Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin was the keynote speaker during the Columbus State University Legacy Celebration Banquet on Wednesday night in the sold-out Cunningham Center.
In addition to Matlin's remarks, the event featured the presentation of awards and scholarships to the following recipients:
CSU Goizueta Foundation Scholarship: Erika Galdamez
Faith-Based Humanitarian Award: Rebecca Fourham
Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award: Robert Moore
John Townsend Achievement Award: Renee Lambert and Shawn Baldwin
Kiongozi Award for Outstanding International Leadership: Michael Trebuhov
Lavender Alliance Community Award: Marquise Harris
Servant Leadership and Civility Award: Jamario Antoine Shade
Outstanding Student with a Disability Award: Laura Chapman
Outstanding Ally Award: Lindsey Davies
Women's Leadership Award: Shermaine Johnson
Matlin is the only deaf performer to receive an Oscar. She also is the youngest Best Actress winner. Matlin was 21 when she was honored for her work in the 1986 film "Children of a Lesser God." She starred in several television series, including "Reasonable Doubts," "Picket Fences" and "The West Wing," and
made numerous guest appearances on other TV shows.
In 2007, she joined the cast of the groundbreaking series "The L Word" for three seasons. Matlin broke barriers once again, this time in reality TV when she challenged America to "read my hips," on "Dancing with the Stars," and on "Celebrity Apprentice."
In 1994, Matlin was appointed by then-President Bill Clinton to the Corporation for National Service and served as chairwoman for National Volunteer Week.
Matlin serves as a national celebrity spokeswoman for the American Red Cross and was instrumental in getting legislation passed in Congress in support of closed captioning.
She also serves on the boards of a number of charitable organizations including Easter Seals and the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation.
Matlin, a mother of four, has authored three books for younger readers, "Deaf Child Crossing," "Nobody's Perfect" (with Doug Cooney) and "Leading Ladies." In 2009, she published her New York Times best-selling autobiography, "I'll Scream Later."