U.S. Senator Dick Durbin will give the commencement address at Moraine Valley Community College’s 50th commencement on Friday, May 17, at 5 p.m. Approximately 600 of the college’s 2,200 eligible graduates are expected to participate in the ceremony in the college’s Cyclone Center (Building H), 9000 W. College Parkway in Palos Hills.

“We are quite honored Senator Durbin has agreed to address our 2019 graduating class as well as help us celebrate this milestone ceremony in the college’s history,” said Dr. Sylvia Jenkins, college president. “He is a true friend to community colleges in Illinois and across the country as evidenced by his participation in our commencement. We are very much looking forward to hosting him and hearing his remarks.”

Durbin has been a strong supporter of community colleges and efforts to address student debt. He has fought to hold predatory for-profit colleges accountable and prevent them from exploiting students and fleecing taxpayers. Durbin, a Democrat from Springfield, is the 47th U.S. senator from Illinois. He also is the state’s senior senator and convener of Illinois’ bipartisan congressional delegation. First elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, Durbin is the Democratic Whip and sits on the Senate Judiciary, Appropriations, Agriculture and Rules committees. He is the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee.

Durbin is the first Illinois senator in more than a quarter century to serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee, which allows him to advocate for federal priorities important to the state. This has helped him secure funding for items such as veterans care, schools, highways and health care clinics.

Moraine Valley’s Professor of the Year Dr. John Sands will preside over the ceremony as grand marshal. Sands is professor of Information Technology and department chair of Computer Integrated Technology. His influence within the cybersecurity arena has stretched far and wide over 30-plus years and included an invitation last February to present testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, among other accomplishments.

Also addressing this year’s graduates will be Jenkins, Kimberly A. Hastings Cristelli, chair of the Board of Trustees, and student speaker, Melissa Carroll.