The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

April 15, 2013

Actor to speak at Ashford ceremonies

Herald Staff Report
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — LeVar Burton, who played characters in “Roots” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and hosted “Reading Rainbow,” will be the commencement speaker for Ashford University’s spring commencement.

Ashford’s commencement begins Saturday, May 4, at the campus in Clinton, and continues Sunday, May 5, at the iWireless Center in Moline, Ill., for the two commencement ceremonies that Burton will be the keynote speaker.

Ceremonies will be at 10 a.m. for undergraduate students and 3 p.m. for graduate students in Moline, Ill.

Burton landed his first role of Kunta Kinte in the miniseries “Roots” at the age of 19.

Serving as the host and co-executive producer of the PBS children’s television series “Reading Rainbow,” Burton said he’s most proud of the program’s ability to use the medium of television to help create “human beings who are passionate about literature.”

Burton is also known for his portrayal as Lt. Commander Geordi LaForge in both the movie “Star Trek: First Contact” and the television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

In addition to his acting credits, he directed several episodes of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Star Trek: Voyager” and a television movie, “The Tiger Woods Story,” for Showtime.

Also an author, his science fiction novel “Aftermath” debuted in 1997.

Ashford’s two commencement ceremonies on May 5 are open to the public. No tickets are required for admission.