SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that 30 individuals from around the world will receive a special Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial edition of The Order of Lincoln, the highest honor that can be awarded by the State of Illinois.
“These distinguished citizens of the world will be honored for the lasting and significant ways they have preserved the memory of Abraham Lincoln and have contributed to Lincoln’s defining influence on the American spirit,” said Governor Blagojevich.
The Lincoln Academy of Illinois will present The Order of Lincoln to these individuals during a formal ceremony on Saturday, February 7, 2009 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in downtown Springfield, Illinois. The ceremony precedes Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday on February 12, 2009.
The 2009 Lincoln Academy of Illinois Bicentennial Laureates, all of whom have indicated they will attend the February 7 ceremony, include:
· Jean Harvey Baker, Mary Todd Lincoln biographer and Bennett-Harwood Professor of History at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland.
· Gabor S. Boritt, 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, author and editor of books on Lincoln and Sadowski Professor of History Emeritus at Connecticut College.
· Richard J. Carwardine, Lincoln biographer and Rhodes Professor of American History at Oxford University, England.
· Julie Cellini, 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, founding director and senior editor of The Lincoln Legal Papers, and retired professor of history at the University of Illinois at Springfield.
· Eric Foner, author of books on Lincoln and Reconstruction, and DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University in New York City.
· Allen C. Guelzo, 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, co-chair of the U.S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and author of books on Lincoln and the Civil War.
· Charles M. Hubbard, Lincoln author and director of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee.
· Ron J. Keller, 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, producers of Lincoln documentaries and publishers of books on Abraham Lincoln.
· John W. McClarey, Lincoln sculptor from Decatur, Illinois.
· Edna Greene Medford, author of books on Emancipation and slavery, and professor of history at Howard University in Washington, DC.
· LeRoy Neiman, the artist who created the 1969 portrait of Lincoln considered a modern American classic.
· Don Pollack, Lincoln artist and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
· Robert Provost, Jr., founder of the Lincoln Center in Tirana, Albania.
· Bob Rogers of BRC Imagination Arts of Burbank, California, the designer of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.
· Thomas F. Schwartz, Illinois State Historian, internationally renowned Lincoln expert, and key planner of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
· Jack Smith, 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, founders of AbrahamLincolnOnline.org.
· Louise Taper of Beverly Hills, California, renowned Lincoln collector, exhibit organizer, and John Wilkes Booth author and collector.
· Wayne C. Temple, Lincoln author and Chief Deputy Director of the Illinois State Archives in Springfield, Illinois.
· Lily Tolpo, Lincoln sculptor originally from Stockton, Illinois.
· Daniel R. Weinberg, owner of the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago and Lincoln author.
· Frank J. Williams, Lincoln author and collector, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island.
· Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, Lincoln authors and co-founders of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.
The Lincoln Academy, unique among the 50 states, was established in 1964 to honor Illinois’ most distinguished citizens, either by birth or residence, who have brought honor to the state by their achievements. The special Lincoln Bicentennial awards to be presented on February 7, 2009 are a departure from the usual practice in that the award winners were selected from among worldwide nominations and did not need to have an Illinois connection.
Past honorees have included Ronald Reagan, the Chicago Bears’ Walter Payton, Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, author David Herbert Donald, business leader Lester Crown, Nobel scientist Leon Lederman, and educator Richard H. Moy. For more information, visit www.thelincolnacademyofillinois.org