Angela Bassett was awarded an honorary degree from her alma mater, Yale University. She graduated the Ivy league school with a BA in African American Studies in 1980 and later an MFA in their School of Drama in 1983. She was one of ten recipients who received honorary degrees this year. Other recipients include trailblazers in the fields of essay writing, music and genetics while Bassett received hers in Fine Arts. She was given an introduction by Yale University president Peter Salovey, detailing her range of roles over decades.
Another notable recipient this year is Elizabeth Alexander, a black poet, essayist and playwright who recited a poem at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama.