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Vanessa Williams to deliver 2008 convocation address for College of Visual and Performing Arts, receive BFA degree

May 05, 2008

Erica Blust
(315) 443-5891

Erica Blust

Actress and recording artist Vanessa Williams will deliver the 2008 convocation address to bachelor's and master's degree candidates of Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) at the college's convocation ceremony on Saturday, May 10, at 3 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.

Williams, who attended CVPA's Department of Drama as a musical theater major from 1981-83, will also receive her bachelor of fine arts degree. Williams earned the remaining credits for her degree through industry experience and her substantial performances on stage and screen.

"Earning my degree from Syracuse is not just a meaningful milestone for me; it honors my parents, both of whom were educators, and our family tradition of college graduates," says Williams.

"Vanessa has triumphed in so many venues for performance -- from Broadway to film to television, in music as a recording artist and in concerts," says Maria Marrero, professor and associate director of the Department of Drama. "She has been a wonderful ambassador for our musical theater program. We are delighted to have her back to share her thoughts with our graduates."

A native New Yorker, Williams has achieved worldwide success in every area of entertainment, including the worlds of music, theater, film and television. She has sold millions of records around the world, earning multiple Grammy Award nominations and countless other awards and honors. She has starred in numerous films and television and Broadway productions, and has won or been nominated for the Emmy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image awards for her role on the hit ABC series "Ugly Betty."

CVPA is the creative center of the University. The college comprises five areas: the School of Art and Design; the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies; the Department of Drama; the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music; and the Department of Transmedia. Together, students, faculty and staff play a vital role in the academic and cultural life of the University and Syracuse communities. Learn more about the college at

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