Francis Cardinal George of the Archdiocese of Chicago will receive an honorary law degree and give the official invocation to begin The John Marshall Law School Centennial Convocation. The Cardinal joins another prominent Illinoisan, Chief Justice Charles E. Freeman of the Illinois Supreme Court, who will deliver the keynote address.
The Thursday, Sept. 24 event marks the start of the law school’s celebration of its founding in August 1899. Backdrop for the 3 p.m. ceremony is the craftmanship of renowned Chicago architects Pond & Pond, designers of the 84-year-old law school building at 315 S. Plymouth Court in Chicago.
“We are delighted to confer on Cardinal George the degree of Law Honoris Causa,” said Dean Robert Gilbert Johnston. “He believes in working for a justice that does not suppress differences, but delights in them. His work embodies the spirit of our founders.” The John Marshall Law School was founded by a group of Chicago attorneys and judges on the belief that access to a legal education should not be based on one’s race, ethnicity or religion. The law school also was one of the first to accept women and African-Americans.
A 1962 graduate, Chief Justice Freeman will come back to his alma mater with the perspective of 22 years in the Illinois judiciary, culminating in his appointment as head of the Illinois Supreme Court in May 1997. “Justice Freeman is a wonderful example of the contribution of John Marshall graduates,” stated Johnston. “During this first century, more than 11,000 men and women have graduated, many going on to work in the legal system as advocates for Chicago, the state of Illinois, and its citizens.”