US Senator Tammy Duckworth to speak at launch ceremony: Harper College
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran, Purple Heart recipient and former assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, who was among the first women in the military to serve in combat missions during the Operation Iraqi Freedom, will speak at Harper College’s commencement ceremony this spring. .
Harper College’s 54th Graduation Ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 21 in the Pavilion behind Building D. The ceremony includes Fall 2021 graduates and Spring and New Year graduating candidates. summer 2022.
Duckworth has been a strong advocate for Harper and higher education. The college has worked closely with Duckworth on its Community College to Career Fund in Higher Education Act (CC2C), which builds on Harper’s successful public-private partnerships, such as the Zurich Insurance apprenticeship program that trains workers to jobs in high-skilled industries like advanced manufacturing, healthcare and cybersecurity.
“Senator Duckworth has long been a valued partner and advocate for the Harper College community,” said Dr. Avis Proctor, President. “I am thrilled to have her with us at Commencement to inspire our graduates as they mark this momentous milestone and embark on an important new chapter in their lives.”
Duckworth served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years before retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 2014. She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016 after representing Illinois’ eighth congressional district (which includes a part of the Harper District) to the United States House of Representatives for two terms.
In 2004, Duckworth was deployed to Iraq as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot for the Illinois Army National Guard. On November 12, 2004, her helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and she lost her legs and partial use of her right arm. Senator Duckworth spent the next year recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where she quickly became an advocate for her fellow soldiers. After her recovery, she became director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, where she helped create a tax credit for employers who hire veterans, created a first hotline for veterans veterans 24/7 and has developed innovative programs to improve veterans. ‘ access to housing and health care.
In 2009, President Obama appointed Duckworth to the position of Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs, where she coordinated a joint initiative with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help end veteran homelessness, worked to address the unique challenges faced by women as well as Native Americans. veterans and created the Office of Online Communications to improve VA accessibility, especially among younger veterans.
Duckworth is fluent in Thai and Indonesian. She attended college at the University of Hawaii and earned a Master of Arts in International Affairs from George Washington University. After graduating, she moved to Illinois and began pursuing a doctorate. in political science from Northern Illinois University.
Duckworth and her husband, Bryan, are the proud parents of two daughters, Abigail and Maile.
Read Duckworth’s full biography and learn more about Harper’s launch event.