Reaching Stellar through the Center for Lincoln Studies

Young Lincoln statue

Breaking News about the Center for Lincoln Studies

On January 19, 2018, the University of Illinois Springfield Campus Senate passed a resolution supporting and approving the establishment of the Center for Lincoln Studies. You can read the resolution here.  

According to James Ermatinger, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, “Through education, research, and outreach programs, the Center for Lincoln Studies will provide students, faculty, scholars, and the public with opportunities to understand Lincoln’s life and times and his continual impact on our world and society.  There is perhaps no better time for us to study the ideas and humanity of our 16th President.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about academic centers in general and the Center for Lincoln Studies in particular.

How does a Center differ from other academic units?

You probably understand that a department brings together faculty who teach classes in broad discipline, such as English, Legal Studies, or Social Work. A Center focuses on a more specialized area of scholarly interest, bringing together faculty, staff and students from throughout the campus who are interested in this scholarly topic. The mission, scope and staffing of Centers can vary widely, but the overriding goal for most academic centers is scholarship at the highest level related to this special area.

What is the mission of the Center for Lincoln Studies at UIS?

Planning for the Center is still in its early stages, but for now the Center is expected to be a national base for scholarship, teaching and public history about Lincoln’s life, leadership and legacy. Professors, staff and students are expected to publish scholarship, create and facilitate history and public policy projects, foster innovative public history interpretation, host visiting scholars, educate a new generation of Lincoln scholars, engage broad campus and community audiences, and, most importantly, be an interdisciplinary learning laboratory for students.

Why have a Center for Lincoln Studies at UIS?

Springfield is the right place to establish a national center for the study of Abraham Lincoln’s life, his era, his leadership, and his legacy; and the University of Illinois Springfield will be the perfect home for this ambitious and important endeavor. It was in Springfield where Lincoln lived and raised a family, practiced law and politics, and prepared for the presidency. Today, Mr. Lincoln’s hometown is a hub for Lincoln research and tourism, attracting thousands of visitors each year from around the globe.

The Center for Lincoln Studies will incubate and sustain university-community collaborative projects, connecting UIS students with myriad opportunities available in Springfield, such as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, the Abraham Lincoln Association, as well as other Lincoln historical locations across central Illinois. But while Lincoln was a citizen of Illinois from 1830-1861, he ultimately became a citizen of the world, so connecting Lincoln to a national and international context will be a mission of the Center, as well.

Where does the Center for Lincoln Studies fit into UIS’ administrative structure?

The Center will be housed within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) but will be interdisciplinary with representatives, associated faculty and staff from all the Colleges.  James Ermatinger, dean of CLAS, is the point person for the Center. Faculty, staff and students from throughout the University will be welcome to pursue scholarly work related to Lincoln Studies.

How can I get involved in the Center?

 The new Center for Lincoln Studies will rely on gifts from alumni and friends of the University to support research, internships, assistantships, symposia and lectures, and many other activities. If you would like more information on how you can be part of the team that provides this crucial support, please contact Tom Turpin, Director of Development for the Center. You can reach Tom by email or by phone at (217) 206-7070. With your help, UIS will Reach Stellar.