Thursday, February 28, 2013

UIS receives gift for Papers of Abraham Lincoln

A gift of $25,000 will aid the Papers of Abraham Lincoln in continuing its search for Lincoln documents at the National Archives. Since 2006, researchers for the Papers of Abraham Lincoln have been searching for documents written by or to Abraham Lincoln in the vast holdings of the National Archives, both at its familiar facility on Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington, and at its newer facility in College Park, Maryland. Thus far, they have identified more than 56,000 documents within the project’s scope, including scores of new documents and hundreds of brief notes written by Lincoln.

This generous gift, made possible through the efforts of Benjamin Shapell and the Shapell Family Foundation, will aid the project in replacing funding that has supported the research at the National Archives since 2008. For the past five years, the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund has supported a team of professional researchers for the Papers of Abraham Lincoln at the National Archives. The Davis Charitable Fund completes its five-year commitment in the summer of 2013, and the Papers of Abraham Lincoln needs to attract approximately $325,000 per year to continue the search for documents.

Recent document discoveries at the National Archives include one of two missing pages of Lincoln’s second annual message to Congress, records of his receipt of pay and mileage for his service as a member of Congress in the 1840s, a letter written by President Lincoln praising the “Ladies’ National Army Relief Association,” and a report of the first surgeon to reach Lincoln after he was shot in April 1865, written just hours after Lincoln’s death.

“Benjamin Shapell and the Shapell Family Foundation have long been friends of this project,” said Director Daniel W. Stowell. “Mr. Shapell gave the first private donation to the Papers of Abraham Lincoln when it expanded from the Lincoln Legal Papers in 2001. He continues to encourage and support our work with this latest generous gift.”

The Papers of Abraham Lincoln is a long-term documentary editing project dedicated to identifying, imaging, transcribing, annotating, and publishing all documents written by or to Abraham Lincoln during his lifetime (1809-1865). The project is administered through the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and is cosponsored by the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois Springfield and by the Abraham Lincoln Association.

To inquire about supporting the efforts of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, please contact Daniel W. Stowell at 217/785-9130.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

UIS joins global "One Billion Rising" campaign to stop violence against women and girls

University of Illinois Springfield students and staff joined with activists around the world on February 14, 2013 to dance as part of "One Billion Rising" campaign. The global day of action was aimed at ending violence against women and girls.

“One Billion Rising” began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls.

UIS graduate student Nafia Khan has family members from Pakistan and has heard stories about the abuse women sometimes face. The “One Billion Rising” campaign is very close to her heart.

“I felt like it was my civilian duty as an American, who has the rights and abilities to speak up for those who aren’t able to speak up for themselves,” said Khan. “I felt very personally obligated today to participate.”

Junior Legal Studies major Olivia Sykes helped to coordinate the dance and hopes that women walk away with a sense of empowerment.

“It feels liberating and a sense of pride to be a woman,” said Sykes. “Many women around the world are together and they’re rising together and it just shows unity.”

The UIS Women’s Center coordinated the events with the help of both women and men on campus.

“I didn’t want to leave our wonderful young men out,” said Lynn Otterson, UIS Women’s Center director.

UIS Resident Hall Director Zach Berillo helped create a pledge for men to sign based on the promise of anti-violence and respect towards women.

Organizers realize that a single dance will not end violence against women, but they hope it raises awareness about the issue of women’s violence.

“Women are our future,” said Heidi Bruce, a UIS graduate student. “We populate the earth, we teach, we love, we nurture. I really think protecting women’s rights is a really important thing.”