Lincoln Academy Honors Illinois Leaders

APRIL 2010 Contact: Ms. Julie Kellner

CHICAGO, IL, April 23, 2010 – During a ceremony in Chicago on Saturday, April 17, six leaders in Illinois who have excelled in law, business, education, athletics and social service, became Laureates of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Each individual received The Order of Lincoln Medallion, the highest honor for outstanding achievement the State of Illinois bestows to people who were born or have resided in the state.

More than 400 guests gathered in the Rubloff Auditorium at the Art Institute of Chicago for the Convocation Ceremony, before enjoying a cocktail reception in the Stock Exchange Trading Room and black tie ball in Griffin Court of the Museum’s Modern Wing. Chaired by Dia S. Weil of Winnetka, Regent of the Academy, and her co-chair, Maureen Dwyer Smith of Lake Forest, the Convocation rotates among Chicago, Springfield and a major academic community every three years.

The 2010 Laureates include Judge William J. Bauer of the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit; Doris K. Christopher, founder of The Pampered Chef, Mary A. Dempsey, Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library ; Mannie Jackson, owner of the Harlem Globetrotters and business entrepreneur; The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago; and Lester B. Knight, chairman of Aon Corporation and founding partner and managing director of Roundtable Healthcare Partners. The Convocation will be aired on public television stations throughout the state later in the year through the generosity of the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and WSIU Public Television.

Past honorees, of which there have been almost 300, include President Ronald Reagan; Governor James Thompson; the Chicago Bears’ Walter Payton; Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks; author Michael Beschloss; business leaders Lester Crown, Norm Bobins and Andrew McKenna; Nobel scientist Leon Lederman; and religious leader, Rev. Doctor John Buchanan.

Among the evening’s guests were a large gathering of past laureates including; Jim O’Connor, Linda Johnson Rice, Robert Galvin, Governor James Thompson, the Honorable Mary Ann McMorrow *, Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall, Rev. Thomas Behrens, Peter Bensinger, Marshall Burman, Ernest Wish, Orion Samuelson, the Zhou Brothers, the Honorable Joel Flaum, Dr. Alan Schriesheim, Dr. Stanley Ikenberry and Dr. Lester Fisher.

Established in 1964 to honor Illinois’ most distinguished citizens, either by birth or residence, the Lincoln Academy of Illinois is unique among the 50 states. Each fall at the Old State Capitol, the Academy’s Student Laureate Program honors senior students for overall excellence from each of the four-year, degree-granting institutions of Illinois.

* deceased