Alumnus Leslie Odom, Jr. will be the keynote speaker at Carnegie Mellon’s 2019 Commencement Ceremony on May, 19.
Odom, who earned his bachelor’s degree from our College of Fine Arts in 2003, is a Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor, singer and dancer best known for his breakout role as Aaron Burr in the smash hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” He won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in “Hamilton” and a Grammy as a principal soloist on the original cast recording. His self-titled debut album charted at #1 on the Billboard Jazz Chart in 2016, and he is the author of “Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning.” He will also be presented with an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts.
Additionally, two more esteemed alumni will partake in the Carnegie Mellon tradition of awarding honorary degrees at commencement to exemplary leaders, whose life and work serve as an inspiration for Carnegie Mellon students, faculty and staff.
Alumni John Shaffner and Joe Stewart (Class of 1976 and 1977, respectively) are among the most recognized and prolific production designers in television today. They have earned 39 Primetime and Daytime Emmy Award nominations and have won six Emmys. Some of their most notable work includes production design for the landmark comedies “The Big Bang Theory,” “Friends” and “Two and a Half Men.” Both will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts.