Special Offer for Recent Graduates

April 21, 2010

The President’s Club Street Team invites DePaul alumni who graduated less than 10 years ago to join the President’s Club, DePaul’s annual giving society, at special introductory rates.

Recent alumni who make their gift by June 30, 2010, will receive an exclusive invitation to the President’s Club tent at the Sheffield Garden Walk in Lincoln Park, July 17-18.

President’s Club members support DePaul’s mission and receive special recognition and invitations to exclusive DePaul events.

Employer matches of philanthropic gifts count toward membership.

For more information, contact Lisa Riley, President’s Club liaison, at lriley3@depaul.edu.

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DePaul Law School remembers alumnus and former NAACP head, Benjamin Hooks

April 15, 2010

Benjamin L. Hooks


Benjamin L. Hooks, who graduated from the DePaul University College of Law in 1948, grew up in an America marked by racism and injustice. Determined to change it, he spent his life fighting for equality. A highly respected champion of civil rights and one of the College of Law’s outstanding alumni, Hooks died April 15 in Memphis, Tenn.

Though his work would take him back to Tennessee and later to Washington, D.C., Hooks remained connected to the College of Law throughout his lifetime. The law school honored his outstanding service to the field of public interest law in 2003, and he earned an honorary degree at the law school’s 1977 commencement ceremony. Recognition for a career and achievements that defied the odds.

According to his official biography provided by the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis, Hooks first began his study of jurisprudence by enrolling in a pre-law course at LeMyone College in Memphis. He joined the United States Army before completing his studies and was stationed overseas. This experience made him determined to champion the cause of civil rights when he found himself charged with guarding Italian prisoners who were allowed to eat in restaurants that would deny him service. He rose to the rank of staff sergeant before his tour of duty ended and returned state side to complete his undergraduate studies at Howard University.

With a desire to become an attorney, Hooks returned to Tennessee. However, what he experienced upon moving back to Memphis was the true meaning of bigotry in the South. No law school in his native state of Tennessee would admit him. So Hooks moved north to attend law school at DePaul University.

“DePaul gave him an opportunity to go to law school when others would not admit him because of his race,” said College of Law Professor Bruce Ottley. Ottley knew Hooks and had the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with him over dinner during one of Hooks’ visits to Chicago and the College of Law. “He was qualified and his G.I. Bill would pay his tuition so his race really did not matter to DePaul.”

After earning his law degree in 1948, Hooks went back to Memphis and embarked on a storied legal career that would earn him a place among of our nation’s most celebrated civil rights advocates.

He first opened a law practice where, according to his biography, he met with prejudice at every turn. This only made him more determined to work to ensure all people are treated equally. He became an ordained minister in 1956 and joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which was headed by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. His work in civil rights intensified as he helped pioneer National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)-sponsored sit-ins at restaurants and boycotts of consumer services and merchandise.

While becoming a stronger and more vocal advocate for racial justice, Hooks also began to explore the world of politics, where he would shatter racial barriers. In 1965, he was appointed to fill a judicial vacancy in the Shelby County criminal court, becoming Tennessee’s first African American criminal court judge. In 1976, he became the first African American appointed to the Federal Communications Commission. While there, he was outspoken about such issues as the lack of minority ownership of radio and television stations and the image of minorities in mass media.

In 1976, he was elected executive director of the NAACP, one of this nation’s most respected civil rights organizations. In an interview with Ebony Magazine shortly after assuming leadership of the NAACP, Hooks proclaimed, “The civil rights movement is not dead. If anyone thinks that we are going to stop agitating, they had better think again. If anyone thinks we are going to stop litigating, they had better close the courts.”

Even after his retirement from the NAACP, following 15 years at its helm, Hooks continued to be a formidable champion of civil rights. He trained his sights on contemporary issues impacting minorities and the disadvantaged. To progress this goal, he helped create the Hooks Institute.

One of his final national honors was being awarded the Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2007. But, no matter where his accomplished life took him, Hooks always remained one of the College of Law’s most sterling examples of what it means to persevere.

“Benjamin Hooks was a true role model who lived a life that illustrates for our students what they can accomplish no matter what obstacles try and stop them,” said Ottley. “People can look at graduates like Hooks and know that no matter what your background, you can still achieve whatever you want if you get a good education.”

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DePaul University to relocate O’Hare Campus to Triangle Plaza

April 7, 2010

DePaul University plans to move its O’Hare Campus to Triangle Plaza, near O’Hare Airport. Classes and other programs in the new state-of-the-art facility will begin in September 2010, and DePaul will continue to provide classes from its Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, School for New Learning and other continuing and professional education programs.

DePaul has been a popular destination for adult and continuing education students in the area since 1977,” says the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., DePaul’s president. “This move allows us to grow our classroom capacity and provide additional amenities for our students.”

The 14-story building, located at 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago, will have classrooms, a multimedia center, and student support and administrative offices. Additionally, the facility will feature five student lounges, a modern library, a food vending area and a full-service delicatessen.

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Radio DePaul named Best College Station in the Nation

April 6, 2010

Student-run Radio DePaul recently won nine awards from the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS), including the Abraham & Borst Award for Best College Station in the Nation.

The awards were announced at an IBS conference held in New York in March. A panel of professional broadcasters rated Radio DePaul as the best college radio station in the nation based on criteria such as quality of programming, service to the community, overall sound of the station, and station management and operation, says Len Mailloux, board chairman of IBS.

Other awards that Radio DePaul received at the IBS conference include:

  • Best Station Promo: Rockband Giveaway; Best Event Promo: Blue Madness; and Most Creative Show: “The Midnight Rider,” all by Nick Freeman
  • Most Innovative Show: “Days of Wonder” with Shan Kahn and Ben Gappa
  • Best Community News and Best Spot News: Charles Haines and Lars Weborg (Olympics Announcement Coverage)
  • Best Sports Update: Lars Weborg
  • Best Newscast: Erin Osmon, Jason Shough and Lars Weborg

In fall 2009, the 25-year-old Radio DePaul beefed up its programming to become a full-service station while maintaining its music roots. The station went from playing about 85 percent music to its current programming format of 55 percent music and 45 percent programming, including news, talk, sports, politics and an author’s corner featuring published DePaul faculty discussing their works. It went from providing 10 minutes of pre-recorded news to 60 minutes of live news daily.

To accommodate the sweeping changes at the radio station, Scott Vyverman, Radio DePaul faculty manager, handpicked a managerial staff of DePaul undergraduate and graduate students to provide high-quality, around-the-clock programming. The station employs 75 students, mostly on a volunteer basis.

We’re creating more access and opportunity for students,” Vyverman says. “As much as possible I want to get my students on-air and broadcasting live.”

While the station operates outside the classroom, most students who work there come from the College of Communication. The college sees the station as a teaching vehicle and a place for students to get hands-on experience.

The latest awards bring Radio DePaul up to 16 national nominations and 10 national wins in the past five years. The station also received an award for community service from DePaul’s Student Life organization two years ago.

Radio DePaul can be heard globally via the Internet at http://radio.depaul.edu and also is available on iTunes radio.

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DePaul names Oliver Purnell men’s basketball head coach

April 4, 2010

DePaul athletics director Jean Lenti Ponsetto announced today that Oliver Purnell has been named men’s basketball coach. Purnell brings 22 years of head coaching experience to Lincoln Park including the past seven seasons at Clemson University. He is the 13th head coach in DePaul basketball history.

Photo by DePaul Athletics/Steve Woltmann

Purnell inherited a Clemson program in 2003 following stints at Dayton, Old Dominion and Radford. After a 10-18 record during his first campaign in 2003-2004, he led the Tigers to six straight postseason appearances including each of the last three NCAA Tournaments. Clemson is just one of 21 programs nationally, including BIG EAST members Louisville, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Villanova and West Virginia, to make three straight NCAA appearances.

In the past four seasons, Purnell’s .694 winning percentage is third in the ACC with only Mike Krzyzewski of Duke and North Carolina’s Roy Williams posting higher winning percentages in that span. The 2009-2010 squad finished at 21-11 with the program’s third straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Clemson also finished the season with 301 steals in 32 games to rank among the nation’s best for the sixth straight year. Purnell compiled a record of 138-88 (.613) during his seven-year tenure at Clemson while the program improved its winning percentage in five straight seasons from 2004-09.

From an honors standpoint, Purnell has been named conference Coach of the Year in three different Division I conferences. He was also the 2009 District III USBWA Coach of the Year and one of 10 finalists for the Henry Iba Award, presented annually to the nation’s top head coach.

Additionally, he was a coach prominently involved in the USA Basketball program for nearly 10 years. Teams he was affiliated with in the USA Basketball program as a head coach or assistant coach accumulated a 45-4 record and won five gold medals in international competition. He was an assistant coach under Larry Brown on the United States Olympic team in Greece in 2004.

A native of Berlin, Md., Purnell was born May 19, 1953. He and his wife Vicky have two children: Olivia, who graduated from the University of Southern California in 2004 and earned a master’s degree from NYU in 2007, and Lindsay, who graduated from Boston College in May 2007 and is currently enrolled in the Wake Forest School of Law.

Read more about Coach Purnell >>
See photos from the press conference >>
Watch the press conference online >>

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