Sen. Dick Durbin
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate's second highest-ranking Democrat, will deliver the keynote address at this year's School of Law graduation convocation Sunday, May 15.
The ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. and takes place at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St.
In December 2004, Democratic senators elected Durbin as assistant minority leader, also known as the Democratic Whip, which marks only the fifth time in history that an Illinois senator has served as a Senate leader.
During his tenure in the Senate, Durbin has been at the forefront of issues related to health care, consumer protection, gun control and rights for farmers. He is a founding member of the Senate Global AIDS Caucus and his work to protect children from the harm caused by tobacco earned him a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Lung Association.
A Democrat from Springfield, Durbin is the first Illinois senator to serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee in more than a quarter of a century. He is the state's senior senator and convener of the bipartisan Illinois delegation.
Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 and re-elected in 2002, Durbin fills the seat left vacant by the retirement of his long-time friend and mentor, Sen. Paul Simon. He previously served as a U.S. House Representative for the 20th Congressional District from 1983 to 1997.