Chestertown, MD, April 21, 2003 — Actress Linda Hamilton will be the keynote speaker at Washington College's 221st Commencement on Sunday, May 18, 2003. In recognition of her accomplishments on stage and screen, Hamilton will receive an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts. Alumnus Roy P. Ans '63 also will be honored with the Alumni Citation of Excellence, presented by the Washington College Alumni Association in recognition of meritorious service to the College. Commencement begins at 10:30 a.m. on the campus lawn (in case of rain, Cain Gymnasium). The ceremony will be simulcast in the Tawes Theatre of the Gibson Performing Arts Center.
Among the highlights of this day are the announcement of the George Washington Medal and Award, the highest academic honor bestowed by the College, and the Sophie Kerr Prize—the largest undergraduate literary prize in the nation. A talented graduating senior will receive a check for $61,000 this year, the 36th year that the prize has been awarded.
On the stage and screen, Hamilton is an icon of feminine beauty, physical strength and psychological fortitude. Whether she appears in blockbuster films or independents, in psychological thrillers or romantic comedies, her acting resonates with intelligence and compassion. Best known for her performances the critically acclaimed Terminator movies, Hamilton has a deep connection to the Eastern Shore and to Chestertown. Born in Salisbury, Hamilton began acting at an early age, inspired by her parents' love for the arts. “My mother took some of her fake costume jewelry apart and made a crown for me. I swear I found myself. I'll never forget the joy of that crown,” she recalled from a childhood appearance as Sleeping Beauty. From those early experiences, she says, “acting decided to have its way with me. I loved it; I always loved it.”
After graduating high school in 1974, Hamilton enrolled in two acting classes at Washington College, where she performed in student productions and became involved with the Kent Players, a community theatre group. After two years, she decided to go to New York where she joined the famous Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and studied Method Acting. After appearing in numerous student stage productions, she made her professional debut with a small role on the daytime television drama Search for Tomorrow. In 1979 she moved to California to pursue screen and television acting and got her first big break in 1984, when she played the part of Sarah Connor in James Cameron's The Terminator. From 1987 to 1989, she came to fame as Catherine Chandler in the popular television drama Beauty and the Beast. The show earned her Emmy, Golden Globe, and People's Choice Awards nominations, and in 1989, Hamilton returned to Washington College to receive an Alumni Citation at the College's 207th Commencement.
In 1990, Hamilton reprised her role as Sarah Connor in Terminator 2, and since has appeared in several movies for both screen and television, including A Mother's Prayer (1995), for which she received a Cable Ace Award and a Golden Globe nomination, Dante's Peak (1997)—earning her a Blockbuster Award—and the 1999 drama The Color of Courage for which she garnered a 2000 Golden Satellite Award.
Hamilton's latest projects include stage as well as screen, appearing in Final Questions, a play by Blanche Roberts, and in Lou Shaw's Worse Than Murder, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Between her stage projects she shot the short film Wholey Moses, which debuted this past February, and the television movie Silent Night, which aired in December. Currently, Hamilton and her children live in Malibu, CA.
Alumni Citation recipient Roy P. Ans, M.D. '63 spent much of his career ushering new babies into the world, and, since retirement from his ob-gyn practice, has been helping the College usher is a new era of science education. As a high school senior from Long Island, NY, Ans heard about a small college on Maryland's Eastern Shore from his biology teacher. He enrolled as a chemistry major and learned the approach to scientific investigation that put him on the path to success in the medical profession. He graduated with distinction, attended medical school at New York Medical College, and developed a highly successful obstetrics and gynecology practice in Florida.
Since his retirement in 1992, Ans has turned his energy toward his alma mater, playing an active role as a generous supporter of the College's summer undergraduate research program, as well as contributing to various capital projects. Twice he has chaired the Annual Fund, continues to help with admissions efforts in Florida, and has offered valuable insights as a member of the Visiting Committee. Now he is playing a leadership role in raising funds for the College's new science building. His dedication to Washington College is helping to raise a new generation of students committed to advancing scientific knowledge for the benefit of humanity.