SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner today announced the 2018 recipients of the Order of Lincoln, which is the state’s highest honor for professional achievement and public service.

“This year’s Order of Lincoln recipients are an extraordinary group of individuals that truly embody President Lincoln’s relentless and passionate spirit for public service,” Gov. Rauner said. “They have positively changed their communities in numerous ways, and their contributions will impact Illinois and the world for generations to come. It is my honor to award them the Order of Lincoln.”

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On Saturday, May 5, 2018, The Lincoln Academy of Illinois will hold its 54th annual Convocation at the historic Coronado Theatre in Rockford. There, members of the Academy will honor eight outstanding Illinoisans with the Order of Lincoln at a formal ceremony, concert and gala reception. These Laureates will join a cohort of 340 distinguished Illinois citizens so honored over the past 54 years.

This year’s Lincoln Laureates are Emily Bear, Dick Butkus, Stephen Shih Chen, The Reverend Michael J. Garanzini, S.J, Mellody Hobson, Edward L. McMillan, Dr. Louis Philipson and David Rydell.

Emily Bear, of Rockford, at only 16 years old, has achieved groundbreaking success as a pianist, composer and songwriter. A chart-topping recording artist, she enjoys arranging, orchestrating and performing in a diverse collection of styles, including jazz, classical, film music and pop. Having made her professional debut at the Ravinia Festival at 5 years old, she has since performed at many of the world’s most well-known venues, including Carnegie Hall, the White House, Lincoln Center, Montreux Jazz Festival and the Hollywood Bowl. Symphonies across the world have performed Emily's original compositions, and she has helped raise millions for charities across the globe through performances and events.

Richard M. (Dick) Butkus, of Chicago, was drafted by the Chicago Bears of the National Football League in 1965 after a stellar career as a student-athlete at the University of Illinois. He is widely regarded as one of the best linebackers of all time. Butkus played nine seasons for the Bears and was inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979. He has been recognized with virtually every award available in his sport at the collegiate and professional levels. After his playing career, Butkus appeared in more than a dozen movies, a variety of television shows and has been supportive of charitable activities through The Butkus Foundation, Inc.

Steven Chen, an alumnus of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, was the co-founder and chief technology officer of YouTube. In 1999, Chen arrived in Silicon Valley to join PayPal after studying computer science at the University of Illinois. On his first day at PayPal, Chen met Chad Hurley, who later would become his YouTube co-founder.

Chen was instrumental in building YouTube into a viral video phenomenon. He was the CTO of YouTube during its major growth phase. He helped lead YouTube through the Google acquisition for $1.65 billion, less than a year after launching the site. As the key technologist, Chen developed the company’s massive data centers and helped build YouTube into a premier entertainment destination, and one of the most popular websites on the Internet today.

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Chen has received several prestigious honors and acknowledgments from the business and entertainment communities, including: Business 2.0’s “50 Most Influential People,” GQ’s “Men of the Year,” Time magazine’s “Best Invention of the Year,” and Fortune’s “Most Powerful People in Business.” Chen joins GV from AVOS, the incubator he founded with Chad Hurley in 2011.

Father Michael J. Garanzini, S.J. is a distinguished university administrator, professor, author and scholar who has spent the majority of his career working in higher education. He served as president of Loyola University Chicago for 14 years and assumed the role of chancellor in 2015. This year, he returned to Fordham University, where he taught before coming to Loyola. He is a visiting research faculty member at Fordham. During his tenure at Loyola, he brought the university out of debt in only a few years and initiated a series of construction projects on both of Loyola’s city campuses. Very active in community service, Father Garanzini is well known for his work on behalf of children and families. He has published many books and articles on issues such as child and family therapy, moral development and Catholic education.

In June 2011, Father Garanzini was appointed by Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., the superior general of the Society of Jesus, to serve as the secretary for higher education for the Society of Jesus. In this role, which officially began on Sept. 1, 2011, and is in addition to his continued service as chancellor of Loyola, Father Garanzini assists the Father General on a part-time basis, coordinating and championing Jesuit higher-education issues around the world.

Mellody Hobson is president of Ariel Investments and chairman of Ariel Investment Trust’s board of trustees. A director of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and Starbucks Corporation, Hobson is chairman of After School Matters, a nonprofit providing Chicago teens with high quality, after-school programming. She regularly contributes to CBS News, the Tom Joyner Morning Show and Black Enterprise. Hobson is chair of The Economic Club of Chicago’s board of directors, and a board member of The Chicago Public Education Fund, George Lucas Education Foundation, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and Sundance Institute. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she serves on the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute’s board of governors. In 2015, Hobson was named to Time Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She earned her A.B. degree from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy.

Edward L. McMillan was born and raised on the family farm in McDonough County. A graduate of the University of Illinois, he is a leader in state and national agribusiness, notably as president and CEO of Purina Mills. McMillan has served on many industry boards of directors, plus extensive civic and philanthropy organizations, including Chairman, Board of Trustees, University of Illinois System.

Louis H. Philipson, M.D., Ph.D. is professor of medicine and pediatrics in the Section of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism at the University of Chicago, and a leading world authority on diabetes mellitus. He is the founding director of the Kovler Diabetes Center and president of the Chicago Community Leadership Board of the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Philipson was a co-discoverer of insulin gene mutations causing neonatal diabetes, and helped make the University the Chicago the national leader in the study of monogenic diabetes. He also directs research in preventing and treating type 1 diabetes. Dr. Philipson completed his Ph.D. and medical training at the University of Chicago, and is a graduate of Harvard College.

David Rydell is Chairman of Bergstrom Inc., a designer and producer of climate systems for the commercial vehicle industry. He assumed the position of president and CEO in 1986 and chairman in 2011. He helped position the company, along with Bergstrom’s management team, to have global production capabilities, as well as becoming recognized as a technology leader in no-idle heating and air conditioning in its marketplace. Rydell is a native of Rockford, and throughout his career has served and continues to serve on the boards of many community and not-for-profit organizations. He also supports said organizations and others through the family and company foundations. Rydell is a graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island.

“The Lincoln Academy of Illinois is proud to be a partner with the Bicentennial Commission, as we celebrate our state's 200th anniversary and illuminate the remarkable contributions of Illinois to the betterment of our world. The eight Laureates we honor during this Bicentennial year will become significant architects of our future,” said Stephanie Pace Marshall, Ph.D., Chancellor of the Academy.

Read More:

Jan 3, 2017 | Governor Rauner announces recipients of 2017 Order of Lincoln Award Jan 3, 2017

Feb 12, 2016 | Governor Rauner announces recipients of 2016 Order of Lincoln Award Feb 12, 2016

Nov 18, 2019 | Gov. Pritzker Announces 2020 Recipients of the Order of Lincoln Nov 18, 2019

Sep 22, 2021 | Gov. Pritzker Announces 2021 Recipients Of The Order Of Lincoln Sep 22, 2021

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