Rhimes ’91 to Graduates: ‘Be a Doer, Not a Dreamer’

On June 9, 2014 by Grad Forum

commencement_thumbnailShonda Rhimes ’91, the wildly successful television writer and producer, told the Dartmouth Class of 2014, “Ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer.”

Rhimes, creator, writer, and producer of the ABC hits Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and Private Practice, told the graduates, faculty members, trustees, and guests assembled June 8 for Commencement that she had wasted time dreaming of becoming Toni Morrison before she settled for a job writing for television.

“Guess what? I couldn’t be Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison. Because Toni Morrison already had that job and she wasn’t interested in giving it up,” Rhimes told the crowd.

“Years later, I had dinner with Toni Morrison. All she wanted to talk about was Grey’s Anatomy. That never would have happened if I hadn’t stopped dreaming of becoming her and gotten busy becoming myself.”

Some 13,500 people filled the Green under a brilliant blue sky on June 8 to witness Dartmouth confer more than 1,900 undergraduate, graduate, medical, engineering, and business degrees.

To read more, see Dartmouth Now.

photo by Jeff Woodward

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