Matt Goldman ’83, MBA ’84
Mr. President, I have the honor of presenting Matt Goldman, holder of both a bachelor’s degree and MBA from Clark University, and co-founder of Blue Man Group and Blue School.
Matt, you have said you motivate yourself with three simple words: Make ideas real.
At every stage of your career, you have done just that. Your entrepreneurial drive stretches back to your teen years when you bought a Super 8 projector and showed cartoons at children’s birthday parties, earning an impressive payday by figuring out what the market would bear.
After completing your Clark M.B.A., you worked in software marketing until 1987, when you and partners Chris Wink and Phil Stanton merged your creative energies and business acumen to form Blue Man Group. You market-tested your act in Central Park, then moved to a theater where you turned spattered paint, flying ping pong balls and unfurled toilet paper into a new kind of performance art. Your raucous and wry stagecraft blended music, technology and comedy with sly observations of the world around us in a way that not only defied easy categorization, but also transfixed audiences. In the process you turned the troupe’s signature pieces into a cultural touchstone that speaks with a visual and auditory language all its own. Universal in its appeal, Blue Man Group has evolved into an international phenomenon that has entertained millions, from New York to the Netherlands, Boston to Berlin.
You have since channeled your efforts into Blue School, the Manhattan elementary school you co-founded in 2007 to inspire creativity, achieve, in your words, “a tiny bit of social good,” and have fun doing it. Your aim is no less than to reimagine education by shaping communities of learners who “use courageous and innovative thinking to build a harmonious and sustainable world.” This dynamic approach is informed by what you describe as the “animating spark” of your Blue Man DNA, which values global awareness, creative self-expression and connection to community alongside academic rigor, all essential in shaping educated, compassionate citizens for the 21st century.
Matt, in your life’s work you continue to make ideas real. And while blue may be your favored color, your example inspires Clark students to paint the worlds of business, art, education and science in colors of their own choosing.
Mr. President, on behalf of the Trustees, faculty, students and staff of Clark University, I request that the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, be conferred on Matt Goldman.