Two college professors win lifetime achievement award from state historical society

By Gary Scott on June 7, 2016 at 7:50am

Photo from Morgan County Historical Society Facebook page.

Two Jacksonville residents have received a lifetime achievement award from the Illinois State Historical Society.

Drs. Rand and Patricia Burnette received the award last week for years of service to the state historical society and the Morgan County Historical Society. Rand Burnette is the Professor Emeritus of History at MacMurray College, while Patricia Burnette is a retired professor of English at Illinois College.

William Furry is the executive director of the state historical society in Springfield. He says the couple has promoted local history and preservation through the county historical group for over 50 years.

“It’s an annual award presented to people from around the state who have shown excellence in leadership and community activism and preservation and history, and Rand and Pat Burnette were nominated for their long-time work as teachers at the college level, and for their publication history,” says Furry.

“They have just demonstrated exemplary skills and dedication and devotion to public and local history.”

Specifically, the Burnettes have published articles about colonial and 19th century history in Illinois and the Northwest territory. They’ve served at the state level as officers, directors and advisors.

Furry says this is the first time that someone from Morgan County has received this award. He says it’s been given out since 1984, and that is also the first husband-wife duo to receive it.