Lincoln Presidential Foundation Announces Edward J. Wehmer Sr. as Recipient of the 2024 Wayne Whalen “Charity for All” Award


Chicago, IL (March 21, 2024) - The Lincoln Presidential Foundation (“Foundation”) is proud to announce Edward J. Wehmer Sr., Executive Chairman of the Board and Founder of Wintrust, will receive its 2024 Wayne Whalen “Charity for All” Award.  This award, inspired by Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, recognizes individuals like Wehmer who exemplify civic leadership, generosity of spirit, and a commitment to the ideals of this nation.  The presentation of the award will take place during the Foundation’s Lincoln Leadership Prize event honoring Jon Meacham on May 21st, 2024, at the Four Seasons Chicago.

Ed Wehmer will be the third-ever recipient of the “Charity for All” award and the first in Chicago since it was renamed in 2022 in honor of longtime Board Member and Chairman Emeritus Wayne Whalen. Newt and Jo Minow were the first recipients of the “Charity of All” award in 2017. Judy Woodruff became the second-ever recipient of the award, which the Foundation bestowed at an event in Washington, DC, in 2023.  

Wehmer serves as an executive leader of the Northwestern Memorial Foundation and Lurie Children's Hospital and is active on many other non-profit boards. With his wife Dorothy, he champions charitable causes, including Misericordia, Loyola Academy, and Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. His philanthropy has been inspired in part by his own experiences in his youth. He held various jobs while attending school, including working as a delivery boy, cooler cleaner, and parking lot guard. He is dedicated to causes that promote health and human services, particularly for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and to giving hardworking students “a leg up in the world.”

“We’re delighted to recognize Ed Wehmer for his dedicated civic leadership and devotion to improving lives and communities throughout the Chicago area,” said Erin Carlson Mast, Lincoln Presidential Foundation’s President & CEO. “Ed and Wintrust have also been steadfast supporters of our mission, and we appreciate their generosity and partnership.”

"I am honored to accept the Wayne Whalen ‘Charity for All’ Award from the Lincoln Presidential Foundation,” stated Ed Wehmer. “Abraham Lincoln’s leadership and response to the adversities of his time serve as an inspiration and constant reminder to always lead with compassion for others.”  

About the Lincoln Presidential Foundation
Established in 2000, the Lincoln Presidential Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity headquartered in Illinois. It is the only national foundation focused on increasing access to history, educational programs, exhibits, and sites highlighting the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. The Foundation does its work in cooperation and partnership with others locally, nationally, and globally. Its vision is a world where freedom and democracy flourish, inspired by the life and work of Abraham Lincoln. Learn more at

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