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Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti to speak at NIU Law commencement

May 19, 2015
Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti visits with an NIU student.

Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti talks with an NIU student during her April 8 campus visit.

Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea announced Ill. Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti will serve as the 2015 NIU College of Law commencement speaker. The ceremony will be streamed live on NIU’s YouTube channel.

One hundred one degrees will be conferred at the ceremony, which will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 23, at the Holmes Student Center’s Sandburg Auditorium.

“Lt. Governor Sanguinetti is very much like our law students,” said Rosato Perea, who will preside over her final commencement at NIU Law. “Our diverse student population is committed to the core values of public service, leadership and professionalism, and she is an excellent role model for our graduates as they embark on their careers.”

Sanguinetti, the daughter of Cuban and Ecuadorian parents, is the first Latina to hold the position of lieutenant governor in Illinois. She is committed to fighting for all Illinois residents and applies the same passion to her new role that has propelled her throughout her life.

Elected in November, 2014, Sanguinetti is a working mother of three and an attorney by trade. She was formerly an adjunct professor of law and a Wheaton City Councilwoman.

Born in the Miami suburb of Hialeah, Fla., Sanguinetti grew up with little means, yet turned a love of music and learning into an opportunity at Miami’s New World School of the Arts. This educational opportunity allowed her to pursue a college education at Florida International University before moving to Chicago to attend the John Marshall Law School.

Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti

Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti

She later served in Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan’s office as assistant attorney general, where she fought to protect the people of the state of Illinois.

In 2010, she learned that she has Multiple Sclerosis, but she vowed to never let her MS stop her.  She proceeded to run for, and win, an election to the Wheaton City Council on a platform of delivering efficient, streamlined government.

The speaking appearance is not the lieutenant governor’s first at NIU; in April, she toured classroom buildings and met with students in DuSable and Barsema Halls during a visit to DeKalb organized by State Representative Bob Pritchard.

“Law school graduation is the culmination of hard work and dedication,” Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti said. “I am honored to congratulate the NIU College of Law Class of 2015 on this remarkable rite of passage. I have no doubt this group of graduates will experience tremendous success and give back to the world in incredible and inspiring ways.”

As the only public law school in northern Illinois, the NIU College of Law has been named a top law school nationally for diversity, value, and careers in public interest/government service. NIU Law provides unique opportunities for its students, beginning with its highly accomplished faculty who are personally invested in the success of every student throughout their professional lives. Although many alumni serve as public interest attorneys, prosecutors, defenders, elected officials and judges, they are equally prepared for careers as solo practitioners or lawyers in multinational firms.