Thursday, April 30, 2009

UAlbany's Frank Whaley, Actor In Ironweed, Field of Dreams, and Born on the Fourth of July, Honored For Professional and Community Service

Actor, writer, and director Frank Whaley studied theater at UAlbany.
University at Albany alumnus Frank Whaley, B.A. '87, has acted in the movies Ironweed, Field of Dreams, and Born on the Fourth of July. A gifted actor turned writer and director, Whaley is among the 13 UAlbany alumni being honored May 1 at 6 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza, State & Lodge streets, for excellence in service to their profession and community.

Alumni Association awards will be presented in education, business, community and public service, entrepreneurship, science and technology, and distinguished achievement in professional life. An award will also be presented for Citizen of the University to G. Thomas Selfridge, owner and president of Albany Valve & Fitting Co., for his support of UAlbany's nanotechnology efforts and his services as a member of The University at Albany Foundation board.

Whaley studied theater at UAlbany and New York City's The Actors Studio. He made his film debut in 1987's Ironweed, based on the novel by William Kennedy, one of his former professors at UAlbany.

After his screen debut in Ironweed, Whaley appeared in a number of made-for-TV movies and played Archie Graham in the 1989 film Field of Dreams. These performances, plus his harrowing portrayal of the heroin-addicted Vietnam vet Timmy in Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July, helped him land his first leading role in 1990's Career Opportunities. He turned in particularly strong performances in Pulp Fiction, The Doors, Hoffa, Swing Kids, Swimming with Sharks, Homage, Broken Arrow, and most recently, Vacancy and World Trade Center. He has appeared in countless television shows and movies, including House, Boston Legal, CSI and opposite Ben Kingsley and Annette Bening in HBO's Mrs. Harris.

In 1999, Whaley made his debut as a director with Joe the King, a semi-autobiographical account of an abused and neglected adolescent that earned him the prestigious Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Whaley will be honored with the Excellence in Arts and Letters Award.

2009 Excellence Awards Recipients
University at Albany Alumni Association

• Citizen of the University – G. Thomas Selfridge, owner and president of Schenectady-based Albany Valve & Fitting Co., staunch supporter of the University's nanotechnology efforts and a member of The University at Albany Foundation board.

• Distinguished Alumni Award – Anne Case B.S. '80, the Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of Economics and Public Affairs and a professor of economics and public affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the economics department at Princeton University.

• Bertha E. Brimmer Medal – Helen C. Stuetzel, M.S. '79, C.A.S. '82, Ph.D. '91, principal of the Ballston Spa Middle School, who also holds New York State certifications as an elementary teacher and reading teacher.

• International Alumni Award for Exceptional Achievement – George T.J. Chen M.A. '71, Ph.D. '74, a world-renowned scientist in synoptic and mesoscale meteorology and academic vice president of National Taiwan University.

• Excellence in Alumni Service Award – Stacy J. Kanter B.S. ’79, a partner at the New York law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates.

• Excellence in Arts and Letters Award – Frank Whaley B.A. '87, actor, writer, and director.

• Excellence in Business Award – Michael Carmen B.S. ’84, a senior vice president, partner, and equity portfolio manager with Wellington Management Company in Boston, Mass., and a member of UAlbany's School of Business Dean's Advisory Board.

• Excellence in Community Service Award – Robert E. Kittredge B.A. '49, a retired faculty member from California State University, Fresno, who co- founded Stone Soup Fresno, a non-profit organization that works with Southeast Asian refugee families.

• Excellence in Education Awards –
Dr. Piyush Agrawal M.S. '72, Ed.S '77, Ed.D. '79, a professional education expert, successful business entrepreneur, and well-respected community service activist and philanthropist; and
Dr. Joseph Emmanuel Bowman, Jr. B.A.’72, M.L.S. ’74, M.A. ’75, service associate professor in UAlbany's Department of Educational Theory and Practice, and a member of the New York State Board of Regents.

• Excellence in Entrepreneurship – Laurence Austin B.A. ’81, co-founder and chairman of Endeavour Capital Advisors, a research-driven hedge fund based in Greenwich, Conn.

• Excellence in Public Service – Vincent J. Abramo B.A.’67, construction safety and occupational health manager, Overseas Buildings Operations, U.S. Department of State.

• Excellence in Science & Technology – Paul D. Amer B.S. '74, a Distinguished Professor in the Computer and Information Science Department at the University of Delaware.

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