April 23, 2013

Larroquette to Receive Honorary Degree, Alumnus Eriksen to Speak at Spring Commencement

Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor John Larroquette will receive an honorary degree and conservationist and adventurer Marcus Eriksen will serve as commencement speaker at the University of New Orleans 2013 spring graduation ceremony. Commencement will be held at 7 p.m. on May 17 at the UNO Lakefront Arena.

Larroquette will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters. He is a New Orleans native who has established himself as a preeminent talent in film, television and theater. Larroquette is best known for playing the role of Dan Fielding on Night Court, for which he won four Emmy Awards. He’s had other major television roles on The John Larroquette Show, McBride and Boston Legal. He’s had guest appearances on shows including The West Wing, Boston Legal and House—and he won his fifth Emmy playing a narcissistic psychopath on The Practice. He now has a recurring role on NBC’s Deception.

In 2011, he made his Broadway debut in the wildly successful revival of How to Succeed in Show Business Without Really Trying. Playing the role of J.B. Biggley, Larroquette won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.

Larroquette is the voice behind UNO's recent "Heartbeat of the Crescent City" commercial series, which debuted in fall.

Marcus Eriksen is executive director and co-founder of the 5 Gyres Institute. The Metairie native earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in 1993 and a master’s degree in education and curriculum in 1995, both from the University of New Orleans.

He completed a doctorate in science education from the University of Southern California in 2003. Months later he embarked on a 5-month 2,000 mile journey down the Mississippi River on a homemade raft. His experience on the river led to a career studying the ecological impacts of plastic marine pollution. On his many expeditions, he has traveled more than 35,000 miles through all five subtropical gyres—or large systems of ocean currents—to discover new garbage patches of plastic pollution in the Southern Hemisphere.

On his most recent adventure, Eriksen traveled from California to Hawaii on a raft made out of 15,000 plastic bottles and a Cessna airplane fuselage as a cabin. The 2,600 mile expedition brought attention to the work of the 5 Gyres Institute, the organization he co-founded with his wife, Anna Cummins.

The 5 Gyres Institute is committed to marine conservation through continued research, education, adventure, studying and lecturing about the plague of plastic waste in watersheds and in the sea.


More about John Larroquette and Marcus Eriksen

Broadway's 'Best Man': John Larroquette, NPR
Episode One: "Heartbeat of the Crescent City"commercial YouTube
Marcus Eriksen is a Plastic Radical Men's Journal
Marcus Eriksen's website
5 Gyres Institute