U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood received the Lincoln Diploma of Honor at this year’s winter commencement ceremony at Lincoln Memorial University. This honorary degree, conferred upon individuals who have made significant contributions toward the study of Lincoln and the perpetuation of his legacy, is the highest tribute awarded by LMU.
Previous recipients of the Lincoln Diploma of Honor include distinguished scholars, writers, and actors such as Michael Burlingame, Bruce Catton, Harold Holzer, Charles Hubbard, Raymond Massey, James McPherson, Phillip Shaw Paludan, Carl Sandburg, and Douglas Wilson.
LaHood, who served the people of Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives for fourteen years, was instrumental in establishing the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, which he co-chaired with Senator Richard Durbin. He stepped down from that post in 2009 to join President Obama’s cabinet. Before his election to Congress he taught junior high school, and like Lincoln himself, LaHood also sat in the Illinois state legislature.
Pictured below are (left to right) Frank J. Williams, Lincoln author and former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island; Dr. B. James Dawson, President of LMU; and Secretary LaHood.