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National Louis University welcomed Felicia Davis and Toni Preckwinkle as keynote speakers at the 2012 Commencement Ceremonies

June 23, 2012


2012 Commencement at Arie Crown Theater


National Louis University, one of Chicago’s oldest private universities and a leader in providing a quality education for the adult learner that helps them succeed post-graduation, recognized 866 graduate and 414 undergraduate students at today’s commencement ceremonies. Two dedicated public servants gave the respective keynote commencement addresses. Felicia Davis, first deputy chief of staff, City of Chicago, addressed the graduate students and Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board president, gave the undergraduate keynote speech.

In her remarks, Ms. Davis announced that she will be leading the Mayor’s new Office of Public Engagement, which will serve as a direct link between the Mayor's Office, City departments, Sister Agencies, external partners and communities across the City to make city government and its resources more accessible.

She also applauded the graduates -- 74 of whom received doctoral degrees among the three colleges (College of Arts and Sciences, National College of Education and College of Arts and Sciences) -- and their families for earning a graduate degree. She emphasized the importance of public service and forging strong partnerships in the community to affect change. While addressing the undergraduates, Preckwinkle emphasized the importance and responsibility of being an active, engaged citizen.

“The faculty, staff and students at National Louis University are honored to have two dedicated public servants give today’s commencement addresses,” said Nivine Megahed, National Louis president. “National Louis was founded on the principle that a quality education can transform lives, careers and communities. Today’s commencement keynote speakers are true representatives of individuals who have great dedication to making communities stronger and safer for all of us. At National Louis, we hold this commitment to community in high regard and are proud to provide our students with an education that makes a difference.”

“Whatever profession these graduates pursue, each of them has shown their commitment to public service and each has learned how to put that commitment to work through their study at National Louis,” said Felicia Davis, first deputy chief of staff, City of Chicago. “As Mayor Rahm Emanuel has often said, everything we do as a city depends on the vision and values of our partners working towards a shared mission. In my own life, as a wife, mother and public servant I know that the promise of Chicago’s future depends on the strength of our partnerships. With the Mayor’s new Office of Public Engagement and the passion of National Louis’ graduating class, we will forge a stronger future for the City of Chicago.”

“It’s an honor to be part of this year’s graduation ceremony. I first came to Chicago when I was 18 years old to go to college. When I graduated – I became a teacher, because I know the opportunity that education brings,” said Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board president.


About National Louis University 
Founded in 1886, National Louis is a nonprofit, non-denominational University comprised of three colleges:  National College of Education; College of Arts & Sciences; and College of Management and Business. From its inception, National Louis has provided educational access to adult, immigrant and minority populations – a mission it sustains today. The University offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in fields of education, management, human services, counseling, public policy, and others concerned with human and community development. The University ranks first in the state of Illinois for the number of graduate degrees in education conferred. National Louis is well-known for an exceptional history in teacher preparation, and continues to be a leader in educating future teachers and community leaders to succeed in urban environments. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:  The Harbinger Group
Eileen Rochford,, 312/953-3305
Kellie Kennedy,, 312/933-4903


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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