Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker will deliver this year’s commencement address at Northwestern University on June 12 at Ryan Field.

NU President Michael Schill noted that Pritzker is a graduate of Northwestern’s law school and a longtime supporter of the University.

“As someone who has made important contributions in a number of fields, including education, business, public service and human rights, he’s uniquely positioned to inspire our graduating students,” Schill added.

Now in his fifth year in office, Pritzker won passage of a major infrastructure bill, eliminated the state’s multi-billion-dollar bill backlog, reduced the state’s pension liability and achieved seven credit upgrades from rating agencies.

In response to the pandemic-induced financial crisis, he launched the nation’s largest pandemic relief grant program for small businesses and the nation’s largest housing assistance program.

Before becoming governor, Pritzker founded 1871, the non-profit small business incubator in Chicago, named the top incubator in the world by UBI Global.

Pritzker received his J.D. from Northwestern Law in 1993. In 2015, he and his wife, MK, made a gift to significantly advance the law school’s mission and the school was renamed the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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