Successful Chicago Attorney, Charter School Co-founder to Deliver Commencement Address

A successful attorney and co-founder of Chicago’s only public all-girls school will deliver the address at Nebraska Wesleyan’s University’s 121st annual commencement.

Joan McClurg HallJoan McClurg Hall will deliver her address, “Hope and Inspiration,” during commencement exercises on Saturday, May 15.

Hall is a retired partner with Jenner & Block, a national law firm based in Chicago. She is a native of the Nebraska Sandhills and graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan in 1961. She was one of seven women who graduated from Yale Law School in 1965 and was the second woman to be hired by Jenner & Block. Hall served as the first female chair of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation among other “firsts” for women in law.

In 1999, Hall founded the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School of Chicago, the city’s only public all-girls school. The school serves 350 economically disadvantaged girls in grades 7-12 and has been recognized by Oprah Winfrey.

Honorary degrees will be bestowed upon Rev. Cecil C. Bliss, a 1956 graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University and retired pastor of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Lincoln, and upon former Congressman Doug Bereuter, president and CEO of The Asia Foundation. Both Bliss and Bereuter served on Nebraska Wesleyan’s former Board of Trustees.

More than 430 undergraduate and graduate students will receive their degrees on May 15. Commencement begins at 6:30 p.m. on Taylor Commons, located on the NWU campus.

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