Durbin Announces Summer 2023 Recipient of the Ed Greelegs Scholarship Program, Nason Budkhunthong

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced Nason Budkhunthong, a junior at the University of Illinois from South Elgin, Illinois, as the summer 2023 recipient of the Ed Greelegs Scholarship Program. This scholarship, open to students and recent graduates from Illinois or those studying in Illinois, is an opportunity for the students to receive financial assistance while interning in Senator Durbin’s office. The program was created in honor of Durbin’s former Chief of Staff who passed away in March 2017 due to complications with Parkinson’s disease. 

“Ed knew everybody in Washington by name and everybody knew Ed. From Teddy Kennedy to the elevator operator, and the men and women who cleaned our office and polished the floor.  Even as parts of his memory were failing, his passion for politics never changed.  Ed is at peace now, but his influence remains with the lives he touched,” said Durbin.  “I’m excited to continue this scholarship program in Ed’s name and honor, to carry on his love of politics to the next generation by making the incredible experience of a Washington, D.C. internship possible for any Illinois student interested, no matter their background.  Nason is a talented, inspiring, smart young man and his future in politics is very bright.”

A resident of South Elgin, Nason is currently in his junior year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in agricultural and consumer economics and minoring in both legal studies and business.  On campus, he works as a research assistant on a project exploring recreational water use and riparian rights in Illinois; as well as Treasurer for the Undergraduate Law Review.  More recently, Nason had the privilege of interning with State Representative Carol Ammons (D-IL-103).  He is passionate about immigration law and environmental law.  Nason has enjoyed the opportunity to experience firsthand the action that goes into supporting the Senator’s offices. 

“My time in Senator Durbin's office has been nothing short of enlightening,” Nason said. “Witnessing the inner workings of the political machinery and the dedication to making a positive change for people, especially amid a heated Supreme Court ethics debate, has inspired me to strive for a more just world through public service.  This is an experience I will never forget, and I am incredibly grateful to the Senator and his staff for their endless support and mentorship as I continue my professional and academic development.”

In order to be eligible for the Ed Greelegs Scholarship Program, students must be a resident of Illinois or be enrolled in an accredited college or university in Illinois; must demonstrate financial need; must not be receiving outside financial aid for their internship; and must have demonstrated an interest in public service and the legislative process.

Ed Greelegs started working for Senator Richard J. Durbin in 1990 and served as his chief of staff in the House of Representatives and Senate for a combined 17 years.  Ed was a beloved member of the Capitol Hill community, and made our country better with his caring approach and dedication to public service.

Senator Durbin paid tribute to Ed shortly after his passing in March 2017. Video of his floor speech is available here.