SPRINGFIELD, IL – Governor Bruce Rauner announced on Wednesday, November 10 the 2016 outstanding college  students who will be honored by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. The academy will recognize these students during the annual Student Laureate Convocation at 11 a.m.  Saturday, November 12 at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

Darren Martin, 37, senior at Chicago State University.

Darren Martin, 37, senior at Chicago State University is among the 57 students who will be honored. Martin, who is also president of the student government association is a 2015 inductee into the HBCU Campaign Fund’s HBCU Royalty Dictionary.

“President Lincoln’s legacy is a reminder of the power of public service and civic engagement here in Illinois and across the country,” said Governor Rauner. “The students chosen to receive this honor have exemplified the principles and ideals of the greatest Illinoisan through their hard work and dedication to their schools and communities.”

The Lincoln Academy’s Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Awards are presented for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities to seniors from each of the state’s four-year, degree granting colleges and universities, and one from the community colleges in Illinois. At the Student Laureate Convention, each student will receive a Student Laureate Medallion, along with a $1,000 educational grant and a certificate of achievement. This is the 42nd year Lincoln Academy has celebrated students’ excellence in Illinois.

Student Laureate Rachel Hile-Broad of the University of Chicago will speak on behalf of all the Laureates. The invocation will be delivered by Eureka College President Jamel Santa Cruze Wright. The Sangamon Woodwind Consort will provide music, and a luncheon at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel will follow the Student Laureate Convocation.

The Lincoln Academy, unique among the 50 states, was established more than 50 years ago to honor distinguished citizens with the state’s highest award, the Order of Lincoln. The 53rd Annual Convocation and Investiture of Laureates of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois will take place Saturday, May 6, 2017 at the Chicago History Museum.

Join HCF in congratulating Mr. Martin of this prestigious and outstanding achievement. You can read more about him and his feature in the 2015 HBCU Royalty Dictionary.


School Student Home Town
Augustana College Christopher S. Saladin Carthage, MO
Aurora University Laura E. Dierking Aurora, IL
Benedictine University Brandon Nguyen Oswego, IL
Blackburn College Veronica Milligan Taylorville, IL
Bradley University Charles J. Barchett Benton Harbor, MI
Chicago State University Darren David Martin Chicago, IL
Columbia College – Chicago Rasul Freelain Chicago, IL
Concordia University Chicago Connor Lee Wondrasch Rochester, MN
DePaul University Jessica Villagomez Willowbrook, IL
Dominican University Raunel Urquiza Chicago, IL
Eastern Illinois University Michaela Lee Crabtree Ellis Grove, IL
East-West University Raymond E. Davis Chicago, IL
Elmhurst College Marie A. Partyka Wood Dale, IL
Eureka College Grace Alisha Kageha Mahasi Peoria, IL
Governors State University Samantha Allen Park Forest, IL
Greenville College Claire Marie Sattler Barlett, IL
Illinois College Daniel James Bacon Lincoln, IL
Illinois Institute of Technology Maya A. Al-Khouja Chicago, IL
Illinois State University Lauren Ann Koszyk Bloomington, IL
Illinois Wesleyan University Paige Elizabeth Buschman Lemont, IL
Judson University Nicholas R Sebastian Modlin Wheeling, IL
Knox College Joshua William Tvrdy Tucson, AZ
Lake Forest College Medora Kea Sweet St. Paul, MN
Lewis University Alexandria M. Austring Aroma, IL
Lincoln College Kristin N. Werry West Peoria, IL
Loyola University Chicago Sojourney Rallo Northbrook, IL
MacMurray College Jasmine Renae White Jacksonville, IL
McKendree University Acadia Reynolds New Orleans, LA
Millikin University Philip Ganley Decatur, IL
Monmouth College Emma C. Vanderpool Frankfort, IL
National Louis University Nancy Zhu Elk Grove, IL
North Central College Luis Antonio Tello Ramona, CA
North Park University Anais Bakayoko Chicago, IL
Northeastern Illinois University Alicia Ozier Chicago, IL
Northern Illinois University Rebecca Ann Rasmussen Franklin Park, IL
Olivet Nazarene University Kaleb R. Miller Canton, IL
Principia College Annika Bryn Erickson Petaluma, CA
Quincy University Nicholas James Nosbisch Effingham, IL
Robert Morris University Tameka Latasha Mason Peoria, IL
Rockford University Ivy Hood Roscoe, IL
Roosevelt University Alice Beals Somerset, NJ
St. Xavier University Meghan Hill North Aurora, IL
School of the Art Institute of Chicago Al-Qawi Nanavati Mumbai
Southern Illinois University Carbondale Steven Eugene Dew Downs, IL
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chloe Anna Huelsmann Alton, IL
The University of Chicago Rachel Hile-Broad Normal, IL
Trinity Christian College Courtney Brynn Kalous Menomonee Falls, WI
Trinity International University Emylee Lee Thompson South Elgin, IL
University of Illinois Chicago Rafid Rahman Chatham, IL
University of Illinois Springfield Kendra Baber Normal, IL
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Shivaliben Bhargavkumar Patel Urbana, IL
University of St. Francis Jeremy J. Grachan Crest Hill, IL
VanderCook College of Music Alexandro Gonzalez Bolingbrook, IL
Western Illinois University William J. Gradle St. Charles, IL
Wheaton College Christopher J. Lee Indianapolis, IN
Lincoln Land Community College Brandon D. Lewis Springfield, IL

Chicago State University will celebrate its sesquicentennial in 2017. Chicago State University opened doors as a teachers training schools in a leaky railroad freight car in Blue Island, Illinois on September 2, 1867. Today, in contrast, the university is a fully accredited public, urban institution located on 161-picturesque acres in a residential community on the Southside of Chicago. During the founding, CSU enrolled 62 students. The current enrollment is nearly 7,000.

The path from then until now has marked by change. During more than 140 years, CSU has changed its name, focus, governance and location. But with each transition, the university has kept sight of its educational mission and enhanced its services to Chicago and its surrounding communities. From its humble origins, Chicago State University has evolved into an outstanding, nationally acclaimed university that provides a value-added education for all who enter its hallowed halls. Consistently evolving to reflect state-of-the-art tends in higher education, Chicago State University prepares students for success in the twenty-first century.

For more information about Chicago State University, visit their website at www.csu.edu.

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