Wydra Named Lincoln Laureate

J.R. Wydra with Chancellor Thomas S. Johnson (left) and Vice Chancellor Gayl PyattSenior J.R. Wydra of Tinley Park, Illinois, has been named as a Lincoln Laureate by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Wydra was one of the outstanding college students from the state honored at the annual Student Laureate Convocation on November 6 in Springfield.

Wydra, a theology and philosophy major who plans to attend law school after graduation, felt blessed to be chosen as this year’s laureate.

The Lincoln Academy’s Student Laureate Awards are presented for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities to seniors from each of the four-year, degree granting colleges and universities in Illinois.

During his four years at Trinity, Wydra, a Founders Scholar, has served as a freshmen representative— and this year as the vice president—for Student Association; a First Year Forum mentor; and a criterion team member involved with preparation for the College’s recent Higher Learning Commission accreditation visit. He has been active in Trinprov, a student improv group, and currently works as one of the graphic designers for Trinfo, Trinity’s digital signage program. Off-campus, Wydra has served as an intern with Calvary Church’s high school youth group in Orland Park, Illinois.

Of his time at Trinity, Wydra said he has enjoyed forming relationships with his professors. “They all care so deeply about the subjects they teach, and I can never thank them enough for what they have given to me,” he said.

“I have also deeply enjoyed getting to know the other students at Trinity and am blessed to call so many of them my friends,” said Wydra. “This place is truly my home away from home, and I will miss it dearly when I head off to law school next fall.”

At the convocation, Wydra received a Student Laureate Medallion, along with an honorarium check and certificate of achievement.

The Lincoln Academy, unique among the 50 states, was established 46 years ago to honor Illinois’ most distinguished citizens with the state’s highest award, the Order of Lincoln. The 47th Annual Convocation and Investiture of Laureates of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois will take place Saturday, April 16, 2011, at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois in Urbana.