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Lincoln Academy of Illinois honors TIU’s Nathan M. Schlagel

Trinity CommunicationsNovember 19, 2018

Nathan M. Schlagel, a senior Christian Ministries major from Grayslake, has received an Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.

Schlagel accepted his honor, commonly known as the Lincoln Laureate award, during a ceremony Nov. 17 at the Old State Capitol in Springfield. He received a certificate of merit, a medal depicting the likeness of Lincoln, and a $1,000 check.

I am truly very grateful, and more so humbled, to have been chosen as the Lincoln Laureate,” Schlagel said. “It is, by all means, a recognition of the efforts of many, especially of the classmates and professors who have consistently encouraged me to grow, to learn, to pursue Christ, and to invest on this campus and in the world around me.”

“Nathan has been the kind of student who is more concerned with understanding a subject and learning about it deeply rather than accomplishing a particular grade,” associate professor of Christian Ministries Jana Sundene said.  “Nate would come up after class and say ‘thank you’ or some other encouraging statement. And you could tell he meant it.  He was grateful to be learning, all the time.  What a joy to have him in our college!”

“Nathan is an excellent student, an involved director in an urban ministry context and a model of servant leadership both on and off the campus,” chair and professor of Christian Ministries Gregory Carlson said. “His commitment to faith, family and service is admirable and the example he sets in skill and humility is outstanding.”

For the past 43 years, the awards have been presented “for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities,” according to a news release from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. One senior from each of the state’s four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities receives the annual award, as well as one student from the community colleges in Illinois.

“President Lincoln’s legacy is a reminder of the power of public service and civic engagement here in Illinois and across the country,” Governor Bruce Rauner said. “The students chosen to receive this honor have exemplified the principles and ideals of the greatest Illinoisan through their hard work and dedication to their schools and communities.”

Schlagel competed in the 2015 Presidential Scholars Weekend, and earned the Kantzer Scholarship (covering tuition, room, board and required fees). In addition to the Christian Ministries major, he has pursued minors in nonprofit management and biblical studies. Schlagel also participated in the TIU Honors Program.

Originally a player on the TIU baseball team, Schlagel ended his collegiate athletic career to pursue an internship with Inner City Impact, a nonprofit based on Chicago’s northwest side. The internship led to a part-time job as its junior high coordinator. ICI creates mentorship opportunities with young people, helping them “to build healthy relationships, increase confidence, learn new life skills, develop spiritually and redefine their self-worth,” according to the organization’s website.

After graduation in May, Schlagel will accept full-time employment with ICI and pursue a Master of Divinity degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

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