May 20, 2011—Just under 300 University of Denver Sturm College of Law graduates will take their final steps as students May 21 — and their first as alumni — as they cross the stage and accept diplomas.
The Law School's commencement speaker will be U.S. Rep. Dianna DeGette (D-Denver). A native Coloradan in her eighth term, DeGette has drafted legislation to expand stem cell research, strengthen food safety regulations and improve consumer product safety. She also wrote the Colorado Wilderness Act, which protects and preserves land across Colorado.
DeGette has been a proponent of health care reform, is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and has been served on the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Since 2005, DeGette has been her party's chief deputy whip, a leadership position in which she works to ensure key pieces of legislation pass.
DeGette is a fourth-generation Coloradan. While attending Denver's South High School, she took music lessons at DU's Lamont School of Music. She received her bachelor's degree from Colorado College in 1979 and her law degree from New York University School of Law.
The student speaker, selected by her classmates, will be Melina Hernandez. Hernandez came to the Sturm College of Law after earning an undergraduate degree in sociology with a minor in dance from the University of Colorado Boulder. After law school, she says she'll work to end intimate partner abuse and violence against women and girls, and fight for the reproductive rights of all women. She served as a student senator in her final year of law school and will be the first attorney in her family.
The DU Sturm College of Law's annual spring Commencement begins at 10 a.m. at the Ritchie Center at the south end of campus. Doors open at 9 a.m. No tickets are required. For more information or to watch a broadcast of the ceremony, visit DU's commencement website, www.du.edu/commencement