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DePaul University unites for inauguration of 13th president, Robert L. Manuel

Robert Manuel
Robert L. Manuel was inaugurated Nov. 11 as DePaul University's 13th president. (DePaul University/Steve Woltmann)
CHICAGO — DePaul University President Robert L. Manuel called upon faculty, staff and students “to engage, walk shoulder to shoulder with each other, and recommit ourselves to our mission, each other, and the people of Chicago” on Friday as he was inaugurated as DePaul’s 13th president.

DePaul celebrated with student performances and readings during a ceremony Nov. 11 on the Lincoln Park Campus. The Board of Trustees and university community gathered to entrust Manuel with the university’s Catholic, Vincentian mission.

Manuel brings 30 years of academic excellence in higher education and joins DePaul at a critical moment of institutional change and optimism. The ceremony capped off a week of events in celebration of DePaul, including breakfasts honoring veterans and first-generation college students.

Dani Blackwell high fives Rob Manuel
Dani Blackwell congratulates Rob Manuel during his inauguration. (DePaul University/Steve Woltmann)
Manuel issued a call to action for the university community during his remarks: “The path forward must be defined by inclusion and radical hospitality for all, where we will focus all our work on the single largest problems of our day. We will bring forward the gifts of those in our community to harness the power of our social networks and connect our students to global issues. We will model the civility we want in the world and make sure it is adopted. We must use our place in this world to act.”

During his first 100 days at DePaul, Manuel set immediate priorities and called on faculty, staff and students to transform the university into a radically welcoming space. The themes of radical hospitality and service, derived from the theology of St. Vincent de Paul, were central to the ceremony. Manuel has built momentum around initiatives in diversity, equity and inclusion and academic excellence.

Rob Manuel at podium
Robert L. Manuel speaks at his inauguration as DePaul University's 13th president. (DePaul University/Steve Woltmann)

“It’s time to build the DePaul we know the world needs and create the model for higher education in the United States,” Manuel said at the ceremony.

Manual joined DePaul Aug. 1 and was previously president of the University of Indianapolis. Prior to joining UIndy, Manuel served as dean of the School of Continuing Studies and then associate provost at Georgetown University. Learn more about Manuel at

About DePaul University
Celebrating 125 years of engaging, diverse and global learning, DePaul University provides exceptional academics and real-world experiences to prepare students for a changing world. With nearly 21,000 students across more than 300 academic programs, DePaul has two campus locations in Chicago. Students richly benefit from the city’s many opportunities. In turn, DePaul is one of the forces that shapes Chicago’s future. The university was founded in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), a Roman Catholic religious community dedicated to following the ideals of St. Vincent de Paul. DePaul is among the nation’s top universities for diversity because of its long tradition of providing a high-quality education to students from a broad range of backgrounds. Today, DePaul is the largest private, nonprofit university in the Midwest. As it begins its next 125 years, DePaul remains committed to service and leadership as a faith-based institution.

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Media Contact:
Kristin Claes Mathews