Award-winning actress Laura Linney to speak at ASU in October

September 15, 2023

Award-winning theater, film and television actress Laura Linney believes it’s important to infuse all aspects of our lives with creativity.

She will talk about how creativity and the arts enrich peoples’ existence and the importance of liberal arts in building skills like socialization, interpretation, character building and originality in the 2023 Flinn Foundation Centennial Lecture presented by Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University. She also will touch upon the interconnectivity of professionalism and creativity, and how one cannot thrive without the other. Portrait of actor Laura Linney. Award-winning actress Laura Linney will deliver the 2023 Centennial Lecture presented by Barrett Honors College on Oct. 17 in the Old Main Carson Ballroom. Download Full Image

The lecture is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 17, in the Carson Ballroom at the Old Main building on the ASU Tempe campus. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are available here.

Linney, whose parents were a prominent New York City playwright and a nurse, began her education in performance art at an early age.

She graduated from The Juilliard School and appeared in leading roles across film, television and theater. She has performed in the films "Genius" and "Nocturnal Animals," "Mr. Holmes," "Kinsey," "You Can Count on Me," "Mystic River," "Love Actually" and "The Truman Show."

From 2017 to 2022, Linney starred as Wendy Byrde in the Netlfix original series "Ozark," a performance which garnered her multiple Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations.

Other notable television credits include the Showtime series "The Big C," the HBO mini-series "John Adams," "Tales of the City" and "Frasier." Prominent Broadway productions include "The Crucible," "Time Stands Still," "Sight Unseen" and "Six Degrees of Separation."

“I believe that no matter what you do in life, if you learn the basics through theater, it will help you in everything else — problem-solving, communication, discipline, all of that stuff,” Linney has said about the craft of acting.

Linney has been nominated three times for an Academy Award, five times for a Tony Award, once for a BAFTA Award and eight times for a Golden Globe. She has won one SAG Award, one National Board of Review Award, two Golden Globes and four Emmy Awards. She holds two honorary doctorates from her alma maters, Brown University and The Juilliard School.

In addition to her many acting and performing awards, Linney, who has lost family members to cancer, was honored with the Tower Cancer Research Foundation’s Humanity Award for her work in advocating for people with cancer.

She starred in the Showtime drama "The Big C," about a suburban mom who is diagnosed with melanoma, and was featured in the “Wear Your Beauty Brilliantly" ad campaign, a joint project of Stand Up To Cancer and the Melanoma Research Alliance.

Nicole Greason

Director of Marketing and Public Relations , Barrett, The Honors College


Honors students at ASU thrive with scholarships

September 15, 2023

For Emra Muslim, a first-year student in Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University, a donor-supported scholarship is the boost she needed to start off right at the university. For Mary Murphy, a senior honors student, a scholarship has helped her keep going in the face of despair.

Both students say they’re grateful for the scholarships they received through the honors college, but for vastly different reasons. ASU student Emra Muslim holding a sign that reads "Thank you so much!" Emra Muslim, a first-year student in Barrett, The Honors College at ASU and recipient of the Austin James Service Scholarship, aspires to be a lawyer. Photo courtesy Barrett, The Honors College at ASU Download Full Image

Muslim, a political science major, feels that the Austin James Service Scholarship will help pave her way as a freshman and first-generation student whose parents immigrated from Bosnia to the United States in 2001. Murphy, a senior majoring in Russian and political science, said the Barrett Emergency Student Fund is the lifeline and support she needed to remain at the university after escaping with her young child from an abusive marriage.

There are many merit- and need-based Barrett Honors College student scholarships available to students in need, and applications for the 2024–25 academic year open on Nov. 1 and close on Feb. 1, 2024. Need-based aid requires that a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) be on file. Oct. 1 is the FAFSA form submission deadline.

Paola Gale, associate director of development for Barrett Honors College with the ASU Foundation, said the impact of scholarships is significant in the lives of students.

“Scholarships provide the essential funds needed to obtain a top-tier education, and in some cases, keep students in the university. But the positive effects of the scholarships extend beyond the student recipients. The impact that will happen as a result of their future professional endeavors is incalculable. Many lives will be changed for good, as a result of one donor, one student, one scholarship philosophy,” she said.

Recalling the challenges her parents faced leaving their beloved, but politically unstable and war-torn homeland in eastern Europe, Muslim is equally as grateful for their sacrifices as she is for the opportunities the four-year Austin James Scholarship affords her.

“As a daughter of immigrant parents, I know that I’m having this experience because of the sacrifices they made for me to be here today,” said Muslim, who aspires to be a lawyer serving the Bosnian community. “Being chosen to receive a scholarship means someone believes in me and what I want to accomplish."

Three weeks into the fall 2020 semester, physical threats and stalking forced Murphy and her child to flee their home — leaving everything behind, including a job, car, apartment and personal belongings — and enter a high security shelter.

“With a lot of help, I stayed in classes that semester. By the end of the semester, though, I made the decision to drop out of Barrett in order to provide stability for my child and myself, as I could not see a way to continue to provide stable housing and continue studying in Barrett,” Murphy said.

She notified her Barrett thesis director and honors academic advisor of her situation and they encouraged her to apply for the Barrett Emergency Student Fund, which provides support for students to continue their education while experiencing life challenges.

“The support and help offered enabled me to not only stay in Barrett and continue toward completion of my degrees, but also to thrive here,” said Murphy, who used funds for housing expenses.

“The benefit extended far beyond the financial help I received. Support from the Barrett leadership, faculty, staff and donors in the form of this tangible financial help made me feel valued and seen, and helped me remember I was not alone. Knowing that they are all in my corner and want me to succeed in my education encouraged me and helped me to keep moving forward,” she added.

Muslim and Murphy are two of many honors students who have received scholarships specifically designated for Barrett students.

In the 2022–23 academic year, 662 honors students were awarded scholarships with a total value of over $1.3 million. In the same time period, 23 students received a total of $13,522 in assistance from the Barrett Emergency Student Fund.

According to Gale, there are many opportunities to support Barrett students and initiatives. Donors can make gifts of cash and stock, put Barrett Honors College in estate plans or take advantage of company matching gift programs. To inquire about these options, contact Gale at

Nicole Greason

Director of Marketing and Public Relations , Barrett, The Honors College