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End of Year Letter from Executive Director Geoff Korf

Submitted by Hillary Long on June 16, 2022 - 9:19am

Dear Friends,

As I write this, the University of Washington, has just completed a weekend of commencement at Husky Stadium, holding graduation ceremonies for three years of graduates (classes of ’20, ’21, & ’22) over two days. On Saturday, for the class of ’22, the keynote commencement address was given by Ron Simons, an alumnus of the School of Drama. Ron completed his MFA in Acting in 2001 and went on to an unprecedented career as an actor and Tony-award-winning producer. Ron spoke openly about many challenges he faced and emphasized three principles that he leaned upon in his lifetime: faith, passion, and fearlessness. In this Newsletter you will find an article about Ron that was written before graduation and you can also watch the webcast of Saturday’s commencement here. (Ron is introduced about 2 hours and 20 minutes after the start of the video).

I’ve been reflecting deeply on Ron’s speech and particularly about faith. In the speech Ron shared that faith had saved him. Over time, he came to realize that his job was to work as hard as he could, to focus on the task at hand, and to leave the rest up to the universe. Hasn’t this kind of faith been carrying so many of us through the past two years? And when you consider it more deeply, isn’t faith at play when we decide to pursue a career in the arts? Or to become teachers or students of the arts?

I feel proud that in this end-of-year newsletter, we can share with you so many stories of the extraordinary people associated with the School of Drama. It includes highlights of Drama alumni from ’74, ’96, ’01, ’16, and ’22. If you look closely, I think you’ll see in many of them, the echoing refrains of fearlessness, passion, and faith.


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