Cullom Davis: 2014 William E. Winter Recipient

Cullom DavisAbove: Former Winter recipient Bob Clary (State Farm); Jeff Lorber, UIS Vice Chancellor for Development; Cullom Davis; Robert Felker, Member, University of Illinois Foundation Board of Directors; UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch

Cullom Davis, 2014 Recipient of The William E. Winter Award For Outstanding Advocate Leadership

This past Tuesday, May 20, the University of Illinois Foundation presented Cullom Davis with the 2014 William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership. The award celebrates individuals who have played an active role in securing private support for the University of Illinois.

Cullom Davis is a founding faculty member of Sangamon State University (now UIS) and Emeritus Professor of History. He was briefly dean of Brookens Library. A strong campus advocate and fundraiser, he has brought significant gifts to UIS for Brookens Library, the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, WUIS, and other programs.

“Through the Lens of History”

According to David Racine, Executive Director of the Center for State Policy and Leadership:

“No individual has made a greater contribution to the University’s scholarship and public service in the study of Abraham Lincoln than Professor Cullom Davis.

“His vision in creating the Lincoln Legal Papers Project at SSU in the 1980s, and his generous support since, have produced the innovative Papers of Abraham Lincoln, a joint initiative of UIS’ Center for State Policy and Leadership, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, and the Abraham Lincoln Association.

“His role in launching and supporting the Center’s Annual Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series since 2002, and in underwriting the Center’s documentary film about the Old State Capitol Historic Site, completed in 2013, are just two more examples of Cullom’s success in bringing life to UIS’ public affairs mission through the lens of history.”

A Professor, Administrator, and Scholar

While a professor, Cullom created and directed the University’s Oral History Office and helped design its M.A. program in public history. Following his retirement from UIS in 1995, he served as Director and Senior Editor of the Lincoln Legal Papers (which later became the Papers of Abraham Lincoln) from 1988 to 2000.

“It has been my privilege to serve and then support the University of Illinois at Springfield,” he says. “Present at its origins (as SSU) in 1970, I embraced the student-centered education, the public affairs mission, and its early determination to make Brookens Library the physical and intellectual center of our campus. Whatever I have accomplished pales in comparison with the rewards I have enjoyed.”

You can read Cullom Davis’s own personal oral history  (pdf). UIS is better today because of him.  Thank you, Cullom, for being such a strong advocate and friend to UIS.