In addition to awarding degrees to 1,969 December graduates, the University of Missouri will present honorary degrees to actor Robert Loggia and author William Trogdon, better known in the literary community as William Least Heat-Moon, during the fall 2011 Honors Commencement Ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, in Jesse Auditorium.
Loggia, who graduated from the MU School of Journalism in 1951, is known today for his success as a supporting actor in more than 100 films. He has been nominated for numerous Emmy Awards and an Academy Award for “Best Supporting Actor” for his role in Jagged Edge.
In addition to the big screen, Loggia has been featured in several television shows, including Magnum, P.I.; The Sopranos; Touched by an Angel and Malcolm in the Middle, for which he received an Emmy nomination.
Trogdon, a world-renowned travel author, released his first book in 1982, Blue Highways. It spent 34 weeks at the top of The New York Times best-seller list. His literary success also extends to historical writing. He wrote PrairyErth (A Deep Map): An Epic History of the Tallgrass Prairie Country in 1991. In 2002, he released Columbus in the Americas.
Trogdon has received four degrees from MU: bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in English, and a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism.
Honorary degrees are awarded to graduates or former students and to people who have rendered distinctive services to the state or university, as well as people of high distinction from around the world.