Rev Glen Shelton
Dr. David Gerlach
LC Trustee Rev. Glenn Shelton opened with an
invocation followed by a welcome from Lincoln College President
Senator Bill Brady
Left to right:
Representative Tim Butler, Dr. David Gerlach, Dr. Samuel Wheeler
Left to right:
Butler, Shelton, Lincoln Mayor SEth Goodman, Gerlach and Wheeler
Special guests included State Senator Bill Brady,
State Representative Tim Butler and Lincoln Mayor Seth Goodman, all
who came bearing proclamations for the auspicious achievement by
Shelton and Susan
Board of Trustees Chairman Susan Hoblit sponsored and
introduced keynote speaker, Dr. Samuel Wheeler.
Wheeler serves as the 10th State Historian of Illinois. Hoblit said
Wheeler specializes in the diverse history of Illinois and the
remarkable life of Abraham Lincoln. He is the Director of Research
for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library.
Through his interests and passion for history, Dr. Wheeler earned a
number of degrees including a Ph.D, has distinguished himself
producing many varied and valued scholarly works on Illinois,
Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. He also is responsible for
keeping the state's most treasured artifacts.
Awarded by a number of academia institutions,
recognized writer and communicator locally and nationally for his
historic expertise, a revered past college teacher, contributor to
scholarly periodicals and historical commissions, Dr. Wheeler has a
lighter side too.
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As Hoblit mentioned that he has written on "the
historic baseball rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis
Cardinals," it brought chuckles.
Hoblit concluded, "For his life-long commitment to historic research
and his service to the people of Illinois, it is appropriate that
Dr. Samuel Wheeler receive this honorary degree, Doctor of Humane
Left to right:
Goodman, Butler, Shelton, LC Vice-President Michelle Baldwin,
Gerlach, Wheeler, Hoblit
College Vice President Michelle Baldwin facilitated
the conferral of the honorary degree and President Gerlach presented
the hood and degree.
Dr. Samuel Wheeler responded, I am "deeply humbled" to be the
recipient of this honorary doctorate from "the oldest college in the
world, named after America's greatest President." He said, "It's an
honor I never expected, but I will spend the rest of my professional
life operating in a manner worthy of this prestigious honor."
Wheeler then shared the stunning life story of how a man with less
than a year of formal education journeyed out of the wilderness to
ascend to the highest office in the land, that of the Presidency.
Abraham Lincoln's remarkable legacy, his legislation and leadership
indelibly mark us today.
You can read some of the highlights from Wheeler's
talk by returning to the Top Stories page.
Hoblit also shared that her own educational path began at Lincoln
College in 1983. Her education rendered fullness in life that
included running a successful business and contributing to
organizations in her community and beyond.
Lincoln College students provided music through out the program.
The talented pianist, Dajaun Stewart, played the
processional in and out, accompanied the choir and in singing of the
Alma Mater. His robust closing prompted smiles and spontaneous
harmonizing by the choir.
Student soloist Calia Cole sang the National Anthem beautifully.
The Gospel Choir led by the incomparable Quentin Brackenridge, who
is known to set audiences to rocking, evoked deeper sentiments
through an Hezekiah Walker song, "I need you to survive."
Rev. Shelton returned to close the evening with a heart-felt
doxology delivered from memorization and benediction.
A reception followed.