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C of I to host renowned law professor Alan Dershowitz

Less than six months after establishing the Intermountain West’s first endowed chair in Judaic studies, The College of Idaho will host one of America’s strongest Jewish voices on its campus.

Alan Dershowitz, a renowned author, attorney and the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, will be the College’s 2013 Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient on May 18.  He’ll also give a public presentation, “A Conversation with Alan Dershowitz” moderated by the Hon. Stephen S. Trott, at the Egyptian Theatre in Boise.

“Professor Dershowitz is one of modern America’s brightest minds,” C of I President Marv Henberg said. “His accomplishments as an educator, scholar and attorney speak for themselves. I am honored that The College of Idaho community – especially the graduating Class of 2013 – will have this opportunity to hear him speak.”

Commencement begins at 10 a.m. May 18. It will conclude at approximately noon, and Dershowitz will be available for interviews on campus immediately afterward. Please contact the C of I Office of Marketing and Communications in advance if you would like to schedule an interview.

Dershowitz’s presentation in Boise starts at 7:30 p.m. May 18 and includes a reception for all attendees. Tickets cost $25 for one or $40 for two, with proceeds supporting the C of I Howard Berger-Ray Neilsen Chair in Judaic Studies. For tickets and information, please visit

“Professor Dershowitz is the biggest name we’ve had on this campus since I’ve been here,” said Berger, a 30-year veteran of the C of I history faculty and catalyst behind the Judaic studies chair. “He’s a great speaker, and his presence is a testament to our successful development of awareness of Jewish studies at The College of Idaho.”

Dershowitz is a Brooklyn native who has been called one of America’s “most distinguished defenders of individual rights.” A graduate of Brooklyn College and Yale Law School, he joined the Harvard Law School faculty at age 25 and became the youngest full professor of law in the school’s history at age 28. He has published hundreds of articles in newspapers, magazines and journals including The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New Republic as well as 27 fiction and non-fiction works with a worldwide audience.

Event sponsors are Holland & Hart Attorneys and Boise State Public Radio. The Howard Berger-Ray Neilsen Chair in Judaic Studies is supported through a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit