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Gov. Pritzker Announces the 2023 Order of Lincoln Recipients

Press Release - Sunday, February 12, 2023

CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker today announced the 2023 recipients of the Order of Lincoln, the state's highest honor for professional achievement and public service. This year's Lincoln Laureates will be honored at the upcoming 59th annual Convocation at 5:30 p.m. on April 29, 2023, in the Illinois House of Representatives chamber at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.

"I couldn't be prouder to announce this year's Order of Lincoln recipients-Illinois' highest honor for those undertaking incredible work across our state, uplifting their communities and serving the public," said Governor JB Pritzker. "This year's impressive honorees include a former First Lady of Illinois, an Archbishop, Policy and Business Leaders, and one of Chicago's most renowned meteorologists. These talented individuals embody the very best of Illinois, and I am honored to recognize them for their service and dedication to our great state."

"These six Laureates, like the man after whom The Lincoln Academy is named, stand tall in their fields and remind us of what can be achieved with determination and vision," said The Hon. Ron Spears, chancellor of the Academy.

Established in 1964, the Order of Lincoln honors Illinois residents whose work uplifts every community in the state. The six 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:

Jayne Carr Thompson, former First Lady of Illinois and author, tax and civil litigator, and business communications consultant. The only designated substitute speaker for her late husband, Governor James R. Thompson, Jayne assumed statewide leadership roles on issues relating to women, child health care and education.

His Eminence Wilton Cardinal Gregory, seventh Archbishop of Washington. Cardinal Gregory is a Chicago native and served as auxiliary bishop of Chicago, the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, the sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, was installed as the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington on April 4, 2019.

Karen Hasara, Illinois State Representative and Senator, two-term mayor of Springfield, and teacher. A lifelong Springfield resident, Hasara's public service career has spanned 40 years and she became the first and only female mayor of her hometown. Hasara continues to advocate for women, the community, Illinois, and global relations.

John W. Rogers, Jr., Co-CEO of Ariel Investments. Rogers' passion for investing began at age 12 and he founded Ariel in 1983 to focus on value investing within small- and medium-sized companies. Rogers was named "Mutual Fund Manager of the Year" by Sylvia Porter's Personal Finance magazine; an "All-Star Mutual Fund Manager" by USA TODAY; and was highlighted alongside legendary investors Warren Buffett, Sir John Templeton, and Ben Graham in the distinguished book, "The World's 99 Greatest Investors."

Thomas E. Skilling III, long-time chief meteorologist on WGN-TV and Chicago Tribune daily weather columnist. Skilling's successful career in broadcasting started at the age of 14 when he was hired by WKKD radio in his hometown of Aurora. Skilling celebrated his 40th anniversary with Chicago's WGN in 2018, and is known for his in-depth weather reports and enthusiasm, and for his special programs on weather phenomena, one of which won him an Emmy Award.

Paula Wolff, policy advisor for three Illinois governors and former President of Governors State University. Wolff's 50-year distinguished career has included leadership positions at the highest levels of state government, higher education, and the non-profit sector, and she has brought improvements to nearly every aspect of Illinois government. Wolff is currently the
Policy Advisor of the Illinois Justice Project.

For further information or to attend the upcoming gala, contact Executive Director Leanne Barnhart at 217-493-0047 or visit

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