DePaul University 2015 commencement speakers include humanitarian activist, public relations innovator and world-renowned pianist

Dignitaries are M. Cherif Bassiouni, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Muhal Richard Abrams, Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, Peter J. Stang, Richard Edelman and Kate Maehr

Guest speaker Sandra Cisneros, a writer and community activist, offers advice to graduates at DePaul University School for New Learning’s 2014 commencement ceremony at the Rosemont Theatre. DePaul University and each of its 10 colleges and schools have a distinctive heraldic banner. The banners, which are displayed prominently at commencement, incorporate the academic colors of their disciplines, for example, white for arts and letters and citron for social sciences (banner in upper left corner). This year, DePaul’s 117th commencement ceremonies will be held on May 17, June 13 and June 14. (Photo by Jeff Carrion)
CHICAGO — Leaders in fields spanning law, music, education, business and chemistry will address graduates at DePaul University’s 117th commencement ceremonies May 17 and June 13-14. Based in Chicago and recognized as the largest Catholic university in the United States, DePaul will have seven separate ceremonies for its 10 colleges and schools.

Speakers for the ceremonies include human rights advocate M. Cherif Bassiouni; education scholar Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot; world-renowned pianist Muhal Richard Abrams; humanitarian activist Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe; chemist Peter J. Stang; public relations innovator Richard Edelman; and anti-hunger advocate Kate Maehr. Each of the speakers will receive an honorary degree with the exception of Nyirumbe who received an honorary doctorate in December 2013 from DePaul’s School for New Learning in partnership with Tangaza University in Nairobi, Kenya.

DePaul’s colleges and schools have distinguished reputations for preparing graduates to work, succeed and contribute in the global community. Graduates of DePaul are urban educated giving them access to interact with people from all over the world and providing them with real world experiences.

Details about each college’s commencement ceremony, speakers and honorary degree recipients are listed below. For additional information visit, http://bit.ly/DPUGrad15.

College of Law
May 17, 1:30 p.m.
Rosemont Theatre
5400 N. River Road, Rosemont

An emeritus professor of law at DePaul, M. Cherif Bassiouni has spent much of his life’s work advocating for human rights and practicing international criminal law. In his 50 years with DePaul, he co-founded the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences and DePaul’s International Human Rights Law Institute. For decades, the United Nations has chosen Bassiouni to conduct investigations when heinous human rights crimes were suspected. His contributions to the establishment of an International Criminal Court, where those who commit crimes against humanity are now prosecuted, earned him a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 1999.

College of Education
June 13, 8:30 a.m.
Rosemont Theatre
5400 N. River Road, Rosemont

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot has enriched the field of education through her many contributions to the social sciences. She is widely known for pioneering portraiture, a methodology that bridges science and art using interview and observation techniques. Much of Lawrence-Lightfoot’s scholarship has focused on improving education, which has led to a deeper understanding of school culture that is trusted by teachers, parents and principals. To recognize her many accomplishments, in 1998, Harvard University bestowed on her the Emily Hargroves Fisher Endowed Chair. Upon her retirement, it will become the Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Chair, making her the first African-American woman in Harvard’s history to have an endowed professorship named in her honor.

School of Music and The Theatre School
(Combined ceremony)
June 13, noon
Rosemont Theatre
5400 N. River Road, Rosemont

A world-renowned pianist, Muhal Richard Abrams has dedicated more than 40 years to jazz music. He has collaborated with industry leading musicians, including Max Roach, Anthony Braxton, Sonny Stitt and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis. Known for his versatility, he has composed music for genres ranging from jazz to bebop and electronic music. Abrams also is a dedicated mentor and respected teacher who has taught at a number of universities in the United States and Canada. He co-founded and was the first president of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Chicago’s legendary vanguard music institution.

School for New Learning
June 13, 3 p.m.
Rosemont Theatre
5400 N. River Road, Rosemont

Recognized last year as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people, Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe has achieved international prominence for operating a thriving school for women in Uganda. By teaching practical and vocational skills to women who have survived kidnappings and extreme violence, she empowers them to reclaim their economic independence. Her tireless efforts have not gone unnoticed; Nyirumbe’s work on behalf of the marginalized continues to energize a large network of supporters to bring awareness to the ongoing violence in her home country.

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the College of Science and Health
(Combined ceremony)
June 14, 8 a.m.
Allstate Arena
6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont

A graduate of DePaul University, Peter J. Stang has become one of the world’s leading scientists known for driving advances in organic chemistry and pioneering the field of supramolecular chemistry. His work earned him the National Medal of Science in 2011, the highest honor given by the president of the United States to an engineer, scientist or inventor. Stang’s research and innovative methods, which have been published in more than 500 publications, have led to the advancement in many areas of science from nanotechnology to chemotherapy.

College of Communication and the College of Computing and Digital Media
(Combined ceremony)
June 14, 12:30 p.m.
Allstate Arena
6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont

As president and CEO of Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm, Richard Edelman has redefined the communications industry. Under his stewardship, the agency earned the industry’s top accolades, including “PR Agency of the Decade” by both Advertising Age and The Holmes Report. Creator of the Edelman Trust Barometer, he also is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on trust in the fields of business, government, media and nongovernmental organizations.

Driehaus College of Business
June 14, 4:30 p.m.
Allstate Arena
6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont

Kate Maehr is a leading voice in the fight against hunger. With one in six people in Cook County, Illinois, not knowing where their next meal is coming from, Maehr’s strategic direction as CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository has never been more important. Under her leadership, the Food Depository has increased its distribution by more than 18 million pounds of nutritious food while developing programs to better serve priority populations. She also is co-chair of the Illinois Commission to End Hunger and a board member of Feeding Illinois.

117th Commencement
This spring marks the 117th commencement for DePaul University. An estimated 6,700 students will graduate this academic year. DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States and the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest, with nearly 24,000 students and about 300 academic programs.

DePaul was founded in Chicago in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), a Roman Catholic religious community dedicated to following the ideals of St. Vincent de Paul, the 17th century priest for whom the university is named. DePaul’s tradition of providing a quality education to students from a broad range of backgrounds, with particular attention to first-generation students, has resulted in one of the nation’s most diverse student bodies. More information is at www.depaul.edu.

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Media Contact:
Wendy Zamaripa Smit
wsmit@depaul.edu​
312-362-7749 ​