Rhode Island College alumnae Viola Davis ’88 – the winner of the Screen Actors Guild’s best-actress award for her work in the film “The Help” released in August of 2011 – met with RIC faculty and theatre students on May 23 during
a special reception at President Nancy Carriuolo’s on-campus home.
The theatre students were able to ask Davis questions and also discuss how RIC prepared her for a successful acting career in Hollywood. Those in attendance were able to take pictures with the Oscar-nominated actress.
William Hutchinson, former RIC theatre Professor Emeritus who taught Davis when she was a
student at the college, was also in attendance at the special reception. Speakers at the event included President Carriuolo, RIC Theatre Professor Jamie Taylor and James Salmo, vice president for college advancement.
Davis and her family moved to Central Falls, R.I. when she was only a few months old. She often credits her love of acting to her involvement in the arts program at her alma mater, Central Falls High School.
While in school, Davis was involved with Up- ward Bound, a college preparatory program at RIC founded in 1996 for low-income students. In 2002, she received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the college.
Most recently, Davis has garnered attention for her leading role as Aibileen Clark in the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help” directed by Tate Taylor. She received several award nominations for her performance, including a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.
Additionally, in 2012, Davis topped Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” list.