CARLINVILLE - Blackburn College is proud to announce that U.S. Representative Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) will serve as the keynote speaker for the 154th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 13.

Representing Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, Congresswoman Budzinski was first elected to the House in 2022. With a background in the labor movement as well as in state and federal government, her mission is to restore the American Dream, rebuild the middle class, and deliver results for communities in Central and Southern Illinois. She currently serves on the House Agriculture Committee and House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

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"We are delighted to welcome Congresswoman Budzinski as we celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2023,” said Blackburn President Gregory J. Meyer. “She is deeply committed to public service, dedicated to delivering results for the communities she serves, and truly understands the importance of higher education. As someone just beginning her journey as a newly-elected Member of Congress, she is also in a perfect position to offer advice and inspiration to our graduates as they embark on bright and promising futures.”

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The 2023 Commencement Ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 13, in the Hudson Quad on the Carlinville, Ill. campus. More information on Blackburn College’s 154th Commencement activities can be found at

About Blackburn College

Founded in 1837, Blackburn College is a four-year, Presbyterian-related, co-educational liberal arts college located in Carlinville, IL. One of only ten federally-recognized Work Colleges, Blackburn has the only program in the nation fully managed by students. Balancing academic rigor and experiential learning, each student at Blackburn gains substantial experience and develops critical skills by contributing to their community, all while building a resume and earning their degree. U.S. News & World Report has recognized Blackburn College as one of the best colleges in the Midwest region for 2023. Blackburn has also been named a Top Performer for Social Mobility in their Best Colleges guide for 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023. The Washington Monthly ranked Blackburn first in Illinois for performance by students receiving Pell Grants in 2023 and twice previously named Blackburn as the best baccalaureate college in Illinois.

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