Knox’s Lincoln scholars to receive Illinois’ highest honor

Excerpt from WGIL radio:

Two Knox College professors are receiving what is described as the state’s highest award for their ongoing work researching the life of Abraham Lincoln.

The State says Rodney Davis and Douglas Wilson are two of a host of recipients of the state’s “Order of Lincoln” award, and will receive it formally February 7th.

Davis tells WGIL he wasn’t expecting such an award, but feels he’s in great company. “My colleague, Doug Wilson and I, we’ve been placed in a very impressive list of Lincoln scholars. I think there are about 30 of us who are getting this distinction,” Davis said.”

Davis and Wilson are co-directors of the Lincoln Studies Center on the Knox College campus. Davis tells WGIL some of the names on the list of winners have either spoken at, or have been on the board of directors of, the Lincoln Studies Center. “We’ve had a pretty remarkable run of Lincoln scholars come through here over the years and speak publicly,” Davis said. “We’re glad they’ve all been gathered together and given this distinction all at the same time.”

The state says the winners were specially chosen for their Lincoln work with the anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas debates this year, and the anniversary of Abe’s birth next year, and range from a Mary Todd Lincoln biographer to famed artist LeRoy Neiman, who created a portrait of Lincoln in 1969 that’s considered a classic.

Excerpt from the Register-Mail:

Two local Abraham Lincoln scholars will be among 30 to receive the highest honor awarded by the state of Illinois in February.

Douglas Wilson and Rodney Davis, co-founders of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College and authors of several Lincoln books, are two of the honorees who will be given the Order of Lincoln at a ceremony Feb. 7 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield. Recipients will become Lincoln Academy of Illinois Bicentennial Laureates.

“I’m flattered and extremely honored by this distinction,” Davis said of the award. “We (he and Wilson) are only two honorees among many. There’s a long list of people being honored this year (and) everybody is interested in bringing as much enlightenment as possible to the subject of Abraham Lincoln.”

The Lincoln Academy was established in 1964 to honor Illinois’ most distinguished citizens, either by birth or residence, who have brought honor to the state by their achievements. Past honorees have included Ronald Reagan, Chicago Bears player Walter Payton and Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks.