Billy Porter to Receive Honorary Doctorate from W&J

Created: May 6, 2015  |  Last Updated: January 16, 2020  |  Category:   |  Tagged: ,

WASHINGTON, PA (April 30, 2015) — Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) is pleased to announce that Tony and Grammy-award winning performer Billy Porter will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts at the College’s commencement ceremony on May 16.

A Pittsburgh native, Porter made his name on Broadway before pursuing a solo career as a singer and making his directorial and writing debuts. His performances have included “Teen Angel” in the original 1994 cast of Grease!, Belize in Signature Theatre Company’s 20th Anniversary production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, and the original role of “Lola” in Kinky Boots. For his performance in Kinky Boots, Porter won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actor, a 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album, and the 2013 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a musical.

He also was nominated for a 2005 GLAAD Media Award for his one-man show, Ghetto Superstar: The Man That I Am, and is the NAACP Theatre Award winner for Best Direction of a Musical for his production of Once on This Island at Reprise Theatre Company. Porter graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor of fine arts degree, and holds a certification from The Professional Program in Screenwriting at UCLA.



About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.