This is a collection of rare conversations with the authors, artists, scientists, and visionaries who have been bestowed with the Order of Lincoln Medallion. "The Lincoln Laureates" represent the most revered Illinoisans through the mission of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois.
Tom Skilling - Weather Is A Symphony
During this episode of the Lincoln Laureates, you’ll get a deeper understanding of a scientist with an unlikely destination.
As a grade schooler, Tom Skilling was already studying the “upper air charts” published in the nation’s capital. At 14, he began his career as a weather forecaster on his hometown radio station in Aurora, Illinois. Mr. Skilling joined Chicago’s WGN-TV in 1978 as a meteorologist with a passion for public safety. More than four decades ago, he created the Annual Tornado and Severe Weather Seminar at FermiLab in Batavia with a watchful eye on the future of climate science. Tom Skilling received the Order of Lincoln Medallion in the spring of 2023.
Our guest host for this Lincoln Laureates conversation is award-winning broadcast journalist, Bob Sirott.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee - Honoring Your Roots
Equity and inclusion are largely terms of the 2010s, but Jackie Joyner-Kersee was fueling that thinking long before the turn of the century. As a basketball and track & field superstar growing up in East St. Louis, she beat multiple odds -- including asthma.
During this episode of the Lincoln Laureates you'll learn how Jackie Joyner-Kersee rose from cinder tracks to Olympic gold, and why the heptathlon is a metaphor for "winning at life."
Our guest host for this Lincoln Laureates conversation is Radio Hall of Famer Jim Bohannon.
Newton Minow - The Public Interest
Newton Minow once told President John F. Kennedy that putting satellites in space was more important than putting a man there. During this episode of the Lincoln Laureates, you'll learn why. You'll also meet an Illinoisan deeply rooted in his convictions.
As commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, Newton placed high ideals on television broadcasters. His vision led generations of kids to discover sunny days on Sesame Street. It was his "vast wasteland" speech that challenged program creators to set the bar higher for television content.
Our guest host for this Lincoln Laureates conversation is award-winning broadcast journalist, Mort Crim.
Ray LaHood - Bold Reasoning
During this episode of the Lincoln Laureates, we’ll learn how a humble civics teacher from Peoria became one of the most admired members of the U.S. Congress.
Ray LaHood represented Illinois’ 18th district in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years. Inspired by his admiration for our 16th president, LaHood passionately spread his bi-partisan ideals as a driving force in legislation.
Our guest host for this Lincoln Laureates conversation is award-winning broadcast journalist, Chris Bury.
John Borling - Keep Marching
Major General John Borling did something unimaginable. He crafted poetry out of the seemingly endless years as a POW at the infamous Hanoi Hilton. From Borling's first airborne experience in a jet, he knew he "had to be a fighter pilot."
In this episode of the Lincoln Laureates, you'll hear how 'taps on the wall' were the key to surviving Borling's imprisonment. Plus, why he feels deeply connected to Memorial Day through its creator, John A. Logan.
Our guest host for this conversation is award-winning broadcast journalist, Ron Claiborne.
Orion Samuelson - You Can't Dream Big Enough
Orion Samuelson's birthright was a 200-acre dairy farm, but a leg disease became his wake-up call in 8th grade. When he could not 'be' a farmer, he set his sights on being a 'vocal' advocate for every farmer he ever met. In the process, Orion bent the ear of more than a dozen U.S. Presidents, and toured farms in more than 40 nations.
In this episode of the Lincoln Laureates, you'll learn exactly how this booming baritone became the "Voice of American Agriculture" -- and how he passionately connected the rural spirit with urban sprawl through Illinois' role in feeding the planet.
Our guest host for this conversation with the Lincoln Laureates is award-winning broadcast journalist, Jim Bohannon.