SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced Former Governor Jim Edgar will serve as president of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Foundation Board. The board oversees the planning, fundraising and policy-making efforts of the Foundation. Edgar, the Governor’s nominee, was formally elected at the Foundation’s Wednesday meeting.
“Jim Edgar introduced the concept for the Lincoln Presidential Library in his administration’s final budget and has retained interest in its development ever since. He was my first choice to lead the Foundation into the future and I feel certain he will do an outstanding job reaching out to corporate donors and the general public as the Library and Museum approach completion,” said Governor Blagojevich.
The Foundation also approved world-renowned presidential historian Richard Norton Smith, who will serve in dual roles, directing both the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Foundation; and 14 additional Foundation members, all nominated by Governor Blagojevich.
At Smith’s request, and with Governor Blagojevich’s strong approval, the Foundation’s chief operating officer will be Susan Mogerman, Executive Director of Downtown Springfield, Inc. and former Director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
Edgar noted that the Foundation has its work cut out for it if the Foundation is to meet the ambitious goals outlined by Smith in the years leading up to the Bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth in 2009.
“The State made a major commitment to construct the three-block complex of buildings with help from the federal government and the City of Springfield, and to fund the day-to-day functions of the Library and Museum,” Edgar said. “But additional funds will be needed to develop the ongoing activities that will keep the facilities vibrant, current and attractive to national and international audiences. Our job will be to build the endowment and ensure funding for programs that will grab public attention immediately and maintain support over time.”
At its Wednesday meeting, the Foundation Board also saluted the contributions of former First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan and Pam Daniels, who stepped down from positions as president and treasurer respectively -- roles in which each had served since the organization was formed. Both will continue service on the Foundation Board.
Smith welcomed the board action and expressed the need to step up the Foundation’s fundraising efforts.
“We’ll be funding activities surrounding the opening of the Museum next year, not to mention planning and funding all the temporary exhibits, educational outreach, lectures, performances and other cultural events that will make this presidential library the most exciting in the country – a library and museum worthy of Abraham Lincoln,” Smith said.
Newly elected members to the Foundation Board include:
Bill Alter of Chicago
Jim Bruner, Jacksonville
Patrick Coburn, Springfield
Carey Cooper, Highland Park
Diane DiBenedetto, Northbrook
Governor Jim Edgar, Urbana
Lisa Gustman, Wilmette
Henry Holling, Peoria
Bernie Judge, Chicago
Peter Kovler, of Washington, D.C.
Lori Lennon, Lake Forest
Stuart Levine, Deerfield
Lou Lower, Springfield
Anne Roosevelt, Chicago.
Remaining members on the Foundation Board are:
Norman Bobins, Chicago
Julie Cellini, Springfield
Tolbert Chisum, Wilmette
Pam Daniels, Elmhurst
Douglas Donenfeld of Palm Springs, CA
Steven Forbes of New York, NY
Edward Genson, Chicago
Zale Glauberman, Springfield
Doris Kearns Goodwin, of Concord, MA
Dr. Joseph Hannon, Chicago
Elzie Higginbottom, Chicago
Carrie Hightman, Chicago
Herbert Mitgang, of New York, NY
Louise Taper of Los Angeles, CA.