angela bassett

Angela Bassett Named Chapman University Commencement Speaker for Class of 2023

Award-winning actress, director and executive producer Angela Bassett will speak at Commencement on Friday, May 19, at Chapman University, home to Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, the No. 4 film school in the nation.

Bassett received Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards as well as Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award nominations for her role as the beloved Queen Ramonda in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” She’s also known for her performances in “Waiting to Exhale,” “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” “Boyz N the Hood,” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” for which she received a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award Nomination.

“From her portrayal of pioneering women to her personal passion to mentor and elevate filmmakers through her own production company, Angela is truly inspirational. I am excited that she will share her journey with our students as they embark upon their own career paths,” said University President Daniele C. Struppa.

Bassett will receive a Doctor of the Arts, (honoris causa) during the commencement ceremony. 

As principal of her own production company, Bassett Vance Productions, with her husband Courtney B. Vance, Bassett has a partnership with MTV Entertainment Studios, a Paramount Global Company. Their first project, “One Thousand Years of Slavery,” aired in February 2022 on the Smithsonian Channel, with additional limited series and feature film projects in the production company’s pipeline.

She has received a SAG award, an African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) Honors Award, 14 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Awards, two Golden Globe awards and a Black Girls Rock! Icon Award. She was recently honored with Time Magazine Women of the Year and Glamour Women of the Year awards. 

Apple Original Films recently announced the documentary feature “Number One on the Call Sheet: Black Leading Women in Hollywood,” directed by Shola Lynch with Bassett and Halle Berry as executive producers will debut globally on AppleTV+. Bassett recently wrapped production on the Netflix Originals feature film “Damsel,” in which she stars opposite Millie Bobby Brown.

Past Chapman University Commencement speakers include: Nobel Peace Laureate Nadia Murad, and “Stranger Things” creators Matt and Ross Duffer ’07.

About Chapman University
Founded in 1861, Chapman University is a nationally ranked private university located in Southern California. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 “high research activity” institution and offers personalized education to more than 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The campus has produced a Rhodes Scholar, been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, and hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Based in the City of Orange, Chapman also includes the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine. In 2019, the university opened its 11th college, Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler School of Engineering, in its newest facility, Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Learn more about Chapman University:


Media Contact:
Cerise Valenzuela Metzger, Director of Public Relations,
Desk: 714-289-3143 Mobile: 657-390-6760

Cerise Valenzuela Metzger

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