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Gov. Quinn to speak Saturday at NIU Law commencement

May 20, 2014
Gov. Pat Quinn and NIU student Michelle Romero

Gov. Pat Quinn and NIU student Michelle Romero

Gov. Pat Quinn will serve as the 2014 NIU College of Law commencement speaker, Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea announced.

Ninety-nine students will receive their law degrees at the ceremony, which will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 24, at the NIU Convocation Center.

“Gov. Quinn is committed to NIU Law’s core values of public service, leadership and professionalism,” Rosato Perea said. “He has honorably served the citizens of Illinois for more than three decades, and he has championed access to public higher education for the students of Illinois.”

Quinn has served the people of Illinois for 35 years as both a citizen advocate and public official.

He has served as Illinois’ governor since 2009, and his first official act as governor was to sign an executive order establishing the Illinois Reform Commission to review ethics rules, leading to passage of new ethics laws, a constitutional amendment providing for gubernatorial recall and a stronger Freedom of Information Act. Quinn has sought to bring jobs to Illinois while working to strengthen the state’s position as the digital capital of the Midwest, enacting tech-friendly legislation and creating the Illinois Innovation Council to attract entrepreneurs and ideas.

Several education reform measures have also been implemented during his time as governor in addition to moving forward on social justice by abolishing the death penalty, improving nursing home conditions and legalizing civil unions for all people.

Gov. Pat QuinnA longtime voice for military families and veterans, Quinn – as lieutenant governor from 2002 to 2009 – created the Illinois Military Family Relief Act, which enables taxpayers to voluntarily assist families of National Guard members and reservists called to active duty.

He served one term as state treasurer (1991 to 1995) after serving as commissioner of the Cook County Board of Property Tax Appeals. His first successful organizing initiative led to a law banning advance pay for legislators in 1976. As founder of the Coalition for Political Honesty, Quinn used this “petition power” to trim the size of the Illinois House, create the Citizens Utility Board and enact local whistle-blower ordinances.

Born in Chicago and raised in suburban Hinsdale, Quinn graduated from Northwestern University School of Law and Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.