Three new Trustees have been named to the Board of Lincoln College, as the college continues to move forward in its transition to full university status, with plans to add post-graduate degree options to its expanding series of four-year bachelor’s degrees.
The new Trustees were seated at the Sept. 29, meeting in Lincoln. They are: George “Reed” Eberle, Jr., of Wilmette, Eric D. Graue of Lincoln, and Kathryn M. Harris of Springfield.
“These new Lincoln College Trustees continue a tradition of outstanding leadership for the College,” said Dr. David Gerlach, President of Lincoln College. “These Trustees will help us shape the future of Lincoln College as we return to our traditional role of offering baccalaureate and master degree programs.
“We rely heavily on the creative and dedicated leadership of our Trustees. There are many challenges facing higher education today, and the insights and experience of the Trustees are essential to assuring that Lincoln College can navigate those challenges while continuing to provide an excellent education to our students,” President Gerlach added.
Lincoln College, which has campuses in Normal and Lincoln, was the first institution named in honor of then-President Abraham Lincoln and the only institution named after Lincoln while he was alive. The Lincoln College Board of Trustees appoints the President and major administrative officers of the college. Board committees oversee finances, development, planning, academic affairs and student services, among other duties.
Here is a look at the backgrounds of the three new board members:
George “Reed” Eberle, Jr.
Eberle is managing partner of GDHWD & Eberle, Inc. in Northbrook, a company specializing in bringing manufactures of consumer products to the retail marketplace. Eberle works with companies that are focused on selling into the Hardware/Home Improvement channel as well as the Mass Merchandisers. He is a consultant/partner in Geneva Industrial Group, a company that sources, markets, and manufactures products in the Home Comfort category for mass retailers.
Eberle went to work in 1988 at Eberle Sales as a manufacturer’s representative. The company merged with GDHWD (Grossman, Debartolo, Hannon, Wolens, and Dousman, Inc) in 1997.
He began his career as an Arbitrage Clerk in the Euro Dollar Pit at CME and worked as a commodity desk manager obtaining his Series 3 and 7 licenses. Eberle earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in 1985. He is a volunteer liaison for the Chicago Childcare Society and member of the Kenilworth Union Church and is a past president of the Midwest Retailers and Manufacture’s Association and member since 1989.
Reed is the son of Lincoln College’s long-time Trustee George R. Eberle, who served on the Board from 1990 – 2014.
Eric D. Graue
Graue, of Lincoln, is resident director of the Springfield branch of Merrill Lynch. He is a financial advisor and member of the Summer-Graue Group, a Merrill Lynch Wealth Management team focused on delivering goals-based wealth management services. He has a long history of leading volunteer boards in the local community, including serving as the current chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation and past president of the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce.
At Merrill Lynch, he manages a team of 15 advisors, three advisor trainees and eight support staff. He has been with Merrill Lynch since 2005. Prior to that he was a senior consultant at IBM and a consultant at Anderson Consulting, LLP.
Eric graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in general engineering.
Kathryn M. Harris
Harris, of Springfield, is the first woman and first African American to serve as the President of the Abraham Lincoln Association since its inception in 1909.
She retired in 2015 as the Library Services Director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, formerly the Illinois State Historical Library, after more than 25 years of service. She has served on the board of the Illinois Humanities Council (now Illinois Humanities) and is currently a “Road Scholar” for Illinois Humanities, where she presents on the 1908 Springfield Race Riot, a seminal event that led to the founding of the NAACP, and on “Mrs. Keckley: Friend and Confidante of Mrs. Lincoln.”
Harris presents one woman first person shows which honor four historic 19th century African American women: Harriet Tubman, Jarena Lee, Phoebe Florville and Elizabeth Keckley.
She has held managerial positions at the Illinois State Library and the SIU School of Medicine Library in Springfield. She has served on the Board of the Illinois Library Association and Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI).
In addition, Kathryn is past president of the Sangamon County Historical Society and is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society. In 2015, she was recognized by the Springfield Rotary Club and is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. She was honored as a Woman of Influence by the Springfield Business Journal and recognized by the Society of Public Administrators.
Harris is a native of Carbondale and a graduate of Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. She earned her Master of Library Science degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.