Press Release / June 1

John Malkovich takes the stage at SCAD's 2017 commencement ceremonies


Acclaimed thespian and clothing designer to address graduates at the university’s celebrated Georgia campuses June 3, 2017

SAVANNAH, Georgia — The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is pleased to announce that John Malkovich will address its largest graduating class during commencement ceremonies on Saturday, June 3.

"Actor, director, clothing designer, storyteller. John Malkovich lives a life of distinct brilliance and intentional artistry," said SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace. "His knowledge and experience is vast, his achievements multiform. SCAD is overjoyed to welcome John as our 2017 SCAD Commencement speaker."

Malkovich will address graduates at the university’s Savannah and Atlanta campuses – his first time delivering a commencement address to a university. In Savannah, he will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters. In Atlanta, he will receive the SCAD Étoile in recognition of his work across a spectrum of creative disciplines including fashion, film, television, and performing arts. Étoile, which means "star in the sky" in French, connotes brilliance, luminosity and glamour. The SCAD Étoile is a tribute to the biggest and brightest stars of fashion, style and design, and recognizes trendsetting, innovative leaders for their monumental contributions to their fields.

Malkovich's career as an artistic polymath speaks directly to the vitality of more than 100 degree programs offered at SCAD, including film and television, cinema studies, dramatic writing, fashion, fashion marketing and management, fibers, performing arts and writing.

In Savannah, SCAD will also present an honorary doctorate of humane letters to Michael Buzzard, a design manager at Google. In Atlanta, SCAD will present an honorary doctorate of humane letters to technology entrepreneur Christopher Klaus.

The SCAD Class of 2017 is the largest in the university's history, with more than 2,400 graduates to cross the stage in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia, and Hong Kong. SCAD alumni consistently secure career success upon graduation. Most recently, 98 percent of SCAD Spring 2016 alumni responding to a survey were employed, pursuing further education or both within ten months of graduation.

John Gavin Malkovich

With a body of work spanning decades, industry legend John Malkovich is one of the most compelling minds in entertainment. His celebrated performances span every genre and range from roles in thought-provoking independent films to those in big-budget franchises. In addition to being an accomplished actor, Malkovich is also a director, producer, clothing designer and artist.

Born in Christopher, Illinois, Malkovich began his career as a charter member of the Chicago-based Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Between 1976 and 1982, he acted in, directed or designed sets for more than 50 Steppenwolf productions — including his role in True West, for which he won an Obie Award. Malkovich made his Broadway debut as Biff Loman alongside Dustin Hoffman in Death of a Salesman. He won an Emmy for the same role in the CBS television adaptation.

On the big screen, Malkovich's recent roles include Bob Hunter in Lionsgate's upcoming thriller Unlocked; Vidrine in Peter Berg’s Deepwater Horizon; and zany ex-CIA agent Marvin Boggs in Red. Previous acclaimed film credits include Spike Jonze’s meta classic Being John Malkovich; Stephen Frears' Dangerous Liaisons; Gary Sinise's Of Mice and Men; Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun; Paul Newman's The Glass Menagerie; Roland Joffe's The Killing Fields; and Wolfgang Petersen's In the Line of Fire and Robert Benton's Places in the Heart — both of which earned him nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

In 1998, Malkovich co-created the production company Mr. Mudd, whose debut film was the celebrated cult picture Ghost World. Malkovich followed this with his own feature directorial debut, The Dancer Upstairs. Mr. Mudd found its greatest success in the indie smash Juno, which was awarded the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Other producing credits include The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Demolition and Jeff, Who Lives at Home.

In addition to his many accolades in the world of entertainment, Malkovich has also delved into opera and, very notably, fashion design. Malkovich, who often designs costumes for theatrical productions, stepped into the fashion world in 2003 with his West Coast-inspired menswear collection, Uncle Kimono. The subsequent documentary, Flipping Uncle Kimono, follows Malkovich to Milan, Italy, where he arranged an unconventional fashion show featuring judo wrestlers as models. Malkovich’s latest sartorial endeavor, John Malkovich Fashion, focuses on high-end menswear and accessories and launched in January.

SCAD: The University for Creative Careers

The Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution conferring bachelor’s and master’s degrees at distinctive locations and online to prepare talented students for professional careers. SCAD offers degrees in 43 majors, as well as minors in more than 75 disciplines across its locations in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia; in Hong Kong; in Lacoste, France; and online through SCAD eLearning.

With more than 32,000 alumni worldwide, SCAD demonstrates an exceptional education and unparalleled career preparation. The diverse student body, consisting of nearly 13,000, comes from across the U.S. and more than 100 countries worldwide. Each student is nurtured and motivated by a faculty of nearly 700 professors with extraordinary academic credentials and valuable professional experience. These professors emphasize learning through individual attention in an inspiring university environment. The innovative SCAD curriculum is enhanced by advanced professional-level technology, equipment and learning resources, and has garnered acclaim from respected organizations and publications, including 3D World, American Institute of Architects, Businessweek, DesignIntelligence, U.S. News & World Report and the Los Angeles Times.

All news and press