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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois General Assembly wish
3to congratulate Mike Lawrence on the occasion of his retirement
4and thank him for his many decades of service to the people of
5Illinois; and
6    WHEREAS, Mike Lawrence recently left his fourth career,
7stepping down as advisor to the Institute of Government and
8Public Affairs at the University of Illinois; and
9    WHEREAS, Mike Lawrence was born in Chicago and raised in
10Galesburg, where his keen mind and attention to details were
11honed at the Sunday dinner table by his history
12educator-trained father, Mark, and his mother, Gladys, who
13encouraged debate that included Mike and his younger sister,
14Susie, and challenged them to support their comments by facts;
16    WHEREAS, Mike took these lessons learned to own and operate
17his own newspaper at the age of 11; the two to four page
18Lawrence Weekly had a circulation of 20, with the copies
19created by Mike using his well-known, aggressive hunt and peck
20style on his typewriter, making multiple copies with carbon
21paper in the days before copy machines; it was during this time
22that he earned the nickname "Scoop"; and



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1    WHEREAS, Mike Lawrence continued his journalism career,
2earning his first byline at the Galesburg Register-Mail,
3reporting on little league baseball games at the age of 14; his
4first paycheck for reporting came at the Register-Mail when he
5was 16; he continued to sharpen his writing skills as Sports
6Editor of his junior high newspaper and Editor-in-Chief of his
7high school newspaper, where he interviewed Governor William
8Stratton in what would be the first of his many interactions
9with this and future chief executives of the State of Illinois;
10he was also Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper at Knox
11College in Galesburg, where he received his post-secondary
12education and graduated with a bachelor's degree in literature
13in 1964; and
14    WHEREAS, Mike Lawrence went on to work in journalism for 25
15years; during his newspaper career, he served stints as
16Managing Editor and Editorial Page Editor of the Quad-City
17Times; specializing in Illinois State government and politics,
18he wrote a political column that was syndicated to more than 40
19newspapers in Illinois; he capped his newspaper career in the
20Springfield Statehouse, opening a bureau for Lee Enterprises
21and finishing his first career, as journalist, as the
22Statehouse Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times; he was known
23as a deeply probing, yet fair, investigative reporter; and



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1    WHEREAS, Mike Lawrence became Press Secretary to
2then-Secretary of State Jim Edgar in 1987, following him to the
3Governor's office in 1991 and continuing to serve as his Press
4Secretary and one of his closest advisors; the Lawrence-Edgar
5relationship was built on mutual trust and respect, with
6Lawrence feeling that as an advisor it was important to be
7"frank, blunt, and even argumentative with the boss"; that
8relationship led to a strong friendship which continues today;
10    WHEREAS, In 1997, Mike Lawrence joined the Paul Simon
11Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University
12Carbondale as Associate Director; he became Director of the
13Institute in 2004, succeeding its founding director, the late
14Paul Simon; while at the Institute, he taught both journalism
15and political science classes and mentored countless students;
17    WHEREAS, In 2008, Mike Lawrence retired as Director of the
18Paul Simon Public Policy Institute; he then used his new-found
19time to reinvigorate his investigative reporter skills,
20writing a column for the commentary pages of the St. Louis
21Post-Dispatch, the State Journal-Register, the Quad City
22Times, the Champaign News Gazette, the Southern Illinoisan, and
23other newspapers; he was also sought out as an Illinois
24government and public policy speaker and advisor; and



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1    WHEREAS, Mike Lawrence has been recognized for his
2tremendous contributions to journalism and State government;
3he was honored by the Associated Press Editors Association in
42003 for his exemplary service to other journalists and
5newspapers in Illinois and received the Paul Simon Award for
6Public Service from the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform
7in 2006; he also received the Illinoisan of the Year award in
82008 from the Illinois News Broadcaster Association; and
9    WHEREAS, In 1998, Mike Lawrence received an honorary Doctor
10of Laws degree from his alma mater, Knox College; he also
11served on the Illinois Courts Commission, which decides cases
12in which disciplinary charges have been brought against judges,
13and was also one of the first non-judges appointed to serve on
14the commission; and
15    WHEREAS, Mike Lawrence has served as a key advisor to
16Governor Edgar at the Institute of Government and Public
17Affairs at the University of Illinois since 2011; he was
18instrumental in helping create the Edgar Fellows program in
192012, choosing up to 40 up-and-comers in Illinois public policy
20for intensive executive training and on-going relationship
21building opportunities each year since then; therefore, be it



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2SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that we thank Mike Lawrence for his
3many years of service and the work he has done to shape many
4generations involved in public service in the State of
5Illinois, providing a shining example of hard work, integrity,
6and thoughtful insights, and wish him all the best in his
7future endeavors; and be it further
8    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
9presented to Mike Lawrence, his wife, Marianne, his son, Matt,
10and his daughter, Katy, as an expression of our congratulations
11and appreciation for a job well done.