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Brown to Bestow Honorary Degrees on Robert De Niro, Daveed Diggs & 4 Others

Friday, April 21, 2017


Robert De Niro

Brown University will bestow honorary degrees on actor Robert De Niro and rapper Daveed Diggs during the schools 249th Commencement ceremony that is set to take place on May 28. 

Robert De Niro 

De Niro won his first Academy Award for best supporting actor for “The Godfather: Part II” in 1974. Six years later, he received the Oscar for best actor for his performance in “Raging Bull.” 

In 2009, De Niro received the Kennedy Center Honors and the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film. In 2011, he served as jury president of the Cannes Film Festival and was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globe Awards. 

He is co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival and Tribeca Enterprises, a diversified global media company based in New York City. 

Daveed Diggs

Daveed Diggs 

Diggs rose to fame on the New York theatre scene following Tony-winning performance in the roles of Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway sensation “Hamilton.” For these roles, Diggs also earned a Lucille Lortel Award for best supporting actor. 

He is currently guest starring on ABC’s “Blackish” and will appear in HBO’s mockumentary “Tour de Pharmacy” alongside Andy Samberg and Will Forte.

Currently, he is producing a comedy pilot for ABC. Diggs earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown in 2004 with a theatre arts concentration.

Diggs will deliver the Baccalaureate address to the Class of 2017 on Saturday afternoon in the Meeting House of the First Baptist Church in America. 

Other Honorary Degrees 

Brown will bestow four other honorary degrees during the ceremony. 

Recipients of those degreed include visual science expert Donald Hood, businesswoman Indra Nooyi, business executive Richard Parsons and poet Rosmarie Waldrop. 


Related Slideshow: 15 Famous Brown Graduates

Here are some famous Brown graduates, some of whom came from privilege while others came from acting backgrounds. 

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John F. Kennedy, Jr.

Class of 1983

B.A., American History

Son of President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

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Amy Carter


Was pursuing a degree in Womens's Studies

Daughter of former President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter 

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John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Class of 1897

Son of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. 

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Alexandra Forbes Kerry

Class of 2002

B.A., Anthropology, Modern Culture and Media

Daughter of John Kerry

Prev Next

Eva Amurri

Class of 2007

B.A., Italian Studies

Daughter of Susan Sarandon and director Franco Amurri

Prev Next

Sasha Spielberg

Class of 2012

Daughter of director Steven Spielberg and actress Kate Capshaw

Prev Next

Lucy DeVito

Class of 2009

B.A., Theatre Arts


Daughter of actors Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman

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Scout Willis

Class of 2014

B.A., Literary Arts

Daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore

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Kate Burton

Class of 1979

B.A., Russian studies and European history

Daughter of Richard Burton


Prev Next

Dhani Harrison

Class of 2001

B.A., Visual Arts

Son of George Harrison

Photo by Susan Beals

Prev Next

Chloe Malle

Class of 2008

B.A., Literary Arts and Comparative Literature

Daughter of Candice Bergen and the late director Louis Malle

Social Editor, Vogue

Prev Next

Princess Theodora

Class of 2006

B.A., Theatre Arts

Princess of Greece and Denmark

Daughter of former King Constantine II of Greece and Anne-Marie of Denmark.

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Emma Watson

Class of 2014

B.A., English Literature

Actress, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Prev Next

Leila Pahlavi

B.A., Comparative Literature

Class of 1992

Daughter of the exiled Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran

Prev Next

John Krasinski

B.A., English Literature

Class of 2001

Actor, The Office


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