Commencement Speaker for the Class of 2024

March 1, 2024

Dear Seniors,

I am pleased to announce that two-time Tony Award-winning producer Debra Martin Chase will speak at Gettysburg College’s 189th Commencement Ceremony on May 18.

From the Broadway stage to television to movies, Ms. Chase has produced empowering stories highlighting women and people of color for more than three decades. Her work has also garnered Peabody and Critics Choice Awards, as well as Academy, Emmy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, Producers Guild, BET, and NAACP Image Award nominations. Ms. Chase has made a resounding impact on society and, in so many ways, personifies what it means to lead a consequential life.

A graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Harvard Law School, Ms. Chase spent several years finetuning her craft as a lawyer in Houston and Manhattan before following her passion for film and television to Hollywood. After launching her new career as an executive at Columbia Pictures, she went on to run Denzel Washington’s production company, Mundy Lane Entertainment, from 1992 to 1995, and Whitney Houston’s BrownHouse Productions from 1995 to 2000.

In 2000, Ms. Chase started her own company, Martin Chase Productions, which was affiliated with the Walt Disney Company, making her the first Black female producer to have a deal with a major studio. Her company currently has an overall deal with Universal Television, a division of the NBCUniversal Television Group.

Ms. Chase’s hit movies include “The Princess Diaries,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” and “Harriet,” among others. Her television work includes “The Equalizer” starring Queen Latifah which is currently on CBS, “Being Mary Tyler Moore” on HBO, and the Emmy-winning “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” starring Brandy and Whitney Houston.

In 2022, Ms. Chase co-produced the Broadway Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “A Strange Loop,” which won Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Book. She also produced the 2022 Broadway revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Topdog/Underdog,” which earned the Tony for Best Revival of a Play. Her upcoming musical "The Outsiders," based upon the beloved book and movie, will begin previews on Broadway on March 16.

Debra Martin Chase is an inspiring role model whose vision and determination have redefined an industry, and whose commitment to the greater good continues to chart new paths for tomorrow’s leaders and doers. On behalf of our entire Gettysburg College community, especially all of you—our graduating Class of 2024—I am deeply honored to welcome Ms. Chase to our campus for this year’s Commencement Ceremony.


Bob Iuliano