UIS Chancellor Emerita Naomi B. Lynn and retired U.S. Marshal Robert Moore were honored by the University of Illinois Springfield with awards for service and alumni achievement during a virtual 50th-anniversary celebration.
Lynn was presented the 2021 Distinguished Service Award for extraordinary commitment, dedication and service to the advancement of the University of Illinois. Lynn served as president of Sangamon State University and then was the first chancellor of UIS. She retired in 2001 and continues to live in Springfield.
Lynn, a New York City native, became the first Hispanic president or chancellor of a public state university in Illinois and the first female president of SSU in 1991.
See also: UIS Perspectives: Bold legacy, bold future
“It was important to break barriers,” Lynn said. “I live for the day when no woman will have to be introduced as the first.”
Lynn led the transition of SSU to UIS, positioning the university for growth in enrollment, on-campus residential life, infrastructure, online education and international academic agreements. At her retirement, the Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies was created at the university, with a $1.25 million gift from the family of Dr. Richard E. Vaden.
Lynn served as president or board member of several professional public administration, higher education and political science organizations. She is a past recipient of the U of I Loyalty Award for Exceptional Alumni Service.
In 2012, Governor Pat Quinn presented Lynn with the Order of Lincoln, the state’s top honor.
Lynn has written and edited several books on women’s students and public administration.
Moore received the 2021 Alumni Achievement Award for outstanding success and national or international distinction in one’s business, profession or life’s work.
Over a career spanning nearly 50 years, Moore has become a distinguished and nationally recognized leader in the practice of law enforcement, facilitator of community policing initiatives and historical research of African Americans in law enforcement.
With the Illinois State Police, Moore played a pivotal role in diversifying the state police force makeup to include significantly more minorities and females. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton as U.S. Marshal for the central district of Illinois.
Moore also served as deputy chief of police for Savannah, Georgia, and chief of police for Jackson, Mississippi.
Moore is the author and publisher of “The Presidents’ Men: Black United States Marshals in America.” That led to the development of a traveling exhibit on the topic that tours colleges and universities throughout the U.S..
“I don’t allow myself to get frustrated,” Moore said. “I can’t afford to get bogged down in what has not happened. I focus on what I have been able to do to bring things forward.”
Moore has several community service credits to his name. He is a past recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award presented by Rotary International and the Directors Community Leadership Award presented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He is a past recipient of the University of Illinois Alumni Humanitarian Award.
The awards were presented April 22.
In 1969, Governor Richard Ogilvie signed into law a bill officially creating SSU as an “upper-division” university. Its first classes were held on September 28, 1970, at the former First Methodist Church in downtown Springfield.
In October, SSU began offering classes on the current campus.
Gov. Jim Edgar signed a bill which abolished the Board of Regents and merged SSU with the U of I system in 1995.
Contact Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788, firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter.com/@StevenSpearie.
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