Kennedy Center president given honorary degree

At a ceremony on Monday afternoon, Georgetown University President John DeGioia awarded an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters to Michael M. Kaiser, the president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The event, which took place in Healy Hall, featured a performance by mezzo-soprano, and Washington D.C. native, opera singer Denyce Graves, and rewarded Kaiser’s 25-plus years of experience in the field of arts management.

Kaiser has received international acclaim for his work as the executive director of New York’s Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the American Ballet Theater, as well as the Royal Opera House in London.  Dubbed “the Turnaround King” by the Chicago Tribune, Kaiser was able to revitalize and make each company financially stable.

Though the Kennedy Center did not face economic difficulties when he assumed the position of president in 2001, Kaiser has overseen an expansion of its artistic and educational programs and a renovation of most of its theaters. He also created a unique program to train future arts administrators.

Kaiser also blogs for The Huffington Post and is a cultural ambassador for the State Department.

Image: The Kennedy Center

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