Awarded to an alumnus or alumna of the last 15 years whose professional accomplishments, service to alma mater, and/or selfless and caring work to benefit society are distinctive.
A successful actor, screenplay writer and producer, Gbenga is best known for his roles as Chris Partlow in The Wire; Pastor Isaiah Easton in The Good Wife; Erik Ritter in 24; and Kelly Slater in Nurse Jackie. His film credits include The Savages with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney; The Taking of Pelham 123 with Denzel Washington and John Travolta; and The Edge of Darkness with Mel Gibson.
On top of acting, Gbenga recently produced Newlyweeds which premiered at Sundance. His latest film, Knucklehead, premiered in March 2015 to a sold-out audience at BAM's New Black Voices film festival. In 2012 he gave a TED Talk about Stop and Frisk.
Gbenga is a freelance writer for The New York Times and appears as a frequent guest on Huff Post Live and Al Jazeera. Most recently he's launched Liberated People, an eco-friendly socially conscious lifestyle brand, which works with nonprofits worldwide.
The recipient of a B.A. in English and political science in 2000, Gbenga serves as a volunteer for the Career Development Center. A star wrestler at Bucknell, he returned to campus in 2009 for an academic conference. During his visit, he worked out with the wrestling team and met with theatre and dance students to talk about how his path from Bucknell took him to a professional acting career. He always credits Bucknell with being a major factor in his success.