Alumni Experience

Alumni Achiever

Hiram Grau ’03, Director of the Illinois State Police

Hiram Grau

Hiram Grau ’03 knows a thing or two about right and wrong after spending nearly 30 years in law enforcement. He spent much of his career working in or commanding gang investigation units in the Chicago Police Department, but he credits his SXU ethics class -- and the discussion of the now-defunct Enron -- with showing him how not to run an organization.

As the newly-appointed head of the Illinois State Police, the multi-faceted agency responsible for promoting public safety, Grau says he takes what he learned in Saint Xavier’s MBA program at the Chicago Police Academy and applies it daily on the job.

“Saint Xavier played a major role in my career,” he said. “The instructors were great, the classes were interesting and there was a comfort level in going through graduate school with fellow officers. I’m extremely grateful to Saint Xavier because it’s a tremendous program. I would highly recommend it.”

Since Saint Xavier began offering the partnership with the Chicago Police Department in January 1998, more than 1,300 officers have gone through the MBA program – as well as undergraduate degree and certificate program classes

Before his appointment as the ISP director, Grau served as deputy chief of investigations for the Cook County State Attorney’s Office. Previously, he served 27 years in the Chicago Police Department, working his way from beat cop to deputy superintendent for the Bureau of Investigative Services. In addition to receiving numerous law enforcement commendations and management training certifications, Grau served in Vietnam as a member of the famed Army 101st Airborne Division.

“The great thing about Saint Xavier was the faculty understood the stress of my job and my need to leave class quickly if I was called to a crime scene,” he said. “That didn’t happen, but they were accommodating and helped me work things out.”

Born in Puerto Rico, Grau grew up at Grand and Ogden avenues in the Patch neighborhood of Chicago. He graduated from Holy Trinity High School before taking the police exam and beginning an exemplary career.

“We’re in a crisis mode across the state,” he said. “We’ve got budget issues, high unemployment, foreclosures and businesses closing. It’s my job to improve traffic safety, decrease crime and terror, and recruit and train new officers. We focus on communications. These are areas that were all touched upon at Saint Xavier.

 “The Illinois State Police is a wonderful agency, and I’m proud and humbled to lead it. I have to make decisions (as director) that some people will like and some people will dislike. But I strive to do the right thing and make my parents proud.”