Film Exec Pamela Abdy ’95 to Speak at 2023 Commencement
Warner Bros. executive Pamela Abdy ’95 will deliver the commencement address to Class of 2023 graduates and their families on Sunday, May 14, where she also will receive an honorary degree along with a veteran journalist, a longtime Emerson trustee, and the executive director of Kasteel Well.
Abdy serves as co-chair and CEO of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, encompassing Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, DC-based films, and Warner Animation Group. She also shares oversight of the studio’s global theatrical production, marketing, and distribution operations, which set a new high watermark for the industry early in 2022 with the record-shattering success of Oscar-nominated blockbuster The Batman. Also receiving honorary degrees during the 143rd Commencement Ceremony are award-winning journalist Meghan Irons ’90; Kasteel Well Executive Director Dulcia Meijers; and Jeff Greenhawt ’68, Emerson Trustee and Vice President/Managing Partner of Sunshine Wireless Company.
Approximately 1,047 undergraduate students will receive degrees during the Commencement Ceremony, being held at Boston University’s Agganis Arena and streamed live (emerson.edu/live) at 10:00 am. Graduate hooding ceremonies will be held Saturday, May 13, at the Emerson Paramount Center, starting at 2:00 pm.
Prior to joining Warner Bros., Abdy served as President of MGM’s Motion Picture Group, overseeing development, production, and post-production for all MGM and Orion films. Previous to that, she was Partner and Head of Film at Makeready, President of Production at New Regency, President of Scott Stuber’s Bluegrass Films, and Executive Vice President at Paramount Pictures.
She is a member of the Producers Guild of America, serves as a Governor on the Executive Board of the Executive Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and participates in The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program. She also is a board member of the Los Angeles Dance Project, founded by choreographer Benjamin Millepied.
Meghan E. Irons worked for more than two decades at the Boston Globe, contributing to some of the most consequential journalism in the region and country. She was a member of the Globe’s elite Spotlight Team, and was a lead reporter on the paper’s Valedictorians Project, a 2020 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The project led to the creation of the newspaper’s Great Divide Team, which examines race, class, and opportunities in schools. She also had a key role in the launch of the Globe’s Fresh Start and Black News Hour initiatives. A Boston native, Irons currently is an Associate Professor of the Practice of Impact Journalism at Boston University.
Art and cultural historian Dulcia Meijers has served as the Executive Director of the College’s European Center at Kasteel Well, the Netherlands, since 1992. In addition to many scholarly articles, Ms. Meijers is co-author (with B. Aikema) of the book on poverty and charity in a pre-modern society, titled: Nel Regno dei Poveri. Arte e storia dei Grandi Ospedali veneziani in età, 1474–1797 (1989), and was curator of the loan exhibition De gouden schemer van Venetie (the Golden Twilight of Venice) for the Amsterdam Museum, and author of the eponymous book: De gouden schemer van Venetie. Een portret van de Venetiaanse adel in de achttiende eeuw (1991). For over 25 years, she served on the Board of Editors for the periodical on Dutch Visual Art and Culture, The Netherlandish Yearbook, NKJ (Brill Publisher), and consulted with the city architects of Venice, Italy, on restoration projects, conducting archival research and art historical and architectural analysis of historically important buildings. Since 1986, Meijers has taught many courses at Kasteel Well in the areas of European Studies and Civilization, European Cultural History, Romantic Painting and Poetry, and European Art History. Dulcia, as she is simply known to many Castle Dwellers, continues teaching or co-teaching History of Western Art I: Renaissance and Baroque, and her favorite course, The Story behind Art: Representations of ‘Otherness’ and the ‘Cultural Other’.
Jeffrey Greenhawt was first appointed to the Emerson Board of Trustees in December 1995, serving as Chair from 2011 to 2021. Prior to that, he was Chair of Emerson College’s Board of Overseers (Advisors). He is vice president of Sunshine Wireless Company. Sunshine owns and operates media companies, which has included radio stations, radio networks, broadcast transmission towers, and Studio Center, which operates audio-video production facilities across the country.
Previous Emerson College commencement honorary degree recipients include late-night TV host Jay Leno ‘73; actor and comedian Denis Leary ’79; renowned journalist, author and host of NPR’s Weekend Edition, Scott Simon; co-creator of the hit series Friends and trustee Kevin Bright ’76; former poet laureate Billy Collins; celebrated civil rights advocate Anita Hill; Pulitzer Prize–winning author David McCullough; and 2016 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” winner, playwright, author and poet Claudia Rankine.
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