State Veterans Affairs Director, Erica Borggren Keynote Speaker for PSC Veterans Stole Ceremony

For The Times

CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Erica Borggren will be the keynote speaker when Prairie State College honors its graduating student veterans with a stole ceremony. The ceremony takes place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. May 3, in the auditorium of the main campus, at 202 S. Halsted St.

The event is intended to recognize graduating veterans for their academic achievement, and award them ceremonial stoles in gratitude for their service to the country.

In addition to Borggren's address, students from the Bloom Trail High School Naval Junior ROTC will present the colors, and Jessica Haywood, a graduating senior from Bloom Trail High School, will sing the national anthem.

Keynote speaker Borggren is an Illinois native and U.S. Army veteran. Following her graduation as valedictorian from the United States Military Academy in West Point, she was designated as a Rhodes Scholar and the recipient of a Truman Scholarship. She later earned a master's degree in comparative social policy from Oxford University.

During her time in the military, Borggren served as a senior staff member for Army Gen. David H. Petraeus. She has been director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs since she was appointed by Gov. Pat Quinn in August 2011.

"I am very proud to have the opportunity, on behalf of Gov. Pat Quinn, to attend this ceremony and congratulate these veterans who have pursued their studies at Prairie State College," Borggren said. "It is important for veterans who have served our country to take advantage of the new GI Bill and become even better equipped to serve in Illinois' communities and companies."

Carissa Davis, veterans affairs coordinator and scholarship adviser, who organizes the annual ceremony, said, "returning to school and civilian life can be a big adjustment for men and women in uniform. This ceremony honors their service and celebrates their accomplishment in furthering their educations."

For more information, contact Davis at (708) 709-3562 or