Class of 2022 Commencement
Dear Skidmore Community,
I’m delighted and proud to announce that during our 2022 Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 21, at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Skidmore College will bestow honorary degrees upon award-winning director, playwright, and activist-in-art Moisés Kaufman and noted novelist, literary scholar, and philosopher Charles Johnson. Our 111th Commencement Exercises will be held in person and are open to all. As we emerge from the pandemic, we look forward to this event with great joy and anticipation.
Skidmore will honor Kaufman for his contributions to the art of theater and to international conversations about social justice. Kaufman is the founder and artistic director of the Tectonic Theater Project, a company that creates new plays and reimagines existing scripts using the company’s trademarked theater-making method, Moment Work™, and through a rigorous process of research and collaboration in a laboratory environment. Kaufman was awarded the 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama. He is also an Obie Award and Lucille Lortel Award winner, a Guggenheim fellow in Playwriting, and has been nominated for Tony, Emmy, and Drama Desk awards.
The author of 26 books and arguably one of the most important African American novelists of the 20th and 21st centuries, Johnson’s prolific and impactful career includes work as a short-story writer, philosopher, cartoonist, and illustrator, author of children’s literature, and screenplay and teleplay writer. A MacArthur fellow, Johnson is recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature and a National Book Award winner for his novel “Middle Passage” (1990), which chronicles the horrors of the Atlantic slave trade and debuted as a play adaptation at Chicago’s Lifeline Theater in 2020. He has also received a Writers Guild award for his PBS teleplay “Booker,” and the W.E.B. Du Bois Award at the National Black Writers Conference.
Lisa Grady-Willis, teaching professor and associate director of the Intergroup Relations Program and an affiliate faculty member in Black Studies, has been selected as the 2022 Skidmore faculty Commencement speaker. An educator, administrator, and artist, her work in intergroup relations is informed by a background in Africana studies and arts for social change. Her commitment to the creation of affirming spaces and the necessity of critical engagement encourages and nurtures the creative spirit of our students.
In addition to my own remarks to the Class of 2022, Skidmore College Board of Trustees Chair Nancy W. Hamilton ’77, Alumni Association President Robert F. Resnick ’88, and Class of 2022 President Mark Alcantara will also offer their congratulations to the graduating class.
Commencement exercises will begin at approximately 10:40 a.m., and the event will be livestreamed on the Skidmore website. For more information, please visit the Commencement website, which will be updated throughout the spring semester. Once again, I look forward to this great celebration with our seniors and our whole community.