(April 4, 2014)

William Joyce named as Centenary's 2014 commencement speaker

SHREVEPORT, LA — Oscar winner. Emmy Award winner. Author. Illustrator. Animator. World-renowned creative mind William Joyce has a lot of titles and on Saturday, May 3, he will add one more: commencement speaker. Joyce will be the featured guest speaker at Centenary College's 2014 commencement celebration in the Gold Dome at 10:30 a.m.

William Joyce
William Joyce

"I'm thrilled to deliver Centenary's commencement speech this year," said Joyce. "I will recite many commencement speech clichés and then light them on fire. It is a ceremony we perform at Moonbot when we achieve a major milestone like graduation. However, this time, no mimes will be harmed unless it seems appropriate."

Hailed by Newsweek as one of the top 100 people to watch in the new millennium, Joyce wrote his first book in the fourth grade and has since produced a slew of classics beloved by both children and adults.

His books include The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, George Shrinks, Santa Calls, Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures with the Family Lazardo, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, and A Day with Wilbur Robinson. Joyce has won three Emmys for his popular children's show "William Joyce's Role Polie Olie," a Disney animated series. More than three animated feature films have been produced based on his written works. His illustrations have appeared on the cover of The New Yorker, and his paintings are displayed at museums and art galleries nationwide.

With his team at Moonbot Studios, Joyce has produced the much-celebrated animated short film and app The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and the app The Numberlys. Moonbot's recent collaboration with Chipotle Mexican Grill has garnered over 12 million views on YouTube. Joyce and Christina Ellis, a Moonbot artist, will release a picture book version of The Numberlys in May 2014.

"We are honored to welcome a true creative force to campus," said Centenary President David Rowe. "From employing many of our students and alumni to serving as Centenary’s Artist-in-Residence, Joyce has been instrumental in infusing our community with energy and imagination."

Joyce is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, where he studied filmmaking and illustration. A native of Shreveport, where he currently lives with his family, Joyce has been an avid supporter of its art community. He serves as the Artistic Director of Artspace, a program of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.

Founded in 2009, Moonbot Studios is a storytelling company based in Shreveport, LA, making films, games, books apps and other entertainment media. Moonbot Studios was co-founded by artists and filmmakers William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg and veteran film producer Lampton Enochs.

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