Cheryl C. Robinson Joyner, Class of 1985

“Thank God for cold winters.” With that unlikely thought, you have described how Arctic temperatures in Williamstown kept you indoors, watching this new thing called MTV, which then actually played music—music by artists that you could not have imagined would in time become your clients and colleagues. After Harvard Business School, you rose to lead the marketing efforts of such recording giants as Sony, Warner Brothers, and MCA. You led the growth in size and importance of Jazz at Lincoln Center, including overseeing the design and launch of its iconic concert halls at Columbus Circle. You created and carried out some of the industry’s most successful marketing campaigns to launch and revive the careers of popular music giants. In thanks, one of them, Prince, surprised you with a custom-made purple couch, which we think might look good some day in Paresky. As vice president for alliances at Live Nation, you structured multi-million-dollar arrangements with some of the largest and best-known companies in the world. You have come to be described as “one of the most talented, creative, and formidable forces in entertainment.” Williams was also the place, you have said, where you gained a love of the arts, literature, and writing, along with an ability to think on your feet—showing that a Williams education, and a little moxie, can lead one anywhere, even across the stage to collect a Grammy.

In recognition of your distinguished achievement in the entertainment industry, Williams College is proud to honor you with its Bicentennial Medal.

September 15, 2018