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John Goodman to receive MSU honorary doctorate

Friday, December 14, 2012

Missouri State University will grant its 15th honorary doctorate to actor and alumnus John Goodman. The degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.), in recognition of his extraordinary achievements in the area of the humanities, will be conferred on him during spring commencement on May 17, 2013.*

The nomination was approved today (Dec. 14) by the Missouri State University Board of Governors following recommendations from the Faculty Senate and President Clif Smart.

Goodman has distinguished himself by his contributions to the area of humanities and has continued his involvement with and support of Missouri State University by delivering public service announcements, donating to multiple scholarships, speaking to students and classes as a guest celebrity, joining the Tent Theatre 50 for 50th Club, and supporting both theatre and athletic activities.

In his home state of Missouri, Goodman was instrumental in the building of a new athletic complex for his high school alma mater in Affton, as well as the Lighthouse Children’s Theatre in El Dorado Springs.

After the devastation in New Orleans, Goodman contributed his own resources, time and talent to Hurricane Katrina relief, in addition to hosting an important fundraiser that contributed more than $100,000 to victims of Hurricane Katrina. His contributions and civic leadership were also prominent in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the “Be the One” campaign for Restore the Gulf.

“We are very excited about an MSU alum being awarded the honorary doctorate,” said Dr. Cynthia Hail, chair of the Honorary Doctorate Selection Committee. “John Goodman has been an important ambassador for our university and a frequent benefactor in many ways. Equally important, John has been a generous humanitarian with his time and talents for the Katrina efforts, the Gulf Oil clean-up and to his home state of Missouri. We will look forward to his participation at spring commencement.”

The first Missouri State University honorary doctorate was awarded in 2003. The purpose of the award is to recognize extraordinary achievements by distinguished citizens in hope of encouraging others. Previous recipients are Sister Lorraine Biebel, Harold Bengsch, David Harrison, Pat Walker, Annie Busch, Jim Craig, Nancy Brown Dornan, Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Jan Horton, Pattie Penny, Calvin Allen, Gordon McCann, Dr. Bert Park and Shawn Askinosie.

* Due to a scheduling conflict, Goodman will receive his honorary degree at the New Student Convocation in August.


About Missouri State University
Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive metropolitan system with a statewide mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons. The university’s identity is distinguished by its public affairs mission, which entails a campus-wide commitment to foster expertise and responsibility in ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement.

Media Contact

  • Dr. Cynthia Hail
  • (417) 836-6065


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