2013 Graduate Commencement Addres

Debbie Allen

Debbie Allen, actress, choreographer, television director, and producer, delivers the 2013 graduate address. Allen is best known for her role as dance instructor Lydia Grant on the television show Fame. Her directing and producing credits for television include The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Quantum Leap, Everybody Hates Chris, and Grey’s Anatomy. She also produced the Oscar-nominated Steven Spielberg film Amistad. Her portrayal of Anita in the Tony Award-winning revival of West Side Story won her the coveted Drama Desk award as best Actress in a Musical. She has been Artist-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center for over 15 years developing major works, representing America as Cultural Ambassador for Dance. Allen devotes much of her time to arts education for young people around the world through the art of dance and theater arts. She is the founder of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, a non-profit organization in Los Angeles.