The Honorable Kevin Lyons to Speak at Judson’s Commencement | Judson University Christian College

The Honorable Kevin Lyons to Speak at Judson's Commencement 

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(ELGIN, IL –  November 30, 2011) Peoria Circuit Judge and former prosecutor Kevin Lyons will speak at Judson University’s fall 2011 commencement on December 10. For the first time, Judson will hold two commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Herrick Chapel, 1151 N. State St. in Elgin, Ill. The move is an effort to allow more family members to attend the event and provide a more intimate setting for the service.

Kevin Lyons is a graduate of Judson University (’77, Human Relations). He received his doctor of jurisprudence law degree from Drake University Law School (’81) where he served as clerk to the Attorney General of Iowa, writing appellate briefs for the Iowa Supreme Court. He served as an assistant public defender in Peoria, Ill., and engaged in private practice until 1988. He was elected and re-elected six times as Peoria County State’s Attorney, serving from 1988-2011.

An accomplished trial lawyer as both prosecutor and defense attorney, Lyons has engaged in hundreds of trials for multiple murder and violent felony throughout central Illinois. He is the past president of the Illinois State’s Attorneys Association. Until being sworn in as judge, he was chairman of the Board for the Appellate Prosecutor of Illinois and served as the delegate for Illinois with the National District Attorney’s Association. He is past president of the largest group of death penalty prosecutors in the United States and has personally appeared and argued before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board more than any other elected prosecutor in Illinois.

As State’s Attorney, Lyons managed an office of 75 prosecutors and staff and served as legal counsel for the Peoria County Board, the Sheriff, Treasurer, Coroner and all countywide elected officials. He established Peoria’s Children’s Advocacy Center, the Family Justice Center, the adult drug court and mental health assistance programs, the worthless check restitution program, the domestic violence court model, and the drug seizure and asset forfeiture unit. He is a former village board member and for 10 years served as member and school board president for Farmington District #265.

In 2011, Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride recommended to the Illinois Supreme Court that Lyons be named Resident Circuit Judge of Peoria County and on Aug. 1, 2011, he left his 23-year position as Peoria County State’s Attorney and took the oath of office as judge. He will stand for election to that position on Nov. 6, 2012.

More than 110 Bachelor and Master students will graduate during the 66th graduating class of Judson University. Graduates from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Leadership and Business will receive their degrees during the 10 a.m. exercise. Graduates from the School of Art, Design and Architecture and the School of Education will receive their degrees during the 2 p.m. exercises.

Judson University is a Christian liberal-arts university in Elgin, Ill. To find out more about the more than 60 majors and minors available from Judson, go to and sign up for our Overnight Preview on January 15-16. 

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