April 4, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University’s 161st Commencement will be Sunday, May 1 at 1 p.m. on the Eckley Quadrangle, with nearly 460 graduates expected to participate. During the ceremonies, honorary doctor of humane letters degrees will be presented to poet and Guggenheim Fellow Linda Gregerson and Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Almudena Carracedo.
Gregerson, a 2007 National Book Award finalist, will deliver the address “Just in Time” for the ceremony after receiving her honorary doctorate from Board of Trustees Chair George Vinyard. The poet has an abiding connection to Illinois Wesleyan through her daughter, who will graduate with the class of 2011.
The Caroline Walker Bynum Distinguished University Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, Gregerson teaches creative writing and Renaissance literature. A celebrated poet, Gregerson’s works include Magnetic North (Houghton Mifflin, 2007), Waterborne (Houghton Mifflin, 2002) and The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep (Houghton Mifflin, 1998). Magnetic North was a finalist for the National Book Award, and she won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for Waterborne. The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep was a finalist for both The Poet’s Prize and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize.
An Illinois native, Gregerson earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, a master’s degree from Northwestern University, a master of fine arts degree from The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a doctorate from Stanford University.
Gregerson has been honored with awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Poetry Society of America, and the Modern Poetry Association. She is the recipient of the Levinson Prize from Poetry magazine, the Consuelo Ford Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Isabel MacCaffrey Award from the Spenser Society of America and a Pushcart Prize. She has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Humanities Center and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Carracedo is the director and producer of the documentary Made in L.A (2007), which she brought to campus in 2009. The film, which chronicles the struggle of immigrant women working in a sweatshop in Los Angeles, won numerous awards, including an Emmy for Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story-Long Form, the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film and Digital Media from the Council on Foundations and the 2009 Hillman Award in Broadcast Journalism.
Born in Madrid, Spain, where she studied film studies and television, Carracedo honed her craft directing television for France’s Canal Plus Network, and won the 2003 Sterling Award for Best Short Documentary Award at the American Film Institute-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival for her film Welcome: A Docu-journey of Impressions (2002). She was named the 2008 winner of the Estela Award from the National Association of Latino Independent Producers.
During the Commencement ceremony, University President Richard F. Wilson will also honor three professors who have been named to endowed professorships and chairs. Endowed professorships and chairs honor faculty members who have distinguished themselves in terms of teaching, research and service. Professor of Biology R. Given Harper will be honored as the George C. and Ella Beach Lewis Endowed Chair of Biology, Professor of Religion Carole Myscofski will be honored the McFee Professor of Religion and Professor of Hispanic Studies and Chair of the Hispanic Studies Department Carolyn Nadeau will be honored as the inaugural Byron S. Tucci Professor.
Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960