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The cover of the spring/summer 2004 Issue of SFSU Magazine


SFSU Magazine Online, Spring/Summer  2004, Volume 4, Number 1.

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  Alumni & FriendsNew grad Delroy Lindo in his cap and gown, arms folded as if in prayer, as he stands among a sea of fellow graduates. The cat's out of the bag. Actor Delroy Lindo (B.A. '04) has been taking SFSU classes under a pseudonym. Photo by Lui Gino de Grandis.

Celeb Grad Blows His Cover

Students participating in this year's commencement didn't seem to notice that they had a bonafide movie star in their midst. East Bay resident Delroy Lindo, who has appeared in more than 40 films, including "The Cider House Rules," "Malcolm X," and "Crooklyn," revealed his secret identity as an SFSU cinema major when he donned a cap and gown to receive his B.A.

Lindo, 51, who was accompanied to graduation by his wife and 2-year-old son, says he had thought about finishing college for a long time. As a new father, Lindo felt it was important to emphasize education and hold himself up as a role model. "I was sick of hearing myself say that I was going to get my degree. Now was the time."

He started course work at SFSU last summer after transferring credits from NYU and the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, which he attended in the late '70s. Lindo needed only to complete his general education courses to fulfill graduation requirements.

He took biology courses, a geology course ("Not at all uninteresting") and courses in black studies. Not that his classmates would know it. Through special arrangements, Lindo took his classes remotely, using a pseudonym and communicating with his professors via e-mail and one on-one meetings. This helped him remain anonymous and travel extensively for his new film. "San Francisco State has been extraordinary in helping me," he says.

Lindo will make his next appearance in "Sahara" alongside Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz. He also has projects in the works on Broadway and at the National Theater in London, where he was born and raised until age 16. Pursuing his M.A. is not out of the question either. If he does, he says, "I'd like it to be at SFSU."


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Last modified August 12, 2004, by the Office of Public Affairs and Publications