Abraham Lincoln experts and enthusiasts from across the country will converge in Lincoln Oct. 2-3 for the 30th annual Lincoln Colloquium. Building on the theme “The Better Angels of our Nature,” the colloquium will be held Oct. 2-3 at the Lincoln Heritage Museum on the campus of Lincoln College.

The colloquium is expected to draw added interest because of two key anniversaries this year.  It is the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination and 150 years since the founding of the school – the only college named in honor of Lincoln while he was alive.

“For this special anniversary event, we have secured some of the top Lincoln scholars in the nation. Although these will be scholarly presentations, they will focus on topics that will be of interest to anyone wanting to gain new perspectives on America’s greatest president,” Lincoln College President David Gerlach said. “This also gives us an opportunity to showcase the Lincoln Heritage Museum, Lincoln College and the city of Lincoln.”

The event also will serve as a campus welcome to Tom McLaughlin, the new director of the Lincoln Heritage Museum. McLaughlin, a Lincoln College alum who has worked as a development officer at LC since spring 2013, will bring a successful career in sales and fundraising and a passion for history and theatre to help bring history alive for LHM visitors. He replaces Ron Keller, who announced this summer he would return to teaching full-time.

“I am truly excited for this opportunity to be a part of the Lincoln Heritage Museum!  I look forward to continuing the good work of Ron Keller, Assistant Director Anne Moseley and the wonderful group of volunteers as well as bringing in new initiatives to reach out to our local community,” McLaughlin said. “Through educational activities for local youth and special events, I hope to reach out to all Lincoln enthusiasts and invite them to take part in the interactive and educational experience of the Lincoln Heritage Museum.”

The colloquium will kick off Friday evening with tours of the Lincoln Heritage Museum. William Pederson, Professor of Political Science and Endowed Chair and Director of the International Lincoln Center at Louisiana State University will discuss Lincoln’s international legacy in a talk entitled “Lincoln Without Borders.”  That presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Four additional presentations are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 3, including:

  • “Abraham Lincoln: Character or Calculation?” – 9 a.m. – Douglas Wilson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Co-director of Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College;
  • “Loathing Lincoln’s Legacy” – 10 a.m. – John Barr, Professor of History at Lone Star College-Kingwood, Texas;
  • “Lincoln: The Law’s Influence on Him, and His Influence on the Law” – 11:15 a.m. – Guy Fraker, retired attorney and Eighth Judicial Circuit expert;
  • “Interpreting Lincoln’s Legacy” – 1:30 p.m. – Fritz Klein, Abraham Lincoln Interpreter, Lincoln Institute for Education;

The colloquium will close out the day with a panel discussion on “The Tangible Legacy in the Lands of Lincoln” beginning at 2:30 p.m. and featuring:

  • James Cornelius, Curator of the Abraham Lincoln Collection at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum;
  • Guy Fraker, Local Lincoln Historian & Eighth Judicial Circuit expert;
  • Sarah Watson, Executive Director, Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition;
  • Sara Gabbard, Executive Director of the Friends of the Lincoln Collection of Indiana

The cost is $60 for both days or $20 for Friday evening and $40 for Saturday. Attendees can also register for special tours of the Lincoln Heritage Museum, which will be given at two times on Friday night – 4 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Those interested should contact Robin McClallen, Museum Assistant, Lincoln Heritage Museum, 300 Keokuk St., Lincoln, IL 62656. Email at museum@lincolncollege.edu or telephone 217-735-7399.