Press Release

Alumnus Ben Roe (’00) Honored as an NIU Law Outstanding Alumni

May 15, 2012

DeKalb, Ill.--Northern Illinois University College of Law alumnus John B. "Ben" Roe was honored as the 2012 recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award for the College of Law. Roe was nominated by the College of Law and recognized during the NIU Alumni Association’s Annual Awards program for his significant professional accomplishments.

A 2000 graduate of the College of Law, Roe is the state's attorney of Ogle County, Illinois, having been elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008. As state’s attorney, he has developed and implemented numerous groundbreaking initiatives for Ogle County including a domestic violence response protocol, juvenile diversion and detention alternative programming, an adult drug court, and a juvenile drug court that is set to open in the fall of 2012. He has also served as chair of the Ogle County Juvenile Justice Council, which has forged unprecedented accord between the judiciary, probation department, and public defenders.

As a trailblazer in juvenile crime policy, Roe was honored by the MacArthur Foundation-supported Models for Change Initiative as a Champion for Change in 2009 for his efforts at improving the lives of court-involved juveniles, their families, and communities. At the time, Ogle County was one of just five counties in the state to take part in a program to come up with alternatives to jail time for juveniles.

Ben Roe (’00) is pictured (center) with NIU President John G. Peters and Francine Pepitone, President of the NIU Alumni Association Board of Directors during the 2012 NIU Alumni Association Awards Program.Ben Roe (’00) is pictured (center) with NIU President John G. Peters and Francine Pepitone, President of the NIU Alumni Association Board of Directors during the 2012 NIU Alumni Association Awards Program.

Inspired and guided by his family, Roe shared what has helped him to accomplish his personal and professional goals at the awards dinner. “My father is full of simple, practical sayings and advice,” he said. “Keep your word. Tell the whole truth. Don’t equivocate. Don’t put off decisions. Keep your mouth shut - which was my father’s way of saying to be a good listener. Always be able to justify your decisions. And get your personnel in order - surround yourself with like-minded, loyal, genuinely good people. All invaluable advice that holds true today.”

Roe serves on several state and national commissions, committees, and boards related to juvenile reform. In June 2011, Roe was appointed to the U.S. Department of Justice Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. He serves as the representative for Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. As a member of this committee, he has an essential role in conveying the perspectives of these states’ Juvenile Justice Advisory Groups to the President, Congress, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. He is a member of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, Juvenile Justice Initiative Board of Directors, the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, and he serves as the Illinois state co-chair for Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. Roe also supports NIU by serving as a judge in the College of Law's annual Prize Moot Court competition.

“I have lived a very fortunate life, full of incredible opportunities. All while being surrounded and guided by common sense-driven, big picture, open-minded people who are leaders in their field and in life,” Roe added. “I will continue to go forth with the necessary humility and responsibility to succeed, guided by the values and principles instilled in me, while continuing to give back to NIU and the College of Law.”

Roe was honored by the NIU Alumni Association at a private dinner on Friday, April 20, at the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center in DeKalb.

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For more information, contact:
Melody Mitchell
Alumni Events & Public Relations
(815) 753-9655 or mmitchell@niu.edu