Honorary Degree Citation
Rocco Landesman. The Producers. Into the Woods. M. Butterfly. Angels in America. The Who’s Tommy. Proof. The Secret Garden. These are only a few of the many Broadway hits produced by you and your Jujamcyn Theaters organization, which also has garnered a long list of Tony awards and nominations. Noted for your intellect, acumen, and ability to see the possibilities, you have been a catalyst for change on Broadway. As president of the third-largest Broadway theater organization you have assembled an award-winning creative team that has changed the way plays are produced in America’s most prestigious theater district. Your encouragement of young playwrights and other new talent is an essential part of your winning formula. Your passion for theater, business, and the business of theater energized the Broadway community and is largely responsible for enticing a younger and more diverse audience to the Great White Way. As a civic leader, you are an active board member of The Municipal Art Society, The Actor’s Fund, and the Times Square Improvement District. You also have a love of learning. You attended Colby in the Class of 1969, the University of Wisconsin, and Yale University. At the Yale School of Drama you studied dramatic literature and criticism with your mentor and friend Robert Brustein. After achieving your doctor of fine arts degree you taught at Yale for three years. In 1994 you founded the Landesman Scholarship Fund at Colby to support students from New York City. Your intuition, innovative management style, and ability to pick winners ensure your place as a leader in the revitalization of the American theater.
By the authority of the Board of Trustees of Colby College, I confer upon you, Rocco Landesman, the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa. The hood with which you have been invested and this diploma which I place in your hand are visible symbols of your membership in this society of scholars, to all the rights and privileges of which I declare you entitled.
Conferred May 22, 2005
Rocco Landesman ’69 is president of the Jujamcyn Theaters in New York City. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with an M.F.A.from Yale University, where he taught dramatic literature and criticism. After founding a mutual fund and assembling a barn of thoroughbred race horses in the late 1970s and early ’80s, he turned to theater production with Big River, a Tony Award-winning musical based on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He took the Jujamcyn position 16 years ago, and under his presidency the theaters have enjoyed remarkable success, with shows such as the critically acclaimed Angels in America, The Producers, Doubt, Urinetown, and Caroline, or Change.