Close, Shaw to accept Cheek Medal Award at College

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August 22, 2013

3:41 AM

The College of William and Mary’s most decorated actress, Glenn Close ’74, will return to campus this September to receive an alumni award and to connect with current theater students.

While visiting the College, Close will participate in the second annual Arts and Entertainment Conference to receive the Cheek Medal Award for her contribution to the arts.

“Glenn, of course, is one of our most gifted and distinguished alumnae and a beneficiary of the extraordinary teaching done in William & Mary’s theatre, speech and dance department,” College President Taylor Reveley said in a press release.

The conference is the product of one of the alumni Arts and Entertainment council’s goals — to help students in the arts make connections and further their careers.

“We have a massive number of alumni working in theatre, film, arts, entertainment,” Co-Chair of the Arts and Entertainment Council Liz Olson ’07 said. “There are so many of us, and I don’t know if we are necessarily recognized for that. We have so many alumni in the arts, but William and Mary isn’t necessarily known for that.”

During Close’s three day stay on campus — September 26-29 — she plans to meet with students and faculty in the theater, speech, dance and film departments, teach a master class and hold a discussion with students about translating a liberal arts degree into a film career.

Close’s husband, David Shaw — who serves as Executive-in-Residence at the Mason School of Business — will also be presented with the Cheek Award. Shaw will meet with MBA and undergraduate students to discuss entrepreneurship while on campus.

Arts and Entertainment Council Board of Directors Member Jimmy Finn ’00 said he hopes Close’s visit will serve as encouragement for students.

“Having Glenn Close receive the award is a no-brainer because we want students to see the model she has laid out,” Finn said. “She started at the same place all [College] students have started, and she’s able to make a living and create quality work.”

While a student in Williamsburg, Close was a double major in theater and anthropology and performed in many on-campus productions. Today, she is an award-winning actress, producer and film writer.

“I’m thrilled to be going back to William & Mary — thirty-nine years after graduating,” Close said in a press release. “What I learned at W&M has sustained me through my adult life and kept me curious about many things other than my own profession.”

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Ariel Cohen

Senior Staff Writer Ariel Cohen '14 is a sociology major from Arlington, Va. She was previously Chief Staff Writer, News Editor, and Associate News Editor.