From left: 2005 Lincoln Laureate Dr. Stephanie Pace Marshall, Sipes, and 2019 Lincoln Laureate Edgar Curtis.
(Charleston, IL) — Eastern Illinois University’s Anna Sipes of Charleston, Illinois, recently was celebrated as a Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate. Sipes was officially recognized for her achievement in a ceremony held November of 2023 at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield, Illinois. She joins other recipients as members of the 49th class of the Lincoln Academy Student Laureate program recognized for their excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities benefiting their institutions and communities.
“Eastern has been a such a blessing in my academic journey as well as personal and professional development, and I am grateful for the faculty, staff, and students whose support has made that possible,” Sipes said. “EIU truly is a special institution.”
Sipes was double nominated by Coordinator of Pine Honors College Student Development Sara Schmidt and EIU’s University Pre-Health Professions Advisor Mary “Sam” Laingen.
According to her nomination materials, Sipes, a senior, is pursuing an honors diploma with dual degrees in World Languages & Culture and Biological Sciences. Her pursuits will allow her to fulfill her career aim to become a physician specializing in emergency wilderness or aerospace medicine. In addition to her demanding academic schedule and commitments, Sipes is actively engaged at EIU and in the Charleston community through her work and/or volunteer opportunities at Sarah Bush Lincoln Hospital, EIU Athletics, Charleston School District Athletics, and other various organizations. Sipes realizes that language barriers can create challenges to receiving quality healthcare, and to combat that she has dedicated hours to teaching English as a Second Language to adult native Spanish-speakers to provide comfort, facilitate comprehension, and elevate quality of care.
“We are proud of Anna for her hard work, determination, and her many meaningful contributions to EIU,” said Dr. Ryan Hendrickson, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at EIU. “Anna represents the best of EIU and follows in the footsteps of many other amazing EIU seniors recognized as Lincoln Laureates in years past.”
This year’s program included welcoming remarks by the Honorable Ron Spears, Lincoln Academy Chancellor. Each of the recognized student laureates received the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award certificate signed by Spears and the President of The Lincoln Academy, Governor J.B. Pritzker; a Lincoln medallion; a challenge coin; and a $1,000 check from The Lincoln Academy. Since the program’s inception in 1975, more than 2,000 Illinois students have been honored as Lincoln Laureates. According to the organization’s website, each recipient is selected “to honor individuals whose contributions to the betterment of humanity have been accomplished in or on behalf of the State of Illinois, or, whose achievements have brought honor to the state because of their identity with it, whether by birth or residence, or by their dedication to those principles of democracy and humanity as exemplified by the great Illinoisan whose name we bear.”
For more information about the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, visit https://thelincolnacademyofillinois.org/.
EIU prepares students to accomplish their life goals through a combination of quality academics, personal relationships, and both on-campus and online learning opportunities. For more information about Eastern Illinois University, including its broad array of academic and career readiness programs, or any of EIU’s other community-based services and opportunities, visit eiu.edu or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.