David Henry Hwang

Honorary Degrees

California State University, Los Angeles

David Henry Hwang is America’s preeminent Asian American playwright. He is a Tony Award winner for his work M. Butterfly and three-time Tony Award nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner and a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the most-produced living American opera librettist, whose works have been honored with two GRAMMY Awards., From2015-2019 he worked as a writer/consulting producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair.

Born to immigrant Chinese parents, Mr. Hwang is the eldest sibling and the only son. He was raised in Los Angeles, California and later attended Stanford University where he produced his first award-winning play. Mr. Hwang then attended the Yale School of Drama where he wrote two plays rooted in distinct Asian genres. Almost all his work features an Asian or Asian American aspect. He has adapted numerous award-winning librettos for operas as well as collaborated with some of the most renowned composers. 

He is active in various organizations that support the arts and Asian American Pacific Islander communities. Mr. Hwang sits on the boards of the Dramatists Guild, Young Playwrights Inc. and the Museum of Chinese in the Americas (MOCA). He conducts interviews on arts-related topics for the national PBS cable television show, Asian America. From 1994 to 2001, he served by appointment of President Bill Clinton on the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

In recognition for his creative work on Asian ethnicity and identity, his multifaceted award-winning talents and his generous involvement in support of the arts, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Los Angeles are proud to confer upon David Henry Hwang the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.