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Harris Ends Historic Presidency For Lincoln Association

Photo provided by: Kathryn Harris

After a historic term as president of the Abraham Lincoln Association, Kathryn Harris is passing the gavel this week at the annual banquet and symposium celebrating Abraham Lincoln's 209th birthday anniversary. 

Harris was the first African American and the first woman to be installed as the association's president. In an interview with Sean Crawford at the beginning of her term, Harris said she aimed to bring awareness to the group in a more diverse way because of the barriers broken. Two years later, she says that's still a priority. 

"I think I have achieved that goal to a degree, but there's always work to be done in that area," says Harris. "One of the ways that I think we are achieving that goal is just from simply looking at the diversity of the banquet attendees." 

Bob Willard will be taking over as President on February 13th. Willard is from the Los Angeles area and a life-long member of the association. Harris says Willard has studied and collected Lincoln materials for more than 50 years. 

"Bob did a pilgrimage starting at his birth place in Kentucky," says Harris. "Four weeks and 1,000 miles later he ended his trek at the Lincoln tomb here in Springfield. He is more than a Lincoln lover like me. He's really into Mr. Lincoln."

This year's banquet will be held in the Lincoln Hotel with the reception beginning at 6 p.m on Monday, February 12th. Tickets for the banquet can be purchased here.

Jaclyn has an MA in Journalism from DePaul University and a BS in History form Monmouth College. Prior to reporting, Jaclyn was a social science teacher and department chair at Greenfield High School. Previously, Jaclyn reported for WICS Newschannel 20 where she covered a variety of assignments including courts, politics, and breaking news. She also reported at Siouxland News in Sioux City Iowa, the shared CBS/Fox television newsroom. Her internships included WGN and Comcast SportsNet in Chicago.
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