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Lincoln Park, Old Town

‘Stranger Things’ Star Joe Keery Joins DePaul’s Online Commencement Ceremony

Keery, a DePaul alumnus, will greet the graduates by video during online commencement ceremonies June 13.

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LINCOLN PARK — Joe Keery of “Stranger Things” will welcome an estimated 6,250 graduating DePaul University students at his alma mater’s commencement ceremony next month, the university announced Thursday.

Keery, who received a bachelor’s in acting from DePaul’s Theatre School in 2014, will greet the graduates by video during DePaul’s online commencement ceremonies June 13, according to a press release from the university.

Keery stars as Steve Harrington on “Stranger Things,” a Netflix hit. He’s also appeared on “Chicago Fire” and “Empire,” which are filmed in Chicago.

Each of DePaul’s schools and colleges will have its own ceremony, featuring personalized slides for every graduate and messages from DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban, school deans and others in the DePaul community.

“Joe’s participation will be meaningful to our graduates because he knows what it means to be a DePaul student. As a fan of his work on ‘Stranger Things,’ I am excited for him to join us in celebrating the class of 2020,” Esteban said in a statement.

As a DePaul student, Keery performed in various plays and musicals, including “Spring Awakening,” “Hansel and Gretel” and the world premiere of Lucas Baisch’s “The Scavengers” in 2014. He was waiting tables in the Lakeview neighborhood and went to more than 100 auditions before landing his first major TV role as Harrington on “Stranger Things.”

“DePaul has always been proud to call Joe one of our own,” Esteban said.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Boystown and Lincoln Park for Block Club Chicago.

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