Georgia State University (GSU) presented Hollywood notable and
part-time Atlanta resident Robert Townsend with an Honorary Degree
in Arts and Letters during the commencement ceremony on Saturday,
December 16, 2006. Townsend also addressed the graduates and guests
during the ceremony.
"We are honoring Robert Townsend with this honorary degree
for his ongoing dedication to arts and entertainment education at
Georgia State University and his continued commitment to the entertainment
industry in the state," said GSU President Dr. Carl Patton.
For the past year Townsend has served as Artist-in-Residence at
the Digital Arts Entertainment Lab (DAEL) at GSU. In this role,
Townsend taught two master classes in directing, and assisted with
script development for television shows and treatments for film
projects. He also critiqued student films and other productions
and represented DAEL in regional and national meetings with media
have enjoyed my affiliation with Kay [Beck, DAEL Director] and DAEL,"
said Townsend. "Receiving an honorary degree from the university
furthers what was destined to be a long lasting relationship."
"With his many contacts and credits in Hollywood, Robert has
been a great contributor to our effort in the DAEL. We value his
advice, his artistic judgment, and his interest in working with
creative young people," added Beck. "He is a remarkable
talent and an enthusiastic supporter."
DAEL hosted a reception to celebrate the occasion at the DAEL Studio
in downtown Atlanta. The packed event included many local industry
leaders including Beck, IMAGE Executive director Gabe Wardell, new
Georgia Film Video & Music Commissioner Bill Thompson, and Georgia
Film Commission members.
DAEL is a high-end production and research laboratory where students,
faculty, media researchers and representatives from the private
sector study consumer behavior and explore markets for their advanced
digital production and, post-production projects. With support from
the Georgia Research Alliance, the Lab promotes original content
creation in Georgia.
Beck serves as Executive Producer on these projects, many of which
have already won national awards including an Emmy for A Sweet
A television project currently shooting at DAEL is a reality show
based on lifestyles of hip-hop artists and producers.