Illinois’ 42nd Governor to Address LC Graduates, Receive Honorary Doctorate Degree

Lincoln College is honored to welcome Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner as its special guest speaker and honorary doctorate degree recipient for the 2015 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 9.

Gov. Rauner will address graduates and their families, faculty and staff and special guests on the Lincoln College campus starting at 2 p.m. He has also been invited to join the President’s Brunch before the ceremony that day.

The governor’s appearance will mark the first time a sitting chief executive has attended and spoken at Commencement in the school’s rich history. Lincoln College turned 150 years old in 2015 with a year’s worth of special celebrations marking its sesquicentennial.

President John Blackburn, who will retire from Lincoln College later this year, said he approached the governor shortly after Rauner’s win in the November election about being the Commencement speaker.

“This is a special year for Lincoln College celebrating 150 years of preparing our next generation of leaders, and having Gov. Rauner speak at Commencement will make it even more special,” Blackburn said. “We are thrilled the governor has taken time out of his busy schedule in Springfield on May 9 to share with us his success story and vision for Illinois. We look forward to presenting him with an honorary doctorate degree to show our appreciation and respect for helping making this such a memorable day.”

Gov. Rauner became Illinois’ 42nd Governor on Jan. 12, after a highly successful career as a self-made businessman at one of the state’s most respected investment firms. He has made investing in education a top priority in his administration.

“It was an easy decision to say yes to President Blackburn’s invitation to speak at Lincoln College’s Commencement ceremony,” Rauner said. “As we work to turn around our great state, we must support our college graduates and create new opportunities for them to live, work and thrive here. I am eager to share this day with the Lincoln College community as it celebrates its history and the exciting future ahead.”