Meryl Streep to receive honorary IU degree while visiting campus for lecture, film series

  • Feb. 24, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Actress Meryl Streep will receive an honorary doctoral degree during an April visit to Indiana University's Bloomington campus, where she is expected to speak at IU Auditorium and screen a retrospective of her films at IU Cinema.

Widely regarded as one of America's best living film actors, Streep has received 18 Academy Award nominations and 28 Golden Globe nominations, more than any other actor in the history of either award. She has won three Academy Awards and eight Golden Globe Awards.

She is also a Hoosier by marriage; her husband, sculptor Don Gummer, grew up in Indiana and attended Ben Davis High School before studying at the Herron School of Art and Design in the 1960s. Gummer has several public art installations in the state, including on the Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses of Indiana University. In 2010, Streep served as a keynote speaker for the Colloquium for Women of Indiana University's fall workshop, part of the IU Women's Philanthropy Initiative.

"Indiana University is delighted to recognize Meryl Streep, one of our nation's greatest living actors, for her extraordinary talents, her highly visible place in the arts and her role as a powerful advocate for women, as well as for her longstanding connection to our institution," IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. "Through conferral of this honorary doctoral degree, we not only welcome her to the IU family but pay tribute to her remarkable contributions to cinema and to the fabric of American culture while also recognizing our own rich academic traditions in film and theater."

Streep will receive her honorary degree during a ceremony in the beginning of her Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture at 3 p.m. April 16 at IU Auditorium. The interview-format lecture will be led by Barbara Klinger, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Communication and Culture. The lecture is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets are available beginning March 3 at the IU Auditorium box office, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is a limit of four tickets per person for the lecture.

"Meryl Streep has established herself as one of the leading actors in cinema as well as an international ambassador for the art form. She believes in the transformative power of art, which has influenced the choices she has made regarding her roles," IU Cinema director Jon Vickers said. "There is not another living actor who is more respected by the industry, colleagues, critics and audiences. Given IU's longstanding tradition in film studies, its unique and impressive archival film holdings that have received international recognition, academic courses that incorporate film across campus, and the 2011 opening of IU Cinema, the timing is perfect to present our university's highest honor to this film icon."

IU Cinema will also screen a partial retrospective of Streep's work in film:

  • 7 p.m. April 7, "The Iron Lady" -- This portrait of Margaret Thatcher, the United Kingdom's first and only female prime minister, won Streep an Academy Award.
  • 6:30 p.m. April 13, "Silkwood" -- A woman discovers a corporate cover-up of radiation leaks in the plutonium processing plant where she works.
  • 7 p.m. April 15, "August: Osage County" -- The strong-willed women of the Weston family come back to the Midwest house they grew up in after a family crisis looms.
  • 7 p.m. April 16, "A Prairie Home Companion" -- Streep and Lily Tomlin star as the Johnson Sisters, a country duet that has survived the county-fair circuit.
  • 6:30 p.m. April 17, "Sophie's Choice" -- Streep received an Academy Award for her portrayal in this drama set in 1947 post-World War II Brooklyn.
  • 6:30 p.m. April 27, "Music of the Heart" -- A single mother with talent and determination teaches violin to students in a tough inner-city neighborhood.
  • 3 p.m. May 3, "Fantastic Mr. Fox" -- Streep voices Mrs. Fox, whose idyllic home life is disrupted when her husband slips back into his old ways as a sneaky chicken thief.

Streep is expected to be present for the screening of "A Prairie Home Companion," and tickets for that film become available March 3. There is a limit of two tickets per person for all films in the series.

Tickets to all films in the series are $3 each, with the exception of "Fantastic Mr. Fox," where tickets for audience members 12 and younger are free. Tickets can be obtained at the IU Auditorium Box Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; one hour before any screening at the cinema; or by phone at 812-855-1103 for a $10 service fee per order.

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep | Photo by Brigitte Lacombe

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Jon Vickers

  • IU Cinema
  • Office 812-855-7632