SPRINGFIELD – As Illinois prepares to celebrate the 207th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, Governor Bruce Rauner today announced this year’s recipients of the Order of Lincoln, which is the state’s highest honor for professional achievement and public service.

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“This year’s Order of Lincoln recipients are truly remarkable,” Gov. Rauner said. “These men and women of Illinois have kept the spirit of Abraham Lincoln alive through their great work that has influenced the world. It is only fitting for them to receive this honor.”

This year’s recipients are:

Nancy Goodman Brinker

Born in Peoria and a University of Illinois graduate, regarded as the leader of the global breast cancer movement - Founder of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Named one of Time Magazine's '100 Most Influential People' in '06. Retired U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary, retired U.S. Chief of Protocol, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Robert Gilmore

Described by Doug Oberhelman, CEO of Caterpillar, as one of Illinois' most substantial industrial leaders who has made an impact on manufacturing throughout the world. Active in several organizations including the Youth Farm and Children's Home, the Boy Scouts, and Illinois Central College. 

Raymond LaHood

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A Peoria native, represented Illinois' 18th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995-2009. Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation. Strong advocate for preserving the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Serves as Senior Advisor to The Dirksen Congressional Center and co-chairs Building America's Future.

Leo Melamed

Globally recognized as the founder of financial futures. As chairman of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group), created the International Monetary Market (IMM), led the CME in the introduction of a diverse number of financial instruments, including Treasury Bills in 1976, Eurodollars in 1981 and stock index futures in 1982. Spearheaded the introduction of the world’s first futures electronic trading system Globex® and became its founding chairman.  Led the effort to monetize commodities and made Chicago the hub of futures trading.

Scott Simon

Host of NPR's 'Weekend Edition Saturday'. Recipient of every major broadcasting award, including a Peabody, an Emmy, & the Studs Terkel Award. Host of many special public television programs. He is a master of new media in the Twitter age. He is also an accomplished author.

Kevin Stein

A professor at Bradley University since 1984 and recipient of two of Bradley's most prestigious awards: Caterpillar Professor of English and Samuel Rothberg Professional Excellence Award. Illinois' Poet Laureate since 2003. Author of numerous poetry books, scholarly books, poetry anthologies & published poems. Recipient of several awards and honors. Recognized by peers as one of the best poetry critics in the U.S. Editor of Bread & Steel and Illinois Voices: An Anthology of 20th Century Poetry.

The Order of Lincoln will be presented at the 52nd Annual Convocation and Investiture of Laureates in Peoria on Saturday, May 7, 2016. The Order of Lincoln was established by the Governor of Illinois in 1965, and the Lincoln Academy of Illinois -- an independent, non-partisan organization -- was created to administer the award and to choose the annual award recipients.

Following the award presentation on May 7, 2016, a gala reception and dinner in honor of the 2016 recipients will be held at the Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette. Funds raised at the dinner will provide Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Scholarships to one student from each of the 56 four-year colleges and universities in Illinois and one student representing the state’s community colleges. College presidents select the students on the basis of academic achievement and community service.

Read More:

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

Sep 16, 2017 | Gov. Rauner announces recipients of 2018 Order of Lincoln award Sep 16, 2017

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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