Naomi Lynn served as President of Sangamon State University in Springfield, Illinois from 1991 through 1995. In that year the university transitioned into the University of Illinois at Springfield, part of the University of Illinois system. Lynn skillfully oversaw that transition, becoming chancellor of UIS. As part of that transition, she also supervised the school's transition from a two year (junior and seniors only) to a four year program with increasingly robust graduate programs as well. Lynn was the nation's first Hispanic woman to head a public university. She was a champion of women’s rights and became a leader and mentor for women and minorities in academia and the larger community.