U. S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade to Give Commencement Address

November 4, 2013

Bradley University alumnus and U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade will give the keynote address at Bradley’s Mid-year Commencement ceremony on December 21 in the Renaissance Coliseum on campus.

During the 10 a.m. ceremony, Mr. McDade will be awarded the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition of his outstanding personal and professional accomplishments.

“Judge McDade has distinguished himself in his profession and through his community leadership. His career and personal story of overcoming adversity will be an inspiration to our graduates,” said Bradley President Joanne Glasser.

Judge McDade was appointed a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois in 1991 and held the position of Chief Justice from 1998 to 2004. Earlier he served as an Illinois circuit judge and associate circuit judge, had a private law practice, was executive director of the Greater Peoria Legal Aid Society and an attorney with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in psychology from Bradley and a J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School. He was elected to the Bradley Board of Trustees in 1994, received the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1990 and was inducted into the Bradley Centurion Society that same year.

As a student, McDade played on the 1957 and 1959 National Invitation Tournament Championship basketball teams at Bradley and received the Watonga Award, the highest student athlete award given by the University. He was inducted into the Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame in 1961 and the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.

McDade has been active in community affairs and held leadership positions with many groups and organizations including the American Red Cross Central Illinois Chapter, the Court Counselors Program, Inc., Peoria YMCA, Tri-County Peoria Urban League, Amateur Musical Club, and SHARE Foods, Inc. among others.