Making Their Way on Broadway: 6 Performance Tony Winning MSI Alums 1980-Now

Since the 72nd Tony Awards were just a month ago, we wanted to take a look at who acted, sang, and danced their heart out on Broadway after attending an MSI!

1. Jennifer Holliday – Texas Southern University

1982 Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical as Effie White in Dreamgirls









Jennifer was the first to play the role of Effie White (later played by Jennifer Hudson in the movie). She has continued to perform on Broadway, most recently in the Tony Award winning revival of A Color Purple as Shug Avery.


2. Mary Alice – Chicago State University (then Chicago Teacher’s Union)

1987 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play as Rose in Fences


Mary graduated from Chicago State University and worked as a teacher before starting a career of almost 40 years in the entertainment industry. Some may know her from her movie role in The Matrix Revolutions as The Oracle.

3. B.D. Wong – San Francisco State University

1988 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play as Song Liling in M. Butterfly


As the only actor in Broadway history to receive the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Clarence Derwent Award, and Theatre World Award for the same role, Bradley Darryl “B.D.” Wong made waves on Broadway. However, many know him from his expansive T.V. and movie career in roles such as Dr. George Huang in Law & Order: SVU or as the voice of Captain Li Shang in Mulan.

4. Phylicia Rashad – Howard University

2004 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play as Lena Younger in A Raisin in the Sun


Phylicia was the first black actress to win the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play in the revival of A Raisin in the Sun and would go onto to receive the NAACP Image Award reprising that role in the movie remake. Many know Phylicia as Clair Hanks Huxtable, the matriarch of The Cosby Show.

5. Anika Noni Rose – Florida A & M

2004 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical as Emmie Thibodeaux in Caroline, or Change

Many may know Anika from her role in the Dreamgirls movie as Lorrell Robinson and as the voice of Princess Tiana in The Princess and the Frog. Her most recent Broadway appearance was in 2014 as Beneatha Younger in a revival of A Raisin in the Sun, which also led to her receiving a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

6. James Monroe Iglehart – California State University, East Bay

2014 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical as Genie in Aladdin on Broadway












After a Tony Award winning run as Genie, James presently plays the roles of Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson in the Broadway cast of Hamilton. You may also know James from his appearances on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

DREAMers and 5 MSIs that support them

By Sergio Gonzalez

Today’s society emphasizes the necessity and privilege of obtaining higher education. Unfortunately, many undocumented students in the United States are excluded from this privilege, facing adversity as they fight for their right to higher education.

Undocumented students in higher education, known as DREAMers, have been described as individuals brought to the United States as children with no legal status. With a lack of infrastructure and/or support for this student population nationwide, some MSIs have dedicated resources to support them on their academic journeys.

1) California State University, Fullerton


Titan Dreamers Resource Center (TDRC):

As an HSI, The TDRC is designed to provide a safe space where students can connect with one another. They provide undocumented students with academic and emotional support, referrals to financial assistance, and information on programs/services designed to improve retention/graduation rates. Additional information can be found here.

2) California State University, Los Angeles


Glazer Family Dreamers Resource Center:

The Glazer Family Dreamers Resource Center works closely with the Office of the Vice President for Student Life by assisting students with the cost of submitting a DACA renewal request. The center promotes the success of undocumented students at Cal State LA, known as an HSI, through a plethora of resources, services, and community engagement opportunities. They strive to create a welcoming environment where undocumented students can grow, flourish and succeed. For more information, click here.

3) California State University, Long Beach


Dream Success Center:

Designated as an HSI, CSULB’s Dream Success Center was established with the intent to provide services, resources, and support to undocumented students. Their mission is simple: empower scholars who are undocumented in their pursuit of higher education and foster a supportive campus community dedicated to their educational and personal success. For more information, click here.

4) University of California, Irvine


Dreamers’ Resource Office:

The Dreamers’ Resource Office is dedicated to serving the AB540 and undocumented student population through advocacy, guidance, and support at UCI, which is designated as an AANAPISI. The programs and services are designed for students to achieve academic, personal, and professional experience. The Dreamers’ Resource Office is directly connected to the Student Outreach and Retention (SOAR) Center. For more information, click here.

5) University of California, Santa Cruz


Undocumented Student Services (USS):

Under the umbrella of their Educational Opportunity Programs, USS provides a robust set of services and support to bolster the graduation and retention rates of undocumented students at UC Santa Cruz, an HSI. The services include peer mentorship and academic advising, which provides personal, academic, financial, and legal support to all UCSC undocumented students. For more information on the resources the USS provides its students, click here.