Outline of the state of Illinois with various landmarks on prominent Illinois cities. The words University of Illinois Springfield Lunch and Learn Series Spring 2024 appears on the graphic as well.

Please mark your calendars for the Spring 2024 Lunch & Learn Series presented by the UIS Alumni SAGE Society and the Illinois State Historical Society. Attend virtually for free, or in-person; $40/person including lunch. Registration deadline is one week prior to each event.

Illini Country Club
1601 Illini Rd
Springfield, IL

Free Winter Warm-Up: French Illinois

Friday, February 16
Doors Open: 9:30 a.m. | Program: 10 a.m.

The expeditions of Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette claimed the vast region of New France in the 1600s in what is now the Midwestern United States. French colonial settlement concentrated primarily along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in what is now the states of Illinois and Missouri. The French were the first Europeans to make contact with Native Americans in Illinois, build forts, and establish both government and religious missions. Dr. Mark J. Wagner, associate professor of anthropology and director for the Center for Archaeological Investigations at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will discuss the remarkable influence of the French in forming the heritage our state, and efforts to formalize a French Colonial Corridor in Illinois. U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth will join the discussion via Zoom to talk about U.S. Senate Bill 4525, which proposes to establish the Prairie du Rocher French Colonial National Heritage Park in Randolph County. A representative from U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth’s office will join the discussion via Zoom to talk about U.S. Senate Bill 4525, which proposes to establish the Prairie du Rocher French Colonial National Heritage Park in Randolph County.

Drawing Springfield

Wednesday, March 13
Doors Open: 11:00 a.m. | Lunch 11:30 a.m. | Program 12:00 p.m.

A native of Springfield and alumnus of the University, Bill Crook has been drawing for more than 50 years, filling sketchbooks of his pen and ink illustrations that “explore the interests of his heart.” As part of his applied study at the former Sangamon State University in 1982, Crook self-produced a 40-page oversize portfolio containing 44 of his pen and ink drawings, using techniques learned in his printmaking classes. His passion has led him to create hundreds of works, and publish Springfield, Illinois: A Pen and Ink Artist Looks at his Hometown, filled with 185 of his illustrations and covering 145 pages. Bill Crook’s art is legendary. At this program, the artist will discuss his work and share stories of visually recording local landmarks, historic sites, events, personal experiences, striking landscapes, and even impeachment hearings!

Clayville at 200

Wednesday, April 10
Doors Open: 11:00 a.m. | Lunch 11:30 a.m. | Program 12:00 p.m.

The settlement of Clayville was founded by the energetic and business-minded Broadwell family as a stagecoach stop between Springfield and Beardstown in 1824. A home and Inn were built; the Inn is the oldest standing brick building in Sangamon County and second oldest in the state. The stop catered to stagecoach passengers, freight caravans, freight carriers, cattle drovers, circuit riders of the legal profession such as Abraham Lincoln, and many others. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Inn is surrounded by numerous other historic buildings from central Illinois that were moved to Clayville to recreate an early frontier pioneer village. Board president Jesse Boehler and board member Jane Harris of the Pleasant Plains Historical Society who own and curate the settlement, will join us to share the stories and history of Clayville in its its historic bicentennial existence.

Life and Times of A.E. Staley

Tuesday, May 21
Doors Open: 11:00 a.m. | Lunch 11:30 a.m. | Program 12:00 p.m.

In the late 1800’s, Augustus Eugene “A.E” Staley grew up barefoot on a North Carolina farm, decided he liked selling more than farming, and built an empire worth over a billion dollars today. The A.E. Staley Manufacturing Company grew to become the largest processor of soybeans in the world, and Staley’s passion for sports led him to become the original owner of the football team that became the Chicago Bears, and to ownership of a semi-pro baseball team featuring George Halas and Joe McGinnity. Staley’s influence on Decatur and Macon County is felt today in many infrastructure and philanthropic endeavors. Award-winning writer and film producer Julie Staley, president of the Staley Museum, will discuss the life and times of A.E. Staley, his influence on life on the prairie, incorporating what she has learned from both traditional research and personal stories handed down from generation to generation.

When
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Location
Illini Country Club
Event Type
Department