Martha C. Nussbaum, the University of Chicago's Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, was among six recipients of the 2022 Order of Lincoln, the state's highest honor for professional achievement and public service. The Lincoln Laureates were honored at the 58th annual convocation on April 30 at Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel on the campus of Elmhurst University.
After Illinois Governor JB Pritzker presented the award, Nussbaum spoke briefly, telling the audience that "to be recognized as a citizen of Illinois is deeply meaningful to me." She spoke of the moment that she realized that she wanted to move to Chicago. It was in 1994, while visiting the University of Chicago, where she would ultimately join the faculty.
"I was driving in from O'Hare and I saw this beautiful, amazing skyline looming up in front of me, and I thought, 'This is my home,'" she said. "What I saw in that skyline was inclusion, dynamism, and beauty, and that's what I wanted to be a part of."
Also among this year's laureates was Debra Cafaro, '82, the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Ventas, Inc. an S&P 500 healthcare real estate investment trust (REIT). The six recipients join a cohort of over 350 distinguished Illinois residents who have joined the Order of Lincoln over the last five decades.
Watch this year's ceremony: