This year’s commencement speaker at Knox College was U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the top federal prosecutor in Chicago.
Fitzgerald, who has played a role in the downfall of a number of major Illinois political figures, including former governors George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich, encouraged Saturday’s graduates to follow his path by committing themselves to public service, calling it a luxury, rather than a sacrifice.
Fitzgerald was presented with an honorary degree by professor Lane Sunderland, who described him as “Elliot Ness with a Harvard degree and a sense of humor.”
The Galesburg school likes to have newsmakers speak to the graduates.
Previous speakers include former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (2008), former President Bill Clinton (2007), TV funnyman Stephen Colbert (2006) and then U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (2005).