Arts, Media, and Athletics, A - M


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Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal, F05
Works to build connections between the Arab world and the rest of the global community through his encouragement of free speech and education
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Tufts Degrees: Masters of Law and Diplomacy, Fletcher School, 2005

Other Degrees: B.S., King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals

Biography: Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal is chairman of the Al Watan newspaper in Saudi Arabia, a publication known for its progressive views. He is the Co-Founder and a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Arab Thought Foundation, which works to promote better understanding between Arabs and the Western world. He is also a Member of the General Assembly of the King Faisal Foundation, an internationally active charitable foundation supporting research, education and social welfare.

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Hank Azaria, A88
Critically acclaimed actor and stage performer who has excelled in musicals, comedy and drama
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Tufts Degrees: B.A., 1988

Awards & Honors: "Film Discovery Jury Award for Best Short" at the US Comedy Arts Festival (Nobody's Perfect), 2004; Emmy Award (The Simpsons), 1998, 2001, 2003; Emmy Award (Friends), 2003; Emmy Award (Tuesdays with Morrie), 2000; SAG Award (Tuesdays with Morrie), 2000; Tufts Light on the Hill Award, 1999; Emmy Award (Mad About You), 1998; Annie Award (Anastasia), 1997; Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast (The Birdcage), 1996;

Biography: Hank Azaria is an American film, television and stage actor, director, and comedian who is known for his keen ability to take on a multitude of characters. He is well known for voicing numerous characters on the Emmy-winning animated television series The Simpsons. He has demonstrated impressive range as an actor through his appearances in films such as The Birdcage, Great Expectations, Godzilla, Along Came Polly, and Dodgeball. Mr. Azaria produced and starred in the critically lauded Showtime drama Huff (alongside fellow Tufts alum Oliver Platt) and was nominated for an Emmy for "outstanding performance by an actor". Mr. Azaria has also conquered the stage, garnering rave reviews for his appearances in The Farnsworth Invention, Sexual Perversity in Chicago and Spamalot, for which he received a Tony nomination for "Best Actor in a Musical". Although Mr. Azaria is primarily known as a comic actor, in recent years, he has taken on more dramatic roles, including the highly acclaimed Tuesdays With Morrie and Uprising. He also worked behind the camera when he co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in the short film Nobody's Perfect, which debuted in 2004 at the Sundance Film Festival and won "Best Short" at the 2004 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. Thus far in his career, Mr. Azaria has won four Emmys and received eight Emmy nominations, one Screen Actors Guild Award and four SAG nominations and a Tony nomination.

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Herbert Black, A33
1911-2006; Longtime Boston Globe medical reporter who was known for his honest reporting on difficult matters
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Tufts Degrees: B.A., Economics, 1933

Other Degrees: Presidential Medal, Tufts, 1977; Distinguished Service Award, Tufts; Public Interest Award, National Safety Council, 1962

Biography: Herbert Black began his long career at the Boston Globe while still at Tufts College. Upon graduating in 1933, he took a full time position at the newspaper. He held various positions, including Washington and foreign news editor, assistant editor and medical editor. The latter position is for what he is best known. In 1963 when President Kennedy was shot, Black was sent to Dallas to report on Kennedy's possible recovery in the hospital. His reporting of the event was highly regarded and considered some of the most accurate medical information available on the subject.

Mr. Black also spoke openly about his experience dealing with rectal cancer. In 1969, he was invited by the American Cancer Society to speak at an annual gathering of science writers, the first news writer to do so.

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Rob Burnett, A84
Emmy-award winner producer and President and CEO of Worldwide Pants, Inc.
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Tufts Degrees: B.A., English, 1984

Awards & Honors: P.T. Barnum Award for Excellence in Entertainment, Tufts, 2006; Light on the Hill Award, Tufts; People's Choice Award for Favorite Television New Comedy Series: Ed, 2001; Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series: The Late Show with David Letterman, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002

Biography: Rob Burnett is a five-time Emmy Award-winning executive producer of The Late Show with David Letterman. He is also president and chief executive officer of Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants Inc., where he oversees both The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Mr. Burnett became the head writer for Late Night with David Letterman in 1992, after being a member of the show's writing staff since February 1988. Before that, he was a talent assistant and researcher for Late Night. He joined Letterman's staff in 1985 as an intern in Late Night's talent department.

Joining forces with former Late Show head writer and supervising producer Jon Beckerman, Mr. Burnett has created two critically acclaimed series for network television. Their first project, NBC's Ed, won Mr. Burnett and Mr. Beckerman a People's Choice award and an Emmy nomination for writing. In addition to serving as creator, writer and producer on Ed, Burnett made his directorial debut in February 2003. The two teamed up again in 2006 create the half-hour, single-camera comedy, ABC's The Knights of Prosperity. Currently, the two are focusing on the production of their first feature-length screenplay.

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John Anthony Ciardi, A38, H60
1916-1986; Well known poet who shared his talents with others
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Tufts Degrees: B.A., English, 1938

Other Degrees: M.A., University of Michigan, 1939

Biography: John Anthony Ciardi was an American poet, translator, and etymologist. Along with creating numerous volumes of poetry, he also translated Dante's Divine Comedy and Inferno, wrote children's poetry, and penned a book on how to read, write and teach poetry, entitled How Does A Poem Mean? It went through several editions and was widely used for teaching poetry. Ciardi also contributed to the Saturday Review as a columnist and long-time poetry editor, and directed the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in Vermont. In the 1960's, he had a program on CBS called Accents, and later on he reported on the history of words for National Public Radio Early Edition. Ciardi was also a fellow of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member and former president of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

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Barbara Delinsky, J67
Award-winning author whose novels on family drama, parenthood, friendship, and battling breast cancer have won her critical acclaim and a loyal following of readers
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Tufts Degrees: B.A., Psychology, 1967

Other Degrees: M.A., Sociology, Boston College

Biography: Barbara Delinsky is a New York Times bestselling author who writes primarily about marriage, parenthood, sibling rivalry, and friendship. She sold her first book in 1980, and has issued works under the publishing corporations Random House, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins. Over 30 million copies of her books are in print, and they have been published in 25 languages. One of her novels, A Woman's Place, was made into a Lifetime movie starring Lorraine Bracco. In 2001, Ms. Delinsky wrote Uplift: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors. A breast cancer survivor herself, Barbara donates the proceeds of that book, as well as her second nonfiction work, to charity. Through this philanthropic service, she has been able to fund an oncology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital that trains breast surgeons. She also does volunteer work for hospital groups, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and also the MGH's Women's Cancer Advisory Board. Ms. Delinsky’s website can be found at www.barbaradelinsky.com.

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Katherine Hall Page, AG74
Award-winning mystery novelist whose background in education has helped shape her writing
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Tufts Degrees: M.A., Education, 1974

Other Degrees: B.A. Wellesley College; Ph.D., Administration, Public Planning, and Social Policy, Harvard University

Awards & Honors: Agatha Award, Best Mystery Novel: The Body in the Snowdrift, 2006; Agatha Award, Best Short Story: The Would-Be Widower, 2001; Agatha Award, Best First Mystery Novel: The Body in the Belfry, 1991

Biography: Katherine Hall Page is an award-winning mystery novelist. Before her career as a full-time writer, Ms. Page taught high school for many years. She developed a program for adolescents with special emotional needs which dealt with issues of truancy, substance abuse, and family relationships. Those five years stimulated her interest in individuals and human behavior, observations which later shaped her writing. It was during her husband's sabbatical year in France after the birth of their son that Ms. Page wrote her first mystery, The Body in the Belfry. There are now eighteen books in the Faith Fairchild mystery series, which have been nominated for numerous Agatha Awards and Mary Higgins Clark Awards. Ms. Page recently published a cookbook, Have Faith in Your Kitchen, that is based on the series.

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Lisa Stern Lax, J86
Award-winning producer whose accomplishments over the past 25 years have made her one of the most respected production talents in the business
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Tufts Degrees: B.A., Political Science, 1986

Awards & Honors: Distinguished Achievement Award, Tufts, 2002; winner of 13 Emmys; Media Access Award for Outstanding Achievement: Film Documentary (Emmanuel's Gift), 2006; Newport Beach Film Festival-Outstanding Achievement in Film making, Audience Award Best Documentary Film (Emmanuel's Gift), 2005; 2005-Artivist Film Festival Honors: Best Feature Artivist Spirit Award, Emmanuel's Gift; International Monitor Award, 1997; Special Classification Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement - producing athlete profiles during 1996 Atlanta games

Biography: Lisa Stern Lax was an All-American lacrosse player and All-New England tennis player whose love of sports was the driving force behind her foray into television. She joined NBC Sports in 1990 and remained there as a producer/director for 12 years. As the head of NBC's Olympic profiles unit, she supervised the production of over 500 stories profiling the lives of the world's most accomplished Olympians.

In 2002, Lax and her twin sister Nancy co-founded Lookalike Productions to produce and direct documentary films. Their first collaboration was Emmanuel's Gift, a documentary that chronicles the incredible story of Emmanual Ofosu Yeboah, a disabled man from Ghana, who fought for the rights of his 2,000,000 fellow disabled men, women, and children in Ghana, West Africa. This award winning film had a great impact on audiences, as demonstrated by Ghana's Parliament’s passing of a Disability Bill in 2006.

Lax and her sister continue to move forward with their production company, producing three television specials in conjunction with Sesame Workshop and Worldwide Pants. Most recently,When Families Grieve, hosted by Katie Couric, was nominated for a primetime Emmy award in the nonfiction children's programming category. Coming this September, Lisa and Nancy have directed and produced Unmatched, a documentary film for ESPN's prestigious series, 30 for 30.

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Dr. James Reynold Lonborg, D83
Red Sox Hall of Fame pitcher who delved into dentistry upon retiring from baseball
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Tufts Degrees: DMD, 1983

Other Degrees: B.A., Stanford University, 1964

Awards & Honors: Inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame, 2002; Cy Young Award, Best Pitching – American League, 1967; Pitcher of the Year Award, The Sporting News, 1967

Biography: Dr. James R. Lonborg is a former Major League Baseball right-handed starting pitcher. During his baseball career, he pitched for the Boston Red Sox (65-71), Milwaukee Brewers (72), and the Philadelphia Phillies (73-79). In 1967, while playing for the Boston Red Sox, he received the Cy Young Award for best pitching in the American League. He was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2002. He was known as "Gentleman Jim" during his 15 year career for his fearlessness for pitching on the inside of the plate. In an interesting bit of trivia, the photograph that Sam Malone (the bartender on the TV show Cheers) uses as his professional baseball photo is actually a picture of Dr. Lonborg. Upon retiring from professional baseball, Dr. Lonborg attended Tufts Dental School and opened his own practice in Hanover, Massachusetts. He also volunteers with The Jimmy Fund, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and other local charities.

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Bette Bao Lord, J59, FG60, H82
Her novels have brought much needed attention to human rights issues in China
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Tufts Degrees: B.A., 1959; M.A., 1960; HDLitt, 1982

Other Degrees: University of Notre Dame, Skidmore College, Marymount College, Bryant College, Dominican College, Pepperdine University

Awards & Honors: Dean's Medal, Tufts, 1984; American Immigrational Law Foundation, 2002; Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights, Clinton Administration, 1998; Barnard College Medal of Distinction, 1998; Award of Excellence, the International Center in New York; American Book Award for best first novel; inducted into the International Women's Hall of Fame; Exceptional Achievement Award, the Women's Project and Production; Immigrant Achievement Award, Literary Lion, New York Public Library

Biography: Bette Bao Lord has excelled in two separate, but interwoven careers, writer and activist, for which she has earned numerous literary, human rights, cultural and immigrant awards. As an author, Ms. Lord has written several international best sellers that explore the history, culture and politics of China -- Eighth Moon; Spring Moon; Legacies, a Chinese Mosaic; and The Middle Heart. In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, a fictional account of her immigrant experience, is an American perennial for fourth and fifth graders. As an activist, Ms. Lord has served as Chairman of Freedom House and on the Boards of the Freedom Forum, Newseum, the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors and many other cultural entities. As spouse of the American Ambassador to China, she promoted exchanges, produced The Caine Muntiny with an all star Chinese cast in Mandarin with Charlton Heston as director, and facilitated understanding between the country of her birth and the country she calls home. She was instrumental in the establishment of Radio Free Asia. For all these accomplishments, the Reagan Administration presented her with the USIA's highest award. President Clinton personally presented her the first Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights.

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Dr. Gregory P. Maguire, AG90
Bestselling author whose novel Wicked was turned into a hit Broadway musical
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Tufts Degrees: Ph.D., English and American Literature, 1990

Other Degrees: B.A., State University of New York, Albany, 1976

Awards & Honors: Artist in residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Fellowship residencies at Blue Mountain Center, New York; the Hambidge Center, Georgia; The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Vermont

Biography: Dr. Gregory P. Maguire is the author of novels for adults and more than a dozen novels for children. One of his bestselling novels is Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (1995), praised by John Updike in the New Yorker as "an amazing novel". The book, which puts a sympathetic spin on the Wicked Witch of the West, was turned into the hit Broadway musical Wicked. Though he is best known as a fantasy writer, Dr. Maguire has also written picture books, science fiction, realistic and historic fiction. Dr. Maguire was also a professor and co-director at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children's Literature from 1979-1985. Since 1986, he has been co-director and founding board member of Children's Literature New England, Incorporated, a nonprofit that focuses attention on the significance of literature in the lives of children. He is also a board member of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance a national not-for-profit that actively advocates for literacy, literature, and libraries.

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