May 17, 2004

Law dean named trustee for Lincoln Academy of Illinois

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich has appointed Southern Illinois University Carbondale law school Dean Peter C. Alexander as general trustee of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.

The not-for-profit, non-partisan organization honors "outstanding individuals whose personal accomplishments have contributed to the betterment of mankind in, or on behalf of, the State of Illinois," Blagojevich said in a letter.

Among the Laureates was the law school's first dean, Hiram H. Lesar. A member of the Lincoln Academy's class of 1984, the late Lesar also served as a trustee.Alexander's appointment to the unpaid position is for six years. The 60 general trustees nominate and select Laureates each year. The Lincoln Academy of Illinois' first class was in 1965 and there now are 235 Laureates.

"I am very proud to follow in his footsteps and to serve as a member of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois board of trustees," Alexander said. "Illinois is my adopted home, so it is a very special honor for me to be asked to be on The Lincoln Academy board."

Alexander earned a bachelor's degree from SIUC in 1979, and a law degree from the Northeastern University School of Law in 1983. He then served as a law clerk for the U.S. District Court in Danville until 1985 before going into private practice in Champaign, Savoy and Watseka. He came to SIUC in June from Penn State University, where he was a law professor.

Other notable laureates with SIUC connections include former University President Delyte Morris, legendary SIUC research professor of design, R. Buckminster Fuller, and former U.S. Sen. and Public Policy Institute founder Paul Simon.

One of this year's six laureates presented with the Order of Lincoln medallion April 24 in Chicago was businessman, philanthropist and higher education advocate Harry L. Crisp II of Marion, who is a past member of the SIU Foundation Board.