Wednesday, January 14, 2015

UIS hosts Illinois House Inauguration for 5th year

The University of Illinois Springfield was proud to host the inauguration of the Illinois House of Representatives on January 14, 2015. A crowd of over 1,700 people gathered in Sangamon Auditorium to watch lawmakers take the oath of office.

“This is a great opportunity for us to showcase the campus to a large group of constituents who really come from all over the state,” said UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch. “I’m walking around greeting many of our legislators, congratulating them on being re-elected and just reminding them they’re at the University of Illinois.”

This is the fifth year UIS has hosted the inauguration.

“This began because in 2006 the House and Senate were rehabbing their respective chambers and in the case of the House it wasn’t going to be complete to have our inaugural ceremony there,” said Timothy Mapes, House speaker Michael Madigan’s chief of staff.

Having the ceremony at UIS allows lawmakers to invite a larger number of family and friends to witness the event.

“The staff here at UIS, they understand the facility very well and they provide good guidance on what we need to do to pull off an entire event for a couple of thousand people,” said Mapes.

Among the guests were many UIS alums, both lawmakers and staff members, who returned to campus to take part in the ceremony.

Ryan Melchin graduated from UIS in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He says UIS prepared him well for his job with the House of Representatives.

“Being in such close proximity to the capitol, I was able to go to the capitol pretty much on a weekly basis to kind of observe the process and that really helped me in the job that I’m in now,” said Melchin.

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