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The Journal Gazette

  • Dave Blanchette l Special to The Journal Gazette Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner presents the Order of Lincoln – the state’s highest honor – to Sara Vaughn Gabbard, a Fort Wayne resident, Lincoln scholar and executive director of the Friends of the Lincoln Collection of Indiana.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 6:15 am

Order of Lincoln adds Gabbard to distinguished list

Indiana has its Sagamore of the Wabash Award; Illinois has its Order of Lincoln Award. Now the Land of Lincoln has a Hoosier among its distinguished honorees.

Sara Vaughn Gabbard, a Fort Wayne resident and nationally recognized Lincoln scholar, this month received Illinois’ highest honor for professional achievement and public service. A native of Lincoln, Illinois, Gabbard is executive director of the Friends of the Lincoln Collection of Indiana at the Allen County Public Library.

Former vice president and director of development for Fort Wayne’s Lincoln Museum, she recently co-authored, along with historian Harold Holzer, “1865: America Makes War and Peace in Lincoln’s Final Year.” Gabbard edits the award-winning newsletter Lincoln Lore on behalf of the Friends of the Lincoln Collection. She was a contributing author in Frank J. Williams’  “Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America’s Greatest Leader,” and co-editor of three other acclaimed Lincoln books: “Lincoln’s America,” “Lincoln and Freedom,” and “1863: Lincoln’s Pivotal Year.”

A graduate of the University of Illinois, Gabbard also is a former national president of Delta Delta Delta Fraternity.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner presented the award to Gabbard and four other recipients at a reception and dinner this month at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield. The ceremony and short interviews with the honorees were recorded for a documentary to be shown on public television stations across Illinois.

Previous Order of Lincoln honorees have included Hillary Rodham Clinton, Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, author Studs Terkel and Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.