Indiana students were honored during the festivities for their outstanding essays, PowerPoint presentations and art contributions celebrating the life of Abe.
Kristen Schmeisser, a student at New Castle High School, won first place for her essay, "Lincoln's Legacy to Indiana." Her essay, which was featured in the celebration's program, outlined Lincoln's many contributions, with a particular focus on The Morrill Act, which created land grant colleges, such as Purdue University.
"Having Kristen here gave me a deep sense of pride in my community and our schools," said Rep. Saunders. "Kristen's essay honed in on Lincoln's love of learning and his contribution to education in America - but especially in Indiana. She is a testament to the benefits of an accessible public education and a delight to folks back home."
Rep. Saunders is a member of Indiana's Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, which aims to educate Hoosiers about Lincoln's life and his strong connection to Indiana. Lincoln spent his formative years - ages 7 to 21 - in Indiana.
Today's celebration marks the beginning of two years of planned activities focusing on honoring President Abraham Lincoln and spreading knowledge about his life and presidency. For more information on upcoming activities, visit http://www.in.gov/lincoln/commission.html.