Three individuals, including two distinguished Illinois State University alumni, will receive Illinois’ highest honor for professional achievement and public service from Gov. JB Pritzker. 

Doug Collins, Robert Fraley, and Donald McHenry will be invested with the Order of Lincoln during the Lincoln Academy 56th Annual Convocation at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at Braden Auditorium in the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University. The Lincoln Academy of Illinois Governor’s Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres Reception and Dinner will follow at 7:10 p.m. in the Brown Ballroom, also at the Bone Student Center. 

Reservations for the convocation and reception/dinner are $150 per guest. Ticket information is available online. For further information, contact Lincoln Academy Executive Director Julie Kellner at (217) 785-5030, Director of ISU Presidential and Trustee Events Julie Barnhill at (309) 438-8790, or visit the Lincoln Academy website

The Order of Lincoln, which is the state’s highest honor for professional achievement and public service, is bestowed upon distinguished individuals who are outstanding products of the Land of Lincoln. They are honored for their achievements in science, education, religion, social services, medicine, government, business, labor, the arts, agriculture, and athletics. 

The Lincoln Academy convocation, which was originally scheduled in April 2020, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz and Marlene Dietz are the co-chairs of the 2020 Convocation Civic Committee for the Lincoln Academy. “Not only is it an honor to be able to help recognize these distinguished individuals, we also have the pleasure of honoring two of our Illinois State alumni—Doug Collins and Donald McHenry,” said Larry Dietz. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to celebrate the excellence of our alumni, and all of the incredible laureates.” 

Paul “Doug” Collins is an American basketball executive, former player, coach, and television analyst, originally from Benton, Illinois. Collins was a stand-out Illinois State basketball player from 1970-1973. He was the first overall pick of the 1973 NBA draft and a four-time NBA All-Star. He represented the United States at the 1972 Summer Olympics. He coached the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, and Philadelphia 76ers. Both the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and NBA Hall of Fame have inducted Collins. He has served as an analyst for various NBA-related broadcast shows on CBS, NBC, TNT, and TBS. The basketball court at Illinois State University’s Redbird Arena bears his name. 

Dr. Robert “Robb” Fraley is the former executive vice president and chief technology officer at Monsanto Company. A World Food Prize Laureate, he is recognized as the father of agricultural biotechnology for developing the first genetically modified crops as a solution for farmers battling damaging pests and weeds. Raised on a farm outside Hoopeston, Illinois., Fraley decided early on that he wanted to use science to develop better technology for farmers. He earned a Ph.D. in microbiology and biochemistry from the University of Illinois and authored more than 100 ag-related publications and patent applications throughout his career. He has become a leading voice for innovation in agriculture, passionately working to reset the public conversation about science. 

Donald F. McHenry grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois, and served as ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations from 1979-1981. He was also a Cabinet member for President Jimmy Carter. Prior to these roles, he was the United States deputy representative to the United Nations Security Council. McHenry was a distinguished professor in the practice of diplomacy at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University from 1981-2014.  He also taught at Southern Illinois University, Howard University, American University, and Georgetown University. 

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