Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author
California State University, Northridge
August Wilson has twice been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama. This distinction ranks him among such giants of the American theater as Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams and Thornton Wilder, all of whom also won the Pulitzer Prize more than once.
Mr. Wilson grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In his plays, Fences, The Piano Lesson, and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, he gave voice to the experience of black Americans in Pittsburgh and throughout the nation. He has described the language of his characters as "the everyday poetry of the people I'd grown up with."
While his plays depict specific places and times, the scope of his creativity is epic. His dramas seek nothing less than to elucidate the richness and unique timbre of the black experience in each decade of the 20th century. As this century draws to a close, we pay tribute to an artist who interprets the human experience and helps us know that the truth of imagination and the magic of language can create a world that endures in art even as it fades in life.
In recognition of his artistic achievement, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Northridge are proud to confer upon August Wilson the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.