October 13th



Alumnus shares lessons on leadership

When Donovan Pepper served as president of the student body at what is now UIS in the early ‘90s, Student Government Association, The Journal and the university itself all went by different names. There was no Capital Scholars Program, and University Hall and Lincoln Residence Hall were not yet in existence.

One thing that Pepper said has remained constant at the university over the last decade is the multitude of leadership opportunities available to students.

Pepper, the director of public affairs for the Chicago-based Illinois Restaurant Association, delivered his remarks Thursday at the Homecoming UIS Student-Alumni Leadership Luncheon. He earned two degrees in political studies during his time on campus – a B.A. from what was then Sangamon State University in 1994 and an M.A. in 1996.

In addition to participating in the university’s Model Illinois Government program, Pepper was both vice president and president of Student Senate, the precursor to SGA. According to Pepper, it was easy to talk about his experiences in student government because he had recently found some old issues of the student newspaper, which was then called the SSU News.

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Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series: Discussion on Civil Liberties

The Lincoln Legacy Lecture series began with its first lecture, Civil Liberties in Lincoln's Presidency, on Thursday Oct. 7. The lecture was given by Mark E. Neely, Jr., a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Lincoln expert.

Several people came out to see the lecture series, many of whom were extreme Lincoln fans. Chris Umhoefer, Lincoln fan, said he was interested in discovering the new ways of looking at the Lincoln administration and learn things he had not known before.

There were also those who were eager to hear Neely's response to how the civil liberties of Lincoln's presidency compared to the civil liberties present today in Bush's presidency. Jack Navins, Lincoln fan, said he was "most interested in correlation between major issues then and issues now."

Neely started the lecture by referring to an attack on New York City during the Civil War. According to Neely, this was a poorly orchestrated and failed attempt to burn down the city on the night of Nov. 25, 1864.   Neely said that Confederate agents from Canada were led by escaped prisoners of war in the attack.

The attack on New York during Lincoln's administration failed because of the lack of technology, Neely said. As apart of their plot, the Confederate agents would have had over 8,000 lives to destroy, aiming at setting fires at night hangout spots and 13 hotels. However, they closed the doors and the lack of air kept their fire from spreading. Neely also said that the men had not been properly trained in terrorism.

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