April 23, 2008

Shryock ceremony to honor six Lincoln Laureates

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Six world-famous Illinoisans who have excelled in law, business, education and social service will become Laureates of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois, the highest honor for outstanding achievement the state can bestow to persons who were born or have resided in Illinois.

The Order of Lincoln Medallion will be presented by Lincoln Academy officials at a special ceremony Saturday, April 26, 6 p.m. at Shryock Auditorium at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Media Advisory

Seating will be available for reporters wishing to cover the event. A mult-box will be available to provide audio for radio and television reporters. No flash photography is permitted. Media inquiries should be directed to Jak Tichenor at WSIU Public Television at 618/453-6187 (tichenor@siu.edu).

The 2008 Laureates include:

  • David Herbert Donald is one of the world's foremost Abraham Lincoln scholars and the author or editor of more than 20 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 doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and taught there as well.
  • 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 to 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 to 1992, he served as a reservist in the U.S. Navy's Judge Advocate General Corps, retiring with the rank of lieutenant commander.
  • The life of William Norwood, a native of Centralia, has been marked by a number of "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, SIUC, and served on the school's Board of Trustees for 27 years.
  • Granite City native Kenneth A. Shaw, recently retired chancellor of Syracuse University, has served as a campus or system president for 27 years in Illinois, Wisconsin and New York. Shaw served as president of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville from 1977 to 1979, when he was named chancellor of the Southern Illinois University System, a post he held until 1986. Shaw served as president of the University of Wisconsin System from 1986 until 1991 when he became president of Syracuse University. He has received honorary degrees from eight universities and has written more than 40 articles dealing with higher education and leadership. Shaw, a star high school and college basketball player, has served the NCAA in a variety of leadership roles.
  • Thomas M. Siebel is the founder, chairman and CEO of Siebel Systems, which merged with Oracle Corp. in 2006 to form one of the world's leading software companies. Widely sought for his advice and the author of three books, Siebel is also very active in social and philanthropic causes in Montana and Illinois. A native of Chicago who grew up in Wilmette, Siebel 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.
  • 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.

Lincoln Academy Chancellor John B. Simon of Chicago will preside over the April 26 ceremony. The traditional reception, banquet and ball will follow the ceremony.

The Lincoln Academy, unique among the 50 states, was established in 1965 to honor Illinois’ most distinguished citizens, either by birth or residence, who have brought honor to the state by their achievements. Past honorees have included Ronald Reagan, the Chicago Bears’ Walter Payton, Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, author Michael Beschloss, business leader Lester Crown, Nobel scientist Leon Lederman, and educator Stephanie Pace Marshall.