Woodbury University to Present Ray Bradbury Creativity Award To USC Scholar and State Librarian Emeritus Kevin Starr

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University’s Friends of the Library April 22 Benefit Celebrates Commitment to the Arts, Cultural Preservation, Social Activism – and Libraries

Los Angeles Times Library at Woodbury University

Historian, acclaimed author and California State Librarian Emeritus Kevin Starr has been named 2015 recipient of the Ray Bradbury Creativity Award, Woodbury University announced today. Starr will be honored at an April 22 benefit for the university’s library program, long supported by Bradbury, who received the award in 1994.

The Ray Bradbury Creativity Award is presented to individuals who embody the creative spark and social conscience that characterizes Bradbury's work. The award was established in 1987 in collaboration with Bradbury (1920 - 2012). Bradbury was a strong advocate for literacy and learning, and a great friend to the Woodbury University Library. The award is administered by the Woodbury University Friends of the Library Advisory Board.

For a number of years Bradbury presented the annual Creativity Award himself at Woodbury University, and the tradition continues in his spirit. Previous recipients include sculptor Robert Graham, actors Anjelica Huston, Kirk Douglas, F. Murray Abraham and Malcolm McDowell; Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown; architect Jon A. Jerde; Roy E. Disney and, last year, activist/musician Henry Rollins (http://library.woodbury.edu/awards).

“Ray Bradbury was one of the most talented writers of his time, a man whose art and ideas were part of the national conversation for generations, and whose affection for California was boundless, much like Kevin Starr’s,” said Woodbury University President Luis Ma. R. Calingo, Ph.D. “It’s fitting that as State Librarian for a decade and now State Librarian Emeritus, Dr. Starr has been one of our foremost emissaries for libraries as vital and vibrant cultural institutions.”

“I knew Ray Bradbury and appreciate him to this day as a writer, urban planner and library advocate,” Starr said. “As an historian of California, I am also aware of the creative role played by Woodbury University in design and technology. The combination, then, of Ray Bradbury and Woodbury University makes for an honor that will energize me in the years to come.”

Starr holds a B.A. from the University of San Francisco, an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, and a Master of Library Science from UC Berkeley. He is currently University Professor and Professor of History at the University of Southern California. Starr served as California State Librarian from 1994 to 2004 and is now State Librarian Emeritus. His many articles and books, including his Americans and the California Dream series, have won him a Guggenheim Fellowship, membership in the Society of American Historians, the Presidential Medallion from USC, the Centennial Medal from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard, and the Humanities Medal from the National Endowment of the Humanities. He is a 2010 inductee of the California Hall of Fame.

Starr’s Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance, which covers the period from 1950 to 1963, won the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for history. Starr was presented with The Robert Kirsch Award by the Los Angeles Times as part of the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes.

A vocal advocate of public library systems, Bradbury was a tireless fundraiser on behalf of libraries threatened by budget cuts. Speaking of his childhood, he once said, "libraries raised me." Among Bradbury’s most popular works: Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine, The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Bradbury published more than 600 short stories and novels, along with a number of screenplays, plays and works of poetry. His work included the screenplay for the movie version of Moby Dick and episodes of The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Ray Bradbury Theater. He was nominated for an Academy Award, won an Emmy Award, and in 2000 was awarded the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Woodbury will host the benefit at the Fletcher Jones Foundation Auditorium on the Burbank campus. The event begins at 5:30 p.m., with a cocktail reception for Friends of the Library donors, followed at 7:00 p.m. with remarks by Dr. Starr. A coffee reception, at 8:00 p.m., will conclude the evening. The event is open to the public and there is no charge; however, attendees may contribute by donating to the Friends of the Library at the event. Seating is limited; preferential seating will be provided to Friends of the Library donors. For more information about Woodbury University and the library, visit woodbury.edu.

About Woodbury University
Founded in 1884, Woodbury University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Southern California. Woodbury offers bachelor's degrees from the School of Architecture, School of Business, School of Media, Culture & Design, and College of Transdisciplinarity, along with a Master of Arts (MA) in Media for Social Justice, Master of Architecture (MArch), Master of Interior Architecture (MIA), Master of Science in Architecture (MSArch), and Master of Leadership. The San Diego campus offers Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees, as well as an MSArch degree with concentrations in Real Estate Development and Landscape + Urbanism. Woodbury ranks 15th among the nation’s “25 Colleges That Add the Most Value,” according to Money Magazine. Visit http://www.woodbury.edu/ for more information.

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