Author, actor to receive honorary degrees at MU Honors Commencement ceremony

Friday, December 2, 2011 | 2:31 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — MU will present two honorary degrees to author William Trogdon and actor Robert Loggia at the Honors Commencement Ceremony on Dec. 17. Both men received undergraduate degrees from the university but are being recognized for achieving distinction in their respective fields.

Loggia, a 1951 School of Journalism graduate, has been in more than 100 movies since his first film, “Somebody Up There Likes Me” in 1956. His acting career is not strictly in film — he’s performed in television shows and Broadway musicals. Some of his most well-known work includes appearances in “Independence Day,” “Scarface,” “Gladiator,” “Big,” and “The Sopranos.”

With multiple nominations from the Emmy Awards and one from the Academy Awards for his performance in “Jagged Edge,” Loggia’s career continues to be recognized in the film industry. In a news release, the MU Honorary Degrees Committee cited Loggia as “one of the most respected and admired actors of our generation.”

As a travel and historical writer, Trogdon, better known in the literary arena by the surname Least Heat-Moon, published his first book, “Blue Highways,” in 1982. His account of country travels in his van captivated readers, and it was on The New York Times best-seller list for 34 weeks.

Trogdon’s attention to neglected areas of American culture has set him apart from other travel writers, but he has also written historical novels including “Columbus in the Americas,” which was published in 2002. While Trogdon holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in English, he, like Loggia, received a bachelor’s degree from the School of Journalism.

MU officials will present the honorary degrees at 8:30 a.m. during the Honors College Commencement Ceremony on Dec. 17 in Jesse Auditorium.

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