Jacksonville’s rich history provided the backdrop this afternoon as one of Illinois’s top state executives paid a visit this afternoon.
Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton toured Beecher Hall at Illinois College and the Woodlawn Farm today in recognition of black history month in Illinois.
Stratton was greeted at Illinois College by President Dr. Barbara Farley and Samantha Sauer, Archivist and Curator of the Paul Findley Congressional Museum at Illinois College.
Sauer gave the Lieutenant Governor a tour of Beecher Hall, tracing outlining the long history the college has of promoting abolition and the underground railroad in the early 19th century.
Stratton said that she was excited to visit Jacksonville’s historic sites connected to the underground railroad.
“It was wonderful to be here at Illinois College and learn some of the history. This is not my first time in Jacksonville and it won’t be my last. It was great to be on campus to learn some of the history relating to the underground railroad, and just a whole culture of wanting to make sure that there is a pursuit of equity and opportunity, and that is the work that Governor Pritzker and I are continuing to do for all of the State of Illinois.”
Stratton says that having the chance to visit the campus was fitting for her today after having just left the capitol after attending Governor J.B. Pritzker’s annual budget address.
“Most importantly, this is another example of Governor Pritzker making it very clear that even though we have a lot of challenges in our state, and certainly over the last few years in the previous administration there were a number of institutions such as Illinois College and colleges and universities and other institutions of higher education that really struggled, and found it very challanging to continue to keep their doors open and best serve the young people in our state.
What I think we heard today from Governor Pritzker is his leadership in making sure that we try to right this ship, it’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to happen overnight, but we are making some very sound decisions to make sure we put Illinois on the path of working families all across our state, and prioritizing education is one of the ways we are going to do that.”
Stratton’s tour continued on to the Woodlawn Farm site at the east edge of Jacksonville.