Actor, activist, and Dayton, Ohio native Martin Sheen was honored by Antioch College on Friday, August
31, in an informal ceremony on the steps of historic Antioch Hall. He received an honorary doctor of humane letters from the
College in recognition of his years of work on behalf of peace and social justice. Sheen was originally intended to receive
the honor during the April 28, 2001, exercises at which fellow activist and former Green Party vice presidential candidate
Winona LaDuke gave the commencement address, but the shooting schedule for his award-winning television drama West Wing
prohibited his attendance.
In a resolution adopted by Antiochs Board of Trustees, Sheen was cited for his commitment
to protesting the death penalty, American aid to El Salvador, human rights abuses in Latin America, the condition of farm
workers in California, the Gulf War, homelessness, and destructive environmental policies and practices. He was further recognized
as a humanitarian who has demonstrated a lifetime of dedication to the values and ideals shared by Antioch College and many
of its students while in pursuit of a successful acting career spanning 42 years.
In remarks given at the April ceremony, a statement
from Sheen read, "Please convey to your audience a story about an experience I had at Antioch that had a profound effect on
my life. When I was 14 years old, in 1954, my older brother took me to Antioch to see a Shakespeare play starring Ellis Rabb.
I vividly remember the bleachers and the ivy-covered walls of Antioch Hall as a backdrop to the play. Rabb reminded me somewhat
of Basil Rathbone and I was moved by the power of his performance. This event had such a profound impact on me that I still
think of it today with the same powerful effect. I wanted to share this story with you because Antioch played a central
role in my pursuit of an acting career in the theater and beyond. I really want to thank Antioch for that experience and for
the honor you give me today."