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Ruth Hamilton'07 announced as Commencement 2019 speaker

April 28, 2019
Ruth Hamilton'07 announced as Commencement 2019 speaker

In a note to campus, President Scott Bierman announced Ruth Hamilton'07 as the 2019 Commencement speaker. Read his note below:

We are proud to announce that we will be welcoming a valued member of the Beloit College family as our Commencement speaker: Ruth Hamilton'07, senior trial attorney in the Criminal Defense Practice at the Bronx Defenders, will give the 2019 address. Hamilton is also the former legal director of Still She Rises.

Hamilton recently returned to the Bronx Defenders, where she first started her legal career. The Bronx Defenders is a public defender nonprofit serving low-income Bronx residents in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases.

A Harvard-educated criminal defense lawyer, she has worked tirelessly to reduce the sentences of incarcerated mothers in North Tulsa, Oklahoma—a state with the highest rate of women's incarceration in America. Serving as a legal director at Still She Rises, a first-of-its-kind organization dedicated exclusively to representing mothers in the criminal justice system, Hamilton and her colleagues are passionate about "zealously defending the accused."

Years before Hamilton became a licensed attorney, she was cultivating a strong work ethic and a commitment to social justice. During her years at Beloit College, Hamilton studied political science, participated in track & field, cross country, and women's chorus, and worked as a Resident Assistant. Off-campus, Hamilton spent a semester working at the Winnebago County Public Defender's Office and another at the Federal Defender, in nearby Rockford, Ill. She also participated in the Duffy Program at Beloit through her time at the Rock County Job Center working with low-income job seekers.

Senior class officers selected Hamilton to address the class on May 19, 2019, where approximately 330 graduates will receive their diplomas during the ceremony on the lawn in front of Middle College.

For more information on the 2019 Commencement ceremony, visit

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