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February 8, 2001

State Farm Donates $1 Million to Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum

SPRINGFIELD -- First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan today accepted a $1 million donation from the State Farm Companies Foundation for the construction and operation of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

With State Farm's commitment, private donations to the new Library and Museum now total $4.5 million. Groundbreaking for the library portion of the complex will be held on Lincoln's 192nd birthday, Feb. 12, 2001.

Michael Matlock, regional vice president - agency for Bloomington-based State Farm, presented Mrs. Ryan with the first $200,000 installment of the company's pledge. Under the terms of the donation, State Farm will donate $200,000 annually for the next five years to the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

"State Farm has been a model corporate citizen in Illinois for almost 80 years. With this donation today, State Farm is doing its part to make sure that this important project moves forward. And State Farm is doing its part to make sure that Illinois' priceless collection of artifacts and documents is preserved and displayed properly for future generations," Mrs. Ryan said. "On behalf of the people of Illinois, thank you for your generosity."

"State Farm is pleased to contribute to this worthwhile project and to reinforce our company's commitment to enhancing the education of youth and adults alike," Matlock said.

"At the same time, we're honored to help preserve the monumental legacy of Abraham Lincoln and the heritage of Central Illinois -- where State Farm proudly calls home," Matlock added.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is a $115 million project that is a partnership of the State of Illinois, the City of Springfield and the federal government. The complex will house the world's largest collection of Lincoln artifacts and documents, as well as state-of-the-art exhibits that bring Lincoln's legacy to life.

The Library and Museum complex will be located in downtown Springfield, a few blocks from several important historic sites: Illinois' Old State Capitol, where Lincoln served in the General Assembly, his former law offices, the only home he ever owned and the railroad depot where he made his famous farewell speech to his hometown.

"We are confident that in a few short years the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will become the international focal point of study and research about the great man," Mrs. Ryan said. "Families exploring history where it happened will use the Library and Museum to bring a new perspective to their experience in Springfield. And school children will find Lincoln's life and times come alive before their eyes through the use of modern technology."

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company was founded in 1922 in the Central Illinois community of Merna by G.J. Mecherle, a former farmer. Since then, State Farm has grown into the number one insurer of automobiles and homes in the United States and Illinois, and is a leading life insurance company. State Farm, a mutual company owned by its policyholders, currently insures one out of every three insured homes and automobiles. About 17,000 State Farm agents and employees work in Illinois.


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