Notable graduates at Baltimore-area colleges and universities
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Vivienne Shub -- Towson University( Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun / May 16, 2012 )
As an actress, Vivienne Shub has always had lines to say. But when she got a call recently from Towson University President Maravene Loeschke, she was speechless.
Shub, Loeschke told her, would be bestowed with an honorary degree -- after she started working on a degree seven decades earlier. The 93-year-old Shub left what was then Towson Teachers College in 1941, going on to careers with Center Stage and Everyman Theatre and teaching drama at Towson. But she never finished her studies -- on paper, at least.
She is used to the stage. But it will be a surreal and proud moment for her when she crosses the stage May 25 at the Towson Center, she said.
Shub said she's going to tell the audience at commencement "that it's the best time I've been on stage in my life. For years and years I've been on stages, but this is a pretty special stage."
Awarding the degree had been something Towson theater department leaders had been thinking about for years, said Loeschke, who was the department's chairwoman while Shub taught there. Loeschke called Shub "one of the most respected theater artists in the city."
She started at Center Stage at its inception, in 1963, spending two decades there before a three-decade stint at Everyman. There were so many roles she played in all that time, Shub struggles to single any out. One thrill she remembers was playing renowned art collector Etta Cone in "The Cone Sister," a play her sister, Naomi Greenberg-Slovin, wrote and staged at Goucher College in 2007.
For Towson administrators, the decades of roles meant more than classes and grades.
"We feel she has the expertise that's equivalent to that degree," Loeschke said. "It's just such a delight to be able to give it to her. She has earned it."
-- Scott Dance