Blackburn College Lincoln Academy Student Laureate Brianna Milich (left) is pictured receiving her award from Dr. Michelle Stacy, Professor of Education; and Dr. Mark Biermann, President of Blackburn. (credit Blackburn College)

CARLINVILLE - Brianna Milich, a senior Elementary Education major, has been selected to represent Blackburn College in the 47th Annual Lincoln Academy Laureates. Each year an outstanding senior from each of the four-year degree-granting institutions of higher learning in Illinois is awarded the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award and thereby becomes a Student Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Students are recognized for demonstrating strong leadership aptitude, exhibiting a desire to make a difference in the world through civic engagement, and displaying the characteristics of Abraham Lincoln that made him someone who inspired and transformed the world for generations.

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The 47th annual Lincoln Academy Student Laureate virtual ceremony honored leadership and service on campus and beyond in the pursuit of the betterment of humanity, and students’ overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities. The ceremony included a congratulatory statement by Governor J.B Pritzker, the President of the Lincoln Academy. There also were speeches from past Laureates addressing each of the four recognized pillars of Lincoln’s leadership: integrity, courage, honesty, and empathy. Each Student Laureate received a letter and certificate signed by Pritzker, a Lincoln medallion, a challenge coin, and a $500 check from The Lincoln Academy.

“When the Education department considers a model student, Brianna is the first that comes to mind,” Dr. Michelle Stacy, Professor of Education at Blackburn, explained. “She is dedicated to improving society through her commitment to education and teaching future generations. In addition, Brianna is very active in the Student Senate, focusing on the student voice and student needs across campus. She advocates for students, both on and off-campus, by working with administration, faculty, and staff to improve the lives of students. She is a true leader on campus.”

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Stacy continued, “Brianna is also a Golden Apple Scholar - a statewide program focused on supporting future teachers as they embark on their teaching careers. Through the program, she is gaining professional development and experience in improving the lives of school-age children throughout Illinois. Brianna is dedicated to social justice, civic awareness, and community-building as part of her work at Blackburn College and with the Golden Apple Scholars program.”

Milich was honored to be selected and promised to follow in Lincoln’s footsteps in her own future career. “As a young adult, I have been inspired by Lincoln to begin every day with a growth mindset; to stop simply talking about creating unity and start taking action to do so within my community. As a future educator, I commit to equipping students with a growth mindset in themselves and others. I strive to prepare them to use this mindset in their advocacy of themselves and their rights as well as to create peace and unity in their communities,” she elaborated.

About Blackburn College

Founded in 1837, Blackburn College is a four-year, Presbyterian-related, co-educational liberal arts college located in Carlinville, IL. One of only ten federally-recognized Work Colleges, Blackburn has the only program in the nation fully managed by students. Balancing academic rigor and experiential learning, each student at Blackburn gains tangible experience and develops critical skills by contributing to their community, all while building a resume and earning their degree. U.S. News & World Report recognized Blackburn College as one of the top Liberal Arts Colleges in the Nation for Social Mobility in their Best Colleges lists for 2020, 2021, and 2022. The Center for Education & the Workforce at Georgetown University ranked Blackburn as a top performer for Earnings-Price Return - 209% (#1 in IL, #10 in the U.S.) and Net Price (#1 in IL; #11 in the U.S.). The Washington Monthly twice ranked Blackburn as the best baccalaureate college in Illinois.

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