The Montclair State University Board of Trustees has named Tony Award-winning entertainer Savion Glover as an honorary degree recipient for its May 2017 Undergraduate Commencement ceremony.
The legendary tap dancer, choreographer, actor and teacher will deliver an address to the graduating students in addition to receiving an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree on May 25 at the Prudential Center in Newark.
“Savion Glover has captivated audiences of all ages on both stage and screen for nearly four decades, but it is his work inspiring children that makes him a wonderful example for our graduates,” says Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole. “Regardless of one’s professional discipline, empowering the next generation should be a goal for each of Montclair State University’s students, and Mr. Glover has embodied this commitment throughout his decorated and accomplished career.”
A native of Newark, New Jersey, who was the youngest person ever to receive a full scholarship to the Newark Community School of the Arts, Glover took his first tap lessons at age 7 and made his Broadway debut at age 10 in the Tony-nominated musical The Tap Dance Kid.
Popularizing a unique style of tap known as “hitting,” Glover became one of the youngest performers nominated for a Tony Award with his performance in Black and Blue at the age of 15. In 1996, he choreographed and starred in the hit musical Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk, for which he won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Choreography.
In 2016, Glover made his return to Broadway and was nominated for a Tony in choreography for Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. His film credits include appearances in Bamboozled and the television biopic Bojangles. He also choreographed dances performed by the penguin Mumble in the animated hits Happy Feet and Happy Feet Two.
Between 1990 and 1995, his regular appearances on the iconic PBS show Sesame Street delighted and inspired a generation of young people. Glover has since continued his work with children, sharing his enthusiasm for dance arts education with students in schools across the United States. His Newark-based HooFerZClub School for Tap has remained committed to ensuring that all students maintain the right to an arts education as a fundamental part of their basic education while passing on the traditions and history of tap dancing.
The Undergraduate Commencement ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 25.