Among her many exploits, Marmaduke once attacked a gangster with a spike-heeled shoe, and when she landed a big-time crime beat in 1943 she liked to say she was covering “blood, buts and sex – not necessarily in that order.” In 1979 Marmaduke was named Press Veteran of the Year by the Chicago Press Veterans Association.
Arthur C. Neilsen, 1984 Laureate * – Business and Communications
Long-time Winnetka resident Arthur C. Nielsen Jr. transformed the company his father founded in 1923 into an international leader in market research. The company started to measure radio stations’ audience size in 1936, but was transformed in 1948 when Nielsen urged his father to install a computer to better calculate trends and preferences. The Nielsen Ratings became the broadcasting industry’s official measurement of viewer preferences, and the company also tracked a number of other preferences through the years, making it the nation’s premier tracking organization.
John L. Strohm, 1984 Laureate * – Agriculture and Communications
John L. Straum was a founding editor of National Wildlife magazine and was an adviser on agricultural issues to three U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture. Strohm was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for articles he wrote about trips to the Soviet Union in 1946 and China in 1958. Strohm, a lifelong advocate for nature and conservation, was born in West Union, Illinois and moved to Woodstock in 1947, where he lived the remainder of his life.
Thomas R. Mulroy, 1983 Laureate * – Law
Thomas R. Mulroy, described by a Chicago newspaper as one of the city’s “superlawyers,” spent his lifetime supporting the community through his service with legal and charitable causes. Mulroy was chairman of the Chicago Crime Commission, which helped to greatly reduce the influence of organized crime in the city, and also chaired the 1966 Citizens Committee to Study Police and Community Relations. He also took active leadership roles in the Executives Club of Chicago, the local Bar Association, and the Evanston Hospital.
Ralph G. Newman, 1983 Laureate * – Education
Ralph G. Newman was an author, Civil War scholar, and owner of the world-renowned Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago. He was the founder of the Civil War Round Table discussion group in 1940 that spawned hundreds of other such groups nationwide. Newman was chairman of the 1968 Illinois Sesquicentennial Commission and chairman of the Illinois Pavilion at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair where the “speaking Lincoln” figure created by Disney made its debut.
Mike Royko, 1983 Laureate * – Communications
Mike Royko was a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Chicago Daily News, Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune. He wrote 7,500 daily columns over a 30-year career as well as Boss, the scathing biography of Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley. No one was immune to Royko’s jabs, and his readers came to love the working-class, plain-spoken way he told it like it was.
Bobby Short, 1983 Laureate * – The Performing Arts
Bobby Short was cabaret singer and pianist best known for his performances at New York City’s ritzy Carlyle Hotel, where everyone from celebrities to world leaders came to hear him perform. With his smooth voice and ever-present tuxedo, Short became an institution of style and sophistication. Short was born in Danville, moved to Chicago to perform when he was 12, and in 1968 went to New York, where he spent the rest of his career. The Library of Congress designated Short a Living Legend in 2000.
Donald L. Bitzer, 1982 Laureate – Science
Donald L. Bitzer was the co-inventor of the plasma display, the key to modern television viewing, and holds patents for that invention as well as a modem, binary-weighted solenoid, and satellite communication techniques. Bitzer was awarded an Emmy for his plasma screen invention. He received his graduate degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was a faculty member in the school’s College of Engineering.
John R. Block, 1982 Laureate – Government
Galesburg native John R. Block was U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President Ronald Reagan and was involved in the 1985 Farm Bill Act. Block had previously served as the Illinois Director of Agriculture. Block later became an executive at Deere and Company, and throughout his government and corporate service maintained his large, working farm in the Knoxville area.
Marva N. Collins, 1982 Laureate * – Education
Marva Collins took $5,000 from her own teacher retirement in 1975 and started Westside Preparatory School in Chicago’s West Garfield Park neighborhood. The school was intended to teach low income black children whom Collins felt were not being fairly educated in public schools, and her prep school became an educational and commercial success. She became well-known after the 1981 film The Marva Collins Story, which starred Cicely Tyson and Morgan Freeman.
Delyte W. Morris, 1982 Laureate * – Education
Delyte W. Morris was the President of Southern Illinois University from 1948 to 1970 and his leadership helped catapult SIU into the ranks of major American Universities. Many new buildings and academic programs on the Carbondale campus and the creation of the Edwardsville campus are hallmarks of Morris’ SIU career. Today, visitors to SIU can see a statue of Morris commemorating his leadership, and the campus library is named after him.
Thomas G. Ayers, 1981 Laureate * – Business and Social Services
Thomas G. Ayers was the long-time president, CEO and chairman of Commonwealth Edison. He was also a dedicated civic leader and actively and generously supported such organizations as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Community Trust, and Chicago Urban League. Ayers was a major force in the development of the area just south of the Loop known as Dearborn Park, and was an advocate of fair housing and equal employment opportunity for all.
James W. Cronin, 1981 Laureate * – Science
James W. Cronin was the co-winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physics for his research regarding particle physics. A native of Chicago and University of Chicago professor, Cronin utilized the particle accelerator at Batavia’s Fermilab to conduct several of his experiments. Cronin continued to receive national and international acclaim and awards for his nuclear physics work.
Ronald W. Reagan, 1981 Laureate * – Government
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States, and during his 1981 – 1989 term he had a major role in the fall of Communism and survived an assassination attempt during which he was critically wounded. Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois and grew up in Dixon, announced Chicago Cubs baseball games on the radio, and had a successful Hollywood film career during which he was elected President of the Screen Actors Guild. Reagan also served as Governor of California from 1967 to 1975.
Adlai E. Stevenson III, 1981 Laureate – Government
Adlai Ewing Stevenson III was the U.S. Senator from Illinois between 1970 and 1981, Illinois Treasurer from 1967 to 1970, and was a State Representative from 1964 – 1965. Stevenson ran unsuccessfully for Illinois Governor in both 1982 and 1986. He was the chairman of the international Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy housed at the family home, a national historic landmark, near Libertyville.
John T. Trutter, 1981 Laureate * – Social Services
Springfield native John T. Trutter had a life-long career at Illinois Bell Telephone Company, retiring as senior vice president for community affairs and public relations. Trutter was a leader and director of more than 40 City of Chicago, State of Illinois and national organizations that supported everything from the arts to services to persons with disabilities. Trutter was also the Chancellor of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois for 16 years.
Paul Findley, 1980 Laureate – Government
Paul Findley, a Jacksonville native, served as a Congressman from 1960 to 1982. Findley was a frequent critic of U.S. foreign policy regarding Israel and authored a book about the issue. His overtures to the Palestinian people that continued after he left office did much to promote peace in the Middle East. Findley generously supported his alma mater, Illinois College, his entire life.
John Hope Franklin, 1980 Laureate * – Education
John Hope Franklin was an American historian who is best known for his 1947 book From Slavery to Freedom and his lifelong efforts to weave the black experience into the fabric of American history. Franklin received numerous accolades for his life’s work including the NAACP Spingarn Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Franklin was a professor of history at the University of Chicago from 1964 – 1968 and chair of the department from 1967 – 1970.
Arthur Rubloff, 1980 Laureate * – Business and Social Services
Arthur Rubloff was a Chicago real estate developer who is credited with developing and naming North Michigan Avenue the “Magnificent Mile.” He founded the Arthur Rubloff & Co. in 1930 on borrowed money and through the years was involved with hundreds of real estate deals that shaped the city of Chicago. Rubloff’s projects included the early shopping center of Evergreen Plaza on the city’s south side, Carl Sandburg Village, and the Old Town and Near North Side develoments.
John B. Anderson, 1979 Laureate * – Government
Rockford native John B. Anderson was a Congressman from 1961 to 1981 and served as Chairman of the House Republican Conference between 1969 and 1979. Anderson ran an independent campaign for U.S. President in 1980 and received 6.6 percent of the popular vote. After the election Anderson founded FairVote, an organization that advocates electoral reforms.
Joan Walsh Anglund, 1979 Laureate – Education and The Arts
Joan Walsh Anglund was a poet and prolific children’s book author who sold nearly 50 million books worldwide. A native of Hinsdale, Illinois, Anglund became popular in the 1960s for her cherubic illustrations and her themes of love, innocence and the emotional development of children. A 2015 U.S. Postal Service stamp commemorated Anglund’s career.
William Alexander Hewitt, 1979 Laureate * – Business and Social Services
William Alexander Hewitt was the former chairman of Deere & Company and the last of the Deere family to run the company. During Hewitt’s tenure he turned the small domestic company into the world’s leading farm equipment manufacturer. He hired architects Eero Saarinen and Kevin Roche in 1964 to design the new Deere & Company headquarters in Moline, and the resulting structure has garnered numerous international design awards. Hewitt also served as U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica from 1982 – 1985.
Robert Stephen Ingersoll, 1979 Laureate * – Government
Robert S. Ingersoll served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 1972 – 1973, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 1973 – 1974, and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State from 1974 – 1976. Ingersoll, who was born in Galesburg, was CEO and Chairman of the Board of BorgWarner, and his international business experience was an important factor in his being selected for diplomatic roles with Presidents Nixon and Ford.
Leon Orris Jacobson, 1979 Laureate * – Science and Education
Dr. Leon O. Jacobson was a University of Chicago professor and researcher who made tremendous contributions to radiology and hematology. Jacobson began to study the clinical applications of certain toxic agents as cancer therapies as early as 1943, and the treatment resulting from his research ultimately proved effective for treating Hodgkin’s disease. He also performed key research on the effects of radiation-related injuries.
Albert Jenner, Jr., 1979 Laureate * – Law
Albert E. Jenner was one of the founding members of the Chicago-based Jenner & Block law firm, and he served as assistant counsel to the Warren Commission, which probed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A Chicago native who helped pay his way through the University of Illinois by professional boxing, Jenner was also special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate Scandal and the impeachment process against President Richard Nixon. Jenner also served on a national commission to study the causes and prevention of violence following the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy.
Clayton Kirkpatrick, 1979 Laureate * – Communications
Clayton Kirkpatrick was the editor of the Chicago Tribune from 1969 – 1979 who changed the newspaper from a partisan-leaning publication to an independent news-gathering force and journalistic standard-bearer. Kirkpatrick’s 1974 editorial calling on President Richard Nixon to resign in light of the Watergate Scandal was one of the first such exhortations by a newspaper and a graphic departure from the Tribune’s Republican past. Kirkpatrick’s leadership also reversed a circulation decline and made the newspaper more profitable.
Marjorie Lawrence, 1979 Laureate * – The Performing Arts
Marjorie Lawrence was an Australian-born soprano who achieved international fame performing Richard Wagner’s operas. Eleanor Parker was nominated for a 1955 Academy Award for her portrayal of Lawrence in the film Interrupted Melody, which dealt with Lawrence’s 1941 polio affliction that ended her performing career. Lawrence later joined the School of Music faculty at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Robert Gehlmann Bone, 1978 Laureate * – Education
Robert Gehlmann Bone guided Illinois State University from a small teaching college to a bustling institution as the university’s president from 1956 to 1967. Enrollment was 3,200 students when Bone arrived and rose to 11,000 with new buildings and high-rise dormitories at the end of his presidency. Bone was well-known and loved for his ability to learn and remember thousands of students’ names, and in his bright red vest Bone was a fixture at ISU sporting events.
Irving Lee Dilliard, 1978 Laureate – Government and Education
Collinsville native Irving Dilliard was a widely respected writer, editor and expert on the Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court. Dilliard was a reporter and later an editorial writer at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where in 1954 he became one of the first editors in the nation to warn against U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Dilliard also taught Journalism at Princeton University, became the first director of the Illinois Department on Aging, and was an Illinois delegate to the White House Conference on aging.
Ann Landers, 1978 Laureate * – Communications
Ann Landers, as millions of daily readers knew Eppie Lederer, was a nationally syndicated Chicago Sun-Times advice columnist who became a cultural icon. Lederer won a national contest to take over the column from the original writer, who also used the pen name of Ann Landers, and from 1955 to 2002 she was the one the nation turned to for advice on everything from romance to manners. Her twin sister penned the “Dear Abby” column and was Ann Landers’ chief competitor.
Brooks McCormick, 1978 Laureate * – Business and Social Services
Chicago native Brooks McCormick was the CEO of International Harvester in the 1970s and the great-grandnephew of Cyrus McCormick, whose development of the horse-drawn reaper was the start of the large agricultural machinery business. Brooks McCormick was also a noted philanthropist and equestrian, and the large parcel of land near Warrenville where he held charity horse events, St. James Farm, is now part of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.
Samuel H. Shapiro, 1978 Laureate * – Government
Samuel H. Shapiro was the 34th Governor of Illinois and the second Jewish governor of the state. Shapiro was the Kankakee County State’s Attorney and a State Representative where he took a special interest in mental health issues. Shapiro served as Lieutenant Governor from 1960 until he became Governor from 1968-1969 after the resignation of Otto Kerner. The state renamed the Kankakee Mental Health Center in his honor.
William G. Stratton, 1978 Laureate * – Government
William G. Stratton was the 32nd Governor of Illinois from 1952 – 1960. The Ingleside native served two terms as a Congressman, then was elected State Treasurer in 1944 and 1950. Stratton was known as “Billy the Kid” because at the time he was the youngest serving governor in America. Several state-operated facilities, including the main government office building in Springfield, are named in his honor.
Daniel Walker, 1978 Laureate * – Government
Dan Walker was the 36th Governor of Illinois and served from 1973 to 1977. Walker was best known for walking the entire state, totaling 1,197 miles, during his Gubernatorial campaign, and despite being a Democrat he cast himself as an outsider versus the Chicago Democratic “machine.” Walker was able to obtain the passage of the first law in Illinois requiring the disclosure of campaign contributions.
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, 1977 Laureate * – Social Services
Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith was the great-grandson of Abraham Lincoln and the last direct descendant of the 16th President. Beckwith was born in Riverside, Illinois and, like his famous ancestor, was a practicing attorney for part of his life. Beckwith donated many original items from his family that are now held by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.
Charlton Heston, 1977 Laureate – The Performing Arts
Evanston native Charlton Heston was one of the most well-known Hollywood stars of the 20th century, appearing in more than 100 films during a 60-year career. Heston won the 1959 Best Actor Academy Award for the title role in Ben-Hur, played Moses in The Ten Commandments, and appeared in numerous science fiction and action movies in the 1960s and 70s. Heston was also an early Civil Rights advocate and accompanied Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his 1963 March on Washington.
Celeste Holm, 1977 Laureate * – The Performing Arts
Celeste Holm was a film and television star with a career spanning nearly 60 years. Holm won a 1947 Academy Award for her performance in Gentleman’s Agreement and was Oscar nominated for her roles in Come to the Stable and All About Eve. She originated the role of Ado Annie in the musical Oklahoma! Holm graduated from University School for Girls in Chicago and studied drama at the University of Chicago.
Otto Kerner, 1977 Laureate * – Government
Otto Kerner served as Illinois’ 33rd Governor from 1961 to 1968 and was praised for his economic development, education, mental health and equal access to jobs and housing initiatives. He chaired the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, which became known as the Kerner Commission, and advised President Johnson’s administration during a time of unrest generated by anti-war and civil rights protests. Earlier in his career Kerner served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, then as a Cook County Circuit Judge.
Hyman George Rickover, 1977 Laureate * – Government and Science
Admiral Hyman Rickover was known as the “Father of the Nuclear Navy” for his unrelenting and successful efforts to develop and introduce nuclear propulsion into submarines and surface warships. Rickover and his family immigrated from Poland and settled in Chicago, where he was able to secure an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. That began 63-years of active duty, making Rickover the longest-serving member of the U.S. armed forces.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, 1977 Laureate * – Religion
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was ordained as a priest in Peoria and become known as one of the first televangelists for his preaching on television and radio. His Life is Worth Living show garnered Sheen two Emmy Awards for Most Outstanding Television Personality and he was featured on the cover of Time magazine. Sheen also served as Auxiliary Bishop of New York, and the cause for his canonization as a saint in the Catholic Church is moving forward.
The Rev. Preston Bradley, 1976 Laureate * – Religion
The Rev. Preston Bradley was the founder and pastor of the Peoples Church in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago who was a driving force for many years in racial issues, conservation, the arts and education. Bradley believed that ethics, religion and economics could not be separated and this ideology made him a forceful liberal voice and reformer. Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center is named for him.
Gaylord A. Freeman, Jr., 1976 Laureate – Business and Social Services
Gaylord A. Freeman Jr. was the long-time chairman and chief executive of First National Bank of Chicago and was an influential spokesman for business on national and international monetary affairs. Freeman retired from the bank in 1975 but was frequently was called on by Washington, D.C. for advice and assistance, and he headed a commission appointed by Congress that charted the future of the U.S. Postal Service.
Louis Goldblatt, 1976 Laureate * – Business
Louis Goldblatt began his retailing career at age 11, running errands for his older brothers in their first Chicago store, and later built a 47-store empire of Goldblatt’s department stores that rivaled many of the retail giants of the time. Goldblatt, whose family fled Poland when he was just two years old, was also a philanthropist who supported numerous charitable causes in the Chicago area.
Burl Ives, 1976 Laureate * – The Performing Arts
Burl Ives’ songs, films and voice work continue to entertain fans around the world. A native of Jasper County, Illinois, Ives was a singer, banjo player and CBS Radio star who made the move to the big screen, winning a 1958 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Big Country. Ives’ voice is heard every holiday season as Sam the Snowman, the narrator of the beloved classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Edward Hirsh Levi, 1976 Laureate * – Government
Edward H. Levi was the president of the University of Chicago from 1968 to 1975 and served as U.S. Attorney General for President Gerald Ford. Levi is credited with restoring order to the administration following the turmoil of Watergate and is often cited as the “greatest lawyer of his time.” Levi mentored many who served under him in the Attorney General’s office, including Rudolph Giuliani, Robert Bork, Antonin Scalia and Rex Lee.
Louis Courtenay Sudler, 1976 Laureate * – Business and The Performing Arts
Louis C. Sudler was a Chicago businessman and philanthropist. He was also a musician, and from 1966 to 1972, was the chairman of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Orchestral Association. He hired a new general manager who in turn hired Georg Solti as the orchestra’s music director. Sudler guided the organization back to its place among the ranks of the world’s top instrumental performance groups. He also created performing arts awards at 15 colleges and universities and established the John Philip Sousa Foundation to reward members of school marching bands.
1975, 1974, 1973
Samuel Weiler Witwer, Sr., 1975 Laureate * – Government and Law
Samuel W. Witwer, Sr. was the president of the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention which drafted the current document that guides state government. Witwer, a Chicago area attorney, was chosen to lead the convention because of his quiet grace and the doggedness with which he pursued reform. He became known as the “Father of the Illinois Constitution” after voters approved the landmark document he helped to shape.
William Russell Arrington, 1974 Laureate * – Government and Law
“Russ” Arrington has been recognized by many inside politics as one of the greatest Illinois lawmakers. A Gillespie native, Arrington was a lawyer and businessman who served as a Republican in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1945 to 1953 and the State Senate from 1954 to 1972, including President of the Senate, where his initiatives earned him the designation “Father of the modern General Assembly.”
Saul Bellow, 1974 Laureate – Communications
Saul Bellow is one of the most honored American authors of all time. The long-time Chicago resident won the Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize for Literature, National Medal for the Arts, and is the only author to have won the National Book Award for Fiction three times. Bellow’s writing mixed rich character development with a witty analysis of American culture to present a vivid picture of life in our nation during the 20th century.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1974 Laureate – The Performing Arts
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed its first concerts in 1891 and has since entertained millions of people around the world with musical performances spanning nearly every genre. Recordings by the symphony have earned 62 Grammy Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s home is the 1905 Orchestra Hall, designed by famed architect Daniel Burnham.
Benjamin (Benny) Goodman, 1974 Laureate * – The Performing Arts
Benny Goodman, the jazz clarinetist and bandleader known as the “King of Swing,” led one of the most popular musical groups in the United States during the 1930s and he continued to perform for nearly 50 years. A Chicago native, Goodman was a major force behind jazz being accepted as “respectable” music and his bands launched the careers of many musical artists, including African Americans, during a time when integrated musical groups were rare.
William John Kuhfuss, 1974 Laureate * – Agriculture
William J. Kuhfuss was the president of the Illinois-based American Farm Bureau from 1958 to 1970 and is credited with helping to open world markets for U.S. farm products. Kohfuss, a Tazewell County, Illinois farmer, also served as president of the Illinois Farm Bureau and led three world trade missions in the 1960s. Kohfuss was president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, an umbrella organization representing state farm bureaus, from 1970 to 1976.
Richard B. Ogilvie, 1973 Laureate * – Government
Richard B. Ogilvie was the Governor of Illinois from 1968 to 1972 and during his term he modernized state government, successfully advocated for a state constitutional convention, increased social spending, and secured Illinois’ first state income tax. Ogilvie, a Republican, had previously been known as a mafia-fighting Assistant U.S. Attorney, Sheriff of Cook County and President of the Cook County Board.
Frank Everson Vandiver, 1973 Laureate * – Communications
Frank E. Vandiver wrote, co-wrote or edited 24 books, most of them dealing with the Civil War, and his biography of World War I General John J. Pershing was a runner-up for the National Book Award. Vandiver was President of Texas A & M University and the University of North Texas, and received numerous honors for his research and writing about American history.
1972, 1971, 1970, 1969
Jack Benny, 1972 Laureate * – The Performing Arts
Jack Benny was one of the leading entertainers of the 20th century, delighting millions with his comedy performances on the vaudeville stage, radio, television and film. Benny was born in Chicago and grew up in Waukegan, and came to be known for his comic timing and his signature, exasperated “Well!” Benny has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was inducted into the Television, National Radio, and Brosdcasting and Cable Halls of Fame.
David Dodds Henry, 1972 Laureate * – Education
David Dodds Henry served 16 years as president of the University of Illinois in the 1950s and 60s. During Henry’s tenure at the U of I student enrollment doubled, academic standing improved, and new facilities such as the Assembly Hall and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts were constructed. The newly formed Chicago Circle campus enhanced the University’s presence in Chicago as well. His Special Educational Opportunities Program improved access to the University for under-represented minority groups.
Percy Lavon Julian, 1972 Laureate * – Science
Percy Lavon Julian was an African American research chemist who received more than 130 patents for the chemical synthesis of human hormones, steroids and medicines. Julian’s research laid the foundation for the production of cortisone, corticosteroids and birth control pills. Julian and his family endured racist threats to become the first African Americans to live in Oak Park, Illinois and he founded Julian Laboratories to continue his research using several African American and women chemists.
Mark Van Doren, 1972 Laureate – Communications
Vermilion County, Illinois native Mark Van Doren was a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, writer and critic who inspired a generation of influential writers and thinkers of the Beat Generation, including Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Van Doren was a scholar and professor at Columbia University for nearly 40 years, and was the literary editor and film critic for The Nation in the 1920s and 30s.
Archibald MacLeish, 1971 Laureate * – Communications
A native of Glencoe, Illinois, Archibald MacLeish was a poet and writer who was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes for his work, two for poetry and the other for drama, the play J.B., for which he also won a Tony Award. MacLeish was a World War I veteran, worked for the magazine Fortune, and served as the Librarian of Congress for five years, a post he accepted at the urging of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Paul McClelland Angle, 1970 Laureate * – Education and Communications
Paul M. Angle was a prolific and internationally renowned Lincoln scholar and chronicler of Illinois history. He wrote and edited numerous books about the 16th President, was State Historian director of the Illinois State Historical Library, and headed the Chicago Historical Society. Angle chaired an advisory committee in 1967 that recommended what Chicago city records should be preserved for posterity.
Ernest (Ernie) Banks, 1970 Laureate * – Sports
“Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks is widely considered to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Banks played for the Negro leagues before playing for the Chicago Cubs from 1953 – 1971, during which time he was an 11-year all-star, Most Valuable Player for two years, and Golden Glove winner. Banks was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, and was the first player to have his uniform number retired.
William J. Campbell, 1970 Laureate * – Law
William J. Campbell was the longest tenured federal judge in the United States. The Chicago native was the U.S. Attorney who helped convict Al Capone of tax evasion in the late 1930s, then in 1940 was nominated to the federal bench by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Campbell served as the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 1959 to 1970, and continued his court service as assistant director of the Federal Judicial Center until his death in 1988.
William C. Westmoreland, 1970 Laureate – Government
General William C. Westmoreland was the commander of U.S, forces during the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1968 and served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1972. He was also a combat officer in World War II and the Korean War and was Superintendent of the United States Military Academy.
David Matthew Kennedy, 1969 Laureate * – Business and Government
David M. Kennedy served as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, and chair of the federal Commission on Budgetary Concepts, whose recommendations were adopted as standard government practice. Kennedy was CEO and Chairman of the Board of Continental Illinois Bank and chaired Mayor Richard J. Daley’s Committee for Economic and Cultural Growth in Chicago. He also held top leadership roles for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the International Studies Center at Brigham Young Univers8ity is named in his honor.
Ivan LeLorraine Albright, 1968 Laureate * – The Arts
Ivan L. Albright was born in North Harvey, Illinois, attended The Art Institute of Chicago, and became a “magic realist” painter whose dark, mysterious works included some of the most meticulously executed paintings ever made, often requiring years to complete. In 1943 Albright was commissioned to create the title painting for the film The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the original work he created for the movie is in The Art Institute.
John B. (Jack) Brickhouse, 1968 Laureate * – Communications
Jack Brickhouse’s voice will forever be associated with professional baseball broadcasts, and he was most well-known for his play-by-play coverage of Chicago Cubs games on WGN-TV from 1948 to 1981. Brickhouse also broadcast Chicago White Sox games until 1968. including their 1959 World Series appearance. Brickhouse received a broadcasting award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983 and was inducted into the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame.
Katherine Dunham, 1968 Laureate * – The Performing Arts
Chicago native Katherine Dunham had one of the most successful dance careers in American and European theater during the 20th century and was called “dancer Katherine the Great” by the Washington Post. For 30 years she headed the Katherine Dunham Dance Company, the only self-supported African American dance troupe at that time, and was a leader in the field of dance anthropology, or ethnochoreography.
Arthur Goldberg, 1968 Laureate – Government and Law
Chicago native Arthur Goldberg served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor, a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and Ambassador to the United Nations. Goldberg was a prominent labor attorney early in his career and helped to arrange the merger of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations into the AFL-CIO. Goldberg served in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II and helped organize European resistance to Nazi Germany.
William Edward McManus, 1968 Laureate * – Religion
William Edward McManus was the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago from 1967 – 1976 and Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend from 1976 – 1985. The Chicago native was also superintendent of Chicago Catholic schools while Bishop of the city, and enrollment in those schools reached a peak of 366,000 students during his tenure, adding 30 elementary and 10 high schools.
Edward L. Ryerson, 1968 Laureate * – Communications and Social Services
Edward L. Ryerson was the Chairman of Inland Steel Corporation from 1940 to 1953 who won national recognition by his peers as the most effective national spokesman for his industry. Ryerson lived his life as an exercise in philanthropy and civic duty, and served on the Executive Committee of the Chicago Community Trust for 27 years, the last 14 as chairman.
Rabbi Jacob Joseph Weinstein, 1968 Laureate * – Religion
Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein was a long-time spokesman for Reform Judaism and a vocal and oft-cited critic of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Weinstein was the spiritual director of Illinois’ oldest Jewish congregation, served as president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and was chairman of the War Labor Board panels during World War II. He was appointed by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson to advisory positions regarding equal employment and labor issues.
Roy Wilkins, 1968 Laureate – Business
Roy Wilkins was the head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1955 to 1977. Wilkins was a lifelong civil rights leader, and rose to prominence in 1950 when he co-founded the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. He was involved in virtually every major civil rights campaign for several decades, including several in Illinois.
William Carl Ackermann, 1967 Laureate * – Science
William Carl Ackermann was a professor of civil engineering at the University of Illinois who made a long-lasting impact on water resource quality and the study of acid rain in the United States. Ackermann chaired the White House’s Committee on Water Resources Research and strongly advocated the establishment of water resources institutes in all fifty states, a measure enacted by Congress in 1964.
Roger Adams, 1967 Laureate * – Science
Roger Adams was a University of Illinois chemist whose work helped to unlock the composition of naturally occurring substances such as complex vegetable oils and plant alkaloids, insights that continue to have far-reaching benefits for humankind. He also served the U.S. government as a scientist at the highest levels during both World Wars.
Paul Howard Douglas, 1967 Laureate * – Government
Paul Howard Douglas was a World War II war hero and the U.S. Senator from Illinois from 1949 through 1976. During his Senate service Douglas battled for equal rights for African Americans, less pork barrel spending, environmental protection, public housing, and authored the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
Hugh Downs, 1967 Laureate – Communications
Hugh Downs was a television news anchor, producer, game show host, author and music composer who got his professional start at WMAQ Radio in Chicago. Downs was co-host of the NBC-TV Today show from 1962 – 1971, the anchor of the ABC-TV news magazine 20/20 from 1978-1999, host of the game show Concentration fro 1958 – 1969, and the announcer/sidekick for Tonight Starring Jack Parr from 1957 – 1962.
Charles (Chick) Evans, Jr., 1967 Laureate * – Sports
Chick Evans, who grew up in Chicago, became the first amateur golfer to win both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Amateur tournaments, a feat he accomplished in 1916. Evans also won the 1910 Western Open, was selected to the Walker Cup team in 1922, 1924 and 1928, and competed in a record 50 consecutive U.S. Amateur tournaments. He received the United States Golf Association’s Bob Jones Award in 1960 and is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The Fine Arts Quartet – Leonard Sorkin*, Abram Loft*, George Sopkin* and Gerald Stanick, 1967 Laureates – The Performing Arts
The Fine Arts Quartet is a chamber music ensemble founded in Chicago in 1946 that recorded more than 200 works and performed together for more than 50 years, making it one of the world’s longest enduring string quartets. The quartet’s members through the years have nurtured many young musicians through university teaching residencies, and their list of performances includes many of the world’s most renowned musical venues.
R. Buckminster Fuller, 1967 Laureate * – The Arts
Richard Buckminster Fuller held 28 U.S. patents and was most famous for his invention and the development of geodesic domes. Fuller published more than 30 books, contributed to ecological thought with his book “Spaceship Earth,” and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Ronald Reagan. Fuller taught at the School of Art and Design at Southern Illinois University Carbondale for many years.
John Simpson Hastings, 1967 Laureate * – Law
John S. Hastings was a United States federal judge who was nominated by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1957 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. He served as Chief Judge from 1959 to 1968 and assumed senior status on the bench in 1969. Hastings was also generous in his support of charitable causes, including those that assisted crippled children.
Raymond Marcellus Hilliard, 1967 Laureate * – Social Services
Known by the unofficial title of “Mr. Welfare,” Raymond Marcellus Hilliard was a leader in establishing efficient public welfare administration and delivering services to people in need, especially southern Illinois and Cook County. Hilliard’s service in leading several public welfare agencies in Illinois during the 1950s and 60s was marked by his emphasis on attacking dependency at its source, and he introduced measures that streamlined the welfare process while saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
Charles Brenton Huggins, 1967 Laureate * – Science and Medicine
Charles Brenton Huggins was a physician and cancer researcher at the University of Chicago specializing in prostate cancer. He was awarded the 1966 Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering that hormones could be used to control the spread of some cancers. This was the first discovery that showed cancer could be controlled by chemicals.
Mahalia Jackson, 1967 Laureate * – The Performing Arts
Known as the “Queen of Gospel,” Mahalia Jackson lived in Chicago and became one of the world’s most influential singers and a renowned civil rights activist. She recorded 30 albums during her career and had 12 million-selling “gold” records. Jackson became the first Gospel Music artist to win a Grammy Award.
Wayne Andrew Johnston, 1967 Laureate * – Business
Wayne A. Johnston was president of the Illinois Central Railroad from 1945 to 1966 and chairman of the board for the railroad in 1967. He also served as president of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees in 1967.
Irving (Kup) Kupcinet, 1967 Laureate * – Communications
Irv Kupcinet was enjoyed by millions who for six decades read his “Kup’s Column” in the Chicago Sun-Times. Kupcinet was signed to play football for the Philadelphia Eagles but an injury cut his career short, so he began writing sports for the Chicago Daily Times in 1935 and his “Kup’s Column” was launched in 1943. Kupcinet also hosted his own Emmy Award-winning TV talk show syndicated to 70 television stations nationwide.
George Littlewood Luthy, 1967 Laureate * – Business and Social Services
George L. Luthy was the president of Peoria’s Commercial National Bank and of the Peoria Park District. The Botanical Garden named in his honor is still operated by the park district to recognize his years of service and support to public recreation in Peoria.
The Right Reverend James Winchester Montgomery, 1967 Laureate * – Religion
James W. Montgomery was the ninth Bishop of Chicago in the Episcopal Church, serving from 1962 to 1987. He was also a trustee of Shimer College in Naperville.
Charles B. Shuman, 1967 Laureate * – Agriculture
Charles B. Shuman of Sullivan was a longtime farmer and the outspoken president of the Illinois Farm Bureau Federation from 1954 to 1970. His criticisms of government crop production and pricing policies helped lead to a change in United States agricultural policy.
Martin Wagner, 1967 Laureate * – Labor
Martin Wagner was an nationally-renowned labor relations expert and arbitrator who was director of the University of Illinois’ School of Labor and Employment Relations from 1958 to 1968. He was a leader in the development of Illinois public policy on public sector collective bargaining, and served as chair of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board for five years.
Robert Elkington Wood, 1967 Laureate * – Business
Robert E. Wood served as Quartermaster General of the U.S. Army during World War I before starting a career as the head of two giant retail firms, Montgomery Ward and Sears Roebuck. Wood’s tenure at Sears from 1928 to 1954 saw the company shift from a primarily mail-order business to retail sales at large urban department stores. Wood also created Allstate Insurance as a subsidiary of Sears.
George Wells Beadle, 1966 Laureate * – Science and Education
George Wells Beadle was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1958 for his co-discovery of the role of that genes have in enzyme reactions, a key breakthrough in the world of genetics. A short time later Beadle was elected Chancellor of the University of Chicago, and then President of the University.
Edwin Carlos (Bill) Berry, 1966 Laureate * – Business
Edwin Carlos “Bill” Berry moved up through the ranks of the National Urban League and made Chicago the Urban League’s largest affiliate by 1958. Calling Chicago America’s most segregated city, Berry was a key force in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and helped organize a 1964 rally in the city by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rev. Edgar Hugh Storer Chandler, 1966 Laureate * – Religion
A Congregational minister, World War II U.S. Navy chaplain, and Church Federation of Greater Chicago leader, the Rev. Edgar H.S. Chandler worked hand-in-hand with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other Civil Rights giants of the 1960s. He also inspired many as a teacher at the Chicago Theological Seminary, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Everett McKinley Dirksen, 1966 Laureate * – Government
Pekin native Everett McKinley Dirksen is one of the most well-known political leaders from Illinois. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives, was the U.S. Senate Minority leader from 1959 to 1969, and helped write and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Dirksen emerged as one of the most prominent national figures of the Republican Party during the 1960s.
Marshall Field IV, 1966 Laureate * – Business
Marshall Field IV was a U.S. Navy World War II hero who returned home to Chicago after the war and helped shape the modern newspaper business. Field learned the newspaper trade as a reporter for the Chicago Sun, and took over ownership of the Chicago Sun-Times upon his father’s death in 1956, owned Parade magazine from 1956 to 1958, and purchased the Chicago Daily News in 1959.
Carol Fox, 1966 Laureate * – The Performing Arts
Carol Fox became the first impresario of the Chicago Lyric Opera in 1954 and is credited with restoring Chicago’s operatic glory. Fox studied opera in Europe in 1950 and returned home to lead the dynamic rebirth of the resident company at the Chicago Civic Opera, playing an active role in the world-renowned performing venue for more than 30 years.
George Stanley Halas, Sr., 1966 Laureate * – Business and Sports
George Halas, nicknamed “Papa Bear,” was the founder of the Chicago Bears football team and was one of the co-founders of the National Football League in 1920. Halas was one of the first 17 inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963, and was also a Major League Baseball player.
Ben Walter Heineman, Sr., 1966 Laureate * – Business
Ben Heineman was a lawyer, corporate leader and key Civil Rights adviser to President Lyndon Johnson. Heineman was chief of the Chicago and Northwestern Railway for 30 years and turned a money-losing company into a very profitable and efficient railroad. In 1966, when racial strife was at its worst, Mayor Richard J. Daley appointed Heineman as chairman of the Chicago Civil Rights Summit Conference on Fair Housing.
John Harold Johnson, 1966 Laureate * – Business and Communications
John H. Johnson was the founder of Johnson Publishing Company in Chicago and in 1982 he became the first African American to appear on the Forbes 400 list. Johnson founded Ebony in 1945 and Jet in 1951, magazines that were among the most influential African American media during the 20th century.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1966 Laureate * – The Arts
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is widely regarded as one of the world’s pioneers of modernist architecture. Mies was born in Germany, fled the country after Nazism’s rise to power, and settled in Chicago, where for 31 years he designed many of the buildings that now define the city’s skyline. Mies’ towers and homes reflected his philosophies of “less is more” and “God is in the details.”
Karl Albert Meyer, 1966 Laureate * – Medicine
Dr. Karl Albert Meyer served 53 years at Cook County Hospital in Chicago as an administrator, surgeon and teacher and was widely regarded as one of the city’s best surgeons. He reportedly performed more than 100,000 surgeries, often ten per day, and he helped advance the hospital’s national reputation in many areas of medicine.
Franklin Faller Offner, 1966 Laureate * – Science
Born in Chicago, Franklin Offner was a prolific inventor of electronic medical and surgical devices, including the electrocardiograph, as well as infrared guided missiles and aircraft engine systems. He holds patents for electronics, control and hydraulics systems, and has won numerous awards and fellowships from medical and engineering organizations.
James Michael Roche, 1966 Laureate * – Business
James M. Roche joined General Motors Corporation in 1927 in the Chicago sales and service branch and rose through the ranks to president of the corporation in 1965. Roche dedicated himself and the company to ensuring equal employment opportunities for all races and helped seat the first black member, a civil rights minister, on GM’s board.
Walter Vincent Schaefer, 1966 Laureate * – Government and Law
Walter Schaefer served on the Illinois Supreme Court from 1951 to 1976 and was widely regarded as one of the leading scholar-judges on the nation’s state courts. His Federalism and State Criminal Procedure, written for the Harvard Law Review, is still regarded as a top treatise on the American system of justice. Schaefer was a law professor at Northwestern University and returned there to teach after retiring from the bench.
Robert Martin Trueblood, 1966 Laureate * – Business
Robert Trueblood was a highly regarded Chicago accountant who authored several books on the profession and was part of President Lyndon Johnson’s budget commission. Trueblood received numerous professional accolades during his working and teaching career, and his accounting principles books are still cited in CPA educational programs.
Benjamin Coppage Willis, 1966 Laureate * – Education
Benjamin C. Willis was Superintendent of Schools in Chicago in the 1950s an early 1960s and and was credited for cutting class size, streamlining new building construction, and getting higher teacher salaries. But he was also known for defying court-ordered desegregation and refusing to move black children into white schools, a stance that made him the target of Civil Rights era protesters.
John Stephen Boyle, 1965 Laureate * – Government and Law
Chicago native John Stephen Boyle served as the first Chief Judge of the newly unified Cook County Court system that had received voter approval in the “blue ballot amendment.” His lengthy and distinguished career also featured stints as a Chicago Alderman, prosecutor and Chief Justice of the Criminal Court.
Rudolph Ganz, 1965 Laureate * – The Performing Arts
Switzerland’s most famous pianist, Rudolph Ganz called Chicago home for most of the 20th century and became a pioneer recording pianist, eminent composer, conductor, and music teacher. His compositions, concert appearances, and his classes at Roosevelt University’s Chicago Music College brought delight to music lovers for decades.
His Eminence Albert, Cardinal Meyer, 1965 Laureate * – Religion
Cardinal Meyer came to Chicago in 1958 and emerged as a conspicuous leader of the Roman Catholic Church during a trying time of adjustment for the faith. He served as Archbishop of Chicago from 1958 until his death in 1965, and at the Vatican Council he earned respect for his staunch support of the “religious liberty of conscience” and his influence could be felt across all faiths, races and groups.
Richard Gibbs Browne, 1965 Laureate * – Education
Illinois native Richard Gibbs Browne held many statewide education leadership roles, including executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and his work in education research charted new paths in a time of stress, conflict and change in the state’s school system. Browne was also an author, civic leader, and worked tirelessly to foster inter-governmental cooperation.
James E. Day, 1965 Laureate * – Business
James E. Day, an Illinois native, was a nationally known leader in the investment field and served as president of the Midwest Stock Exchange. His energy and imagination helped adapt the methods and machines of modern electronics to numerous technical and communication problems, saving time and money for millions of people.
Adlai Ewing Stevenson II, 1965 Laureate * – Government
Adlai Ewing Stevenson served as Illinois Governor, was a two-time Democratic Presidential nominee, and United Nations Ambassador. His lengthy public service career was distinguished by his intellect, urbane humor, and penetrating sense of purpose.
Joseph Leopold Block, 1965 Laureate * – Business and Law
Joseph Leopold Block was the head of Inland Steel Corporation, a business that employed more than 30,000 people in the Chicago area, and advised several U.S. Presidents on labor-management relations. The Chicago native was chosen by his peers to be the voice of the national steel industry, and Block championed numerous civic causes during his lifetime.
Ward Louis Quall, 1965 Laureate * – Communications
Ward Louis Quall was part of a new breed of professionals, radio and television broadcasters, that arose before World War II. During his tenure as head of WGN in Chicago the station won national recognition and awards as it set the decades-long standards that most broadcasters still follow today.
William Henry Mauldin, 1965 Laureate * – Communications
A Chicago Academy of Fine Arts alumnus, Bill Mauldin achieved worldwide fame for his newspaper cartoons of everyday American GIs experiencing World War II. Mauldin won Pulitzer Prizes in 1944 and 1958 for his work, and continued to live side-by-side with and portray U.S. soldiers during the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
John Bardeen, 1965 Laureate * – Science
John Bardeen teamed with two other scientists at Bell Telephone Laboratories to develop one of the great electronic advances, the transistor. He shared the 1956 Nobel Prize for his Theory of Superconductivity, and went on to teach physics and engineering at the University of Illinois.
Avery Brundage, 1965 Laureate * – Sports
Avery Brundage was an Olympic competitor who went on to direct the International Olympic Committee from 1952 through 1972, setting the highest standards for amateur athletics around the world. Brundage was educated in Illinois and lived in Chicago, and received honors across the globe for his work.
Nathan Mortimer Newmark, 1965 Laureate * – Science
Nathan Mortimer Newmark, a University of Illinois professor, achieved worldwide renown for his work involving structural design and earthquakes. Newmark also helped pioneer the U of I’s use of computers in the 1950s and received the U.S. Presidential Citation of Merit and numerous global honors during his career.
William Allan Patterson, 1965 Laureate * – Business
William Allan Patterson headed Chicago-based United Airlines from 1934 to 1966, continually helping to improve the aviation industry and airport operations across the country. Patterson was also credited for introducing the concept of the flight attendant, and was well-known as a civic leader and philanthropist for numerous Chicago-area causes.
The Lincoln Academy of Illinois was established in 1964 to identify and honor exceptional Illinoisans whose contributions have brought honor to the state and have advanced the betterment of humanity. Individuals so honored become Laureates of the Lincoln Academy and receive The Order of Lincoln, Illinois’ highest award for professional achievement and public service. Laureates are presented the Order of Lincoln at a convocation ceremony held in the spring of each year.
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.
The Lincoln Academy is an Illinois200 Partner, #IllinoisProud, and during the state’s Bicentennial year we recognize our Laureates whose distinguished achievements and contributions have significantly shaped the social, cultural, business, political, economic, artistic, technological and scientific fabric of Illinois and beyond.
You will see brief biographical sketches appearing at the rate of several per week this year that will highlight each of our 337 Laureates from the past 54 years. We hope you will be inspired by their lives and reinforce your sense of pride in our great state.