College welcomes Actor Hal Holbrook as 2016 Commencement Speaker
Local Student, Cody Garretson, named
Lincoln Laureate and Student Speaker
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[April 27, 2016]
- Lincoln College is honored to welcome Emmy and Tony Award
winning actor, Hal Holbrook as its special guest speaker and
honorary degree recipient for the 2016 Commencement ceremony
Saturday, May 7.
Holbrook, a multi-Emmy winner, will address graduates, their
families, faculty and staff on the Lincoln College campus at 2:00
Although best known for his one-man performances as Mark Twain,
Holbrook has portrayed Abraham Lincoln numerous times and is the
only actor to win an Emmy Award for his role as Abraham Lincoln. It
is a natural fit for Holbrook to speak at the first institution
named for Abraham Lincoln and the only one during Lincoln’s
“We are very honored to have Mr. Holbrook share his experiences and
knowledge with our graduates.” David Gerlach, President of Lincoln
College stated, “We deeply appreciate the effort of Lincoln College
Trustee and noted Lincoln historian Louise Taper in asking her
friend and colleague, Mr. Holbrook to be our commencement speaker.
This is a historic time for Lincoln College as we boldly return to
our roots as Lincoln University offering both two-year and four-year
degrees. It is especially appropriate that Mr. Holbrook, who is
much-loved across the country for his historical performances, will
be our special guest.”
Holbrook also portrayed Lincoln confidant and advisor Francis
Preston Blair in Steven Spielberg’s, Lincoln. In 2016, Holbrook is
celebrating a 50-years film career that began when he appeared in
The Group, in 1966. At 91, Holbrook remains active in film,
television and stage, having appeared in recent years in such varied
productions as Into the Wild, Water for Elephants, Sons of Anarchy
and the animated Planes: Fire and Rescue.
"Portraying Abe Lincoln -- the research in books, the travels to
places he lived, the trail of his sprint for us to follow; made a
deep mark on my life.” said Holbrook, “He told us what Americans
should be about and how large their heart should be. To be honored
by the University which bears his name is an honor that is
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“We are thrilled Mr. Holbrook has taken time out of his busy schedule to help
celebrate our graduates. We look forward to presenting him with an honorary
doctorate degree to show our appreciation and respect for helping make
graduation an even more memorable day,” added Gerlach.
Cody Garretson of New Holland, Illinois has been named the Lincoln Laureate and
will serve as the student speaker during commencement.
Garretson is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and majoring in Jazz
Studies. He is an outstanding leader both in and out of the classroom. During
his tenure at Lincoln College, Garretson has won several musical awards
including: the Bette Dirks Award, Lincoln College’s Louis Armstrong Award, and
Outstanding Soloist Award at the Heritage Festival in New Orleans.
Lincoln College will honor 273 candidates during commencement.
“In my first year as president of Lincoln College, I am honored to become part
of this monumental time in our graduates’ educational career.” said, Gerlach. “I
look forward to congratulating and awarding each of our graduates their
respective degrees and wish them luck as they advance in their careers.”