NEWS ADVISORY: Temple Grandin, Subject of Film That Won Five Emmys, to be Convocation Speaker Sept. 7

Temple Grandin, Ph.D., the subject of the biographical film “Temple Grandin” starring Claire Danes that won five Emmys last week, will keynote Pace University’s Convocation on Tuesday, September 7 from 2 to 3 p.m.


Contact: Cara Cea, (914) 773-3312,


Recently named a Time magazine “hero,” Grandin is expected to deepen understanding of “outsider” feelings common to many students

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PLEASANTVILLE, NY, AUGUST 31, 2010 – Temple Grandin, Ph.D., the subject of the biographical film “Temple Grandin” starring Claire Danes that won five Emmys last week, will keynote Pace University’s Convocation on Tuesday, September 7 from 2 to 3 p.m. on the Pace campus in Pleasantville, New York (Goldstein Health and Fitness Center, 861 Bedford Road, entrance #3). Media admission by press pass.

Temple Grandin is perhaps the most famous of the world’s many professionally successful people with autism. Her pioneering understanding of animals, drawing on her own special sensitivities, has led to her designing humane handling systems for half the cattle-processing facilities in the US. A Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Illinois, she is a professor at Colorado State University.

The feature-length film on her early years premiered Saturday, February 6 and is still airing on HBO.

From the official Emmy press release: “Temple Grandin, the story of a woman who overcame autism to pioneer humane treatment for cattle, received five Emmys, including best made-for-television movie. Claire Danes was selected for her performance as Grandin and Julia Ormond and David Strathairn won for their supporting roles. Mick Jackson received an Emmy for directing the film.”

Jackson hailed Grandin in the audience. “I tried to make your movie like you: spunky, smart, honest, vivid, sometimes crazily emotional, never sentimental.”

The Pace appearance will be her first in the NY Metropolitan area since the Emmys.

Common reading, common moments

Grandin’s appearance at Pace dovetails with this year’s Common Reading selection, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon (Doubleday), a bestselling novel that imaginatively takes readers inside the brave and funny perceptions of a brilliant 15-year-old who happens to have autism. This year Pace is beginning the second year of its Build on Special Strengths (BOSS) program, which  gives students with autism the opportunity—and the support they need—to participate fully in college. The program is believed to be the only one like it in the country.

Grandin’s story is less about people who are “different” than it is about the moments almost everyone has of being an outsider. As one observer noted, “Grandin… is revered.… She is a voice for those who are sometimes challenged to make themselves heard.”

Grandin grew up with what doctors originally wrote off as incurable peculiarities – withdrawal, skittishness, difficulty responding to other people. Thanks to a mother who refused to give up on her, she eventually found teachers and mentors who encouraged her interests in science, supported her awakening sense of her own creative powers, tolerated her stubborn streak, and eventually recognized her gifts.

An advocate for others with conditions on what is now called the “autism spectrum,” she has written seven books and 700 articles, is in high demand as a speaker, and has been featured on media from People to the Today Show. Among others, she has consulted for Burger King and McDonald’s.

Grandin was recently listed as one of twenty-five “Heroes” of 2010 in this year’s Time 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

About Pace

For 104 years Pace University has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lienhard School of Nursing, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.


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