Robert Ruggiero '83 Citation - Commencement 2011
May 22, 2011
Robert Ruggiero '83 -Doctor of Fine Arts
Ella Fitzgerald once said, "It isn't where you came from, it's where you're going that counts." You, Robert Ruggiero, have always been going places. And you have traveled a long way since you left Stonehill as the first graduate of the Theatre Arts Program. Your advanced studies at Rutgers University developed in you a passion for directing, and you have brought your keen sensibilities to dozens of plays and musicals, including some that you have created. We can almost hear Ella now: "Nice work if you can get it!"
Indeed, that work has taken you from New England to the Midwest and California to work in major regional theaters. In venues such as Theatreworks of Hartford, the Pittsburgh Public Theater, the Repertory Theater of St. Louis, and the Pasadena Playhouse, you directed well established plays and premiered new works. "With a song in your heart," you created and produced musicals and concert dramas-including a musical portrait of Ella Fitzgerald that won widespread critical acclaim. Your oeuvre reveals a deep engagement with all forms of theater and your productions are marked by verve and versatility.
You have most recently landed on Broadway, where you directed two new plays: Looped, starring Valerie Harper, and High, starring Kathleen Turner. Clearly all your earlier work had prepared you for this destination. You have been, most certainly, more than "just a lucky so and so."
And through the entire arc of your career, you have returned to Stonehill to share your experience and expertise with Stonehill students. Even in your most busy periods, you found time to provide feedback to students and to promote and support the work of the Stonehill Theater Arts program.
Because you have brought your creative genius to the world of American theater, because you have always shown, with extraordinary generosity, that where you came from was just as important as where you were going, and because we believe that "the best is yet to come," Stonehill College is proud to bestow upon you, Robert Ruggiero, honoris causa, the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.
Read by Professor Patricia Sankus
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.