Newsroom > News > Press Releases > Meet the Class of 2017

Refugee scholar, Army veteran and theatre advocate among DePaul University graduates

Commencement ceremonies set June 10-11 for the Class of 2017

Class of 2017
Mishari Zambrano (top), Lucas Estelle and Addisalem Agegnehu are among DePaul University’s Class of 2017. This weekend some 6,500 graduates will gather for DePaul’s 119th commencement ceremonies and reflect on their accomplishments. (DePaul University/Diane Smutny, Jamie Moncrief, Jeff Carrion)
CHICAGO — This weekend some 6,500 graduates will gather for DePaul University’s 119th commencement ceremonies and reflect on their accomplishments. Among them will be an Ethiopian immigrant from Sudan devoted to helping refugees, an Army veteran with a zeal for probability, and a Latina set on making theatre more accessible to all.

Three of this year’s graduates spoke with DePaul Newsroom about how university studies have prepared them to serve a changing world. They will join 175,000 DePaul alumni worldwide who have succeeded in a learning environment that values both academic achievement and community responsibility.

Six commencement ceremonies are planned for the weekend of June 10-11. A seventh was held in May for the College of Law. Details about the ceremonies, including information about commencement speakers, honorary degree recipients and a live video stream of the events, are online at

Here are some of the stories from the Class of 2017.

Addisalem Agegnehu | M.S. in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Born in Sudan to Ethiopian parents, Addisalem Agegnehu turned empathy from her own journey into service and scholarship to help refugees. Read more>>

Lucas Estelle | B.S. in Mathematical Sciences
College of Science and Health
An Army veteran who grew up in the Brainerd neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, Lucas Estelle translated his childhood love of coin-flipping into an interest in applied mathematics and actuarial science. Read more>>

Mishari Zambrano | B.F.A. in Theatre Management
The Theatre School
A first-generation college student, Mishari Zambrano says she learned about service and the arts from her mother. She spent her time in The Theatre School answering the question “What must be done?” by helping to make productions more accessible for audiences with disabilities. Read more>>


Media Contact:
Kristin Claes Mathews