Delaware State University will feature Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., prominent legal theorist, civil rights attorney, mentor to President Barack Obama and author, as the keynote speaker
of the 2014 Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 11.
Charles J. Ogletree Jr.
The 10 a.m. Commencement will be held outdoors at DSU’s Alumni Stadium (weather permitting).
Charles Ogletree, a Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, is a prominent legal theorist who has made an international reputation by taking a hard look at complex issues of law and by working to secure the rights guaranteed by the Constitution for everyone equally under the law.
Both President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle were students of Professor Ogletree when they attended Harvard Law School. He has continued to be a close friend of the First Couple and a confidant for the chief executive on a number of issues.
Professor Ogletree is the author of several important books on race and justice, including The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America (2010); his historical memoir All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education (2004); Beyond the Rodney King Story: An Investigation of Police Conduct in Minority Communities (1995), as well as others.
Professor Ogletree is a native of Merced, Calif., where he attended public schools. He earned an M.A. and B.A. (with distinction) in Political Science from Stanford University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa. He also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
DSU President Harry L. Williams said that the University is excited that Professor Ogletree will be this year's May Commencement keynote speaker. He also expressed the University's appreciation to two DSU alumni, Frank and Mary Marshall, who are friends of Mr. Ogletree and were instrumental in his acceptance of the invitation to speak at the graduation.