By David J. Kent
Thursday, April 1, 2021
The Abraham Lincoln Institute (ALI), based in Washington, D.C., has announced the recipients of the 2021 ALI Legacy Award. Yes, recipients. The Lincoln Group of DC is proud to help support the annual ALI Symposium, normally held at Ford's Theatre but virtual in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID.
The ALI Legacy Award is given periodically to distinguished leaders in Abraham Lincoln scholarship. This year the Board decided to present three awards to William C. Harris, Cullom Davis, and Wayne Temple for their contributions.
William C. "Bill" Harris is a Professor Emeritus of History at North Carolina State University. An authority on the Civil War and Reconstruction, Harris is the author of many books, including With Charity for All: Lincoln and the Restoration of the Union (1997, which came in second place for the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize), Lincoln's Rise to the Presidency (2007), and Lincoln and the Border States: Preserving the Union (2011, which won the Lincoln Prize). Besides the Lincoln Prize, Harris's writing has received numerous other awards. He is a former ALI Board member and serves on the Advisory Council of Ford's Theatre and the Board of Advisors for Knox College's Lincoln Studies Center.
George Cullom Davis served as the Director of the Lincoln Legal Papers project from 1988 to 2000. Prior to that he was an assistant professor of history at Indiana University until 1970, when he moved to Springfield, IL, where he taught and served as an assistant to the president of the newly formed Sangamon State University (now University of Illinois-Springfield), and was also responsible for establishing the university's Oral History office. He quickly developed a national reputation in the oral history community, and served as president of the Oral History Association from 1983-1984. In 2014 he won the William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership from the University of Illinois Foundation.
Wayne C. Temple only recently retired after serving more than 50 years as Chief Deputy Director of the Illinois State Archives. After serving in World War II as a junior officer on General Eisenhower's staff, Temple studied with James G. Randall and David Herbert Donald, going on to receive a Ph.D. and teach at Lincoln Memorial University. He earned a reputation as one of the nation's most knowledgeable Lincoln scholars, serving as a mentor and inspirations to hundreds of students of Lincoln. He authored many important books and articles, most recently his treatise on Lincoln friend and journalist Noah Brooks. On his 97th birthday in February of 2021, he and his wife, Sunderine "Sandy" Temple were named the first recipients of the Old State Capitol Foundation's Award of Exemplary Achievement.
The Abraham Lincoln Institute congratulates the three well-deserving recipients of the 2021 Legacy Awards.