Actress Kerry Washington, perhaps known for her portrayal as 'Olivia Pope' on the hit television drama 'Scandal' will address graduates of the George Washington University at its commencement on the National Mall, Sunday, May 19, 2013. Ms. Washington graduated magna cum laude in 1998. A member of Phi Beta Kappa from the university, she formerly served as a member of the GW Board of Trustees. She will receive an honorary degree and deliver remarks to an estimated 25,000 graduates and guests.
“I am delighted that Ms. Washington has agreed to give the Commencement Address,” said George Washington President Steven Knapp, noting that she is emblematic of GW’s commitment to the arts. “She has captured the imagination of our students, and they will benefit greatly, as they head out into the world, from hearing her perspective both as an alumna and as a highly successful actor on stage, in film and on television.”
The recipient of numerous awards, the actress earned the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her performance in “Ray” in 2004. She also received NAACP Image Award nominations for her performances in the 2006 film “The Last King of Scotland” and the 2010 film “Night Catches Us.” Her performance in the 2008 film “Lakeview Terrace” earned her a Best Actress nomination at the BET Awards.More recently, Ms. Washington broke barriers by becoming the first African American woman to a headline a network TV show since the 1974 short-lived series “Get Christie Love.” The ABC drama “Scandal” continues to receive high acclaim from both critics and fans.
The show is currently in its second season. Ms. Washington won a NAACP Image Award for her portrayal of Olivia Pope in 2013. The show won a 2013 NAACP Image Award as well. An activist, Ms. Washington was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. She also is an active member of the V-Counsel, an esteemed group of advisors to V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls.