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Actor, Activist Tim Daly ‘79 to Deliver Commencement Address

Apr 11, 2011
Bennington is pleased to announce that actor, director, producer, and activist Tim Daly '79 will address this year's graduating class at the College's 76th commencement dinner on Friday, June 3, at 7:00 p.m. on Commons Lawn.

Currently starring as Dr. Pete Wilder on ABC's Private Practice, Daly earned a 2007 Emmy nomination for his portrayal of addict J.T. in HBO's The Sopranos, and received a 2001 SAG Award nomination for his starring role on CBS's The Fugitive. For performances on the stage, he has received both Theatre World and Dramalogue awards. His films include Basic, Diner, and Bereft, which he co-directed and produced.

Daly produced the Barry Levinson-directed film Poliwood, an in-depth documentary on the collision between celebrity, politics and media, as seen through the 2008 presidential election. He received the Peabody Award and the Humanitas Prize for the film Edge of America, the 2004 Sundance Film Festival opener, and produced and starred in Showtime's Execution of Justice, for which he won a 2000 GLAAD award. Last year, Daly directed the PSA "Watch What You Watch" which received a 2011 Gracie Award.

Daly currently serves as co-president of The Creative Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan social and political advocacy organization that educates leaders in the arts community on issues of public importance, specifically First Amendment rights, arts advocacy, and public education.

"I can't think of a more fitting person to address this year's graduating class than Tim Daly," said Bennington President Elizabeth Coleman. "The way Tim has leveraged his prolific acting career to become a leader around pressing public issues lends a valuable example of the role artists can play in designing solutions to the challenges we're facing, not just cheering one side or another as has often been their fate. It's wonderful to welcome Tim back to his alma mater at a time when this issue—how one combines personal ambition with public responsibility, whatever one is doing—is very much on Bennington's mind."

Daly, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre at Bennington, is this year's Olesen Lecturer. Named in memory of one of Bennington's most dedicated alumnae, the Candace DeVries Olesen '50 Lectureship for Distinguished Alumni was established to bring prominent Bennington alumni back to campus to engage with students and the community at large.