Chatham man wins Illinois Bicentennial coin design contest

On June 18, 2018, Illinois state Treasurer Michael Frerichs, right, congratulates Hayden Schumer, who won the Illinois Bicentennial coin design contest.
State Journal Register photo

By Doug Finke

of the State Journal Register

Hayden Schumer had a lot of history and symbolism to cram onto a commemorative coin for the state’s bicentennial celebration.

But Schumer, a 21-year-old college student from Chatham, managed to do it, though, in a way that easily won an online voting competition conducted by Treasurer Michael Frerichs’ office.

Hayden Schumer, 21, of Chatham designed the Illinois Bicentennial coin.

“Hayden did a great job of incorporating a lot of different aspects of our history and our regions,” Frerichs said at a Statehouse news conference Monday. “A lot of the designs focused on the city of Chicago or some focused on downstate. I think he did a great job of capturing our history of things that make us strong, like our industry and transportation.”

And, Frerichs said, Schumer did it without producing an overly cluttered design.

Schumer’s design includes an outline of the state with a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, an outline of the Capitol, a picture of the Willis Tower and drawings of a covered wagon and steam engine. Route 66 from Chicago to St. Louis also is shown, along with a corn crop and Shawnee National Forest.

Schumer said he started with five ideas and narrowed them down to the final design. He is pursing a degree in communications at the University of Illinois-Springfield this fall and hopes to get involved with animation.

Frerichs said about 30 designs were submitted to his office. His staff whittled the entries down to five finalists. The final selection was made after a round of online voting, in which about 6,500 votes were cast.

“It wasn’t that close,” Frerichs said of results that picked Schumer’s entry.

The coins will sell for $45, which Frerichs said will offset the cost of production. The state isn’t expecting to make much money off of the deal. The front of the coin will feature Schumer’s design and the back will feature the state seal.

The coins can be preordered through Frerichs’ office at www.illinoistreasurer.gov. The coins are expected to ship around Aug. 1.