The Lincoln Academy of Illinois named Quincy University senior Bailee S. Highbarger of Amboy, Ill., a recipient of the prestigious Lincoln Academy Student Laureate Award for 2021. The award is presented to a senior from each four-year college or university in Illinois who demonstrates excellence in the classroom and leadership throughout the campus and community. Highbarger was honored recently at the request of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois in a private ceremony held in the QU Chapel.

“Each year, the Lincoln Academy of Illinois gives Quincy University the opportunity to recognize a student who is both a superior scholar and exceptional leader. Even among the best and brightest of our QU students, Bailee stands out,” said Brian McGee, Ph.D., QU president. “She is a credit to this university and to her family, and I congratulate her on this richly deserved recognition.”

Highbarger is a forensic psychology major with minors in Spanish and criminal justice. She is a current member of the QU softball team, the mock trial team, Alpha Phi Sigma (the criminal justice honor society), the honors program and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She is also involved with student life as an orientation leader, tutor and supplemental instructor. After graduation, she plans to obtain her master’s of science degree in forensic psychology. Her ultimate goal is to become an FBI agent in the Behavioral Analysis Unit.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be nominated and chosen for this award,” said Highbarger. “I want to thank my whole family for supporting me and believing in me throughout my life. I want to thank my professors and the QU staff for challenging me to always be my best and pushing me to work towards my goals. Everything QU has given me and taught me throughout my three years here is going to impact my career and future by every standard.”

This is the 47th year The Lincoln Academy has celebrated students’ excellence in Illinois. Each student was presented with a certificate of merit signed by the governor, a Lincoln medallion, a $1,000 check and a challenge coin of The Lincoln Academy.

“For years the Lincoln Academy of Illinois has recognized one student from each public and private student in the state who exemplifies courage, integrity, honesty and empathy,” said Hal Oakley, QU board of trustee member and trustee of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. “As a representative of both QU and the Lincoln Academy, I congratulate Bailee for this honor.”

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University is a small Catholic university emphasizing the sciences, liberal arts and the professions. Quincy University offers undergraduate, graduate and adult education programs integrating practical experience and Franciscan values. Faculty and advisors work with students to design customized success plans to help them graduate on time, find their passion and prepare them for life. QU is a member of NCAA Division II for intercollegiate athletics. For more information, please visit or contact the Office of Community Relations at (217) 228-5275 or Quincy University. Success by Design.