Among a university president, American studies scholar; an anthropologist, feminist scholar; a business executive, civic leader; an atmospheric chemist; and an astronaut, geoscientist, comedic actress Tracee Ellis Ross was one of six recipients to receive an honorary doctorate from Brown University.
The “Black-ish” actress, who also starred on “Girlfriends,” graduated from Brown in 1994.
“Call me Dr. Ross! I was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Brown University, my alma mater, and I am humbled and thrilled! I know I’m not really a doctor now but I won’t belittle a moment like this. It was a moving and exciting weekend!” Ross wrote about the honor.
Her individual citation is reprinted below:
Award-winning actress, performance artist, and motivational speaker, you have parlayed your creativity, wit, and irreverent sense of humor into a successful career in entertainment. Since your breakout role in the television show “Girlfriends,” you have charmed audiences and displayed grace, talent and a strong sense of self. Whether you are onstage, on the small or big screen, or embodying your “alter egos” at New York Fashion Week, your work combines detailed knowledge of human nature with boldness to create characters that are unforgettable. With the recent success of your new ABC comedy show “Black-ish,” your reach has grown to include an even wider audience. As a result, your passion for facilitating self-expression and broadening the definition of what is beautiful is affecting more people. As a motivational speaker, you are dedicated to helping others, and in particular, teenage girls, find their inner strength, confidence, and pathways to satisfaction. In addition, your love of fashion helps you find common ground with women of all backgrounds and provide heartfelt advice about maintaining your personal style in a world that is full of imitation. For your original portrayals of interesting and eccentric characters, your willingness to be a mentor and inspiration to young girls, and your continued desire to push the boundaries of imagination in a variety of media, we honor you with the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa.