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Garry Wills Named Lincoln Academy Laureate

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April 18, 2006 | by Pat Vaughan Tremmel

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Garry Wills, professor emeritus of history at Northwestern University, has been named a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. 

Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich said that Wills is one of six world-famous Illinoisans who have been awarded the highest honor the state can bestow for outstanding achievement to people who were born or have lived in Illinois.

The Lincoln Academy, unique among the 50 states, was established in 1965 to honor Illinois’ most distinguished citizens who have brought honor to the state by their achievements.  

Wills will receive the Order of Lincoln Medallion at a special ceremony May 6 at the University of Illinois at Springfield.  

A distinguished historian and critic, Wills is the author of numerous books, including “Saint Augustine,” “Papal Sin” and “Lincoln at Gettysburg,” which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has written books on a number of American presidents, including Richard Nixon, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and James Madison. His newest book, “Bush’s Fringe Government,” looks at the state of American democracy and the influence of the Catholic Church.  

He has won many other awards, including the1998 National Medal for the Humanities for his lifetime achievements in the humanities, the Organization of American Historians Merle Curti Award and the Yale Graduate Schools’ Wilber Cross Medal.

Wills, who previously served as the Henry R. Luce Professor of American Culture and Public Policy at Northwestern, received an honorary doctorate from the College of the Holy Cross. He is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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