Renowned international law scholar and human rights advocate M. Cherif Bassiouni to address DePaul College of Law graduating class

DePaul University College of Law will hold its commencement May 17 at the Rosemont Theatre where some 280 students will receive their Juris Doctors or Master of Laws degrees. The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul, will confer the degrees. M. Cherif Bassiouni, DePaul emeritus professor of law, will address the graduating class. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. 

M. Cherif Bassiouni, DePaul emeritus professor of law, will address the College of Law’s graduating class on May 17 at the Rosemont Theatre where some 280 students will receive their Juris Doctors or Master of Laws degrees. Bassiouni will also receive an honorary degree at the ceremony. (Photo courtesy of M. Cherif Bassiouni)
Bassiouni, who will receive an honorary degree at the ceremony, 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. 

Bassiouni will be introduced by Bruce Ottley, interim dean of the College of Law.

Since its establishment in 1912, the College of Law has graduated more than 19,000 students. DePaul law graduates have gone on to become highly skilled, committed and vigorous leaders of the bar, bench and business industries. Alumni include numerous state and federal judges, three Chicago mayors and managing partners of dozens of major law firms.

Its rich history of quality education, access and diversity has long set the College of Law apart. DePaul was among the first law schools in Illinois to admit historically excluded groups such as female and Jewish students.

The college is home to distinguished centers and institutes that are dedicated to teaching, research, advocacy, and public education and engagement across a wide range of disciplines. Distinctive educational opportunities for students include joint degrees, certificate programs and experiential learning taught by 36 full-time faculty members who are all accomplished attorneys. 

Areas of concentration for the College of Law include business law and taxation; child and family law; criminal law; health law; intellectual property law and information technology; international and comparative law; and public interest law.

In 2014, the National Law Journal placed DePaul’s College of Law first for Best LLM Program and Best Law School Clinical Program in Chicago. DePaul has had the largest number of graduates on the Illinois Super Lawyers list for the past six years. 

This July, the College of Law will welcome Jennifer Rosato Perea, a nationally recognized leader in legal education, as dean. Throughout her 25 years in higher education, which includes 11 years as a law school administrator, Rosato Perea has been an active voice in the national dialogue about legal education. At DePaul, Rosato Perea will lead a law school recognized for its world-renowned faculty and innovative academic programs. 

Among the Class of 2015 is Amanda Moncada, an ambitious Latina from Chicago with plans for a career in corporate law. Read her story.

The Rosemont Theater is located at 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. Those unable to attend may watch a live stream of the event. Click on the word “webcast” once the ceremony begins.

Commencement ceremonies for DePaul’s nine other colleges and schools are scheduled for June 13 and 14. For additional information, including a list of speakers and honorary degree recipients, visit

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

Story courtesy of the DePaul Newsroom.