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NBC Sitcom Star, OWU Alumna Speaks at Commencement

February 22, 2001

[ Wendie Malick Photo ]DELAWARE, OHIO -- Award-winning actress Wendie Malick, star of the popular NBC sitcom Just Shoot Me, will be the speaker at Ohio Wesleyan University's Commencement on Sunday, May 13, 2001, announced OWU President Tom Courtice and Rebecca Smith, OWU's Senior Class President. Malick is a 1972 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan.

Malick, who plays Nina Van Horn, a ditzy ex-model-turned-editor of a fashion magazine, actually was a fashion model in Paris, France and New York City. Following her college graduation, she modeled for a few years, preceded by her work in Washington, D.C. for Rep. Jack Kemp (R., N.Y.). Kemp's major platform programs focused on housing and racial equality -- issues that remain important to Malick today.

"We are so pleased that Wendie is 'coming home' to OWU as our Commencement speaker," says Courtice. "Our admiration for and pride in all that she has accomplished career-wise, extends beyond OWU's theatre arena, as we hear about Wendie's care and concern for needy people of Africa and Mexico. She so truly exemplifies the essence of an Ohio Wesleyan education."

Following her graduation from Ohio Wesleyan, where she studied fine arts and theatre, and her work in the political and fashion arenas, Malick began stepping up appearances on such popular shows as Law and Order, and then as a regular on HBO's Dream On. Her recent film appearances include The American President (1995); Divorce: A Contemporary Western (1998) and On the Edge (2000). Last year, Malick starred in an independent film, Jerome, produced by her co-star in Just Shoot Me, David Spade.

Malick's numerous awards include four Cable ACE Awards for Best Actress in a Comedy Series (Dream On); Artistic Directors Award for Best Lead Actress in a Play (Round Trip); Golden Globe Award nomination, Best Performance by an Actress in Supporting Role in a Series, and Emmy Award nomination, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Just Shoot Me).

Malick and husband, builder Richard Erikson's outreach work, bringing housing and medical care to people in Mexico and Africa and their involvement in the building of an orphanage in Tijuana, has added yet another dimension to Malick's life.

"Wendie Malick is the ideal person to speak to OWU's graduating class of 2001. She is a multidimensional person who epitomizes the philosophy of a liberal arts education and the greatness of our college," says Smith.

Go to Wendie Malick's speech for a transcript of the keynote address.