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November 5, 2007


NEW YORK, November 5, 2007 – Susan Lacy, the award-winning creator and executive producer of the PBS series “American Masters,” will deliver the Fall 2007 Samuel Rudin Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture at The City College of New York (CCNY), 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 27, in The Great Hall, Shepard Hall.  Her address, “Why Art Matters,” is free and open to the public.

Ms. Lacy launched the series in 1986 and has been responsible for the production and national PBS broadcast of more than 140 documentary films about America’s artistic and cultural giants.  Now celebrating its 20th anniversary season,“American Masters” has garnered numerous awards and has been recognized as “the best biographical series ever to appear on American television.”

Under her leadership,“American Masters” received the primetime Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004. Ms. Lacy has also received five additional primetime Emmys, seven Peabody awards, two Grammy awards, 40 other Emmy nominations and three Oscar nominations.

In addition to her role with PBS, Ms. Lacy, who began her career in public television as deputy director of performance programs at Thirteen/WNET New York in 1979, is an award-winning filmmaker. 

Her credits include Judy Garland: By Myself (2004), which earned her an Emmy award for writing and an Emmy nomination for directing, and Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note (Emmy award and DGA nomination). Ms. Lacy also produced the Peabody award-winning Paul Simon: Born at the Right Time and wrote, directed and produced Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind (IDA nomination for Outstanding Documentary).

In 2005, Ms. Lacy was one of 50 exceptional women recognized for their accomplishments by the Museum of Television & Radio at its “She Made It” event.  She serves as a governor of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, a trustee of the Independent Documentary Association and holds memberships in the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, the Independent Features Project and New York Women in Film & Television.

Her other awards include an honorary doctorate from Long Island University (1994), the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award from Mary Washington College (1996), the women’s college of the University of Virginia, and a Smithsonian Fellowship.

Ms. Lacy holds a B.A. in American Studies from University of Virginia, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and an M.A. in American Studies from George Washington University.

About The Rudin Lecture Program

The Samuel Rudin Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program, named for Samuel Rudin, the civic and philanthropic leader who graduated from CCNY in 1918, was initiated in 1996.  Supported by a grant from The May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc., it provides an opportunity for members of the City College community to interact with outstanding scholars, civic and business leaders, thereby enriching the educational experience on campus. The program is also intended to foster communication in the academic community of New York City.

Previous Rudin Scholars have included: Nobel Prize winner and cancer researcher Dr. Harold E. Varmus; former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite; former Congresswoman Patricia S. Schroeder; Abraham H. Foxman, ’62, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League; author Walter Mosley, M.A. ’91; former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw; authors Arthur and Barbara Gelb, and filmmaker Ric Burns.

About The City College of New York

For 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Over 14,500 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Architecture, the School of Education, the Grove School of Engineering and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.