FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: November 6, 2001
Contact: Cheryl D. Peck
SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois at Springfield will honor its first distinguished chair, Dr. Phillip Shaw Paludan, in a ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 7, in the Studio Theatre, located on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center. Dr. Paludan will be invested as the first holder of The Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies.
The university will also honor Dr. Richard E. Vaden and his family for contributing $1.25 million to UIS to establish its first endowed chair. The Vadens did so as a tribute to their longtime friendship with then UIS Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn and her husband, Robert. Dr. Lynn retired as UIS chancellor in April 2001.
“We are very grateful to the Vaden family for the value they place on education and friendship and for giving UIS the opportunity to continue building a solid foundation of essential knowledge,” said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen.
Ringeisen noted that the investiture of Paludan as UIS’ first distinguished Chair is a milestone in the history of the institution. “His presence at UIS raises the stature of the campus and enhances UIS’ ability to attract and retain other promising and accomplished scholars and teachers from around the nation and, indeed, the world,” he said.Paludan is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. He began his appointment in UIS’ History Department, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, on August 16.
He has won many awards for his scholarship on Lincoln and the Civil War, including the prestigious Lincoln Prize, awarded by the Lincoln and Soldiers Institute at Gettysburg College, for his 1994 book The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Before coming to UIS, Paludan was professor of history and Distinguished Lecturer in Western Civilization at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, where he had been a faculty member since receiving his Ph.D from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1968.
Investiture as a Distinguished Chair is the most prestigious honor within the academy and embodies the highest honor the university can bestow on a prominent faculty member. An investiture honors both the distinguished professor who has been selected and the donor, whose vision of the future of the university has brought the Chair into existence.