Pregracke, Moffitt to Give Sandburg Commencement Addresses

Aaron Frey, PR Specialist, 309.341.5301

GALESBURG—Conservationist and 2013 CNN Hero of the Year Chad Pregracke will give the Commencement address at the 46th annual Carl Sandburg College Commencement, and state Rep. Donald Moffitt (R-Gilson) will deliver the address at the 44th annual GED Commencement next month.

The College’s Commencement will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 15 in Hegg Auditorium at Galesburg High School, and the GED Commencement will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 14 at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Galesburg.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have Chad Pregracke and Rep. Moffitt join us for this year’s Commencement ceremonies,” Sandburg President Dr. Lori Sundberg said. “Both are champions of doing work for the greater good of others, and we look forward to hearing them share their messages with our students. Their years of dedication and selflessness are a great example for our newest graduates.”

Pregracke serves as the founder and president of Living Lands and Waters, the world’s only “industrial strength” not-for-profit river cleanup organization. His work with and passion for the environment helped him be named the 2013 CNN Hero of the Year, which is awarded to everyday people who do extraordinary things to help change the world.

Pregracke formed his East Moline-based organization in 1998 at age 23 after growing up in the Quad Cities and working on the Mississippi River. Shocked by the amount of garbage in the river, Pregracke decided that if no one else was going to do something about it, he would. Since then, Pregracke, his crew and nearly 70,000 volunteers have removed more than 7 million pounds of garbage out of our nation’s rivers, and nearly 90 percent of what they recover is recycled.

In addition to its everyday efforts, Living Lands and Waters also has provided cleanup relief in the wake of several disasters, including Hurricane Katrina and the Cedar River flood in 2008. Living Lands and Waters also provides workshops, summer camps and hands-on lab activities to help students learn about the value of clean water, waste reduction and the importance of recycling.

Moffitt has served the Illinois General Assembly since 1993 and represents the state’s 74th District, which includes much of Galesburg and the northeast portion of Sandburg’s district. Moffitt serves as the Republican spokesperson for the both the Police and Fire and Counties and Townships committees. He also serves on the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee; Agriculture and Conservation Committee; Appropriations-Public Safety Committee; Public Safety Committee; Museums, Arts and Cultural Enhancement Committee; and Veterans Affairs Committee.