New York University President John Sexton today bestowed an honorary doctorate on the actor Michael J. Fox at NYUs 176th Commencement Exercises in Yankee Stadium. Over 25,000 graduates, faculty, staff, and guests attended the morning ceremony.
The following citation was read in conferring the Doctor of Fine Arts degree, honoris causa, on Michael J. Fox:
Michael J. Fox-a professional actor in your native Canada by the age of 15, you moved to Los Angeles three years later and at the ripe old age of 21 began your spectacular TV run as Alex P. Keaton on NBCs Family Ties, earning three Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, and the distinction of being one of the nations most prominent young actors. Returning to series television in 1996, as New Yorks deputy mayor Michael Flaherty with ABCs Spin City, you were showered with three more Golden Globes, another Emmy, a GQ Man-of-the-Year Award, a Peoples Choice Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. Easily moving between television and film and comedy and drama, you are an international film star, appearing in over a dozen features, including the Back to the Future trilogy, Casualties of War, The Hard Way, and The American President. A fierce and eloquent force in fighting Parkinsons Disease, from which you suffer, you are its major and magnificent philanthropist. Through the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research, which you launched in 2000, you have funded over $115 million for research and significantly raised national awareness of the disease. You continue to turn in stellar performances even as your memoir, Lucky Man, is a national bestseller.
Michael J. Fox-acclaimed actor and revered humanitarian, you are a grand inspiration on the screen and in our lives. By virtue of the authority vested in me by New York University, I am pleased to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa.