by David J. Kent
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
The Lincoln world lost one of its true benefactors this week. Eileen R. Mackevich passed away in Chicago on March 14, 2022.
Among her many endeavors, Eileen served as Executive Director of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, which was established by a Joint Resolution of Congress. The Commission was tasked with planning and commemorating the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. It was co-chaired by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer. Among its commissioners were Lincoln visionaries such as Gabor Boritt, Frank Williams, and Louise Taper, as well as Senator Jim Bunning, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., and Congressman Ray LaHood, who served as co-chair until he assumed office as Secretary of Transportation under President Barack Obama.
In 2010, Eileen was unanimously recommended and appointed to serve as Executive Director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) in Springfield, Illinois. She served in that role until 2015. As noted in her obituary, "in both roles, she was charged with increasing broad public knowledge and awareness of Lincoln’s importance to America and the world through the imaginative public programming and collaborations for which she was known."
The current Executive Director of ALPLM, Christina Shutt, noted that "Illinois has lost a true believer in sharing art and history in ways that connect us all," adding that she had "come to appreciate her dedication to Lincoln's legacy and to making the world a better place."
More information on Eileen Mackevich's life can be found here: https://www.anellofuneralandcremation.com/obituary/Eileen-Mackevich