Tony Award Winner Norbert Leo Butz Named Webster's 2013 Commencement Speaker

Apr. 11, 2013

Tony Award Winner Norbert Leo Butz Named Webster's 2013 Commencement Speaker

ST. LOUIS, April 11 – Tony Award Winner and Webster University alumnus Norbert Leo Butz will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Webster University's 2013 commencement ceremony, to be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 11 at The Muny in Forest Park.

“We are delighted to welcome Norbert Leo Butz back to Webster University and to honor him at our commencement,” said Webster University President Elizabeth Stroble. “The story of his career success and his personal commitment to the victims of sexual violence inspire us, and we are eager to hear his address to Webster graduates. Students come to our Conservatory from around the country to develop their talents and make their dreams come true. It is heartening to see the success that Norbert has achieved in his career, and his example encourages us to use our talents to benefit the larger community.”

“At Webster University we believe that the arts are not only an important part of our University but an important part of our diverse and technologically advancing world,” said Webster University Provost and Senior Vice President Julian Schuster. “We are happy to focus on the contributions of one of our graduates in the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts.”

Butz was born and raised in St. Louis and received a bachelor's of fine arts from Webster's Conservatory of Theatre Arts program in the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts in 1990. He received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts in 2000.

Butz made his Broadway debut as Roger Davis in the musical “Rent” in 1996. Since then he has gone on to star in numerous Broadway shows including “Dead Accounts,” “Enron,” “Speed the Plow,” “Wicked” and “Thou Shalt Not.” He won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for his work in “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” in 2005 and for “Catch Me If You Can” in 2011. He is currently starring in the new musical “Big Fish,” which began a pre-Broadway engagement in Chicago in early April and will head to Broadway in October 2013.

In addition to his work on the stage, his film credits include “Greetings from Tim Buckley,” “The English Teacher,” “Higher Ground” and “Dan In Real Life.” His television work includes “The Deep End,” “Comanche Moon,” “The Good Wife,” “CSI” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

Butz also helped produce, write and record an album for The Angel Band Project, a non-profit organization created after the tragic murder of his sister, Teresa Butz. The Angel Band Project uses music to promote healing, raise awareness and create positive change for survivors of sexual violence. Money raised by The Angel Band Project goes to the Voices and Faces Project and also helps fund The Angel Band Project's pilot music therapy program for sexual violence survivors.