PLAINFIELD, Vt. — Comedian and actor Jonathan Katz received an honorary doctorate and 15 graduates earned master’s degrees in psychology and clinical mental health counseling at Goddard College’s Sept. 6 commencement ceremony.
Goddard President Robert P. Kenny presented Katz with the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, given to individuals who have distinguished themselves in areas related to the humanities and who have a strong connection to Goddard College.
“Jonathan’s lifelong work as an award-winning comedian, actor, voice actor, and public speaker, exemplifies the highest values of Goddard College,” Goddard President Robert P. Kenny said. “The courage that he’s shown and the many ways he’s taken action in the world to enact change is at the heart of a Goddard education.”
A 1971 graduate of Goddard College, Katz is known for his Emmy-winning voice work on the long-running animated series Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, for which he also won a Producers Guild Award for Most Promising Producer in Television.
Katz, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996, has also been an advocate for people with disabilities. He was awarded the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Gift of Laughter Award in 2006 and is a Goodwill Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Katz attended Goddard’s undergraduate residential program with playwright David Mamet, with whom he remains close friends. He co-wrote House of Games with Mamet and had small roles in the Mamet-directed films Things Change, Homicide, The Spanish Prisoner and State and Main. His additional credits include acting roles in the feature films The Truth About Lies (2015) and Daddy Day Care (2013), voice work on the animated series Bob’s Burgers and Explosion Bus, and production of the popular podcast Hey, We’re Back.
President Kenny also conferred the following Master of Arts degrees:
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Brigetta Brandt (Bethel, CT)
Kaitlyn Mulcahy (Williamstown, VT)
Amanda Nappi (Portland, ME)
Sarah Simpson (Leicester, NC)
Michelle Vosika-Cooper (Portland, OR)
Leslie Whitcomb (Newark, VT)
Svea Vikander (Berkeley, CA)
Master of Arts in Psychology
Sean O’Connor (Baltimore, MD)
Lara Darrow (Putney, VT)
Laura Dewey (Waitsfield, VT)
Jacqueline Overstreet (South Royalton, VT)
David Contrada (Montpelier, VT)
Renee Murray (Ward Cove, AK)
Jonathan Northrop (Wilton, NH)
About Goddard College
Initially founded in 1863 as the Goddard Seminary in Barre, Vt., Goddard College moved to its current Plainfield campus and was chartered in 1938 by founding President Royce “Tim” Pitkin. In 1963, Goddard became the first U.S. college to offer low-residency adult degree programs. Goddard now offers accredited MA, MFA, BA and BFA degree programs from the main campus in Plainfield, Vermont and sites in Seattle and Port Townsend, Washington. The low-residency education model offers the best of on-campus and distance education, with experienced faculty advisors, rigorous on-campus residencies, and the freedom to study from anywhere.