Award-winning actress and William & Mary alumna Glenn Close ’74 and her biotech entrepreneur husband, David Shaw, will receive the university’s 2013 Cheek Medal Award for their monumental contributions to the arts as part of a series of events held Sept. 26-29. Close will also headline the second annual Arts & Entertainment Festival.
The Cheek Medal is a national arts award given by William & Mary to those who have contributed significantly to the field of museum, performing or visual arts. It is presented by William & Mary’s Muscarelle Museum of Art.
“It is quite wonderful that Glenn Close and David Shaw will be in our midst to receive the Cheek Medal for their extraordinary contributions to the arts,” said President Taylor Reveley. “Glenn, of course, is one of our most gifted and distinguished alumnae and a beneficiary of the extraordinary teaching done in William & Mary’s theatre, speech and dance department. And David is an established art collector and lifelong practitioner of the art of business and social entrepreneurship.”
While on campus, Close will meet with students and faculty from theatre, speech & dance and film & media studies. She will teach a theatre master class, and have a discussion of translating a liberal arts degree into a film career. Shaw, who is serving as Executive-in-Residence at the Mason School of Business, will visit the Design Studio and meet with W&M MBA and undergraduate students, as well as business and science faculty to discuss topics such as social entrepreneurship and creativity in business.
"I'm thrilled to be going back to William & Mary – thirty-nine years after graduating. And I'm very proud to be able to show my husband, David Shaw, the campus that I love so much and to be receiving the Cheek Award as a couple. What I learned at W&M has sustained me through my adult life and kept me curious about many things other than my own profession. David and I are looking forward to meeting students, faculty and the community-at-large and hope we can have a fun and delicious dialogue."
Close graduated from William & Mary with a double major in theatre and anthropology. She performed in numerous productions while at the university, including “The Common Glory,” "The Seagull" and "Anything Goes." She is a six-time Academy Award nominee and has starred in movies such as “Fatal Attraction,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” “101 Dalmatians,” “The Natural,” and “Albert Nobbs,” which she co-produced and co-wrote. Recently, she completed filming two independent features “5 to 7” and “Low Down,” and will soon begin filming “Guardians of the Galaxy.” She has won three Emmys, most recently for her lead role in the television series “Damages.” Her other awards include three Tonys, an Obie, two Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
David Shaw’s career has included entrepreneurial business leadership, public service, strategy consulting, teaching and investment management. He is founder of IDEXX, a worldwide leader in the development and commercialization of innovative technology-based products and services for veterinary, food and water applications. He currently serves on the board of the National Park Foundation, and as a Treasurer of AAAS – the world’s largest general scientific association. He is the founding chair of the Sargasso Sea Alliance for ocean conservation, and an advisor to Discovery Communications. He has served as a Senior Fellow at the Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a member of the selection committee for the school’s leadership role modeling program, called America’s Best Leaders. Other public service affiliations have included the Jackson Laboratory, the U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Committee, Service Nation, the Maine Medical Center and Hurricane Island Outward Bound. He is also an enthusiastic collector of contemporary art. Shaw and Close were recognized with the inaugural Maine Creative Industries Award in September 2012 for their excellence in art, innovation and enterprise.
In spring 2012, a group of alumni created the Arts & Entertainment Alumni Council to connect alumni working in theatre, film, television, music, and the fine arts in a meaningful way. In fall 2012, they hosted the first Arts & Entertainment Festival. This year’s festival theme is “The Show of Business.” Close’s session will feature a Q&A and discussion about her career and roles in film and theatre.
“By taking part in the Arts & Entertainment Festival and sharing her experience with students and other alumni, Glenn will have the opportunity to impart the lessons she's learned as an actor, director, producer and creator with those who started right where she did,” said Jimmy Finn ’00, a television executive and member of the A&E Council’s Board of Directors. “Her visit to campus will be special. She’s a role model for students and alumni alike, and I can't think of a better example of a career worth emulating.”
Aaron De Groft ’88, director of the Muscarelle, said the museum is “beyond thrilled” to present the Cheek medal to Close and Shaw.
“The Muscarelle Museum of Art is very proud to honor one of our own, Glenn Close, who is a brilliant actress of film, stage and television and her husband, David Shaw, an innovative business leader in technology, creativity and public service,” said De Groft.
Previous winners of the Cheek Medal include six-time Tony Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long ’69; legendary faculty member and the late Howard Scammon ’34 from the Department of Theatre, Speech and Dance; David Crank ’82, an Academy Award-winning Art Director in major films; Fred Wilson, a cutting-edge conceptual and visual artist in New York; and major museum professionals such as David Alan Brown of the National Gallery in Washington, and Everett Fahy from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
About the Cheek Award
In 1986, Leslie Cheek Jr., created an endowment for the establishment of an award for “excellence in and outstanding presentation of the arts.” A noted architect, designer and leader, he was the founder of the Department of Fine Arts at William & Mary. He served as director of Baltimore Museum of Art and later as director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, bringing the museum to national prominence.
Cheek proposed that William & Mary establish a Department of Fine Arts, making it one of the first schools in the United States to do so. William & Mary was the first College in America to offer arts and arts-related classes in the eighteenth century.