Gov. Bruce Rauner announced the 2017 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 outstanding group of individuals and exemplify President Lincoln’s relentless and passionate spirit for public service,” Rauner said. “They have positively impacted their communities in numerous ways, and their contributions will leave a lasting impression on Illinois and the world. It is my honor to award them the Order of Lincoln.”
This year’s recipients are:
Born and raised in Chicago and a graduate of DePaul University. The first African-American chairman and CEO of Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) and worked for the company for 46 years. Current president of the Chicago Board of Education. Chairman of the Board of Directors at BMO Financial Corp. Board member of Aetna Inc. and Waste Management Inc. Involvement with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, DePaul University, the Museum of Science and Industry and Big Shoulders Fund.
Born and raised in Chicago and a graduate of DePaul University. Founder of the Driehaus Capital Management LLC. Established the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation in 1992, and has donated more than $90 million since 1984. Founded the Richard H. Driehaus Museum to preserve and promote the architecture of the past. Promotes education through a multitude of endowed initiatives and scholarships.
The Honorable James Holderman
Received his J.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Was appointed to serve on the United States District Court. Served as chief judge from 2006 to 2013. Initiated innovations to improve the jury trial system. Expanded the Settlement Assistance Program and renovated the Dirksen Federal Courthouse. Earned the U.S. Department of Justice Award for Distinguished Service and the American Inns Court Award for Professionalism and Ethics.
R. Eden Martin
Born in Sullivan, Ill., and a graduate of University of Illinois. Civic leader and longtime attorney whose bold vision helped Chicago become a global city. Led the effort to expand O’Hare International Airport. Helped created the Renaissance Schools Fund to bring charter schools to impoverished areas. Retired partner at Sidley Austin LLP. Currently serves as a life trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Northwestern University and Chicago Historical Society.
Played 16 seasons and more than 2,100 games with the Chicago Cubs. Considered the best second basemen of his era. Held all-time record of 123 consecutive errorless games by a second basemen. Helped propel the 1984 Cubs to the post-season for the first time since 1945. Awarded numerous honors including an MVP and Golden Glove and was inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005. Known for his dedication to the Cubs organization and currently serves as a Cubs ambassador.
Samuel Knox Skinner
Born in Chicago and raised in Wheaton. Graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received his J.D. from DePaul College of Law. Served as the secretary of transportation and chief of staff under President George H.W. Bush. As secretary of transportation, guided the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act into law, creating a new structure for the country’s transportation planning and funding. Was the president of Commonwealth Edison (ComEd). Retired chairman, president and CEO of USF Corp., a leading transportation and logistics company.
Legendary Chicago banker. Devoted community philanthropist. Served as chariman of NBD Illinois Inc. and LaSalle National Bank. Current chair of the Executive Committee of Financial Investments Corporations (FIC) and president and CEO of the Steans Family Foundation. Serves on the boards of Civic Committee of the Commercial Club, Chicago Humanities Festival, Chicago Botanic Garden and The Ounce of Prevention Fund.
The Order of Lincoln will be presented at the 53nd Annual Convocation and Investiture of Laureates in Chicago on May 6. 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, a reception and dinner in honor of the recipients will be held at the Chicago History Museum. Funds raised at the dinner will provide Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Awards to one student from each of the 57 four-year degree granting, accredited 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.
For further information, visit the Lincoln Academy website at www.thelincolnacademyofillinois.org.