EDUCATION

NORMAL — Residents from Normal attending Illinois State University and Millikin University were among 55 outstanding college seniors recently recognized by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois for their classroom and extracurricular work.

Wesley Ward, a finance and political science double major at ISU, and Justin DeBo, a music business and information systems double major at Millikin, were among those named student laureates by the academy.

Others who received the academy's Civic Engagement Award included Brock Taylor, an Illinois Wesleyan University biology major from Mattoon; Rachel Smith, a communication major at Eureka College; and Ashlyn Carrol of Lincoln, who is majoring in business at Lincoln College.

This is the 43rd year that the awards have been presented. Each recipient receives a medallion and $1,000. The awards were presented during a convocation at the Old State Capitol in Springfield on Nov. 11.

One student laureate is selected from each four-year degree-granting college and university in the state. One community college student also is honored. The students are selected by their college or university.

Ward, a graduate of University High School, is a walk-on member of the ISU cross-country and track and field team. The honors student was named 2016-17 Scholar-Athlete of the Year at ISU. His volunteer activities include the ISU Honors Council, Illinois Sierra Club and College of Business Week. He also serves as the environmental committee chair for the College Democrats at ISU.

Taylor, a pre-med student, is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Tri-Beta National Biological Honor Society. He volunteers at the McLean County Medical Society Cadaver Lab and has volunteered at the Cancer Center and Pediatric Unit at the Sara Bush Lincoln Health Center in Mattoon. He served on the IWU Student Senate for three years.

“President Lincoln’s legacy is a reminder of the power of public service and civic engagement,” Gov. Bruce Rauner said. “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.”

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