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Thursday, March 22, 2012

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Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

ARLINGTON – Noted actor, artist and filmmaker James Franco will deliver keynote remarks at The University of Texas at Arlington’s spectacular Graduation Celebration on May 11 at the Levitt Pavilion.

James Franco

The annual bash features music, food and a fireworks extravaganza and begins at 7:30 p.m. at 100 W. Abram St. in downtown Arlington. The formal program begins at 8 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Other speakers include UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo and Melissa Sepulveda Tran, a nursing graduate student who will represent the Class of 2012.

Tickets are not required to attend Graduation Celebration, but all students who are graduating will have seating. Information will be sent to graduating students via their UT Arlington email account in mid-April.

Franco, an Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe winner, is best known for his role as Harry Osborn in the globally popular Spider-Man trilogy. He also is known for his appreciation of the college experience.

Franco returned to UCLA in the fall of 2006, at age 28, cramming as many courses as he could into each quarter. He was awarded with a bachelor’s degree in English, with a creative writing concentration in 2008, at which point he headed for New York and enrolled in three schools: Columbia University’s M.F.A. writing program; Brooklyn College for creative writing; and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for directing.

His scholarly quest was the subject of a Washington Post article, “James Franco’s unusual education,” which noted that the actor earned a master’s degree from Columbia and then moved on to Yale, to study for a doctorate in English.

“I love school,” he told People magazine in May 2010. “I go to school because I love being around people who are interested in what I’m interested in, and I’m having a great experience.”

Franco’s love for acting has allowed him to appear in many films and in television series. His starring roles include the TNT biopic James Dean, Howl, and 127 Hours, as well as supporting roles in Milk and Eat Pray Love. On the small screen, he appeared in Freaks and Geeks and General Hospital.

His writing and directing credits include The Broken Tower, a biography of poet Hart Crane, and Sal, which chronicles the final hours of the life of legendary actor Sal Mineo, as well as the recently completed Child of God based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. For The Broken Tower, he also served as producer and editor.

Franco also is a painter. He began publicly displaying some of his artwork at the Glu Factory and Lacy Galleries in Los Angeles in 2006.

In case of inclement weather, Graduation Celebration will move to UT Arlington’s College Park Center, 601 S. Pecan St.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of nearly 33,500 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit to learn more.


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.