For Chad Magnusson, a two-hour roundtrip commute from Morton, Ill., to Springfield was a small price to pay to maintain his volunteer experience at the museum. After moving to Morton from Springfield in 2010, Chad had every intention of resuming his volunteer service at the museum. Chad kept this promise to himself and has donated over 600 hours to the ALPLM throughout his years of dedicated service.
Originally from the Chicago area, Chad grew up in northern Illinois before moving to Springfield in 1998. A graduate of Chatham-Glenwood High School in 2003, Chad continued his education and received an associate degree at Lincoln Land Community College.
After moving to Morton, Chad pursued volunteer positions that allowed him to assist others and support the local community. Chad has served at Morton’s Restmor Retirement Community, Food Bank, and as a member of the Audio/Visual Department at his church where he helped with the production of their worship services.
As an athlete, Chad has always followed sports, especially when he has the time to watch his beloved Chicago teams (Cubs, Bears, and Bulls). However, one of his favorite athletic passions is wheelchair basketball, as he played with the St. Louis Junior Rolling Rams through junior high and high school. He is proud of his efforts with this team, which competed in various tournaments across the United States and won the National Junior Championship in 2001.
A history buff who loves all things Lincoln, Chad believes that his volunteer role at the ALPLM has been an invaluable experience for him.
“Volunteering at the ALPLM is the perfect blend of exploring history while allowing me to interact with the public and give back to my community,” he shared. “It is also a pleasure working with the volunteers I have come to know on my Friday crew.” He expressed his appreciation for building relationships with the ALPLM staff, including a lasting friendship with ALPLM Volunteer Director Jeremy Carrell.
Chad says volunteering at the ALPLM increased his historic knowledge and strengthened his ability to effectively communicate with the public.
“The museum has stretched me to think on my feet (or should I say wheels) and to teach people important and interesting facts about Lincoln,” he commented. “Additionally, the museum has taught me teamwork skills and the importance of working together towards a common goal. I know having a better understanding of these concepts will help me in my pursuit of future employment options and with my professional relationships.”
Contemplating his favorite aspects of the Volunteer Services Department, Chad recounted some of the of his memorable conversations with guests, the variety of special events he has attended, and the exhibitions he finds to be the most meaningful.
“I find the War Gallery to be one of the most interesting exhibits in the museum,” Chad revealed. “The stories expressed in this exhibition conveying the soldiers’ stories is amazing to me."
“My favorite occasions," he added, "are when I can engage with people from other countries and watch their faces light up when they learn new things about President Lincoln.”
More specifically, Chad noted one day of volunteering that he described as unforgettable. “I will always remember the day when I met a special guest at the museum, famous country music singer Craig Morgan. Getting the chance to meet Craig Morgan before his performance at the ALPLM will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
Like so many other volunteers, Chad is ready for life to get back to normal and is excited to volunteer at the museum again. He is preparing for his return to the ALPLM by spending more time reading and learning more about various historical events. He indicated that he is currently reading Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Jesus. Chad is also a big video gamer and is playing video games when he is not studying.
Thank you, Chad, for your commitment to the ALPLM and for exemplifying a servant heart by seeking opportunities to aid others and elevate your community.