Gov. Pritzker Announces the 2024 Order of Lincoln Recipients

 Gov. Pritzker Announces the 2024 Order of Lincoln Recipients
Award is state’s highest honor for professional achievement and public service

CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker announced the 2024 recipients of the Order of Lincoln, the state’s highest civilian honor for professional achievement and public service. This year’s Lincoln Laureates will be honored at the upcoming 60th annual Convocation and Investiture at 5:30 p.m. on April 13, at the Chicago History Museum.

“I couldn’t be prouder to announce this year’s Order of Lincoln recipients–Illinois’ highest honor for those undertaking irreplaceable work that uplifts their communities,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This year’s impressive honorees include a former Illinois Supreme Court Justice, a Baseball Hall of Famer, Policy and Business Leaders, and one of the nation’s finest musicians. These talented individuals embody the spirit of our state, and I am honored to recognize them for their service and dedication to Illinois.”

“Lincoln himself said the greatest honor was to prove yourself worthy of your fellow citizens’ esteem,” said The Hon. Ronald Spears, Chancellor of the Academy. “These seven extraordinary people have truly proven themselves, and we are thrilled to give them the highest esteem that Illinois has to offer.”

Established in 1964, the Order of Lincoln honors Illinois residents whose work uplifts every community in the state. The seven recipients join more than 350 distinguished Illinois residents who have joined the Order of Lincoln over the last five decades. This year’s recipients are:
Evelyn Brandt Thomas, an Illinois resident for over a century, Brandt Thomas is a dedicated and active philanthropist, businesswoman, and mentor, described by Farm World as “a pioneer who helped create an agricultural empire.

Lewis Collens, a life-long resident of Illinois, Lewis Collens is a highly respected and recognized leader in higher education, credited with the strategic revitalization and transformation of two major Chicago institutions, the Illinois Institute of Technology and its Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Hon. Rita B. Garman, an Aurora native and retired Illinois Supreme Court Justice after nearly five decades of service to the citizens of Illinois.

Alison Krauss, born in Decatur and raised in Champaign, Alison Krauss has sold more than 12 million records to date and has made 14 albums, including two collaborations with Robert Plant.

Lester H. McKeever, Jr., born and raised in Chicago, Lester H. McKeever, Jr. became the 60th Black Certified Public Accountant in the United States in 1960.

Raul I. Raymundo, with seed capital of $30,000 from six area parishes in 1990, Chicago native Raul I. Raymundo co-founded The Resurrection Project (TRP), which has gone on to leverage those initial funds into more than $640 million in community investments, benefiting nearly a quarter of a million people throughout the western suburbs and the city’s southwest side.

James H. Thome, Peoria native Jim Thome is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for his performance through 22 seasons of professional baseball.

Sponsorship opportunities and ticket information for the April 13 Convocation and Investiture can be found at For further information or to attend the upcoming gala, contact Executive Director Leanne Barnhart at 217-493-0047 or visit You may also connect with The Lincoln Academy of Illinois on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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