City Approves Statue Design!
On July 5th, 2022, the Kalamazoo City Commission approved sculptor William Wolfe's winning design for the Bronson Park Lincoln statue.  Wolfe's design was chosen following a rigorous selection process, which garnered applicants from across the country.  Our statue committee, chaired by Gary Swain, narrowed the applicants to three finalists.  Each finalist came to Kalamazoo this past June to meet our board and present their design maquettes.  The board selected Wolfe's life-like rendering of Lincoln circa 1856. 
William (Bill) Wolfe
Mr. Wolfe is a nationally recognized, award-winning sculptor from Terre Haute, Indiana.  His previous public art commissions include statutes of various military veterans, basketball player Larry Bird, Orville Wright, baseball player Max Carey, explorer Francois Vincennes, President John F. Kennedy, and Abraham Lincoln.
"A commemorative statue of Abraham Lincoln in Bronson Park where he spoke in 1856 has been a dream of Kalamazoo residents for generations," says Institute president, Cameron S. Brown. "Congratulations and thank you to Mayor Anderson and the Kalamazoo City Commission for their final stamp of approval on this milestone achievement in the life of Kalamazoo.”

The city commission previously approved the statue's placement within the park, but retained the right to approve the final design.  During the July 5th commission meeting, Commissioner Chris Praedel, who also serves as secretary of our board, spoke about how as a young person, he had been influenced and inspired by Lincoln.  His comments can be viewed in a video recording of the meeting.  The commission's action was reported by MLive, WKZO, and WMUK.  Installation and a dedication ceremony are planned for August of 2023.

See our July 5th presentation document and report to the Kalamazoo City Commission, which includes a photo of Bill Wolfe's winning design.
Research Update
Last fall's issue of The Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (JALA) is now available online.  JALA is published by the Abraham Lincoln Association.  The fall 2021 issue begins with, "Lincoln and the First Corruption of Illinois" by KLI Vice-President Tom George.  The article stems from George’s study of Alonzo Mack (1822-1871), a Kalamazooan who resettled in Kankakee, Illinois.  Mack had transmitted to Lincoln the invitation to speak in Kalamazoo.  He later served in the Illinois legislature.  George’s study uncovers two banking scandals that came to light in Springfield in 1859.  The scandals did not involve Lincoln, but rather entangled several of his allies and rivals.
We are bringing Abraham Lincoln back to Kalamazoo, and you can help!  Your tax-deductible donation can be make by clicking on our logo below.  We welcome your support!
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Kalamazoo Abraham Lincoln Institute · 2037 Quail Cove Drive · Kalamazoo, MI 49009 · USA

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