Press Release

British Actor-Filmmaker Emily Mortimer to Address Vassar Class of 2024

British actor and filmmaker Emily Mortimer will be the featured speaker at Vassar College’s 160th Commencement exercises on May 19, President Elizabeth H. Bradley announced.

A graduate of the University of Oxford, Mortimer has had major roles in numerous film and television productions, including Transsiberian, Lars and the Real Girl, Doll and Em, The Bookshop and the award-winning HBO Series The Newsroom. She won an Independent Spirit Award for her performance in the film Lovely and Amazing, and was nominated for a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) best supporting actress award for The Pursuit of Love, a miniseries she co-wrote and directed. She is currently working on a project she co-wrote with director and Vassar alum Noah Baumbach ’91.

In a conversation with writers for Vassar’s student newspaper The Miscellany News, Mortimer said she has used performing as a way to overcome her natural shyness. “I’ve learned that I can put myself in almost any situation and survive because basically what I do is a form of bungee jumping where you are constantly throwing yourself off a cliff and hoping you don’t sort of die,” she said.

President Bradley, who will present diplomas to more than 600 graduating seniors at the Commencement ceremony, said she was looking forward to hearing Mortimer’s message. “Emily Mortimer has had a distinguished career in film and television on both sides of the camera,” she said. “I’m certain she will offer some insightful and useful advice to our graduates as they move on to their post-Vassar lives.”

About Vassar College

Vassar College–based in Poughkeepsie, New York–is a coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college where perspectives cross, ideas intersect, and passion burns bright. Originally founded to provide women an education equal to that once available only to men, Vassar was the first all-women’s college in the nation to become coeducational when it opened its doors to men in 1969. Vassar fosters an intellectual openness and independence in students, who meet each other as equals, and are encouraged to absorb diverse thought and impassioned dialogue that give them the insight and confidence they will need in a complex world where they will make important contributions. Consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country, Vassar is renowned for pioneering achievements in education, for its long history of curricular innovation, and for the beauty of its campus.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays–Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities can be found on the Accessibility and Educational Opportunity website.

The Vassar campus is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY.

April 25, 2024
Black and white portrait of a person with shoulder-length hair, smiling slightly, wearing a white shirt, standing in front of a striped background.
Photo credit: Robert Taylor 

Photo: Download a high-resolution image from the Vassar College Media Relations flickr site.

Contact: Larry Hertz,, (845) 518-3098, (845) 437-7938 (Vassar College)