Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Institute has announced the 2016 recipient of their annual Woman of the Year award, and it’s none other than actress/major badass Kerry Washington.
The accolade is granted every year to honor “performers who have made lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment, and know how to make/take a joke.’’
Washington, who was the first black actress to lead a network TV drama since 1974, has won multiple acting awards and has starred in over 30 movies. Washington is also a philanthropist, dedicating her time to charities and organizations including the NAACP, GLAAD, and the Purple Purse foundation. And she had a recurring role on Boston Legal in the mid 2000s.
Washington will come to Cambridge on January 28 for an awards ceremony including (but not limited to) a parade, a roast of Washington hosted by Harvard students, and the bestowment of a commemorative Pudding Pot.
The celebration to honor Washington will take place at 2:45 p.m. in Harvard Square in Cambridge, right beside the Harvard University campus.
“We are so excited to honor Kerry Washington as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year,’’ said Harvard Student Kennedy Edmonds, who produced the student-run show that will be performed on the 28th, in a press release. “Kerry is an amazing actress with many fans in the company, and the perfect choice for this honor. … But we also feel a bit nervous as we set out to coordinate a perfect event for legendary PR whiz Olivia Pope!’’
Added Bobby Fitzpatrick, president of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, in the same release: “If Kerry is anything like her on-screen character, she may turn the tables on us during her roast!’’
Washington joins the ranks of majorly influential past winners, including Halle Berry, Helen Mirren, and Boston native Amy Poehler. Though, in terms of talent, she’s been in those ranks for a while.