Emmett Ashford 41
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree (Posthumous), College of Educational Studies
Emmett Ashford, Chapman College Class of 41, was the first African American to become an umpire in Major League Baseball. At Chapman, Ashford was a baseball player and sports editor for the student newspaper. In 1965, at age 51, he became the nations first black major league umpire, and was famed for his natty attire and charismatic animation behind home plate. He umpired both the 1967 All-Star Game and the 1970 World Series. After mandatory retirement in 1970, he became special assistant to Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn. Ashford died in 1980 and was inducted posthumously into the Chapman University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1981. His daughter Adrienne Bratton will accept his honorary doctorate.
Honorary Doctor of Arts degree, College of Educational Studies
Acclaimed Laguna Beach-based sculptor Nicholas Hernandez began carving at the age of seven when L.A. sculptor Leon Salter first put a sculpting tool and a piece of granite in his hand. Since then he has gone on to many accolades, and his award-winning works can be found in galleries and collections nationwide. He won the prestigious Lorenzo il Magnifico di Medici Medal for Best in Show at the Florence (Italy) Biennale in 2005, over more than 890 works from 72 countries, with his sculpture Emergence. That sculpture was purchased by Chapman University President James L. Doti and his wife Lynne; the couple donated it to Chapman University, where it was dedicated it to the students and placed prominently in the Escalette Arts Plaza.
Speaker and Honorary Doctor of Arts degree, Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
Jon Landau, partner with James Cameron in Lightstorm Entertainment, was co-producer and a driving force behind two of the highest-grossing films of all time, Titanic, which garnered 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and Avatar, winner of three Academy Awards. The ground-breaking visuals for both films transformed storytelling for the screen. Landaus other productions include Mrs. Doubtfire, True Lies, Last of the Mohicans and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
Rev. Dr. Paul M. Nagano 42
Honorary Doctor of the University degree, Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences
The Rev. Dr. Paul M. Nagano 42 was removed by the U.S. government from his studies at Chapman College in 1942, at the age of 21, and was interned - along with hundreds of other Japanese Americans - at camps in Poston, Ariz. for the duration of WWII. There he was ordained as an American Baptist minister and served as the camp minister. Following the war he helped Japanese Americans to resettle into their communities, and founded an ecumenical church that ministered to all Japanese Americans throughout Southern California. He founded the Los Angeles Japanese Baptist Church (now the Evergreen Baptist Church), which opened in 1946, and founded the Japanese Evangelical Missionary Society in 1950. He received his doctorate from the Claremont School of Theology and has since led numerous major Baptist churches and ministries throughout the West. He is currently chaplain at the Atherton Baptist Homes in Atherton, CA.
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