Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Illinois Supreme Court Justice and Special Olympics founder Anne M. Burke to speak at SXU

“Public Servant/Private Catholic: A Jurist Reflects on Faith and Profession” on March 23

Chicago (March 10, 2010) Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke will deliver Saint Xavier University’s 11th Annual Honors Guest Lecture at 6:30 p.m. on Tues., March 23 at the Butler Reception Room in the Chicago campus’ Warde Academic Center, 3700 W. 103rd St. The lecture is free and open to the public.

In her lecture titled “Public Servant/Private Catholic: A Jurist Reflects on Faith and Profession,” Burke will discuss the dynamic and sometimes stressful relationship between her personal beliefs and the obligations and pressures inherent in her public roles. Her reflections will speak to all who seek a balance between faith and profession in their own lives.

Burke was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court in 2006 and was elected to a 10-year term in 2008. She previously was a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and was the first woman to serve as an Illinois Court of Claims judge. Gov. Jim Edgar appointed Burke as Special Counsel for Child Welfare Services and a member of the Legislative Committee on Juvenile Justice in 1994. Her work resulted in significant reforms that improved child protection services.

Burke’s professional and civic career has been committed to protecting the rights of those least able to defend themselves, including children and the physically and mentally challenged. She spearheaded the Special Olympics in Chicago and later became its director as it grew into the International Special Olympics. Burke also is a former SXU Board of Trustees member.

Burke served as Chair of the National Review Board of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for more than two years, investigating the causes and effects of the clergy abuse scandal and helping to establish guidelines and policies for effectively responding to this volatile issue.

The event is cosponsored by the Honors Program and the Center for Religion and Public Discourse. It is part of the Squeaky Weal lecture series, which promotes thoughtful consideration and civil discourse on issues of public concern, with a focus on the religious, moral, and/or ethical implications of such issues for the common good.

The Honors Program provides an enriched academic experience to talented and highly motivated students, offering them stimulating Honors Seminars designed around themes of compelling interest and providing them with opportunities for applied internships and group and individual research under the direction of highly qualified faculty.

For more information, please contact the Center for Religion and Public Discourse at (773) 298-3981 or, or contact Honors Program Director Judith Hiltner at (773) 298-3230 or



Jay Foot, Executive Director of Media Relations
O: (773) 298-3937
C: (773) 617-3632


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