John Goodman

John Goodman attended Missouri State's Homecoming in 1991 and was given a football jersey. Goodman had transferred to MSU - then SMSU - in 1973 to play on the football team, but was ineligible and never had the opportunity to earn a jersey, according to "Daring to Excel" by Donald D. Landon.

Actor and Missouri State alumnus John Goodman will be awarded an honorary doctorate at the spring commencement in May 2013, after the Board of Governors approved his nomination at a meeting on Friday.

Missouri State’s Faculty Senate nominated Goodman for the honorary doctorate – the 15th MSU has given out since 2003 – and brought the nomination to the board to deliberate at its regularly scheduled December meeting.

After announcing the nomination, the board unanimously approved it, citing Goodman’s outstanding acting career and personal dedication to serving Missouri State throughout his life.

Goodman, a native of St. Louis, Mo., transferred to MSU in 1973 from a junior college to play football, according to “Daring to Excel,” the book which chronicles MSU’s history.

“I came down here to see if I could walk on the football team. I was ineligible, so I wound up in the Theatre Department,” Goodman said in the book. “I had always been interested in acting. I was the class clown in high school, which kept me out of more serious trouble but I never really considered making a living as an actor until I left SMSU.”

Goodman graduated from MSU in 1975 and went on to star in the popular television series “Roseanne,” along with numerous films and stage productions.

His most recent work is a role in Ben Affleck’s film, “Argo,” which is currently nominated for several Golden Globe awards, including Best Motion Picture in the Drama category.

Goodman has also stayed connected to MSU, delivering public service announcements, donating to scholarships, speaking to students and classes as a guest celebrity, and joining the Tent Theatre 50 for 50th Club, according to a press release.

These efforts, along with Goodman’s commitment to help those who have been victims of natural disasters across the U.S., made the Honorary Doctorate Selection Committee very excited about giving him his doctorate, said Cynthia Hail, chair of the committee, in a press release.

“John has been a generous humanitarian with his time and talents for the Katrina efforts, the Gulf Oil clean-up and to his home state of Missouri,” Hail said.

Goodman will receive his honorary doctorate, the degree of doctor of humane letters (L.H.D.), at the spring commencement ceremony on May 17, 2013.