Reaching Stellar: UIS Center for Lincoln Studies

Lincoln Statue

Reaching Stellar Priority Set to Become a Reality with Center for Lincoln Studies

UIS has scheduled its grand opening for the Center for Lincoln Studies for February 12, 2021 – the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The Center is one of five stated priorities of the Reaching Stellar capital campaign that seeks to raise $40 million for UIS by 2022. Now that the dream of the Center is becoming a reality, it is expected to be a national base for scholarship, teaching and public history about Lincoln’s life, leadership and legacy. “I want people to come in and get the feel that amazing things are going to be happening here,” said Anne Moseley, Acting Director of the Center for Lincoln Studies.

2020 Beaumont Endowed Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series2020 Beaumont Endowed Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series

Join us virtually for the 2020 Beaumont Endowed Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series on Wednesday, October 14 at 7 p.m. CST. This year’s program will focus on Lincoln and the American Political Tradition with professors Dr. Lucas Morel and Dr. Diana J. Schaub, experts in the field. Both scholars will discuss Lincoln’s admiration for the American Founding, and Dr. Michael Burlingame will moderate and provide an overview. This topic is not only timely in our national discussion but also provides a historical perspective on the importance on the foundation of democracy. Register for the Zoom Webinar online today.

Chancellor KochNew Scholar for the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies

The UIS Center for Lincoln Studies will be announced during the next academic year, but plans are progressing nicely. In April, at the annual Celebration of Philanthropy on April 17, 2019, Chancellor Susan J. Koch made this announcement:
“Just this past week, thanks in part to UI System President Tim Killeen’s Distinguished Faculty Hiring initiative, we sealed the deal to hire our second renowned Lincoln Scholar.  He will join Dr. Michael Burlingame in the Department of History this Fall as we move toward the formal announcement of the new UIS Center for Lincoln Studies.”
Stay tuned for further updates about this important addition to the Center!
The UIS Center for Lincoln Studies is a Reaching Stellar Campaign priority…
Because Lincoln still instructs, inspires and elevates all of us.

Lincoln Legacy LectureLincoln Legacy Lecture | Save the Date

Each year, Dr. Michael Burlingame, the Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair of Lincoln Studies, invites nationally renowned Lincoln scholars to join him in presenting original lectures on a contemporary issue from the perspective of Abraham Lincoln and his era. These very popular Lincoln Legacy Lectures link us to a time when many of the biggest issues of democracy came to a head, issues that are still pertinent today.
Save the Date for the 2019 Lincoln Legacy Lecture with the topic of Lincoln, Immigration, & Citizenship. The event will be held on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, in the UIS Student Union. A reception with light refreshments will begin at 6pm with the lecture to follow at 7pm. RSVP online today or call 217.206.6058.
The UIS Center for Lincoln Studies is a Reaching Stellar priority because…
Lincoln still has the power to instruct, inspire and elevate all of us.

Chancellor Koch on Abraham Lincoln

Each month, Chancellor Koch writes a column for a local newspaper, the Springfield Journal-Register. In February 2019, she wrote about UIS and Abraham Lincoln.* Here is an excerpt in which she writes about the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies:

Lincoln Studies at UIS will take another important step forward in the coming year with the formal launch of the Center for Lincoln Studies – a priority of the current Reaching Stellar fundraising campaign. With planning underway for collaboration with the ALPLM, the Abraham Lincoln Association and other Lincoln-oriented organizations, the Center will provide new opportunities for learning about Lincoln and the impact of his contributions. The Center also aspires to advance research in Lincoln Studies and help prepare the next generation of Lincoln scholars.

This new Center is an important priority for the Reaching Stellar Campaign…because Lincoln still has the power to instruct, inspire and elevate all of us.

Abraham LincolnA February Celebration of Lincoln’s Character

On February 11, 1861, Abraham Lincoln left Springfield, Illinois, for Washington, D.C. on a special presidential train. His Farewell Address to the crowd was delivered extemporaneously. The following is the version Lincoln wrote down after the train pulled away.

My friends — No one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe every thing. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you and be every where for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.*

These words reveal a man whose character can inspire UIS students as they study his life and works in the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies…
…because Lincoln still has power to instruct, inspire and elevate all of us.
Photo attribution: Public Domain,

Chancellor Susan J. KochChancellor Koch Narrates Copland’s “Lincoln Symphony”

On October 18, 2018, during the Illinois Symphony Orchestra performance of Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait,” UIS Chancellor Susan Koch read texts from Lincoln’s State of the Union address, the Gettysburg Address, and selections from a Lincoln-Douglas debate. It was the Symphony’s season-opening performance and was chosen to celebrate both Lincoln and Illinois.
During this brief video from the Illinois Symphony’s “Lincoln Portrait,” Chancellor Koch says, “Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, is everlasting in the memory of his countrymen.” The UIS Center for Lincoln Studies will celebrate the wisdom and legacy of this great Illinois statesman. Learn more about the Center here, and please consider adding your support to this great scholarly endeavor.
The Young Lawyer

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lincoln Legacy Lecture speakers

2018 Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series

The 2018 Lincoln Legacy Lecture, sponsored by the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies, will take place on Thursday October 18, 7:00 pm in the Student Union Ballroom.  The event is free and open to the public. This year’s topic was Lincoln vs. Douglas: Slavery and Race in Illinois History. Attendees from UIS, Springfield, and farther afield joined speakers Dr. Graham Peck, Professor of History, St. Xavier University and Rodger Bridges, Former head of the Lincoln Legal Papers, and moderator Dr. Michael Burlingame, Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies.

Agnes DzombakAgnes M. Dzombak | Books about Lincoln

UIS is pleased to accept a special collection of books from the estate of Agnes M. Dzombak, a longtime Lincoln enthusiast. She collected the books during her lifetime, including eight books by Dr. Michael Burlingame, who holds the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at UIS. Agnes Dzombak’s son, David Dzombak, Professor and Head of the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, arranged the gift. He said, “Michael Burlingame’s affiliation with UIS provides further confirmation that UIS will be a good home for the collection. Perhaps my mother had the opportunity to meet Dr. Burlingame sometime at the annual Lincoln Forum in Gettysburg, which she attended every year since its founding in 1995.”
The Agnes M. Dzombak collection is an outstanding contribution in support of the new UIS Center for Lincoln Studies. It will be housed in Brookens Library.

Devin Hunter--UIS History Professor, Michelle Levine--Park Ranger, Richard Raymond, Chuck Schrage--UIS Alumni RelationsRichard Raymond | First Scholarship for UIS Center

Richard Raymond, UIS alum, began his National Park Service career as a curator during the restoration of the Lincoln Home the late 1970s. Now he has created the first scholarship for the new UIS Center for Lincoln Studies.
“Abraham Lincoln’s is a great American tale,” Richard says. “He rose from a log cabin to a pleasant home in Springfield on a street of doctors and lawyers. As President, overnight he had to deal with the issue of slavery, and after the war, instead of subduing the conquered, he planned for reconstruction as only a statesman would. Lincoln is certainly worthy of study and emulation.”
Pictured at right: Dr. Devin Hunter—UIS History Professor, Michelle Levine—UIS student and Park Service intern, Richard Raymond—National Park Service RET, Chuck Schrage–UIS Alumni Relations at the Lincoln Home in Springfield. More about Richard.