Shonda Rhimes Named Dartmouth Commencement Speaker
Hanover — Television producer Shonda Rhimes, the creative force behind such shows as Grey’s Anatomy , Private Practice , and ABC’s current hit, Scandal , will deliver the main address at Dartmouth College’s commencement in June, according to a news release from the college.
Rhimes, a Golden Globe winner and three-time Emmy nominee who graduated from Dartmouth in 1991, will receive an honorary doctor of arts at the upcoming ceremony.
“Rhimes grew up in an academic family in Chicago, and loved books and storytelling even as a young child,” the announcement said. “An English literature with creative writing major, she was director of Dartmouth’s Black Underground Theatre and Arts Association, and her work earned her numerous awards for excellence as an undergraduate.”
President Obama appointed Rhimes as a trustee for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2013, the same year that T ime magazine named her one of the world’s 100 most influential people. It was her second time on the list.
Also in 2013, Rhimes won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series for Scandal, and in 2014 she received the Directors Guild of America’s Diversity Award.
She has also been named to Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business,” Variety’s “Power of Women” and Glamour’s “Women of the Year.”
In addition to her television work as the shows’ creator, head writer and executive producer, Rhimes wrote the feature films Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement and Crossroads.
She co-wrote Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, for which Halle Berry won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for best actress in a miniseries.
Rhimes will be among six honorary degree recipients at the June 8 commencement. The recipients include:
∎ William H. Neukom, 1964 Dartmouth graduate, attorney, philanthropist, and Chair Emeritus of the Board of Trustees, who has served as lead lawyer for Microsoft Corporation for nearly 25 years.
∎ Eric Foner, Pulitzer prize winner and Columbia University’s DeWitt Clinton Professor of History.
∎ Margaret Geller, astrophysicist, Smithsonian researcher, and MacArthur “genius grant” winner.
∎ David Kelley, design thinker, entrepreneur, and the Donald W. Whittier Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University.
∎ Zakes Mda, South African writer and Ohio University creative writing professor.