Commencement 2008

UIS LogoThe 37th University of Illinois at Springfield Commencement Ceremony will be held at the Prairie Capital Convention Center.

The Center is located in downtown Springfield at 9th and Adams streets. See our Visitors page for directions and more information for out of town guests.

Speakers and Marshals

2008 Graduation Ceremony Speaker – Justice Anne M. Burke

anneburke.jpgThroughout her many years in public service, Justice Anne M. Burke of the Illinois Supreme Court’s First District has provided a voice for society’s most fragile citizens – especially children. She was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court on July 6, 2006 after serving 11 years as a Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court. Her judicial career began in 1987 when she was appointed the first woman Justice of the Illinois Court of Claims.

Before becoming a member of the judiciary, Justice Burke was a leading advocate on behalf of Chicago’s most vulnerable young people. She began as a physical education teacher with the Chicago Park District, working with mentally disabled children. Out of that experience, she founded the Chicago Special Olympics in 1968 and later served as a director of that organization as it grew to become the International Special Olympics, which now operates in more than 160 countries.

Following her graduation from Chicago-Kent College of Law, Anne began a neighborhood law practice that included representing the interests of children and families involving issues of neglect, abuse, delinquency and parental custody. Her diverse practice also included civil and criminal trial work.

Prior to becoming a Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, Justice Burke led a successful effort to reshape and improve the Illinois juvenile justice system. After a series of shocking scandals involving the state’s child welfare programs, Governor Jim Edgar appointed her Special Counsel for Child Welfare Services and a member of his Legislative Committee on Juvenile Justice. Later, following revelations of the nationwide clergy abuse scandal, Justice Burke served for two years as Interim Chair of the National Review Board of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, investigating abuse by clergy and helping to establish guidelines and policies for its prevention.

Justice Burke has served on the board of Rush Medical Center, DePaul University, the Chicago Bar Association, Loyola University, the Chicago Public Library, St. Xavier University, Persons with Disabilities Fund of the Chicago Community Trust, River North Dance Company, the Lincoln Park Zoological Society, and the St. Rose School for the Mentally Disabled. She was president of Special Children’s Charities and the Caritas Foundation. In recognition of her many achievements, Justice Burke has received honorary degrees from Aurora University, the Catholic Theological Union, the College of the Holy Cross, DePaul University and St. Ambrose University.

Justice Burke and her husband, Alderman Ed Burke, have five children: Jennifer, Eddie, Sarah, the late Emmett, and Travis. They live on Chicago’s Southwest Side and attend St. Simon The Apostle Church.

Other Speakers

In addition to the main speaker, a student representative, a representative of the Board of Trustees, the University president, and the chancellor will speak.


Graduating Students Celebrate at the UIS ColonnadeEach year, the faculty and students from each academic program choose a graduating student to serve as program marshal. These students, who best exemplify the goals and spirit of their programs, are identifiable at the ceremony by the gold stoles they wear.

The grand marshal who leads the commencement procession is a faculty member, chosen each year by a vote of his or her colleagues.

Marshals Rehearsal for Commencement
Studio Theater
Wednesday, May 7
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

For info, call: Aleta Carlberg
217- 206- 8295

Distance viewing

A UIS Diploma and CapThe ceremony will be webcast live on the UIS website.

Download the order form to purchase a Video or DVD of the ceremony.


In order to ensure that family members of each graduate have a seat, tickets will be required for admission until 15 minutes prior to the ceremony. Seating will be general admission on a first-come, first-served basis. The doors will open to the main floor of The Center at 1 p.m.

Commencement Week Schedule of Events

Event Location Time Contact
Friday, May 2 , 2008
Peoria Graduation Reception Embassy Suite Hotel and Conference Center 6:30 – 12:00 a.m. Jana Wise
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Chi Sigma Iota, Counseling Program PAC Restaurant 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Holly Thompson
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Lavender Graduation PAC Restaurant 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Beth Hoag
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Late Night Breakfast Food Emporium 9:00 – 10:30 p.m. Cynthia Thompson
Marshals Rehearsal for Commencement Studio Theater 5:00 -7:00 p.m. Aleta Carlberg
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Class Ring and Student Leadership Award Recognition Ceremony PAC Restaurant 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Mary Caroline Mitchell
Friday, May 9, 2008
College of LAS – Commencement and Honors Reception UHB 1st floor lounge 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Terry Bodenhorn
College of LAS – Honors Ceremony UHB 2008 and 2034 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Terry Bodenhorn
POS Honors Banquet
By Invitation only
Island Bay Yacht Club 5:30 -8:00 p.m. Program Office
Saturday Morning, May 10, 2008
Online Degree Graduates Brunch Sangamon Auditorium Lobby 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Mary Caroline Mitchell
EHS College Reception Saputo’s 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Natalie Taylor
Prior Events
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Lambda Pi Eta, Communication
By invitation only
PAC C/D 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Hank Nicholson
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Beta Gamma Sigma Induction Ceremony
College of Business and Management
BRK Auditorium 1:30 p.m. Patricia Sanchez
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Alpha Phi Sigma PAC Restaurant 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Leanne Brecklin