2015 Distinguished Alumni

Michelle Boone of Chicago is commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Boone considers herself an arts crusader and is responsible for promoting arts and culture for its own value and as a lever for economic development. Boone was recently named one of Chicago Magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Chicagoans.” Prior to her appointment in 2011 by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, she was senior program officer for the Joyce Foundation, a charitable organization that serves the Great Lakes region. “Michelle Boone has strengthened Chicago as a vibrant cultural epicenter through her Chicago Cultural Plan,” Graham said. “Her vision for the city’s future cultural life values making the arts more accessible to all.”