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Home / Allyson Felix

Ron Howard, Allyson Felix among recipients of USC honorary degrees

Olympian Allyson Felix and Oscar-winning director/producer Ron Howard are among six dignitaries who will receive honorary degrees from USC in May, the university announced Tuesday.

Howard’s producing partner Brian Grazer will also be honored, along with entertainment studio executive Frank Price, USC Trustee/businessman/philanthropist David Bohnett and journalist/author Bina Venkataraman.

Recipients of honorary degrees are chosen by a panel of students and faculty, and are bestowed on “remarkable individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the university and industry, education, philanthropy, athletics, leadership and other fields,” according to USC.

This year’s recipients will be recognized during USC’s commencement ceremony on May 13. University officials noted it will be the first in-person commencement event on the USC campus since 2019.

— Bohnett is managing partner of Baroda Ventures, and also serves as a trustee for USC, Brookings and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, while serving as vice chairman of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. He created the David Bohnett Foundation in 1999, supporting a variety of charitable causes.

— Felix is a USC alum and the most decorated U.S. track and field athlete in history, winning seven Olympic gold medals, three silvers and one bronze. An outspoken advocate for women’s health and equality, Felix also serves on the board of College Track, which helps students of color earn a college education.

— Grazer is an Oscar-winning producer known for his collaborations with Howard, most notably producing best-picture winner “A Beautiful Mind.” His credits also include “tick, tick…BOOM!,” “Apollo 13” and “Liar Liar.” He is also a best-selling author and co-founder of Impact, which works to identify and develop storytelling talent around the world.

— Howard, known to many for his acting days on “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Happy Days,” is also an Oscar-winning director and producer behind films including “A Beautiful Mind,” “Apollo 13,” “Parenthood,” “Backdraft” and “Splash.” He and Grazer founded Imagine Entertainment in 1986.

— Price served as chairman of Columbia Pictures, MCA/Universal Motion Picture Group and Universal Television, and his career included work on films including “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “Gandhi,” “Ghostbusters” and “Back to the Future.” He also served on the National Council on the Arts and is a founding chair of the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Board of Councilors.

— Venkataraman has written for The New York Times and The Boston Globe and is a best-selling author. She was a senior adviser for climate change innovation during the Barack Obama administration and was a director of global policy initiatives at the Broad Institute. She has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 2011.

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