BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- Renowned film and television writer, director and producer J.J. Abrams will be the keynote speaker at Sarah Lawrence College's 89th Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 19, in Bronxville, the college recently announced.
The 1988 alumnus directed the 2015 blockbuster "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which is currently the highest grossing film of all time in North America and number three worldwide.
Abrams’ career as an innovative writer, director and producer began in his final year at Sarah Lawrence, when he collaborated with a friend to write a feature film treatment that was purchased by Disney Studios, according to a release from Sarah Lawrence.
In addition to writing, producing and directing "The Force Awakens," Abrams’ long list of credits includes producing and directing "Star Trek" and its sequel, "Star Trek Into Darkness," and writing and directing the films "Super 8" and "Mission: Impossible III."
He produces the "Cloverfield," "Star Trek," and "Mission: Impossible" series of films, and created or co-created and produced the TV series "Felicity," "Alias," "Fringe," and "Lost."
Additionally, Abrams has written or co-written such films as "Regarding Henry," "Forever Young," "Armageddon" and "Joy Ride" and has composed theme songs and music for many of his productions. He currently produces the hit HBO series "Westworld."
Among his numerous awards are two Primetime Emmys, a Producers Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award in Television, and awards from the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, and the Academy of Cinema Editors.
Born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles, Abrams planned to go to film school after high school but ultimately enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College following his father's advice that "it's more important that you go off and learn what to make movies about than how to make movies."
Abrams and his wife, Katie McGrath, are well known for their support of causes that work to level the playing field and advance justice in Los Angeles and across the country.
Sarah Lawrence College President Karen R. Lawrence, said, "J.J. has been on the ‘wish list’ of Sarah Lawrence students for almost a decade. We are all delighted that this year he will return to his alma mater to deliver the Commencement address.”
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. For additional details, visit Sarah Lawrence's website.