Campus: San Francisco State University -- April 22, 2002
'Frasier' producer Peter Casey named SFSU Alumnus
Casey, a San Francisco native, to receive award at SFSU Commencement
on May 25
Peter Casey, the Emmy Award-winning co-creator and executive producer
of "Frasier," has been named San Francisco State University's
2002 Alumnus of the Year by the SFSU Alumni Association. Casey, who
earned a bachelor of arts degree in radio and television from SFSU in
1975, will receive his award at the University's 101st annual Commencement
exercises at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 25, in Cox Stadium on the SFSU
"Peter Casey's story is an inspiration to all of us. Like many
San Francisco State students and alumni, he came from a blue-collar
background and worked tirelessly to achieve success," SFSU President
Robert A. Corrigan said. "With his resounding success in Hollywood,
Peter has never forgotten the University and over the years has remained
in close contact with the campus. He continues to show his appreciation
through his support, generosity and kind words. We look forward to welcoming
him back to campus to present this award."
Shortly after graduating from SFSU, Casey moved to Los Angeles to pursue
his dream of becoming a television writer. In 1978, after three and
a half years of rejection, he and his writing partner David Lee sold
a script to "The Jeffersons." The following year, they joined
the show's staff as writers, and later as editors and producers. In
1985 Casey and Lee teamed up with writer/producer David Angell and became
writers and producers for "Cheers."
After three and a half years at "Cheers," Casey, Angell and
Lee formed Grub Street Productions and created their first hit sitcom,
"Wings," which enjoyed much critical and ratings success in
its seven years.
On Sept. 11, Casey lost his longtime friend and business partner Angell.
He died aboard American Airlines flight 11, the first plane to crash
into the World Trade Center.
Casey has been nominated for 14 Emmy Awards and won seven. "Frasier,"
the long-running, highly rated sitcom about a dysfunctional Seattle
radio host and psychiatrist, has won 25 Emmys, including a record five
consecutive awards for Outstanding Comedy Series from 1993-94 to 1997-98.
To this day, Casey remains appreciative of his teachers in SFSU's Broadcast
and Electronic Communication Arts (BECA) Department for their support,
guidance and encouragement.
"SFSU introduced me to the world of television production. It was
where I discovered what I wanted to make my life's work," Casey
said. "It infused me with so much enthusiasm and self-confidence
that I paid scant attention to how long the odds were that I might succeed
Casey has also offered extensive support to the BECA Department. He
makes financial contributions to the department on a regular basis,
visits television writing classes, and has held a BECA alumni event
on the "Frasier" set.
Casey, 51, lives in Toluca Lake, Calif., with his wife and three sons.
He was born in San Francisco and grew up in the city's Sunset District.
His mother, sister, sister-in-law and niece also attended SFSU.
"The Alumni Association is delighted that Mr. Casey will be honored
as Alumnus of the Year," said Danell S. Zeavin, president of the
SFSU Alumni Association. "He is a remarkable, inspiring person
who has reached the acme of comedy writing and producing, and has done
it with the kind of integrity, class and style that makes San Francisco
Casey was elected to the SFSU Alumni Hall of Fame last year.
The annual Alumnus of the Year award goes to former SFSU students who
have gained recognition for significant contributions to their field
of work. Casey joins an illustrious roster of SFSU alumni to receive
the award, including last year's honoree, renowned jazz and cabaret
singer Wesla Whitfield. In previous years, the SFSU Alumni Association
has honored recording artist Johnny Mathis, stage and film actress Annette
Bening, conductor Kent Nagano, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, and
physician and NASA astronaut Yvonne Cagle.
One of the largest campuses in the CSU system, SFSU was founded in 1899
and today is a highly diverse, comprehensive, public and urban university.
NOTE TO EDITORS: To obtain a photo of Casey, contact Matt Itelson of
the SFSU Office of Public Affairs at (415) 338-1743 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A transcript of SFSU's Commencement will be posted online shortly after
the conclusion of Commencement on May 25 at: www.sfsu.edu/~news.