Click here to go back to the home page Click on this link to view the screenreader friendly and text only version of this website

Powell named Lincoln Academy Student Laureate

Student Laureate Award 2012
November 20, 2012


On November 3, 2012, National Louis University senior Willie Powell was among the 52 students honored by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois as a Student 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.

Being recognized as a Student Laureate and earning her Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavioral Sciences from National Louis is a far cry from where Powell’s schooling began more than a half century ago. Born on a farm in Mississippi in 1942, she is one of 16 children in a family that did not value education and was not encouraged to attend school. With only a GED, she spent years supporting her family with low paying jobs, all the while dreaming of getting a higher education degree and becoming a teacher.

In the fall of 2008, at the age of 66, Powell enrolled in a community college to begin the journey toward completing her degree. She was a member of the honor society at Triton College, was on the dean's list for two semesters, and was selected for an internship at Disney in 2008. During her time at NLU, she has maintained this same high level of excellence, earning a 4.0 GPA. She plans to continue her education by seeking a graduate degree in teaching.

“Willie’s drive to complete her education is an inspiration to us all,” said Dr. Nivine Megahed, president of National Louis University. “It is wonderful to be able to help her achieve her long-lived dream of gaining her degree and congratulate her on being named a Lincoln Academy Student Laureate.”

As a Student Laureate winner, Powell received a medallion presented by Gov. Pat Quinn, a certificate of achievement and an honorarium check. The award ceremony was held at the Old State Capitol in the House of Representatives Chamber in Springfield followed by a luncheon in the Governor’s Executive Mansion. This event marked the 38th year that students have been honored by the Academy.

The Lincoln Academy, unique among the 50 states, was established 47 years ago to honor Illinois’ most distinguished citizens with the state’s highest award, the Order of Lincoln.


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
    Info » | Directions »