Former U.S. Attorney Selected as 2017 Commencement Speaker
April Wilson is student speaker; Zachary Fardon, Paul R. Tetreault, Dara Torres  to receive honorary doctorates

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[May 05, 2017]  LINCOLN -  Zachary Fardon, the former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and an outspoken campaigner against urban gun violence, will be the commencement speaker for Lincoln College.

“We are very pleased that Mr. Fardon has accepted our invitation and we look forward to hearing his perspective and learning about his experiences as U.S. attorney. He has spoken out strongly against gang violence and the role of social media in fostering violence. We expect that his talk will be among the most interesting and relevant commencement speeches given on any college campus this year,” Lincoln College President David Gerlach said.

Commencement will be Saturday, May 6, at the Lincoln Center on the Lincoln College Campus beginning at 12:30 p.m. Student speaker will be April Wilson, a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society’s All American Team.

Fardon is one of three distinguished individuals who will receive honorary doctorates this year from Lincoln College.

In addition to the Doctor of Laws that will be awarded to Fardon, Paul R. Tetreault will receive a Doctor of Fine Arts and Dara Torres will be named a Doctor of Humane Letters.

Paul R. Tetreault

Tetreault is director of Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C., where he has overseen the theater’s efforts “to use the lens of Lincoln’s life and legacy to spark conversations about diverse aspects of the American experience.” Since joining Ford’s Theater in 2004, he has focused on enhancing the institution’s artistic programming while expanding its mission to focus on education.

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Dara Torres

Torres is a five-time Olympian and 12 time medalist in swimming. She is the first U.S. swimmer ever to compete in five Olympics and holds the U.S. record in the 50 meter freestyle. She entered her first international swimming competition at 14 and competed in her first Olympic games in 1984.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics she became the oldest swimmer to compete, taking home three silver medals and finishing just 1/100th of a second behind the gold medal winner in the 50-meter freestyle.

Former U.S. Attorney Fardon has called for federal and local authorities to “flood” neighborhoods afflicted by rampant gang crime and has raised concerns that social media is helping to drive “the virus of gun play” among young people.

As U.S. Attorney, his office conducted numerous significant investigations and prosecutions involving international terrorism and terrorism financing, public corruption, corporate fraud, violent crime, narcotics and gangs.

Wilson, the student speaker, is a Chicago native and a 2008 graduate of Champaign Central High School. She is a single mother and the first in her family to graduate from college. Following graduation, she will attend Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and hopes to pursue a Master’s Degree in social work.

To be a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society’s All American Team, students must “demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership and service that extends their education beyond the classroom to benefit society.”

[Mark Gordon
Public Relations and Media Manager
Lincoln College]


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