Did you know that one of the co-creators of the hit TV series “The Big Bang Theory” is from metro Detroit and went to Wayne State University, as well as Cranbrook?

Bill Prady has had an accomplished career. Prady began working in entertainment at Jim Henson Productions, and co-wrote The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson, for which he received an Emmy nomination and a WGA award. He also was a co-producer and writer for the series Dream On on HBO and has sitcom credits including The Cosby Show and Married with Children.

He served as producer and consulting producer on the NBC series Caroline in the City and served as co-executive producer on the ABC series Dharma and Greg. At present he is writing and co-executive producing The Big Bang Theory, which he co-created.

“We are thrilled to be able to honor Bill Prady with this award,” said Matthew Seeger, dean of the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts. “He has captured the narrative of contemporary culture and we like to believe some of that comes from his time at Wayne State. It is important that our students and the community at large see high-profile achievers like Bill. His accomplishments serve as a model for others.”

Prady isn’t alone in receiving awards.

  • Lynne Avadenka (Career Achievement Award in the Field of Art and Art History) — Among many other accomplishments, is the artistic director of Signal-Return Press, a community letterpress print shop in Detroit’s historic Eastern Market neighborhood
  • James Curnow (Career Achievement Award in the Field of Music) — Curnow has been commissioned to write more than 200 works for concert band, brass band, orchestra, choir and various vocal and instrumental ensembles. His published works now number more than 400.
  • Della Hamby (Career Achievement Award in the Field of Dance) — Credits include Randy Jackson Presents: America’s Best Dance Crew, The America’s Best Dance Crew Live 25 City Tour, America’s Got Talent and has worked with Jonas Brothers, the Jabbawockeez, Mariah Carey, LMFAO, Slum Village, Mario, Musiq Soulchild, Katherine McPhee, Travis Barker, Bow Wow and Alicia Keys.
  • Shawn Kahle (Career Achievement Award in the Field of Communication) is vice president of communications at Assurant, Inc. and executive director at Assurant Foundation.
  • Sam Richardson (Career Achievement Award in the Field of Theatre) is an actor and writer, and co-stars on HBO’s Emmy-winning series Veep. He also is known for his work in Spy, We’re the Millers and Horrible Bosses 2.

The big bash that is Wayne State’s Arts Achievement Awards event will take place March 23 in the ballroom of the university’s recently renovated Student Center Building. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP at rsvp.wayne.edu/cfpca2016aa/ or call 313-577-0300.

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