Longtime Naperville Mayor A. George Pradel was awarded an honorary degree June 8 during North Central College’s 148th Commencement ceremony.
Pradel received an honorary doctor of laws degree that was presented to him by Judy Brodhead, associate professor of English and Naperville City Council member.
“Arthur George Pradel, your inexhaustible devotion to your community is a model for public servants and an inspiration to current and future leaders…. Generous with your time, full of passion for your community, your leadership has made Naperville the best city to live, work, play and retire. Your legacy of enthusiasm, care and concern will be revered by Naperville’s future generations and is the benchmark for all City leaders to come.”
Pradel was first elected mayor of Naperville in 1995 and re-elected four times since then, most recently in 2011, making him Naperville’s longest-serving mayor. A former Naperville police officer and lifelong Naperville resident, Pradel is known for his many public appearances, friendly demeanor and demonstrated enthusiasm for Naperville.
In granting the degree, North Central College President Troy D. Hammond said, “As a good friend to North Central College, we treasure your willingness to represent Naperville to our students with the highest level of enthusiasm—nobody says ‘Welcome to Naperville’ quite like you. We also value your support as a partner with the College in its growth and vitality. For your service to the people of Naperville, your life’s example of civic pride and your support of the ideals of higher education, North Central College honors you, as your presence today and over the years has certainly honored us.”
Dr. Frannie Léautier, executive secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), delivered the Commencement address and was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters.