James Adduci, a first-generation college student and a staunch professional animal welfare advocate, is the 2022 Lincoln Laureate.
Adduci, a Business and Applied Science major slated to receive his degree at the end of the fall semester, has worked relentlessly in Chicagoland non-profit animal shelters and veterinary hospitals for nearly a decade. He has also served as a Certified Veterinary Technician with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, interned for the ASPCA in New York and Washington D.C. and earned an associate degree in Veterinary Technology from the Bradford School.
Adduci, raised in Glenwood, also made impressive strides at GSU, earning multiple scholarships and repeatedly ranking on the Dean’s list. He hopes to take what he’s learned from the university back into animal welfare and nonprofit sectors as a key decision-maker.
“I am extremely passionate about advocating for those who are unable to speak for themselves, leading by example, and believe everyone possesses the unique power to set and achieve goals,” he wrote in his student Laureate bio. “No matter what roadblocks are thrown our way, no matter our background or current situation; as long as we act from the heart, remain passionate, and believe in ourselves, we will always have the opportunity to succeed.”
Each fall, the Lincoln Academy of Illinois selects an outstanding senior from each of the four-year-degree-granting institutions of higher learning in the state as student laureate. The laureates are honored for their leadership and service in addition to their overall excellence in both curricular and co-curricular activities. For their outstanding achievements, they are rewarded the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award, bestowed by the governor.
Ciara Noel, Coordinator of Civic Engagement and Intercultural Education, nominated Adduci for the achievement, citing his work ethic inside and outside the classroom.
“For him to be so involved at GSU and still find the time to give back is truly remarkable,” she said. “I think it speaks to his commitment towards nonprofits and service. It also speaks a lot to his perseverance and I think it’s an indicator of future success.”